Used Car - Imported from Japan/Korea

In market looking for used car. I am in Brisbane now. Visited few dealer and most of the cars are imported from Japan or Korea. Seems like they are in good condition and less in odometer. Can we trust these readings? Any suggestions for buying this kind of imported used car from dealer.

Thanks in advance.


  • +1 vote

    Your post is a bit ambiguous. 1) Are you saying that the cars were already used when they were imported into Australia? 2) Or that they’re simply Japanese /Korean cars, and now second hand?

    If 1, my understanding is that commercial scale importation of used cars is not allowed in Australia. Only for single cars, vintage, rare cars etc.


      Specifications sheet says ‘ country of origin - Japan/Korea’. I asked my friend who was with me and he said they are imported from outside and cleared to sell here. Didn’t care to ask agent..will ask him next time.


      Best tell that to the car dealers on Parramatta rd. There are car yards full of imported second hand vehicles from Japan for sale.


      Most of the posts are about importing personal cars..not buying legally imported dealer car. One or two thread are relevant to it..but they didn’t answer my question. Thanks for your reply btw.


        But you don't provide much information as to what exactly you are worried about. An import dealer uses exactly the same process as you would using an import broker or import buyer in Japan. Hence, if you are worried about dealer risk, then this is an entirely different question to that of buying a Japanese import. But if you just want to know about buying an import car, the potential risks and benefits are identical. Source: I've bought three imports before.

  • +6 votes

    yeah, cars in Japan aren't driven huge Ks like in Aus. they'd be legit.

    I lived there for 4 years. I once visited a wrecker near my house and there were heaps of nissans, toyotas, etc that were ~7 years old and with less than 40,000ks on the odometer. it gets expensive to keep older cars as they require stringent roadworthies "sha-ken" and once a car hits 6 years old they are then done more frequently. I bought a 7 year old celica with 42,000kms on the clock for $4,000 when I was there.


    wow thanks Altomic that's really informational! Glad to learn that, I'm off to Japan in a few days myself and will sticky beak the price of a Toyota 86 while there ;)

    • +1 vote

      Wouldn’t bother, unless you are moving there. Average price for a Toyota 86 GT in Japan is about 1.5m yen. That’s about $18,000AU. (Obviously old is cheaper, newer is more expensive.)

      You will not be able to import it back to Australia, as it is a model currently sold here. Added to that, the cost of shipping it back here would be very expensive. When you can pick up an 86 here for about the same as you can in Japan and you don’t have to pay import duties, GST, shipping, cleaning, insurance, compliance, etc etc, it makes no sense to buy one in Japan.

    • -1 vote

      nsx gen1

  • +2 votes

    If it’s from an importer car dealership, always ask for import papers.
    No import papers = walk away.
    Japanese import papers will have info like car grade, existing damages, odometer reading, date of rego and de-rego etc.
    If the car is dodgy in any way like winded back odometer, it would have occurred on Australia soil.
    Import papers will state the car exactly how it is, no Bs


    in the good old days I met some tourist buying a used car upon arrival ie MR2 staying there for 90 days to do a personal import to oz and they made a living out of it. I tried but I didn't make a profit only broke even. too much import duty now days. beware you can ask the guys at the docks there to wind back the speedo. if cars interior /condition doesn't match the speedo walk away don't buy it.


      Wow thanks for the heads up, that gave me hours of reading and research so thanks, I'm now more educated! No silly mistakes here on my end thanks to Oz Bargain Education!


        Note that that's "the good old days". That loop hole has been closed for a long time now, and personal imports require that you live in said country and own the vehicle for at least 1 yr in total.

        Regarding "haircuts"(winding back speedos), if you buy an import, make sure you get the de-reg papers, it will list the real Ks when it did it's Shakin(mandatory roadworthy), will give you a rough idea of the life it's had and whether the Ks are genuine



    Koreans drive on the wrong side of the road so if the steering wheel is right it was probably built there to be driven outside of Korea. So you would think that if it’s second hand that’s probably cause it was driven around here not imported then undergoing a conversion.

    Not sure about the wheel in a Japanese car.

    If it’s a unique or hard to obtain model then it might be worth it though.

    As far a just being built in those countries I wouldn’t be to worried as they still make cars for a lot of the biggest car companies.

    I would just use as much caution as with any used car dealership.


    Thanks guys for valuable information 👍🏻


    Still looking for grey Japan imports!


    In my youth I had 3 Nissan Exa's in the garage at once!


    J-spec, good company that imports cars from japan

  • Top