How long does it take to receive my car?
This depends on your country and the number of vessels that go to your country per month. A typical purchase will leave Japan within 3-5 weeks of purchase. Ocean freight typically takes 2 - 5 weeks.
How soon do you book shipments?
We book your shipment on the day we receive your registration papers from the auction or the dealer. It is a simple process to book shipments so we don't cause any delays.
How common are shipping delays?
Vessel schedules are not set in stone. Sometimes extra vessels are scheduled and sometimes vessels are dropped. We will confirm with you as soon as we have confirmation from the vessel company, however we are at the mercy of the shipping company when it comes to any changes.
Do you ship via container or RORO?
We can ship either method, but typically RORO is the better option. RORO is a giant car-ferry that crosses the ocean. These vessels are often shared with new cars. RORO is generally less expensive and safer for your cars. If we think container might be better for you, we can discuss your individual situation and get you appropriate quotes.
Do you see the car before export?
Using our vehicle report option, we see and report on the condition of your car. For customers that prefer, we can send their cars directly to the port without us seeing your car. This option is useful for those that want to save money.
What if something is broken
Auction cars are inspected by the auction staff before sale and any mechanical problems should be noted on the auction sheet. That said, some cars (particularly older cars) may have missed problems, or new problems between the auction inspection and arriving at our lot. In this case, we will make a claim to the auction for compensation. In some cases, the seller will be asked to pay for repairs. However, cars over 15 years old are rarely possible to claim and the final decision is up to the auction.
How long do I have to pay for an invoice?
We need to receive your payment in full within 7 calendar days. This includes the price of the car, our fee, and international shipping. Money transfers sometimes take several days to be received, not to mention that holidays in either country will delay payment. For this reason, we recommend that people pay as early as possible and no later than three days from the purchase date.
Can I low-bid everything and get a deal?
Do you accept Letter of Credit?
The simple answer to this is "no". The complex answer is "sometimes".
Auctions in Japan are very competitive and most cars that have a high demand will not have lucky low prices. You may find that some cars with low demand tend to have lucky low prices.
Be warned though. If you low-bid vehicles, this greatly increases your changes of buying a lemon because any popular cars that sell for a low price will have been passed on by other bidders.
Letter of Credit is a payment term where the money is held until the vehicle leaves Japan. This payment method is required for some countries. Pacific Coast Auto does not use Letter of Credit payment. We require full payment for the vehicle before the vehicle leaves Japan.
Are the auctions full of bad cars?
It is easy to assume that auto auction in Japan are similar to auto auction in your country. In most countries auctions are where you will find lower end vehicles because most dealers will keep the gems and discard the junk. This i snot how Japanese auctions work. Most dealers in Japan will specialize in certain types of cars, and will send all other cars back to auction instead of into their lot. Because of this, the Japanese auctions have all levels of vehicles from project cars to amazing condition cars. When buying form auction, it will be up to you to pick the grade of vehicle you want to buy.
Can I trust the mileage on the auction cars?
Perhaps you have heard stories of mileage roll-back in Japanese cars. Yes, this is a problem, but it's an easy one to avoid. 99% of the odometer rolling happens by the companies that are exporting the cars, or the importers in other countries. It's quite easy for companies to do this without getting caught.
When buying from auction directly, the auction sheet will mention if the mileage is authentic or if the gauges have been tampered with. If you want to only buy cars with authentic mileage, you can pick only those cars to bid on.
How does the bidding work?
Customers send us their max bid amount for each car. Whether we are live-bidding or auto-bidding, the structure is the same. The auction takes place in about 10-30 seconds. Everyone bids by pressing the bid button until the bidding stops and the highest bidder gets the car.
You will win for one bid over the second highest bidder. For example, if they bid 800,000 yen and you bid 1,000,000 yen, you might win for 805,000 yen.
All auctions have a reserve price. This is a bid amount that has to be passed before the seller will allow the car to sell. If no bids pass the reserve price, the car goes unsold. If you are the only bidder to pass the reserve price, you will win the car for the reserve price.
Do you have teaching videos on Youtube?
Can I have the car serviced before export?
Yes, Pacific Coast Auto works with several shops in the area and can set up any sort of service you need.
Service in Japan can sometimes be less expensive than in your country because of the availability of parts.
This option is is particularly useful for those that want their car ready to drive or ready to sell as soon as it lands.
Do you offer financing?
We do not offer financing. You should speak with your bank or credit union in your country. In most cases, lenders want to have documents showing the price of the vehicle. We can prepare you a quote to show to your financier.
What forms of payment do you accept?
You can pay via bank transfer direct to our Japanese account in yen. Your bank can set that up. Banks can typically be more expensive than a dedicated transfer agent. We may be able to suggest a transfer agent for you so please feel free to ask.
Do you charge payment receiving fees?
Japanese banks are weird. When someone sends us money, we have to pay 2,500 yen to receive it. This is on top of the $30 or $40 that you pay to transfer (if using a bank).
We do not charge for the 2,500 yen receiving fee for standard vehicle purchases or deposit transfers. For transfers less than 50,000 yen, we accept Paypal or Transferwise without charging receiving fees.
Is the security deposit refundable?
We send transfers back without question. There is a 5,000 yen fee for refunding the deposit. This goes toward the costs of the transfer and to cover money receiving fees in Japan.
Can I buy for other people using my account?
Yes, we can do this. We do it for many customers.
Be careful however. If your customer doesn't pay for the car, you will still be required to pay for it in full by the deadline. For this reason, we suggest you require a security deposit from each customer.
Should I avoid R-grade cars?
R-grade cars are are cars that have been in an accident that has been repaired. The R stands for "repaired". Note that this is not the same as a "salvage title" vehicle. Repaired vehicles can be large accident and they can be minor accidents. R-grade does not mean anything about the condition other than the accident so R-grade cars can be great vehicles sometimes.
Some older sports cars like the AE86 and the E30 M3 are often in R-grade so considering the purchase of an R-grade would make these vehicles easier to buy.
Do you see cars before buying them?
We don't offer a service to see the vehicles before purchase. This is because we purchased from over 100 auctions across Japan and would not be able to have staff at all auctions. In general, the cost would have to be much higher if we were to pre-inspect the vehicles before bidding. Therefore, those that prefer more information on the vehicle before purchasing should opt for inventory vehicles or look at stock of dealerships in Japan.
If I find a vehicle in Japan, can you buy it?
Yes, we can easily buy from dealers in Japan. We can handle the communication, questions, price negotiation, etc. Dealers in Japan typically don't allow for price negotiation when selling to an exporter due to smaller profits for them on this type of sale.
We can also purchase from an individual in Japan. However, vehicle registrations are complex in Japan and we will likely have to guide the seller how to hand off the registration. Because of this, we have a higher fee for cars bought from an individual.
Why are the kms so low in Japan?
To people around the world, mileage on Japanese cars can seem too good to be true. While odometers rolling is a problem (see the question about that), there is a good explanation.
Japanese people often don't drive their cars to work. Employers pay for the train passes for all their employees. Driving to work can be very expensive with parking, tolls, and vehicle running costs.
Japanese cities are also more walking-friendly. Most people live near tran stations, which will have all basic amenities.
Can you export a car for me?
Our shipping agents only do bookings for vehicles that are registered under our name. If we were to ship a car for you, we need to have the vehicle title transferred to our name. This means, we will have to charge you the 100,000 yen service fee.
If the car is coming form a dealer, we can buy it (and save you the 10% tax).
If it's your car here in Japan and you want it exported, it's probably best for you to hire a shipping agent. Not only would we be expensive, you will lose out on any savings on importing a vehicle under your name.
We have a 4-part Youtube series on the basics of buying cars from Japan through Pacific Coast Auto. This is good information for those that have never bought before, but it also has some tips for those that are experienced
Here is a link to part 1 of 4 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTs_5_gc4ao