Steps Involved in Importing a Car from Japan to Ireland.
1. Find the car you want:
Generally cars in Japan are significantly cheaper than in Ireland. Without boring you with the details of why. The short answer is there is a strict version of the NCT (which can cost over €2000 to complete) on cars over 3 years and many other restrictions meaning that cars depreciate in Japan at a rapid rate and generally cars cover relatively low mileage.
The end result is there are many Japanese export car auctions which is typically where Japanese cars are sourced from.
The beauty about the auctions is all cars are graded. This ranges from 1.0 to 5.0, with 5.0 indicating ‘as new’ condition and 1.0 indicating ‘very poor’ condition. In reality, condition ratings seen at auction generally range from 3.0 for cars that are pretty rough to 4.5 for something in immaculate condition. The system of grading varies across Japan but the following table provides a rough guide to the system used. Often interior and exterior condition are graded separately, and sometimes an A, B, C, D system is used for interior grading, with ‘A’ being the best. Rated ‘0’ cars are those that have been accident damaged and repaired.
|5||As new, immaculate condition|
|4.5||Very minor paint blemish to one panel|
|4||Minor paint blemishes to two panels|
|3.5||One or two panels affected by paint blemishes, minor work required|
|3||Rough all round condition, some work required|
|2.5||Rough panels all round|
|2||Some serious paint blemishes|
|0||Accident damage and repair|
|C||Clean but with cigarette burn|
2. Estimate how much the car will cost:
It is important to know the vehicle registration tax which will be charged on a vehicle prior to importing it to Ireland. On VRT.ie you can you can calculate the VRT on a Japanese import by simply providing the VIN/chassis number of the vehicle being imported.
In addition to VRT you will also be required to pay Customs Duty and VAT.
3. Purchase the car:
4. Ship it to Ireland
Some companies include shipping to Dublin from Japan when you purchase the car. Alternatively you can organises your own shipping. Vehicles are generally shipped via RORO (Roll On Roll Off) ferries or containers. The RORO is generally the cheaper option.
5. Collect the car at the port:
Shipping will generally include delivering the vehicle to the port. It is your responsibility to clear customs and collect the car at the port.
To clear customs you require a customs declaration. If you are not a customs expert then you will require a customs agent to lodge the declaration for you. Once the declaration is complete and you have paid customs and VAT, the car will be released and you are ready to VRT the car.
VRT.ie can lodge customs declarations should you need one.
6. Register the car:
Make an appointment to have your vehicle inspected at an NCT centre within 7 days of the vehicle entering the State in order to register and pay the VRT (and any other tax liabilities due on the vehicle)within 30 days of the vehicle entering the State .
7. Purchase and display new registration plates:
8. Pay your motor tax:
More information can be found here