FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The following list of questions and answers should hopefully take care of anything you might want to know. Should you have further questions or feel that we are leaving anything out, please contact us and let us know.

Q: Is it difficult to drive RHD (Right Hand Drive)?
A: Most of our customers get used to the right hand steering wheel, indicator, and shifting within the first hour of driving. That said if you are worried about it feel free to come down to the shop and try one of our demo cars.

Q: Why do you only have vehicles listed that are 15 years old or older?
A: Transport Canada states that a vehicle imported from overseas needs to be 15 years old to the month it was manufactured in order to be eligible for import.

Q: Why are cars from Japan less expensive than they are here?
A: One of the main questions we get is, how are the vehicles so cheap? Unfortunately in this day and age we are so used to expecting hidden costs in everything that we buy that this leads to a natural scepticism of prices. However, we at JDM do not believe in hidden costs.
The prices really are as good as they appear and we hope that the following information will help you understand why Japanese vehicles are priced so low:
A car that is only five years old in Japan is worth only 30% of its original value on the domestic market, and a car 7 years old is worth a mere 16%! This is why the opportunity for us exists to import cars. So why is it this way?
Well, in Japan cars are sold to their owners with ‘shaken’, a combination of safety inspection, compulsory insurance, proof of parking space, weight tax and vehicle tax that is valid for three years. To renew ’shaken’ is costly (an average of about 2000 dollars) and is also time consuming. It involves putting the car through meticulous inspection process as well as having to replace even slightly worn parts and prove things such as proof of parking permit (because space is limited) etc. This lasts you 2 years, then it’s the same again until you buy a new car…
For the owner, ’shaken’ and government taxes make regular new cars an economical proposition and in the competitive Japanese market dealerships provide customers with further incentives to return their current cars as trade ins. So, when the ’shaken’ expires after 3, 5, 7 or 9 years most cars are traded. The lack of domestic demand for second hand, leaves dealers holding a lot good quality second hand cars. Low demand & a high endless supply, force these cars to be sold cheaply at auction – in fact very cheaply.

Q: Are all cars from Japan Right Hand Drive?
A: Nearly all Japanese manufactured cars are RHD. However, certain luxury brands such as Porsche, Mercedes, Ferrari, Bentley, BMW, and many others are LHD.

Q: How long does it take for me to get my vehicle from the date of purchase?
A: Delivery of a vehicle takes on average 5-9 weeks.

Q: How difficult is it to get parts for these cars?
A: Many models of cars are also available in Canada or the US. For example, most parts from a Canadian MR2 will fit on a JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) MR2. Additionally, parts are available through our many contacts in the industry and in most cases parts can be supplied within Canada in under 48 hours time.

Q: What is the difference between a particular model car in Canada and the same model in Japan?
A: Besides the Japanese version being Right Hand Drive, it may have been available with options never offered in Canada, or vise versa. For example, the second generation Mazda RX-7 was only available with the 13B Turbo engine, while in Canada it was available in normally aspirated and turbo form. Also, the second generation Toyota MR-2 has slightly more power and torque in the JDM version. On top of that, many cars in Japan came equipped with more powerful engines that were never available here.

Q: I’m looking for a particular model car, in a certain price range, or a particular type of car. Can you help me?
A: Numerous cars with differing characteristics are available to us, and we can find you the car according to your wants or needs. Phone us, or send us an email with what you are looking for, and we can provide examples of what fits your description. Remember, we’re here to work for you in finding the perfect vehicle, don’t be afraid to contact us!

Q: I’ve found a car I’m interested in. How can I purchase it?
A: You can contact us by phone or email, all of our contact information can be found at the contact page.

Q: What cars can I import?
A: Any car from Japan that is 15 years old to the month, or older, can be imported. For a list of available cars please check out our Vehicle Stock section.

Q: Why are all of the vehicles quoted “landed in Vancouver” ? And can you help me with shipping from Vancouver to my province ?
A: When the vehicles we import land in Canada, they arrive via marine car carrier and the port o entry to Canada is Vancouver, BC. There is no other place for the vehicles arrive at this time. JDM can arrange for further shipping if needed.
We are currently working on a full price list for inland shipping costs that will be published on this page in the near future. Until we have this information published, please contact us for a price quote to your desired location.

Q: What’s involved with your “initial inspection” you mention in many of your ads pertaining to the Japan stock?
A: The initial inspection is not a full mechanical inspection. During the initial inspection, all related cosmetic flaws will be noted as well as any noticeable mechanical problems that can be seen from a quick walk around / short test drive. It’s similar to having a mechanically inclined friend come with you to view a local vehicle. Although once you have expressed interest in any of the vehicles, we will send one of our agents out to the vehicle of interest for a further report and to answer any specific questions you may have before you make your final decision to purchase the vehicle or not. The further inspection can be as specific as you would like, so please do not hesitate to compile a full list of questions you had about the vehicle before you contact us.

For further reference and reassurance, vehicles that have major mechanical problems and or frame damage will never even make it to a listing on our website, so please do not be concerned about this.

Q: Do you import vehicles to the USA ?
A: The only vehicles we can import to the USA are vehicles aged 25 years old or older. Any vehicle newer than 25 years, cannot be purchased through JDM Connection, from US buyers due to the tighter import restrictions in the US.

Q: Do you offer financing ?
A: Japan stock and in transit stock – no. Local Alberta stock yes.

** LOCAL STOCK ONLY** There’s basically 2 options for this through us:

1. You can make a $1000.00 down payment and pay off the car over the course of 6 months and we keep in our possession until it’s paid in full. Interest rate in this case is 6%

2. You can take the car right away, but will have a lien on it and have to work with http://tridentfinancial.ca/ for the finances. We work with them on a regular basis and they will pretty much finance anyone and their interest rates will depend on your down payment, credit history, etc.

Q: How much does it cost for shipping within Canada ?
A: You can get an online quote for inland shipping here http://www.searail.ca/request-a-quote.php

Q: I found a vehicle online and the price says $1000.00 USD, why are your prices more expensive ?
A: Most of the time when you see a vehicle like this advertised for a VERY low price is becuase it’s a dealer in Japan offering the cost sitting in Japan only. The good news is that you can  purchase the vehicle for that price and it is that low! The bad news is that all you have is a vehicle sitting in Japan, no import / export costs paid. Our prices are all inclusive and include everything to have the vehicle sitting in Vancouver, BC Canada all related costs involved including landing costs.

Q: Is the initial $999.00 deposit included in your prices online or quotes given ?
A: Yes

Q: Will you beat competitors pricing?
A: Yes we will always beat competitors pricing. You have to remember though that some “copy cat” businesses will advertise a slightly lower price, only to tell you after the fact that gst is extra costs, this, that, and also that are not included or optional. Our prices and service fee have no hidden costs or any other funny business and often inflated to account for worst case scenario, so in many cases end up being much less than initially quoted. 10 years experience we have learned that it’s always better to make sure prices are quoted high, than the opposite…. New and inexperienced importers do not think of such things. Another reason to go with an experienced importer.

Q: What are the advantages to using a Canadian agent / broker instead of trying to buy online direct?
A:

  • Knowledge of Canadian laws

    Very frequently agents in Japan know how to buy cars and make some arrangements for export, but this is the limit of their knowledge. Knowing whether a car is even allowed into Canada let alone being able to help you with compliance, Canadian side customs or other issues is often not something these agents know anything about, and we have seen on numerous occasions agents in Japan selling cars for Canada which would be denied entry into Canada or could never be complied properly because they don’t know any better, and the buyer would be left with a very expensive, very useless hunk of metal.

  • Using JDM Connection automatically saves you money!

    See this page to learn how http://jdmconnection.ca/pricing-explained/

  • An import consultant *should* be looking out for you.

    There are some disreputable agents in Japan who if you say put a max bid of 400,000 yen on a vehicle which sells for 300,000 yen, they will tell you it sold for 370,000 yen and will pocket the difference, or will find a reason to raise the FOB amount because inexperienced importers have no way of finding out or don’t know better. Some agents will not tell you all of the bad points about a car, will not tell you if there is evidence the mileage is not genuine, or won’t steer you clear of a car that’s not as good as you could get for your budget.

  • With a consultant like JDM Connection an agent in Japan is relying on repeat business so it’s against their interests to be deceitful, and an experienced consultant should be able to pick very quickly when one is trying to pull something. The smarter agents know they won’t get repeat business unless they do good by us, and of course it doesn’t take long for us to know which agents to trust, which to avoid, and which to take with a grain of salt when they say a car is in good condition.
  • Availability of cars at auction

    If you are using an agent in Japan they may have access themselves to a couple of auctions at best out of the 90 or so which run each week. They’ll probably be the bigger ones, but if the right car comes along at one of the smaller auctions (where you often get better prices as well) you’ll likely never even know about it, let alone be able to bid on it or get reliable information about the vehicle.

  • JDM Connection has a network of people at almost all auctions and can get info on all auction cars, as well as almost always somebody to inspect them in person. This access to many, many more cars by not being a single export agent increases the pool of cars to choose from, and increases your chances of getting one at a better price.
  • Buying from non-auction sources (e.g. Yahoo, Japanese dealers, etc)

    Although there are some export agents in Japan who offer to buy cars from Yahoo Auctions or other less traditional sources, we know of no one other than JDM Connection who can get the amount of information we do or arrange for pre-purchase inspections with hundreds of photos from almost anywhere in Japan. To our amazement of the few who can assist with buying these cars they all expect a purchase to be made with almost no additional info about the car and without a third party assessing the car in some manner… you have to trust the Japanese used car dealer or seller alone that the car they are selling is ok!

  • Shipping delays, economies of scale

    Since we have a bit more clout than most individuals by virtue of the number of cars we import we sometimes do get priority for shipping and other services, can sometimes get trade compliance prices, and in some cases cheaper bulk rates for some parts of the importation process. All of these savings are passed on to our customers, and since we know what we’re doing we can avoid some of the unnecessary costs importers often unknowingly pay.A: 1 – Heavily modified, transmission swap, or engine swap0, A, or R – Accident / repaired history of some kind or major engine modifications. Can also mean re painted or body kit / aero parts, so we have to look into the details for you on a case by case basis.

  • Q: What do the rating systems and numbers mean when looking at an auction vehicle or other vehicle listed on the website ?A: 1 – Heavily modified, transmission swap, or engine swap2 – Poor condition
    3 – Average condition
    3.5 – Good condition
    4 – Above average condition
    4.5 – Almost new condition
    5 – New vehicle0, A, or R – Accident / repaired history of some kind or major engine modifications. Can also mean re painted or body kit / aero parts, so we have to look into the details for you on a case by case basis.Interiors are also given grades. A being the best and F being the worst. B is about the best interior grade you get for a 15 year old vehicle and 4 is the best for the age as well.

    Q: When looking at your auc.jdmconnection.ca auction page, what other costs are associated with buying that car and bringing it to Canada ?

    A: Beyond vehicle cost here is a rough breakdown on the export / import process with our service:

    $900.00 export costs out of Japan (shipping in Japan, export company fee, radiation and mechanical checks, export documents and translations, etc.)
    $999.00 Cad for our fee
    $1300.00 Cad for shipping to Canada port in Vancouver, roughly ( varies a bit based on vehicle size / weight )
    $100.00 Cad for shipping insurance ( optional, but highly recommended )
    $800.00 at Canada customs for gst ( 5% ),air conditioning excise tax, duty( 6.1% ), port charges, customs papers, customs clearance, etc. ( this will depend on the value of the vehicle )Then you’ll have to account for shipping within Canada if needed shipped further from BC port and registration costs.Of course there are a few variables here, this will give you a rough idea of what other fees are involved with importing a vehicle. When your importing with us, you just have to talk about the end number and I’ll do all the calculations for you of course.