Garage of Luke - Personal Vehicle Import Service (Self-Registration - 10+ Years) 


The Garage of Luke Personal Vehicle Import Service is designed to find and import your perfect Japanese Domestic Market vehicles from auctions across Japan. 


Our import service covers everything required to bring your car into the country from Japan, and have it ready for you to register it into your name. These steps are explained in detail below - take a read through so you can familiarise yourself with the whole process of importing a car from Japan. 


Step 1: Finding Your Car

Here at Garage of Luke, we have access to around 90% of all the Japanese cars that go through the used car auctions, allowing us to see over 100,000 cars each week. Alternatively, we also have a number of trusted used car dealers that can be extremely helpful in sourcing very specific cars. Once you’ve told us your requirements, we can search through our supply channels and will send twice-weekly updates showing potential candidates or updating on supply levels. 


Step 2: Purchasing Your Car

Once we’ve found you a car, we’ll ask you for a maximum bid amount, and supply an initial guide quote for the given vehicle at your maximum bidding price. If you’re happy with it, we take the full maximum bid amount of the car and bid on your behalf. If unsuccessful this can be either refunded to you, or retained by us for future bids. However, if the car is successfully won, the deposit becomes non-refundable and an invoice for the remaining costs of shipping the vehicle to the UK will be issued to you, and must be paid within 48 hours.


Step 3: Shipping Your Car

Upon payment of the aforementioned invoice in full, your car will be transported from the auction site to our Japanese agent, where they will carry out all necessary paperwork for export, including the de-registration and formulation of export documents. The car will then be put through the relevant pre-shipping checks, including a radiation check, and will be loaded onto a boat bound for the UK. We will update you through every stage of this process, and at this stage you’ll even receive a selection of photographs to whet your appetite for the new car. In addition to that, you’ll even be given the relevant information to track the ship your car is loaded on to! 


Step 4: Arrival of Your Car 

When the car arrives at port, we liaise with the port authorities and are sent an invoice for the relevant costs of the car - 10% Duty, 20% VAT and the port goods and documentation charges. Once the invoice is paid, the car is cleared through the NOVA system and released from port. At this point, you can choose to either have the car collected from port and delivered to your home address, or delivered to ourselves to have a rear fog-lamp installed as well as any additional work carried out for the UK MOT test, which it will then be put through before the car is collected by yourselves or transported to your home address. 


Step 5: Registration
Once the car has passed a UK MOT test, it’s ready to be registered. The process is reasonably simple, but we’re on hand the whole time to help with any queries or issues you may have. To summarise, it involves sending the Bill of Lading, Export Certificate, Purchase Invoice, NOVA confirmation, MOT certificate, and V55/5 (used vehicle registration form) to the DVLA, as well as a cheque for 6 or 12 months vehicle tax based on the TC11 Private/Light goods rates, and the registration fee of £55.