How To Import a Car From Japan To Europe

How To Import a Car From Japan To Europe

Car Import


Importing a car from Japan to Europe can be an appealing option for automotive enthusiasts seeking unique models, advanced technology, and exceptional build quality.

Japan’s reputation for producing high-quality vehicles has made it a popular choice for importing cars worldwide.

However, the process of importing a car from Japan to Europe involves understanding and complying with various legal, logistical, and administrative requirements.

In this guide, we will provide an introduction to the essential steps and considerations involved in importing a car from Japan to Europe, helping you navigate through the process successfully.

How Do I Import a Car From Japan To Europe?

Japan’s reputation for producing high-quality vehicles, advanced technology, and unique models has attracted individuals who seek exceptional driving experiences.

However, importing a car from Japan to Europe involves navigating through a series of legal, logistical, and administrative procedures.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the essential steps and considerations to ensure a successful importation process.

1. Research Import Regulations.

Before embarking on the journey of importing a car from Japan to Europe, it is crucial to understand the import regulations and requirements of your specific European country.

Each country within Europe may have distinct regulations regarding emissions standards, safety requirements, and documentation.

Familiarize yourself with the specific regulations and ensure that the car you wish to import complies with them.

2. Choose the Right Car.

Once you have familiarized yourself with the import regulations, it’s time to select the car you wish to import from Japan. Consider factors such as the make, model, age, mileage, and overall condition of the vehicle.

Conduct thorough research, read reviews, and seek expert opinions to ensure that the car meets your expectations and preferences.

3. Find a Reputable Exporter.

To initiate the import process, you need to find a reputable exporter in Japan who specializes in exporting vehicles to Europe. Look for exporters with a track record of reliability and customer satisfaction.

Check online reviews, seek recommendations from trusted sources, and verify the exporter’s credentials to ensure a smooth and secure transaction.

4. Conduct a Vehicle Inspection.

Before finalizing the purchase, it is crucial to conduct a comprehensive vehicle inspection. If you are unable to visit Japan personally, consider hiring a professional inspection service that can thoroughly examine the car on your behalf.

Ensure that the inspection covers all aspects of the vehicle, including its mechanical condition, exterior and interior condition, and any modifications or repairs made.

5. Arrange for Shipping.

Once you have purchased the car and completed all necessary documentation, it is time to arrange for its shipping from Japan to Europe. There are two primary methods of shipping: container shipping and Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) shipping.

Container shipping offers better protection but is relatively more expensive, while RoRo shipping is more cost-effective but offers less security.

Choose the method that suits your budget and requirements, and work with the exporter to handle the logistics of shipping.

6. Customs Clearance and Import Duties.

Upon arrival in the European country of your choice, the car will go through customs clearance procedures.

Hire a customs clearing agent or a freight forwarding company that specializes in vehicle imports to handle the necessary paperwork and customs clearance on your behalf.

Be prepared to pay import duties, VAT (Value Added Tax), and any other applicable taxes or fees levied by the customs authorities.

Ensure that you have all the required documentation, including the bill of lading, import license, and customs declaration forms.

7. Modify the Car to Meet European Standards.

Depending on the country of import, the car may need modifications to comply with European safety and emission standards.

Work with a certified and authorized workshop or mechanic to make the necessary adjustments.

These modifications may include adjusting headlights, speedometer calibration, or installing additional safety features. Obtain the required certifications and approvals to ensure the car meets European standards.

8. Register the Vehicle.

After completing the necessary modifications and obtaining the required certifications, proceed to register the imported car in your European country of residence.

Contact the local transport authority or motor vehicle registration office to understand the registration process, required documents, and any specific requirements.

Pay the applicable registration fees, provide the necessary documentation, and obtain the registration number and license plates for your imported car.

9. Insure the Imported Car.

Before taking your imported car on the road, ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage. Contact insurance providers in your country to obtain the necessary coverage for imported vehicles.

Provide them with the required information, including the car’s details, value, and any modifications made, to receive a suitable insurance policy.

10. Enjoy Your Imported Car.

Congratulations! With all the legalities and logistics completed, you are now ready to enjoy your imported car from Japan to Europe.

Familiarize yourself with the car’s features, take it for a test drive, and indulge in the unique driving experience it offers.

Adhere to local traffic regulations, maintain regular servicing, and cherish the joy of owning a distinctive car that stands out on European roads.


Importing a car from Japan to Europe requires careful planning, adherence to regulations, and attention to detail.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate the import process successfully and fulfil your dream of owning a Japanese car in Europe.

Remember to stay informed about the latest regulations and seek professional assistance when needed.

Enjoy the journey and embrace the thrilling experience of driving your imported car on European roads.

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Written by Udemezue John

Hello, I'm Udemezue John, a web developer and digital marketer with a passion for financial literacy.

I have always been drawn to the intersection of technology and business, and I believe that the internet offers endless opportunities for entrepreneurs and individuals alike to improve their financial well-being.

You can connect with me on Twitter


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