Glossary

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Bill of Lading

A document that establishes the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company. It serves as a document of title, a contract of carriage and a receipt for goods.

Container

A truck trailer body that can be detached from the chassis for loading into a vessel, a rail car or stacked in a container depot. Containers may be ventilated, insulated, refrigerated, flat rack, vehicle rack, open top, bulk liquid or equipped with interior devices. A container may be 20 feet, 40 feet, 45 feet, 48 feet or 53 feet in length, 8’0″ or 8’6″ in width, and 8’6″ or 9’6″ in height.

Cost and Freight

A Term of Sale where the seller pays the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination, but the risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as (continued) well as any additional costs due to events occurring after the time the goods have been delivered on board the vessel, is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods pass the ship’s rail in the port of shipment. The CFR term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.

Cost, Insurance and Freight

A Term of Sale where the seller has the same obligations as under the CFR but also has to procure marine insurance against the buyer’s risk of loss or damage to the goods during the carriage. The seller contracts for insurance and pays the insurance premium. The CIF term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.

Free on Board

An International Term of Sale that means the seller fulfills his or her obligation to deliver when the goods have passed over the ship’s rail at the named port of shipment. This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks to loss of or damage to the goods from that point. The FOB term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.

Inspection Reports

When vehicles are presented to the auction house for sale, the auctioneers undertakes a rigorous inspection of the vehicle prior to the auction and prepares an Inspection Report for prospective buyers to view. This is effectively a 3rd party inspection, as the inspection is not commissioned by the private inpidual, dealer or corporation submitting the vehicle for auction, and this seller has no control over the contents of the auction house’s report; moreover, the auction houses apply flat fees for the vehicles appearance at auction (i.e. they have no vested interest in the vehicle itself). They tend to be very strict with the recording of any perceived faults (as well as fairly representing the sales features of the vehicle), and for good reason – there is a claim/return procedure to which the auction house can be held accountable should the condition of the vehicle not be represented wholly and accurately on the Inspection Report.

Invoice

An itemized list of goods shipped to a buyer, stating quantities, prices, shipping charges, etc.

Letter of Credit

A document, issued by a bank per instructions by a buyer of goods, authorizing the seller to draw a specified sum of money under specified terms, usually the receipt by the bank of certain documents within a given time.

Marine Insurance

Broadly, insurance covering loss or damage of goods at sea. Marine insurance typically compensates the owner of merchandise for losses sustained from fire, shipwreck, etc., but excludes losses that can be recovered from the carrier.

Original Equipment Manufacturer

Original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, is a term that refers to containment-based re-branding, namely where one company uses a component of another company within its product, or sells the product of another company under its own brand. OEM refers to the company that originally manufactured the product.

Pro Forma Invoice

A quotation in the form of an invoice prepared by the seller that details items which would appear on a commercial invoice if an order results.

Proxy Bidding

Proxy bidding is a system that allows you to bid the maximum amount you are willing to pay for a vehicle with the possibility of winning the vehicle for less. Your bid is kept secret from all other bidders as the auction proceeds. The system will automatically enter your lowest possible winning bid and continue to increase your bid until your maximum bid is reached. If all other bidders stop bidding before your maximum bid is reached, you will win the vehicle for the amount of the final bid plus a standard 3,000 yen increment. You pay the lowest possible winning bid and do not have to pay the full amount of your maximum bid. If there are two or more identical “winning” bids, the bid that was placed first will win the vehicle.

Roll On/Roll Off

A shortening of the term, “Roll On/Roll Off.” A method of ocean cargo service using a vessel with ramps which allows wheeled vehicles to be loaded and discharged without cranes.

Telegraphic Transfer

The most common payment method that requires the use of cable or telegraph to remit funds. Money does not move physically. The order to pay is wired to an institutions casher to make payment to a company or inpidual.

Vehicle Inspection, Shaken

Known as “shaken” in Japanese. This bi-yearly inspection and component replacement regime also includes mandatory liability insurance, weight tax, vehicle tax and can cost upwards of $1,500 US. New vehicles depreciate at a considerably faster rate than in other countries, and beyond a certain mileage (50,000 miles/85,000 km) it becomes economically prohibitive to renew the “shaken,” as the resale values approach residual. This stringent (some say draconian) system, coupled with the Japanese zeal to own the latest models, gives rise to an abundant number of used vehicles in great condition reaching the auctions every day. The bi-yearly “shaken” also makes tampering with the odometer very difficult as a running record of the car’s mileage is kept and vehicles that deviate from this record are marked on the auction house inspection reports.

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  • review rating 5  A few months ago I set out on my goal of importing a vehicle from Japan through an auction. After tons and TONs of research and countless emails, I decided to use Japan Car Direct as my exporter in Japan. From the beginning of my interactions with JCD, I was thoroughly impressed. My contact, Yoshi, was amazing...definitely a huge asset to the JCD team. He answered all of my questions promptly, translated dozens of auction sheets for me, and advised me of what to watch out for when looking for a vehicle. He was beyond helpful! I picked up my Kei truck at the port in Newport News a few weeks ago and couldn't be more pleased. Since then, the truck has made it to its final home in Charlottesville, VA on my farm. Yoshi and the other guys at JCD are now my go to team for more of these soon. Thanks again JCD and keep doing what you guys do! You all are the real deal.

    thumb N W
    10/15/2019

    review rating 5  A few months ago I set out on my goal of importing a vehicle from Japan through an auction. After tons and TONs of research and countless emails, I decided to use Japan Car Direct as my exporter in Japan. From the beginning of my interactions with JCD, I was thoroughly impressed. My contact, Yoshi, was amazing...definitely a huge asset to the JCD team. He answered all of my questions promptly, translated dozens of auction sheets for me, and advised me of what to watch out for when looking for a vehicle. He was beyond helpful! I picked up my Kei truck at the port in Newport News a few weeks and couldn't be more pleased. Since then, the truck has made it to its final home in Charlottesville, VA on my farm. Yoshi and the other guys at JCD are now my go to team for more of these soon. Thanks again JCD and keep doing what you guys do! You all are the real deal.

    thumb N W
    10/15/2019

    review rating 5  Since a kid the FD RX7 has always been a dream car but i didn't pursue it till i graduated high school but the prices just for the shell over here in california was over 15k!! I kept looking around until I decided i would just import one. I found JCD while looking for the top 5 importers you could trust and they stood out more than all the other ones, and for a couple months of more research on their page until I ultimately decided I would go through them. Although this was my first time getting a car from Japan and having an endless amount questions spanning a couple hundred emails until it would freeze up and i had to make a new email thread .. Mathew always answered every question and helped me though every step. I didn't have all the funds in the beginning but they were very patient with it until i was fully ready, then after a month of having Matt give his thought on some of the FDs i was looking at we finally won the auction for a 94 Efini type R Fd3s. As we picked it up from Long Beach till the drive home I couldn't believe that it was here and soo much better just looking at the picture but i defiantly would recommend JCD to anyone looking to import their dream car too and and want to thank matt and the whole team with getting me my RX7.

    thumb Erwin Contreras
    10/10/2019
  • review rating 5  I'd been looking to buy an RF series Honda Stepwagon to convert into a mini camper for a while but the UK prices always seemed too high. I had joined a few JDM import sites to get an idea of auction prices and costs (including Japan Car Direct) but just couldn't bring myself to take the next step, it seemed such a risk ! Finally after reading so many good reviews for JCD (and Mathew in particular) I took the plunge and contacted Mathew. After he answered my many questions regarding costs, fees etc I felt confident enough to pay the deposit and start hunting the Japanese auctions for my Steppy. My budget for the Steppy was pretty low (pathetic even !) but I felt Mat still put the same effort into replying to my questions and queries as he would have done if my budget had been into the tens of thousands. The result was I now have a very tidy Stepwagon with lower mileage than any vehicle I've ever owned, I've paid far less for it then I would have done buying in the UK and I've got a bigger budget now for the camper conversion. I wouldn't hesitate to buy through them again, and hope to do so soon.

    thumb Matt B
    9/30/2019

    review rating 5  5 star experience from start to finish. Transparent and easy process, and Mat was very patient to answer plenty of questions I had during the purchase! Can’t wait to do it again because the Japanese cars from this era are pure automotive art and these guys hold the keys to the museum!

    thumb Ross C
    9/13/2019

    review rating 5  After an initial inquiry several years ago, I still wanted to get a Japanese Delica or Hiace. Matthew was immediately in contact and helped with all the details. His videos were perfect for my search. Matthew was able to answer all of my questions and my wife and I were able to make decisions based on the great information he provided. I would recommend Japan Car Direct to anyone interested in getting the right car at the best price.

    thumb Zach Matheson
    8/27/2019
  • review rating 5  The staff at Japan Car Direct made what I thought would a a difficult process very easy. Matt explained every step thoroughly and his advice on details of cars was spot on.

    thumb nick creece
    8/20/2019

    review rating 5  I imported a van though JCD and they made the process super straightforward. They were amazing at communicating and quick to answer any of my questions. If you are looking to import a car I would highly recommended them.

    thumb William Bender
    8/02/2019

    review rating 5  Awesome experience !! Their service was extremely good and efficient. Yoshiro was soo patient with my many requests for information and translations. The vehicle purchased was better than expected. I would definitely consider using their services again.

    thumb Rafael Cuadros
    5/20/2019
  • review rating 5  All I can say about the experience is AMAZING! I worked with Matthew and he was helpful through the whole process of bidding, purchasing, and shipping the car to me. He had an answer for every question, and was always quick to respond. Enjoying my new Mercedes and I will be using them again!

    thumb chris casali
    5/15/2019

    review rating 5  All around exceptional experience! Matt was great to work with and guided me through the entire process with ease. As a first timer, importing was a bit nerve racking but JCD did a great job providing a cool little truck I can enjoy here in Delaware. I look forward to picking up the next toy/vehicle through them.

    thumb Jesse Wencius
    5/14/2019

    review rating 5  The experienced, grizzled veterans of the import scene. They were very accommodating with all my questions and concerns. It was my first time importing, so everything was confusing and intimidating, but I'm happy to report everything went as planned! I'm definitely calling them back when I finally come up with an excuse to import another!

    thumb Joey Rodriguez
    4/12/2019
  • review rating 5  Mathew was great to work with and made what could be a scary daunting experience very easy. I am super happy with my car and am sure I will be importing with them again!

    thumb Kayla D'Ambrosi
    3/18/2019

    review rating 5  Working with Mathew and his team was an absolute pleasure. I went from never knowing you could import your own vehicle to owning my own Suzuki Cara within 6 months. Mathew was so helpful and completely transparent with me during the entire process. We spoke on the phone and via email and he helped me pick the perfect car exactly within my requirements. He dealt with my excitement and inexperience with patience and understanding. I couldn't be happier with my experience and will absolutely use Japan Car Direct again when it's time for another project. I highly recommend Mathew and Japan Car Direct.

    thumb Tristan Gilbert
    3/05/2019

    review rating 5  Just purchased my second car through Japan Car Direct. Could not be more pleased with their customer service. Matt went above and beyond to help me find the right car. Translating countless auction sheets, messaging sellers, requesting vehicle inspections, putting up with me and my requests well after his time in the office, etc. I can happily and honestly say that I would recommend this company to anyone looking to purchase a car from Japan and that you will not be dissappinted. Very kind, helpful and professional. Can’t wait for vehicle number 3.

    thumb Tanner Himmel
    2/23/2019
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