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German Up Market Cars both Left Hand Drive (LHD) & Right Hand Drive (RHD)
Where is the best place to buy a second hand up market German car from sports sedans to supercars? Where is the best place to shop if you want to buy a used Porsche 911, or BMW Alpina or M3, or a Mercedes Benz luxury sedan? In Germany? In Europe? No, I don’t think so. The best place to buy a good used German up market car is in Japan.
Whether you are looking for left hand drive (LHD) or right hand drive (RHD) look in Japan and consider buying online direct from the Japanese car auctions. Here in Japan is where you will find good condition, low mileage and reasonably priced (these cars are never really “cheap” but here at least you can get them at a good price) used German sports cars, sports sedans, luxury sedans, even super cars. Before you go to the local used car dealers in Hamburg, Hannover, or Heidelberg, look in the Japanese car auctions and see what is available. Before you pay a pfennig to a private seller in Wiesbaden, Wuppertal, or Wolfsburg, contact a Japanese used car exporter (like us) to find out what it will cost you to import some nice German iron direct from Japan.
Buying a used Porsche 911 Carrera like this beauty here:
or its brother like this nice one shown here at a Japanese used car auction house:
or BMW 535i:
or Mercedes Benz S-Class:
in Japan may seem a bit “counter-intuitive” but when you look at the Japanese used car market, you will see that it may very well be the best way for you to go.
Why is that? Surely the best used Benzs Porsches, BMWs, and Audis are to be found in Germany, in the land of their birth, no?
Yes, that is where your 911s, your SLKs, and your Alpinas come from, but I don’t think that that is where they get the best loving care from their owners. In Germany, in Europe, German cars are just cars; in Japan they are treasures, and their owners treat them as such. A 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera or a BMW M-3 or any German car, from mid-market to up-market, is likely to have been babied by its owner in Japan.
As a Japanese used car exporter, we help many customers in Europe (especially Poland and the U.K.), in North America (especially Canada), in Taiwan, and in other countries to import these treasured machines direct from Japan where we buy them at the Japanese used car auctions and from Japanese car dealers and from private sellers in Japan.
We find that there is a large selection of the top German dream machines here that:
1) have low kilometers. (Driving in Japan is very expensive and heavily taxed and a fellow with a nice Porsche 911 does not commute to work in it, that’s for sure. That 911 is his weekend wundercar.
2) are in excellent exterior and interior condition due to Japan’s mild climate and no salt on the roads in most places.
3) have received the regular required maintenance and are not run on a budget by boy racers.
4) have been garaged since new.
So, basically, the German up-market cars you get here don’t deteriorate or age as much as they do in most other countries, and they are not likely to be abused or neglected; they are bought and owned and driven by people who can afford to, and do, maintain them, care for them, and enjoy them.
And now — it’s November, 2014 as I write this — is an especially good time to buy and import a used mid-90s to early 2000s Porsche 911 or powerful Mercedes Benz or sporty BMW from Japan.
Let me tell you a couple of hard facts that are good for people outside Japan who want to buy a German car in Japan and ship it to their own country, to Poland, to Taiwan, to the U.K., to Canada and other destinations:
1) In recent years the Japanese economy has not been doing very well. The government has been raising taxes and many people are hurting, the economy is hurting, so up-market items like great used German cars, Porsche, Benz, Audi, BMW are not finding so many buyers here. This is causing prices to become more reasonable. More good deals on these cars are possible at the moment. Hard but true for us here in Japan, but it’s a benefit for overseas fans of the best of the German motoring industry.
2) guys in Japan are a bit different from what they were when I came here 20 years ago. Back then, having a great car was it, and sports cars, super cars and luxury cars like a Porsche 911 or 928, or a BMW 5-Series, 6-Series, or Alpina, or one of the big engined Mercedes Benz sedans were objects of desire for guys in their 30s, 40s, and 50s who were in a financial position to fulfill such dreams in a high wage / low tax economy. But so many guys here now seem to have become, how shall I say?….pedestrianized. They are content with a convenient, conventional, economical minivan, or with no car at all. A fire-breathing Porsche Turbo Carrera, a V-12 Benz, or a 5-litre BMW does nothing for them (and, to be fair, they can’t afford it anyway).
So the guy who bought his dream 911 or Alpina ten, fifteen, or twenty years ago and now wants to sell his German treasure onto someone else who will love it, enjoy it, and be thrilled by it struggles to find a buyer in Japan. Again, this makes selling prices reasonable. Hard, but true. But it’s a benefit for you if are a man looking for a good used Porsche 911 Turbo.
When I started in this business of helping people who want to buy used Japanese cars online from Japanese car auctions, I thought that my customers would mostly be looking for bargains in the modest and mid-market car range, but I’ve been surprised by how many Porsches, BMWs, and Mercedes we export to Poland, the U.K., Canada, Taiwan and other places.
And it makes me happy to see these motoring treasures finding eager buyers overseas who will continue to cherish and enjoy them.
Links of interest:
If you are a fan of the best in German motor engineering and would like a great German car at a great price, just Contact Us and we will help you find your Porsche 911, your BMW, your own Mercedes Benz.
To join us at our all Japan used car auction search facility, just click here to access our Online Auction.
This was my first time importing a vehicle for my personal use and naturally I was leary about who to go through. After looking through a few other places and after getting in touch with a longtime customer of theirs I decided to try these guys out. I can say without a doubt I'm glad I did. They are definitely professional and know their craft when it comes to getting you your dream car. Everything from getting cars inspected and bidding was completely transparent and went smoothly. I couldn't be happier with the car I bought and I hope down the line I'll be able to purchase another using these guys!! Thanks for all you guys do!!! 11/7/19 Still have my MR2 and loving it everyday!! I'm going to Japan next month and hopefully I can find something fun for my car to bring back! Just re-read my review and I can still say my car has been nothing but great along with my experience with Yoshi and his team! Thanks again!
You made the purchase and export of my 1998 Rover Mini to Vancouver Canada so easy Thank you and I"ll be back
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.