Who ever thinks to buy a Left Hand Drive (LHD) car from Japan?
Cars made in Japan for the Japanese market have the steering wheel on the right, right?
Right. And you certainly can’t have both.
But Right Hand Drive (RHD) cars are not the only thing we drive here in Japan. There are plenty of LHD cars on the road here, too.
Why? Well, for many people in Japan there is a certain specialness, and certain element of posh attached to having a foreign car with that is LHD. I’ve even seen more classic British sports cars with the wheel on the left (likely re-imported from the USA) on the roads here than with the wheel on the right; and yet there were many many made with the steering wheel on the right, like it is in Britain. They’re British cars after all, right?
But that’s got nothing to do with it.
And then the other reason why we have so many LHD cars in Japan is that there are just so many great European cars that only ever came out in Left Hand Drive. Motoring fans here want those cars and LHD is not going to stand in their way of getting the European car of their dreams.
And so Left Hand Drive cars from Japan break down into, roughly, the following categories:
The LHD British classics that I have already mentioned; cars like the MGA and the MGB, Triumph Spitfires and Triumph TR3s.
The Italian sports cars like the FIAT Barchetta, Alfa Romeo Giulietta, the classic Julia, the Alfa Romeo 147, the 156, 156 Sport Wagon, 159 and 159 Sport Wagon, and, of course, the best of them all: the Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce.
Also the Lancia Delta Integrale. All are to be found used and in good shape in Japan in Left Hand Drive.
And then we’ve got the real treasures of the LHD European cars from Japan, The Germans. Cars like:
BMW: Both classic and newer such as 1 Series, 2 Series, 3 Series (lots available here),
5 Series (again, lots available); the M3, M5 and M6 are well represented on the Japanese used car market, as are the Z3 roadsters.
Alpina: B3, B5, B6, B7 and B10, and D3 and D5.
Mercedes Benz: A-Class, B-Class, C-Class, C-Class Station Wagons, the great off roader G-Class, M-Class and the grand S-Class. The Sporty CLK-Class cars in both convertible and hard top, with Kompressor or with NA engines; the very powerful CLS-Class and the AMG versions can be found in Japan in Left Hand Drive layout.
And I have not even mentioned the LHD Audis that we have scored here in Japan for customers in a number of countries, including Germany!
Cars like the Audi A3, A5, A6, and A6 Avant; TT Coupes and TT Roadsters.
And what about Porsche? Yes, indeed. LHD Porsche 911s are one of our best sellers here at Japan Car Direct. Does a week go by that we don’t find a good 911 for someone in Poland, Germany, Taiwan, Canada, or the US? No. The used 911 is one of the most steady sellers for us.
Not only are all these Left Hand Drive cars available used for direct import from Japan, but they are in very good shape because their Japanese owners have truly treasured them. These cars are machines that fulfill dreams here and they are treated right.
Let me show you a few of the Left Hand Drive European cars that we have exported from Japan in recent days (and see our Exported Vehicles page here on the site, too):
This mean and powerful AMG CLS 63 here.
This very fine and understated BMW M5 here.
This clean and gorgeous Alpina B3 2.7 here.
This sprightly Lancia Delta Integrale here.
And many others that you can find on our Sold and Exported page here.
So, yes, you can buy Left Hand Drive cars from Japan, and very nice ones, I must say, too.
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.