The Import Process

The informative guide to importing with BHP
View Historic Sales Data View the Live Auctions

Setting a Budget

Setting a realistic budget is the only way to buy a fresh import from Japan.

We can talk you through the last 5-10 cars that have sold at auction and for what value in both ¥ and £sterling. From this we can calculate what the final on the road (OTR) will be.

You can also carry out research yourself from viewing our Historic Sales Data. This shows all the cars sold at auction, you can track the sold prices and gauge current market conditions.

We ask for a deposit to be in place to translate grade sheets, calculate guide prices and allow you to understand the final OTR prices from the sold data. Deposits start at just £500.

The more you watch the auctions and analyse sold data, the easier it will become to estimate prices. It is also advisable to familiarise yourself with the Japanese Yen (¥) and the fluctuations as these can adjust pricing considerably!

The Search

Using our Auction Listings facility you can search over 250 Auction Houses throughout Japan. A BHP Account is required to view multiple auction images and grade sheets. Creating an account is simple, free and only takes a few moments.

With our facility you can filter out by manufacturer, model, chassis code, grade, mileage and auction house. It is important to understand geographical location when considering a bid as the transportation cost from auction house to one of facilities varies massively.

Feel free to send over examples that are going through auction and we'll happily provide you with an estimated hammer price and the final OTR price providing you have a deposit in place.

For cars of extreme rarity we can source from a few handpicked dealers (See our Dealer Network page) and brokers throughout Japan. Feel free to get in touch with us to discuss.

Bid Analysis

Auction grade sheets are supplied by the Auction House. Each house has different standards and a different format. Our Auction House page has each auction house location shown along with several ratings for auction size, grade accuracy, grade sheet standard and overall. Poor quality grade sheets make it very difficult to truly determine the condition of a car, whereas houses like USS have very detailed reports.

For every car we consider bidding on we have the auction grade sheet translated and that information will be openly supplied to you.

Next, we analyse the Historic Sales Data. From this we can determine what a car is likely to reach at auction. This analysis includes the cars year, grade, mileage, general condition from the grade sheet map and interior grade. Some models like the Nissan Skyline GT-R BNR32 can fetch varying amounts depending on the colour (Gunmetal and White usually fetch more than Red for example).

Once we have calculated a range of bids that stand a chance of being successful we calculate the total OTR cost for each bid and feed these numbers back to you, usually via Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger or Phonecall.

The final decision to bid is down to you. We will never bid on a car without your go-ahead.

If a car is identified more than 36 hours from the actual auction date, it is recommended we carry out a Vin Check. This is normally £34.95 but for bidding customers with a deposit in place, we reduce this fee to just £20.00.

We recommend this service to all our clients. It gives you the piece of mind that the car you are bidding on is legitimate and your have negated as much risk as possible.

Inspection and Bidding

We have staff at several auction houses including USS Yokohama, USS Tokyo, USS Nagoya and can also cover JU Aichi, JU Gifu and CAA Chubu.

When the auction houses open (early AM!) their first task is to find the cars they are bidding on that day and carry out a thorough inspection and feed that report back to us.

As many older cars are now Grade R it is absolutely vital to inspect prior to bidding. Although Grade R doesn't always mean "Repaired", it can mean a car that is highly modified, had a minor accident which resulted in panel replacement. Without an accurate grading identified a Grade R car would be to the standard of a normal Grade 4, but without inspection, it is impossible to determine.

The speed in which cars go through auction is mind-blowing. They aren't listed like ebay with days to bid. The car comes up, the person bidding uses a joystick (in-house) or a device connected to a laptop/PC with an encrypted dongle to allow bidding remotely.

USS Tokyo has 10 lanes and gets through a whopping 300 cars an hour.

If the reserve isn't met within the time alloted, it goes into negotiation or "nego" whereby the highest bidder gets first refusal. "Nego" starts from an amount set by the seller. At times you can win a car via "nego" for a few thousand yen over the start price.

The entire process is fast, frantic and successful bidding is an art. There is no "if i am not winning, let me know, I'll increase my bid". There is simply no time to adjust or increase a bid!

Following our guidance on a maximum bid is the safest way to ensure you aren't overpaying and being realistic with the cars value.


Congratulations! We've secured your next JDM car. What happens next?

Firstly we have the car transported to our secure facility for inspection, cleaning and photography. If you have any areas specific you want photographing just let us know! We'll then send over a report from our staff including the photos and general comments on condition and how the car drives.

The FOB (Freight on board) costs are now due for payment directly to our partner in Japan. We recommend Azimo for sending money to Japan. The FOB cost includes all the costs in Japan. Transport from the auction house to our facility in Nagoya, auction house charge, bidding/agent fee, recycle fee and paperwork.

We ship from either Sakai-senboku, Nagoya or Kobe with Hoegh Autoliners using Ro-Ro (Roll on, Roll off) shipping. The time on water can be up to 8 weeks. All vessels land at Newcastle, UK (unless we are shipping overseas, contact us for more information).

Once we have a shipping manifest, vessel name and departure date we can track the progress of the vessel using Marine Traffic.

Your car is fully insured in Japan, when in transit it is fully covered by Marine Insurance to the full value of the car, the car is also covered by us once in the UK.

Nissan Shipping Agency (NSA) is the appointed clearing agent and will then calculate the duty and VAT payable to HMRC as well as the dock fee and shipping charge. This is paid directly to them via Bank Transfer.

The rate used by HMRC can be found here:

Clearance and Prep

Once the balance has been settled and BHP have been appointed as the party collecting from the docks we arrange with NSA to collect and drive the car back to our facility just a few miles away.

Note: You cannot register any imported car in the UK with the DVLA without the Turn Team at HMRC authenticating the duty and VAT paperwork and amount paid. This is known as the NOVA. The DVLA will refuse to assign a registration number without correct payment being made.

The OTR costs are payable directly to us which is currently £1155.

Your car will now have a full oil change with manufacturer approved oil filter and a choice of Shell Helix Synthetic Oil or Mobil 1, UK Fog Light fitted, Speedo Conversion to allow the odometer to read in miles, MOT (and re-test if required) and if required (for cars under 10 years old) an IVA (SVA) test. We also carry out a full underseal to maintain the condition of the underside through our harsh weather and to protect from UK road salts.

DCM Detailing and Valeting carry out all our valet services. They can spend up to 10 hours on a single car to bring the car back to life! We've seen cars transformed from looking a bit tired to absolutely gleaming. All of this is included in the OTR prep price!

The DVLA can take a few weeks to issue a registration number, once this has been issued you'll receive a copy of the V5 in the post. Forward on the registration number to us and we'll have plates made up to your requirements.

You can then also inform your insurance company of the registration and arrange a collection date with us.


Collection day has finally arrived! This is the day you've been waiting for! We love this day as much as you do!

We'll arrange to either collect you from the airport or train station or you can simply come to us and your car will be ready to drive away with £30 of fuel already in the tank.

We'll be on hand to talk through the car and the care we have taken to present in the best possible way. We love these cars, it is our passion, our hobby as well as our job!

Still got Questions?

We have compiled an in-depth FAQ which should answer any questions you may have.

Alternatively you can contact us directly and we'll be happy to help! We are on hand pretty much 18 hours a day to assist you with your next JDM import.

Our Fee

BHP Imports act as an Import agent and preparation company here in the UK.

We offer advice and guidance through the entire import process as well as handling all the required paperwork for a set fee based on the FOB price of a vehicle shipping from Japan.

FOB From FOB To Our Fee
¥0 ¥400,000 £550
¥400,000 ¥600,000 £700
¥600,000 ¥900,000 £950
¥900,000 ¥1,300,000 £1100
¥1,300,000 ¥1,600,000 £1250
¥1,600,000 ¥2,100,000 £1500
¥2,100,000 ¥2,800,000 £1800
¥2,800,000 ¥3,800,000 £2100
¥3,800,000 ¥4,800,000 £2400
¥4,800,000 ¥5,800,000 £2700
¥5,800,000 ¥6,800,000 £3000
¥6,800,000 ¥7,800,000 £3500
¥8,000,000+ £4000

Auction Watch