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Importing cars from japan...is it safe and reliable?

 
shrtshiftr09
New User
Posts: 1
Joined: 09/09
Posted: 09/16/09 09:34 AM

I have been really wanting a mazda RX7 and i found a site that lets you import cars from japan. The price of them varies but there are right hand drives mazda rx7s for like 5k. is this for real??? heres the link but i need advice if this is actually a valid site....  http://www.japaneseusedcars.com/auction/auctions.htm  

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Jimmy Pham
Administrator
Posts: 396
Joined: 08/08
Posted: 09/16/09 03:04 PM

If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. If the site were legit, then its possible the car may only cost 5k, but the actual process of importing cars takes a lot of money and especially if they're not on the approved list. Expect to pay 10k+ on top. There's also a very high chance that the car won't even make it off the lot, if it was brought over without the proper paperwork.  

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Bryant-#005
User
Posts: 89
Joined: 04/07
Posted: 09/30/09 11:27 AM

i wouldnt take a chance because there are to many fakes out there.

if they were reputable company you can find them at bbb.com
better buisness bureau  
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to much to list

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woody_butler
User
Posts: 92
Joined: 07/09
Posted: 09/30/09 08:22 PM

why not buy a left hand drive? is there some trim like the si's type r? (might not be called type r cus i know thats just integra's but its somehting like that just cant remember)  

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proteen9
New User
Posts: 1
Joined: 10/09
Posted: 10/06/09 10:49 AM

hey there. if u want rx 7 fully tuned. with wide body kits. contact me. its white color. i live in japan and i have a shop called vogue. we tune cars for drifting....... let me know man .. my number is +81 3220 4246. or mail me at proteen9@hotmail.com  

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jching
Administrator
Posts: 378
Joined: 11/06
Posted: 10/06/09 04:44 PM

Icon Quoteproteen9:
hey there. if u want rx 7 fully tuned. with wide body kits. contact me. its white color. i live in japan and i have a shop called vogue. we tune cars for drifting....... let me know man .. my number is +81 3220 4246. or mail me at proteen9@hotmail.com

Can your RX7 be legally imported to the United States and be registered for street use in all 50 states?  
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Go Ling Ling!

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kadenapilot
New User
Posts: 1
Joined: 09/10
Posted: 09/18/10 07:11 PM

I live in Japan and have a 2001 Nissan Silvia S-15.  I want to take it to the states, but was told it can't be imported.  Yet, I saw an article on the website about a dude in Tennesee that has an S-15.  Anyone know the real scoop?  I have the cash to bring it to the states.  

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Sideways Panda
Guru
Posts: 781
Joined: 04/08
Posted: 09/19/10 01:11 PM

Nice.  I love S15's.  Unfortunately that article may have been about a track only car so I can't say for sure whether that was legal for street use or not.  Your best bet in that situation would probably be to bring it as a Non-op or other non-street classification, and then try to get it registered for street use once it's here, but don't plan on being able to use it anytime soon.  

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jching
Administrator
Posts: 378
Joined: 11/06
Posted: 09/20/10 08:54 AM

From what I heard you can't bring in a car as non-op or non-street use and register it later for street use.  If you bring it into the country and have it declared that way it stays that way.  

The S15 is not legal in the United States.  Most of the ones that are here are not intended for street use.  They are track/show use only.  The ones that are used on the streets are usually brought in using shadier methods and are somehow able to get state legalized.  However just because they're state legal doesn't mean they're federally legal.  Federal government can still swoop in and seize the car and slap you with a fine.  
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Pinstripes
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Posts: 7
Joined: 08/10
Posted: 09/21/10 08:46 PM

You could put on temporary mods to make it legal. Then once legalized just put the original parts back on...  

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Sideways Panda
Guru
Posts: 781
Joined: 04/08
Posted: 09/22/10 10:14 AM

It's not so much that parts as the paperwork.  Because the S15 was never a production car in the states it would be extremely hard to get it through the DMV (and possibly customs, but I have no idea how they work).  It might be possible to claim it as a an S14, but that's pretty shady and no guarantees there.  They might catch you, and they might not.  My thinking is that if an illegal non-citizen can get a drivers license, then why wouldn't you be able to sneak a car through the system too?  That's the only way I see it working, but I wouldn't suggest it.  Probably the best you can do is make it a track car and have fun with it.  

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jching
Administrator
Posts: 378
Joined: 11/06
Posted: 09/22/10 10:36 AM

What temporary mods?  The engine isn't EPA compliant and the body doesn't conform to DOT and NHTSA regulations.  If there are temporary fixes to get around that then I'm all ears.  

Yeah paperwork is the hard part when importing cars.  You want to try registering an S15 as an S14?  You might get lucky and fool the guys at the DMV, but that is incredibly illegal and will get you into a heap of trouble.

People are able to sneak in cars using shadier methods.  They lie on paperwork, swap vin tags, and they even bring them in piece by piece and reassemble them here.  My roommate knew a guy with a Skyline.  The thing was cut in half and imported in pieces.  To top it off it was registered out of state because there is no way our local DMV would allow that it to be driven here.  
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Sideways Panda
Guru
Posts: 781
Joined: 04/08
Posted: 09/22/10 12:19 PM

I think that the bottom line is that the government should stop being punks and let us drive what we want.  There are modded diesel trucks that are legal here and could kill a forest just by driving by so the EPA can quit their whining about imports that are more fuel efficient than half the cars here; and as far as safety goes they really can't say *** so long as they keep harnesses illegal.  So overall it is the people making the regulations that are the problem.  

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daniel_2285
New User
Posts: 3
Joined: 09/10
Posted: 10/17/10 07:05 PM

i got my jdm evo IV from Japan. So...i think it's OK. you have to research the sites! Did you check www.tradecarview.com? My friend got his toyota altezza aka lexus is300 from one of the dealers from that site in pristine condition!  
just got me a 97 jdm evo 4!

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90Acurteggs
New User
Posts: 8
Joined: 07/09
Posted: 10/19/10 05:23 AM

I Only know one person who is a Nissan S-15 here. Not sure how, but I know that its Registered legally. The S-15 is super sexy! He is in the U.S Marine Corp. Was stationed in Japan for a few years and next thing I know, I see it every weekday at Base Depot. Ill try and snag some pics of it next time When I see it. And agreed, its messed up how some of the trucks here are pollution stacks on wheels, yet they are so strict about importing cars that are not 1/2 as bad as some made here. Hate how the system is twisted. Customs can be big BS at times....  

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