Japan has a huge network of more than 70 weekly auctions for used motor vehicles nationwide with over 80,000 cars available each week.  MHSV can translate auction reports for customers and have cars inspected by mechanically qualified inspectors who have been chosen personally by Mark.

He only uses inspectors he has worked with verifying their knowledge and ability. Inspectors thoroughly go over any vehicles, in person to confirm the condition, prior to bidding. Auctions typically have the best prices and as previously stated there is a huge selection of cars.

Very important things you need to know and have in place before importing your motor vehicle.

  • Ensure the vehicle you want to import is eligible
  • Make sure you have already lined up a SEVS workshop to carry out the work. If you haven’t, Mark can help you with this.
  • Have a good customers broker in place to clear and process your vehicle when it arrives. Delays can be costly due to storage charges.
  • All vehicles must be degassed before shipping and MHSV will ensure this is carried out.
  • Know and understand how the auctions work – the traps to avoid and how to choose the best vehicle.  Mark will cover all this with you.


MHSV will confirm you have all the boxes ticked and are ready to begin.  If you need help MHSV have the best inspectors, workshops and customs agents all in place, ready to swing into action when the right vehicle presents itself.

Like the inspectors in Japan, Mark has selected the best workshops and freight forwarding agents through his extensive experience over the last 15 years and will not deal with any of the other workshops or agents who do not meet his high standards and deliver professional and consistent outcomes.



Sign up and buying a car – an overview:

  • Customer signs up with MHSV, completing an import agreement form and paying the service fee.
  • Customer makes up a wish list of what type of car they want, including mileage, colour(s) and any must have extras.
  • Mark contacts the customer or vise versa depending on who finds the vehicle first.
  • Mark translates the auction report and sends it to the customer, and if the customer likes the car and the report reads well, MHSV arranges an inspection.
  • MHSV sends the results of the inspection to the customer
  • If the customer would like to place a bid, Mark informs the agent of the budget.
  • Straight after the auction, Mark informs the customer of the outcome
  • If the car is successfully purchased then MHSV begins the export process, and arranges for additional photos to be taken of the vehicle.
  • If the bid was unsuccessful then the process is repeated until the right car is found and purchased.


Payment – The important one so explanation is in detail.

Once the car has been purchased, you will receive an invoice from Japan, which is the cost of the car, plus the Free On Board (FOB) charge. This charge covers all the bills and processes associated with getting the car on to the boat at that end in Japan. This invoice will be in Japanese yen, and you

simply take the invoice into your bank and ask for an international bank transfer.

Usually, within 2 days your money is received in Japan, and your car is booked on the next available boat to Australia. Depending on where you live, it can take up to three weeks to get on a boat, but the average wait time on the docks in Japan is usually two weeks or so. As a general rule, “Roll-On, Roll-Off” (RO-RO) is the preferred method of shipping, unless you’re bringing in something very fast, rare or exotic, in which case MHSV recommends and can arrange a container for you.

The costs for importing a vehicle imported:

All price estimates for vehicles to be imported under SEVS (Specialist & Enthusiast Vehicle Scheme, the new import scheme), include the following costs:

  • FOB cost of the vehicle (FOB cost = cost of the vehicle + buyer’s fee to export from Japan) at the current exchange rate.
  • MHSV service fee of $1500 (including GST).
  • Shipping, customs, quarantine and agent fees for clearance from the wharf (paid once the vehicle arrives in Australia).
  • Vehicle Compliance.
  • Tyres and On Road Costs.

No experience is necessary in importing whatsoever.

MHSV will also assist you to collect your vehicle from the wharf (via preferred transport companies), and arrange delivery to and collection from the compliance workshop.


The only aspect of the whole process you will need to arrange will be licensing and registration at the very end once car has been complied and plated.  Licensing and registration is straightforward and seldom presents any difficulty but if you do need help or have any questions, MHSV will always be here to offer advice and guidance if required.

Please note that the service fee is refundable* if you don’t find a car, or end up getting another car elsewhere prior to a car being purchased in Japan.

Please also note payment for your vehicle is made in stages,

You do not need to pay for everything up front.  Initially we only require our service fee, followed by car cost once the car has been successfully purchased.  Ocean freight and duty is not payable until the car arrives in Australia.  Compliance is not payable until the vehicle has been fully complied and plated ready for RWC (road worth certification) and registration.

The Import Process – EXEC SUMMARY

1. Sign up with MHSV and pay the $950 service Fee.

2. Search and buy the vehicle.

3. Receive FOB invoice from our established Japanese exporter (Trading for 20 plus years) and pay for the car.

4. SEVS Workshop puts in VIA (Vehicle Import Application) on your behalf.

5. Motor vehicle gets shipped to Australia

6. Customs Agents prepare entry for your vehicle just prior to arrival.

7. Pay the Customs Agents (Major component is Ocean Freight and Duty) once the vehicle has been cleared or processed.

8. Vehicle is transported to the Compliance Workshop for Compliance and Plating

9. Once workshop has been paid, vehicle is delivered to your door.


*Please note that prior to a vehicle being purchased, you are entitled to a refund for your broker’s fee minus search costs of $120 per calendar month or part thereof. If you decide not to import a car after it has been purchased for you in Japan, your entire broker’s fee will be forfeited, and you may also be liable for additional costs associated with re-auctioning the vehicle in Japan if they total more than your broker’s fee.