Japanese Auction Grades: What Do They Mean?

When a car is put up for sale in a Japanese car auction, they are fully inspected and further graded. These Japanese car auction grades are important, as they give an insight into the condition of the car, which can be useful if you are buying the car with plans to import it into the UK. However, if you’re not a Japanese speaker, or you aren’t clued up on Japanese car auction grades, the whole process can get a little stressful!

Here at Advance Insurance, as experts in specialist Japanese Import Car Insurance, we’ve put together a guide on auction grades to help make the import process a little less confusing and get your Japanese car hunt off to a good start.

Why Is An Auction Grade Sheet Important?

You may encounter various grades when it comes to buying a Japanese car. They are important as they are direct from the auction house, to give you an insight into the exterior and interior condition and further the repair history. Essentially, it will ensure that you can expect a good car so it’s important to read auction grades before you bid!

What Each Auction Grade Means

We have put together the following on auction exterior and interior grading and what it means, to help you to understand more about the vehicle’s condition;

Exterior Grading

Exterior GradeDetails
Grade SPristine exterior condition, under 12 months old and under 6000 miles.
Grade 6As new condition, up to 3 years old and under 18,500 miles.
Grade 5Almost perfect, under 31,000 miles.
Grade 4.5Very good condition, under 62,000 miles. One of two small scratches, a stone chip here or there, or very minor dents.
Grade 4Overall good condition, minor bodywork damage and visible scratches or small electrical faults.
Grade 3.5Average condition. Both bodywork and interior may be worn, faded paint, and likely needs a thorough cleaning.
Grade 3Will need a thorough clean inside and outside.
Grade 2Very poor condition. Best bought only for parts.
Grade 1Extensive engine problems, damaged bodywork, corrosion holes, or windshield crack or hole.
***Major engine trouble, or accident history. Will not move on its own.
Grade RAccident damage that has been repaired.
Grade RAMinor accident damage, that has been repaired.

Interior Grading

Interior GradeDetails
Grade AImmaculate. No work needed.
Grade BVery good, slightest visible flaws.
Grade CNeeds a good clean, signs of wear.
Grade DInterior marks, stains, tears or smells.
Grade EStained, torn and in bad shape. All of the above and worse.

What Auction Grade Should You Buy?

Japanese car auctions are known for being a great way to get quality cars. They’ve quickly gained stature for the good condition of vehicles and the trust and reliability of Japanese auction centres.

Knowing what auction grade you should buy can be tough. It all depends on what you want from your car. Getting a pre-auction inspection sheet is important to spot a potential problem and avoid importing a vehicle in poor mechanical condition.

Whilst a pre-auction inspection may not pick up on every problem, it could save you a lot of money down the line.

If you are looking to buy a car that is around 10 years old, look for a grade 4 with an interior score of at least B. However, if you want very good condition, go for grade 4.5.

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