Used cars from Japan have been hauling the roads of Pakistan for past many years. Now the way these cars are exported to Pakistan has a whole science involved to it. In Japan used cars are sold by two sources, one of them is a used car dealership (just like any other country) and other is to sell a car via an auction house. When you are buying a car sitting abroad the most reliable source of buying a car is through an auction house because the condition is explained in great detail and the buyer buying the car is in safe hands. There are several auction houses where some have good reputation and some don’t have that good reputation. If you are in Japan and you wish to sell your car then you take your car to an auction house where you pay a small fees and the inspector at auction house inspects your car and creates an auction sheet which tells everything about a car. Once the auction sheet is created your car is put in the auction where buyers from all over the world are bidding. The car is normally put into the auction few days before the auction so buyers can select the cars they want to bid for. On the day of auction the highest bid is communicated to the seller of car and then it is upon his discretion if he wishes to sell his car on the highest bid or not.
This is the reason why I always recommend all my readers to only buy a Japanese car which has an auction report that you can verify. Let me explain how you can read an auction report.
Normally an auction report looks like this
Now let me explain each and every bit of an auction report.
1. Lot Number
Everyday tens of thousands of cars are sold all over Japan via different auction houses. The lot number is allotted to a group of cars to help locate a car and its uniqueness. For example there could be 100 Silver Vitz model 2013 being sold in 1 day, so in order to know which car you purchased you’ll start looking at all the silver Vitz 2013 sold via say lot number 5087, that would help narrow down the search. This lot number also helps validate an auction report once a person purchases a certain car. Normally cars data can be verified up to 90 days after the auction, you can verify cars sold even after 90 days but for that you need to pay a small fee.
2. Year and Month
A lot of countries (including Pakistan) have laws placed in such a way that the taxes & duties are calculated on the exact age of car and the car isn’t allowed to be imported if its older than a specific age. For example these days as per Government policy you cannot import cars older than 3 years. Now in 2018 if we go back 3 years then it means we can import any car manufactured in 2015. That isn’t correct, we can actually import cars less than 36 months old, meaning in June 2018 the cars being cleared from port in Karachi are either of June 2015 or later, you cannot import a car which was made in January 2015. Knowing this information is important because one small mistake can lead to a huge loss at importer’s end. Which is why year and month of production of a car is written in auction report to give the exact age of the car to the bidder; in Japan their years start from 1988 (when the kingship was changed) so in the example of above image, this car has 17 as year which means 17 years from 1988 making it 2005 and 6 is the month which makes the car a production of June 2005.
3. Engine Displacement
Now a lot of cars are offered in different engine displacements, like Toyota Premio comes in 1500cc as well as 1800cc engine sizes. This is where the engine displacement is mentioned.
4. Body Type
This is where number of doors is mentioned like 4D is 4 doors and 2D is doors etc.
5. Car Type
The auction sheet taken in this example is of Toyota Altezza AS200. Here AS is the variant and 200 is the engine code for 2000cc.
6. Chassis Code
Chassis code is the main frame number of every car, in other parts of the world its known VIN (vehicle identification number) the VIN or chassis number has all the required details of the car. In the bigger perspective each generation of a car is given a chassis code. This part is where the chassis code is written which is GXE10 for Altezza 2000cc and TA is given for Toyota.
7. Auction Grade
In Auction sheet every car is given a grade based on its condition, S is the top most which is for brand new cars, then 6, 5, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3 etc are given, the lower the number the lower the condition of a car. If you see auction grade as R then it means the car has been repaired and if it is XX then the car was an accidental vehicle when it came to the auction house.
8. Interior and Exterior
This is the the part where quality of exterior is written on the left and interior on right, for eg. C is quality of exterior (A being highest) and B is quality of interior (A being highest)
9. Seller Comments
If the seller wished to declare anything about the car then that is mentioned in this area which unfortunately we cannot understand since its written in their native language instead of English.
All the features are mentioned in this area and most of them are written in English for us to understand.
11. Chassis Number
The exact chassis number is the most important part of the auction report to help you verify that you received the car that you placed the bid on and the car didn’t get mixed among several other cars.
12. Car’s Diagram
This diagram gives exact idea of a car’s condition as what has happened to the body and if there are any / all damages. Each alphabet symbolizes a specific reason and the meaning of all is universal across all over Japan, these alphabets are explained below.
A1 Small Scratch
X Need to be replaced
Car’s actual mileage is mentioned in this area.
14. Detailed Feature Information
Now here the transmission type and air conditioner type is mention which FAT means Floor-Shift Automatic Transmission and AAC is for Automatic Air Condition (Climate Control)
15. Inspector Comments
While the inspection of the car at auction house; the inspector also writes his comments which are mentioned in this area.
There are a few more things that weren’t mentioned in this auction report but are normally available in these reports include the drive train of a vehicle which is whether car is front wheel, rear wheel or all wheel drive which is written as 2FWD, 2RWD and 4WD respectively. Some auction houses also mention the weight of a car. All the auction houses have different designs of their auction sheets but more or less all of them contain the same information.
If you’d like to see some tips on buying a used car in Pakistan then you can check the following video