Japan Car Auctions

Did you know that there are over 120+ Japan Car Auctions?

Yes, this is a fact and they are still increasing in numbers nationwide. From Sapporo down to Kyushu, there are car auctions scattered throughout the country. These auctions are mostly situated either near a port, for example, USS Yokohama, which has the actual shipping logistics company directly next door, or they will often be situated on the city outskirts.

For example, USS Tokyo is situated in Noda town in Chiba Prefecture. (no not actually Tokyo at all) Auctions require an awful lot of real estate to function. For example, USS Tokyo is built on an entirely flat chunk of land that stretches almost one and a half kilometers and has space for upwards of 15,000 cars per auction day (Thursday).

USS Yokohama, USS Nagoya for example are at the port areas and use prefabricated multilayer purpose-built car parks to display 7,000 to 10,000 cars each. Each facility is designed to get cars in and out in double-quick time and to allow Auction Agents to run around inspecting cars on the actual day of auction with ease.

Get-Ninja USS auction access

Who goes to these Japanese car auctions?

Obviously, we are in Japan and the largest percentage of buyers are Japanese nationals who are coming to stock up their car yards or small shops. They may be there to check a small Kei car for the rural community or a Ferrari for a showroom in Ginza. Others maybe there as part of a large multi national export company.

These Japanese dealers and exporters make up approximately 60% of auction-goers (participants)on a daily basis. They will arrive early and do their inspection on one or multiple units and then head back to the office by car or train. They may also stay at the auction and bid directly from the auction hall on the car if the time is suitable. Or they can do this at their office also.

The other 40% of auction participants are made up of ex-pats, overseas visitors, and sponsored guests. They predominantly come from countries such as Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Poland, The UAE, Germany, The UK, the USA, Chile, Cyprus, Russia, and more. These participants will predominantly export these cars to their home country or to other countries as we do. Auctions in Japan do not actually offer much support to exporters overall so we have our work cut out from the onset. However in saying that some of the larger auctions actually offer western-styled lunches and USS Tokyo actually has a prayer room.

Can The Public Go To Japan Car Auctions?

“Yes you can go as long as you are accompanied by an auction member to support you and sign you in for the day”.

Maybe You Want To Go Direct To Auction! Click Here To Check Them Out. Who goes to Japanese car auctions?

There Are Many Great Trustworthy Car Dealers In Japan

Japan is a great place to buy cars and the japanese car auctions are jammed full of dealer cars that are all inspected by qualified auction inspectors.

Logistics and transportation for the auction agent

Getting to any auction is often complicated due to their locations and Agents must use expensive expressways, planes, or the Shinkansen to get to any auction as they are situated in industrial areas or countryside. Most auction agents live in normal city areas or built-up cities and must navigate to these auctions and get there on time to inspect, photograph, and discuss each car with multiple clients. It’s no easy task and as stated also expensive.

We Spend A Lot Of Time In Cars And Trains! Time Is Critical For a Good Auction Agent.

Japan Car Auctions Travelling to the auction by Shinkansen

Below is an aerial view of a small part of the port at Yokohama. Here you can see new and used cars being prepared for export. USS Yokohama is around there somewhere. As you can easily see this is a large industrial area and there is simply no urban landscape anywhere to be seen. Many agents will leave home at 5 am to get to the auction for starting time and have their cars inspected as many have clients in countries where midnight is looming and sleep is required.

Getting About Around These Cities

Everyone thinks Japan is a small place and getting from a to b is a doddle. However, many of the roads in many cities are based pre 1900s and had to be used from plans developed by the government at that time. Many roads are narrow and twisting and we have signals rather than stop or give-way signs, not forgetting ridiculously slow speed limits. getting from say USS Tokyo To CAA Tokyo may take 3 hours for example. Its slow getting around.

USS Yokohama port and cars

So who checks the cars?

Some agents will travel within in their own locality to inspect the cars as indeed we will also. For example, we are in the most populated part of Japan namely, Chiba and Tokyo. This is where some of the largest auctions are. For example, travelling to USS Yokohama on a Tuesday is about $60 and 90 minutes driving per one way, and USS Tokyo on Thursday is about $50 and 120 minutes. Travelling to these auctions is a breeze and we don’t mind going even for 1 or 3 cars if there is some potential to buy for our clients. It’s certainly not cheap for agents to travel between all Japan car auctions depending on where your office or home is situated in relationship to the auctions you must go to.

So You Want Us To Check A Car For You In Nagoya and we are based in Tokyo!

If we were to travel to Nagoya from Tokyo on Friday to inspect a car or cars we would need to go by Shinkansen at about $350 + for the round trip. We may only have the opportunity in today’s marketplace to win one or two cars maximum as the competition is fierce. This makes long-distance travel mostly non-economical for many agents and the client doesn’t want to pay this fee.

So in reality we must rely on the auction sheets and the auction inspections. Or alternatively, you must pay for the transportation to this location. Someone once asked us “Why don’t you spread the cost of travel over all your clients?” A valid point! but the bulk of clients are content with the current service and there is no reason why the small rewards from buying their cars should be whittled down by other clients who don’t want to pay to have us travel.

In many instances, the simplest solution is to have a trustable agent in all the major Japan car auctions locations. Yes, they all have different prices and policies but if you are determined to have a personal inspection done this is the optimum solution. There is little point in putting all your eggs in one basket unless your agent offers a super wonderful service as we do.

Trust Your Agent

if you have done your research and selected a reputable auction agent with more than 5 years of experience, who can supply you with full auction access including uss Ninja, You are on to a winner. If your agent tells you the car is good trust them to the larger extent as they want to sell you more cars and have little reason to pull a quick one on you as a young fresh agent may possibly want to do. If they say leave the car, leave the car. we advise all our clients this way

So, Why Don’t We Ask Another Agent To Help Us Inspect?

This is an exceptionally transparent business. Most foreign Auction agents started out working for a Japanese company. These agents will be sent to auction by their employers with the given task to inspect cars, talk with clients and organize a bid price for the car. As you walk around an auction here you realize quickly as a young agent that all you need is an auction pass, a phone plus a little cash behind you and you can start your own little export business. You don’t need a boss telling you what to do.

Most of us started out this way and it is still the norm today. As an auction agent, we will never ask another agent for support as they have their own clients to attend to, secondly, time is critical, and inspecting our own cars on time takes precedent. If we are at USS Tokyo on a Thursday we have little time to run around taking photos for another agent in Nagoya who is quite simply put, ” the opposition” It doesn’t happen, no matter how much they offer us.

Lastly, the buying potential at auction is decreasing on a weekly basis as these new agents pop out hungry for action. If you do a simple search of Google you are bombarded with pages of agents screaming for your business and these pages are growing.

I could walk around an auction anywhere and find an auction member who would gladly support me by buying cars using their service for a very small fee per car, and yes I would even get an auction pass so that I can access the auction house. I don’t need any guarantees for this as my sponsor has already secured the guarantees. I just need to pay him on time. It’s an easy way to start a business if you live here in Japan. However, take heed that it is becoming increasingly difficult to graft a decent living these days as a new agent entering the Japanese Car Auctions.

Japan Auction Sheet Translation Service and inspection

How Does An Auction Agent Inspect A Car?

Much of what we do as auction agents is governed by our client’s desires. Some clients trust the auction sheets explicitly while others will want all cars personally looked at and inspected by their agent. Some will want us to inspect all their cars and then suddenly will buy a car directly from the auction sheet description without any further inspection. It can be quite confusing but ultimately if you have been in this business as long as we have it’s all part of the bigger picture.

All clients have their own style as do auction agents. However, it’s quite a simple practice if we talk about the process as a full-on auction inspection. Here we break it down for you.

Please Read How Your Agent Inspects Your Cars
Start at the top left and work your way across the page. This will guide you at what we do at Japan Car Auctions.
Arrives at the auction early morning.

Normally the agent will arrive at the auction just after the gates open for members entry. 7am to 7.30am. Auctions will not allow us in to check cars on any -previous day other than auction day.

Signing in and getting a chair in the auction hall.

Ok now we are in the gates we must go into the auction and swipe our membership card to register for bidding that day and then go into the auction hall and secure a bidding seat and computer.

Get the map and cars list.

Even though all Japan car auctions are computerised, auctions still produce a car inventory booklet every day so that agents may search via the listings in the booklet. All cars are parked in sections and we need a map to decipher each section.

Order in which each auction runs

We will check our first car auction time and start for that car as all auctions run chronologically. There are often different sections where car times may overlap so we need to be fast and on our toes to get the information to our clients.

One look and often your mind is made up.

As we get close to a car it’s often best to head to it head-on from either left or right side and check the lines of the car from a small distance to see how the cars body accuracy look and sits from a distance. A car can look quite tired or lively believe it or not.

Client time. Call to begin the check together

We are now often live with the client who will ask questions that are relating directly to the auction report or their own questions. We at the same time walk around the car, inside and out describing what we see and hear as the car is running.

Photos and video

Once the talking is finished we can take as many photos as required and they will be sent directly to the waiting client or saved and sent at a better time. We will often take a video of the car running also. ( We cant drive these cars)

Basics of the inspection, with or without the clients.

Exterior, paint, clear coat, rust, tire wear, look, widows, frames, under, suspension, trunk, engine room, fluids, noise, smell, interior, wear, dirt, operation, condition, leaks, poor-fitting parts, re-spray signs, oil leaks, fumes, repairs etc, etc.

Move on to the next car

Inspecting any car may take as little as 5 minutes or as much as 20 depending. Once complete we move on to the next and the process starts over again, or we may have to hurry inside to bid on the car. If we have no time at all we will call our pre-determined bid price through to our respective office.

How To Read An Auction Sheet

Once you get used to reading where all the good parts are, understanding an auction sheet is easy. We understand not everyone understands Japanese and that’s why we are here to translate these auction sheets for you. Below is a very generic decipher of what a basic auction sheet entails on each vehicle. From auction to auction this does not change very much. If you want a translation of this auction sheet for example please contact us here and we will do so.

Auction Sheet translations and how to read the auction sheets


there are car auction in japan 6 days per week at over 120+ locations as stated earlier. Scrowl down furthe to see which auction in on what day

Japanese Car Auction Locations

6 Full Days Of Car Auctions
Monday Auctions
Here are the relevant auction on a Monday
Monday Car Auctions In Japan
  • Aucnet-Japan wide (expensive)
  • Honda Tokyo
  • Honda Kansai
  • Honda Nagoya
  • Honda Kyushu
  • Honda Sendai
  • Honda Hokkaido
  • Honda AA Tokyo
  • Honda AA Hokkaido
  • JU Tokyo
  • NOAA Osaka

These are predominantly smaller auctions and as you can easily see they are scattered all over Japan.

Also note that we have absolutely no idea what cars will be available at any auction until they are actively published on each auctions website. Japan Car Auctions are dynamic and not static.

Don’t be discouraged as the auctions only get larger and busier as the week progresses.

Tuesday Auctions
Things are getting slight busy now on Tuesday. Lots of small auctions

Tuesday Car Auctions in Japan
  • USS-R Nagoya
  • USS Yokohama
  • CAA Tokyo
  • CAA Gifu
  • CAA Tohoku
  • TAA Kinki
  • TAA Kyushu
  • TAA-M Kyushu
  • TAA Hiroshima
  • TAA Shikoku
  • Arai Sendai
  • Arai Construction
  • JU Saitama
  • JU Shizuoka
  • JU Nagano
  • JU Mie
  • JU Yamaguchi
  • JU Aomori
  • JU Fukui
  • Sapporo AA
  • NPS Tokyo
  • NPS Osaka
  • NPS Sendai
  • NPS Fukuoka
  • NPS Tochigi
  • NPS Gifu
  • NPS Tomakomai
  • AEP
  • Sakura
  • Orix Bid Club Fukuoka
  • Orix Bid Club Kobe
  • Orix Bid Club Sendai

Wednesday Auction
Some good size midweek auctions here.
For the best Cars From Japan see Auto Trader Imports
  • USS Sapporo
  • USS Tohoku
  • USS Fukuoka
  • USS Kobe
  • USS Niigata
  • JAA Tokyo
  • CAA Chubu
  • Bayauc
  • IAA Osaka
  • LAA Shikoku
  • Hero
  • KCAA – M Kyushu
  • KCAA Kyoto
  • Isuzu IMA Tokyo
  • Mirive Saitama
  • JU Ibaraki
  • JU Ishikawa
  • JU Kumamoto
  • JU Akita
  • JU Oita
  • LUM Nagoya
  • LUM Fukuoka
  • LUM Tokyo
  • Orix Atsugi
  • Orix Kobe
  • Orix Fukuoka
  • Orix Sendai

Yes its now midweek and you have USS Tokyo tomorrow. Check the auction website as its constantly updating stock.

Thursday Auctions
This is it! This is the Day! Yes USS Tokyo is here
Thursday Car Auctions In Japan
  • USS Tokyo (largest in Japan)
  • TAA Kanto
  • TAA Chubu
  • TAA Tohoku
  • TAA Hokkaido
  • KCAA Fukuoka
  • Mirive Osaka
  • Arai Oyama
  • NAA Nagoya
  • NAA Osaka
  • JU Iachi
  • JU Hiroshima
  • JU Fukushima
  • JU Gunma
  • JU Kanagawa
  • JU Toyama
  • JU Miyazaki
  • Zip Osaka
  • IMA Kyushu
  • SAA Hamamatsu
  • LUM Hokkaido
  • LUM Kobe
  • Zero Shonan
  • Zero Chubu
  • Zero Osaka
Friday Auctions
The auctions are by no means winding down. Some big ones.
For the best Cars From Japan see Auto Trader Imports
  • USS Nagoya
  • USS Osaka
  • USS Saitama
  • JU Fukuoka
  • JU Miyagi
  • JU Chiba
  • JU Niigata
  • JU Tochigi
  • JU Okinawa
  • JU Hokkaido
  • JU Shimane
  • Arai Bayside
  • LAA Okayama
  • NAA Tokyo
  • KCAA Yamaguchi
  • IMA Kobe
  • Mirive Aichi
  • Zero Hokkaido
  • Zero Sendai
  • Zero Chiba
  • Zero Hakata
Saturday Auctions
We have our final large auctions for the week.
Saturday Car Auctions In Japan
  • USS Kyushu
  • USS Gunma
  • USS Shizuoka
  • USS Okayama
  • USS Hokuriku
  • HAA Kobe
  • JU Gifu
  • JU Nara
  • JU Yamagata
  • JU Yamanashi
  • Aria Oyama BT
  • Yanase
  • TAA Yokohama
  • TAA Hyogo
  • Zip Tokyo
  • NAA Nagoya

Yes thats is for the week. Enjoy your weekend and see you next week for a re-run.

These auctions will all be back starting Monday with fresh cars for us to have fun bidding on.


Japan Is A Big Country. Here Is The Layout For Your Perspective

Check below and learn where each auction house is. As you can see they are simply from the very top to the bottom of Japan. Japan is 75% mountainous and also has many islands so inland transport may take some time believe it or not. Often it may take a little longer than you envisaged. Ask your agent how long it may take for your car to arrive at the respective port to the auction. Normally 3 to 7 days.

Location Of Car auctions in Japan

Its Never Been Easier To Join The Auctions

What Is In A Japanese Car Auction Hall?

Inside a Japanese car auction

Japan car auctions can either have over-the-top huge auction halls that can seat hundreds if not a thousand plus or quite small with seating only for a hundred or so.

Most small auctions are not frequented by exporters as often these small auctions only deal with a certain model of car and quite simply don’t hold the volume that an exporter expects when they must go to an action. The auction you see above is a large auction as you can see on the distant TV screen there are 10 different lanes running at the same time.

This may not be the agents bidding time as the lanes may be for commercial vehicles, Kei cars, or trucks or simply not the order for them. During this downtime, they may actually get sleep, inspect another car or grab some food while waiting for their auction number.

When it is our time to bid we will have our auction card inserted in the grey box you see at the bottom edge of the desk and we will grab either the orange or blue bidding button that correlates to the lane our car will be displayed in on the large TV or the monitor in front of us.

Obviously, by now we have a budget in mind and when the time comes we can start bidding. Japan car auctions are known as blind auctions. We cant see the seller’s reserve, nor who we are bidding against. All we have to judge by is how fast the lights are flashing, how many lights, and the speed at which the price increases. If the seller’s reserve is met the block will turn red and state “Selling” Now it gets intense.

We have about 10 to 40 seconds in which to complete bidding on each car as the video below shows. Have a look at this video as it’s only 60 seconds long as you will see a few cars being auctioned. If we have enough budget we can keep pushing our button raising the bid in small Yen amounts until either we or our competition runs out of budget or steam to keep going. The block will say “Sold” and we can confirm via the seat. That’s it we bought a car for you!

Now we can relax, call our clients, have a massage, inspect more cars, go for a drink, grab food, sleep, or simply sit and watch the auction for longer. Another day another auction.

The final thing for us to remember is to remove our bidding cars from the grey box or another agent may have some fun buying some cars for us that we don’t want. It happened! and it’s expensive!

Do You Want To Know More? Get In Touch!

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