How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car to Japan?

How much to ship a car to japan – Shipping a car to Japan can be a daunting task, but with the right preparation and knowledge, it can be a smooth and cost-effective process. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to know about shipping a car to Japan, including shipping methods, costs, factors affecting shipping costs, customs regulations, insurance, timeline and preparation, reputable shipping companies, and additional considerations.

Whether you’re a car enthusiast looking to import your dream car or a business owner seeking to expand your operations overseas, understanding the intricacies of shipping a car to Japan is crucial. This guide will empower you with the knowledge and insights you need to make informed decisions and ensure a successful car shipment to Japan.

Shipping Methods and Costs: How Much To Ship A Car To Japan

Shipping a car to Japan can be done through various methods, each with its own costs and advantages. The choice of method depends on factors such as the size and type of car, the shipping distance, and the desired delivery time.

The most common shipping methods for cars to Japan are:

  • Container shipping:Involves placing the car inside a shipping container for transport. This method is suitable for most types of cars and offers protection from the elements.
  • Roll-on/roll-off (RORO) shipping:Involves driving the car onto a specialized ship designed to carry vehicles. This method is more cost-effective than container shipping but may not be suitable for all types of cars.
  • Air freight:Involves transporting the car by airplane. This method is the fastest but also the most expensive.

The costs associated with shipping a car to Japan vary depending on the shipping method, the size and type of car, the shipping distance, and the time of year. Base rates typically range from $1,000 to $5,000, with additional surcharges for oversized or luxury vehicles.

Additional fees may also apply for customs clearance, documentation, and insurance.

Container Shipping

Container shipping is a popular method for transporting cars to Japan due to its affordability and flexibility. Cars are placed inside a shipping container, which protects them from the elements and reduces the risk of damage. The cost of container shipping varies depending on the size of the container and the shipping distance.

A 20-foot container typically costs around $1,500 to $2,500, while a 40-foot container costs around $2,000 to $3,000.

RORO Shipping

RORO shipping is a more cost-effective option than container shipping, but it may not be suitable for all types of cars. With RORO shipping, cars are driven onto a specialized ship designed to carry vehicles. The cost of RORO shipping varies depending on the size of the car and the shipping distance.

A small car typically costs around $1,000 to $1,500 to ship via RORO, while a large car or SUV may cost around $1,500 to $2,000.

Air Freight, How much to ship a car to japan

Air freight is the fastest but most expensive method for shipping a car to Japan. This method is typically used for high-value or luxury vehicles. The cost of air freight varies depending on the size of the car, the shipping distance, and the time of year.

A small car typically costs around $5,000 to $10,000 to ship via air freight, while a large car or SUV may cost around $10,000 to $15,000.

Factors Affecting Shipping Costs

The cost of shipping a car to Japan is influenced by several factors, including the size and weight of the vehicle, the distance between the origin and destination, and the time of year.

Larger and heavier vehicles require more space and specialized equipment to transport, which can increase shipping costs. Similarly, longer distances between the origin and destination result in higher fuel and transportation expenses.

Vehicle Size and Weight

The size and weight of the vehicle are major factors that affect shipping costs. Larger vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, require more space on the shipping vessel, which can lead to higher charges. Additionally, heavier vehicles may require specialized equipment for loading and unloading, further increasing costs.

Distance Between Origin and Destination

The distance between the origin and destination is another significant factor. Longer distances require more fuel and transportation time, resulting in higher shipping charges. For example, shipping a car from the United States to Japan will typically cost more than shipping it from a neighboring country like South Korea.

Time of Year

The time of year can also impact shipping costs. During peak shipping seasons, such as summer and winter, demand for shipping services is higher, which can lead to increased rates. Conversely, shipping during off-season periods may result in lower costs due to reduced demand.

Customs Regulations and Documentation

When shipping a car to Japan, it is essential to comply with the country’s customs regulations and documentation requirements. This process ensures that the vehicle meets the necessary standards and is eligible for import into Japan.

To obtain an import permit, the following documentation is required:

  • Original title of the vehicle
  • Bill of sale
  • Vehicle registration document
  • Proof of insurance

In addition, the vehicle must meet the following requirements:

  • It must be right-hand drive.
  • It must have a valid vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • It must meet Japanese emissions standards.

Failure to comply with these regulations and documentation requirements may result in delays, additional fees, or even the denial of entry for the vehicle into Japan.

Insurance and Protection

Ensuring your vehicle during shipping to Japan is of paramount importance. It safeguards you against unforeseen circumstances that may arise during transit, such as damage, loss, or theft. Various insurance options are available, each providing different levels of coverage.

Understanding these options and choosing the right policy is crucial to protect your investment.

Types of Insurance

  • Comprehensive Insurance:Offers the most extensive coverage, protecting against damage, loss, or theft from any cause, including accidents, weather events, or vandalism.
  • Collision Insurance:Covers damage to your vehicle in the event of a collision with another vehicle or object.
  • Liability Insurance:Protects you against legal liability for injuries or property damage caused to others while your vehicle is being shipped.

Choosing the Right Policy

The best insurance policy for you depends on your specific needs and the value of your vehicle. Consider the following factors when making your decision:

  • Coverage Level:Determine the level of coverage you require, considering the potential risks and value of your vehicle.
  • Deductible:The amount you agree to pay out of pocket before insurance coverage kicks in. A higher deductible typically results in lower premiums.
  • Policy Exclusions:Carefully review the policy to understand any exclusions or limitations that may apply.

By carefully evaluating these factors and consulting with an insurance professional, you can choose an insurance policy that provides the necessary protection for your vehicle during its journey to Japan.

Timeline and Preparation

The shipping process typically takes several weeks, depending on the distance and the shipping method chosen. It is crucial to plan and prepare the car adequately before shipment to ensure a smooth and efficient process.


  • Booking and documentation:1-2 weeks
  • Car preparation:1-2 weeks
  • Transport to the port:1-3 days
  • Loading and shipping:1-2 days
  • Transit time:2-6 weeks, depending on the distance and shipping method
  • Unloading and customs clearance:1-2 days
  • Delivery to the final destination:1-3 days

Car Preparation Checklist

  • Clean the car thoroughly, inside and out.
  • Drain all fluids, including fuel, oil, and coolant.
  • Disconnect the battery.
  • Remove all personal belongings and valuables.
  • Secure loose parts, such as spoilers and antennas.
  • Inflate tires to the recommended pressure.
  • Protect the car with a car cover or plastic wrap.

Reputable Shipping Companies

Selecting a reputable shipping company is crucial for a seamless and cost-effective car shipping experience to Japan. These companies specialize in handling international vehicle transportation and provide a range of services to meet your specific needs.

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Comparison of Shipping Companies

Here’s a comparison of some reputable shipping companies that offer car shipping services to Japan:

Company Services Costs Customer Reviews
A1 Auto Transport – Door-to-door and port-to-port shipping

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Enclosed and open transport options

Insurance coverage



4.5/5 stars on Trustpilot
International Car Shipping – Exclusive and shared container shipping

Roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) services

Customs clearance assistance



4.2/5 stars on Google
Japan Car Direct – Direct shipping from the US to Japan

Specializes in Japanese import cars

Full documentation and support



4.7/5 stars on Facebook

Tips for Choosing a Shipping Company

Consider the following tips when choosing a shipping company:

  • Experience and Expertise:Choose companies with a proven track record in shipping cars to Japan.
  • Services Offered:Ensure they offer the services you need, such as door-to-door delivery, enclosed transport, or customs clearance assistance.
  • Costs:Compare costs from multiple companies to get the best value for your money.
  • Customer Reviews:Read online reviews from previous customers to assess the company’s reliability and service quality.
  • Insurance and Protection:Verify that the company provides adequate insurance coverage for your car during transit.

Additional Considerations

In addition to the steps Artikeld above, there are several other factors to consider when shipping a car to Japan:

Packing Personal Belongings

If you are shipping personal belongings with your car, it is important to pack them carefully and securely. Use sturdy boxes and packing materials, and label each box clearly. You should also consider purchasing insurance for your belongings.

Choosing the Right Port of Entry

There are several ports of entry in Japan that you can choose from when shipping your car. The most popular ports are Yokohama, Kobe, and Nagoya. The port you choose will depend on the location of your destination in Japan and the availability of shipping services.

Arranging for Local Transportation

Once your car arrives in Japan, you will need to arrange for local transportation to get it to your final destination. You can do this by hiring a car carrier or using public transportation.

Key Points to Remember

  • Plan ahead and research the shipping process thoroughly.
  • Choose a reputable shipping company.
  • Prepare your car for shipping by cleaning it and removing all personal belongings.
  • Pack your personal belongings carefully and securely.
  • Choose the right port of entry.
  • Arrange for local transportation.
  • Be aware of the customs regulations and documentation requirements.
  • Purchase insurance to protect your car and belongings.

Final Conclusion

In conclusion, shipping a car to Japan involves various factors that influence the overall cost and process. By carefully considering the shipping methods, factors affecting costs, customs regulations, insurance, timeline, reputable shipping companies, and additional considerations, you can ensure a smooth and cost-effective car shipment to Japan.

Remember to conduct thorough research, compare quotes from multiple shipping companies, and prepare your car adequately for the journey. With proper planning and execution, you can successfully ship your car to Japan and enjoy the benefits of driving on the roads of the Land of the Rising Sun.

Question Bank

What is the cheapest way to ship a car to Japan?

The cheapest way to ship a car to Japan is typically through container shipping. This method involves placing your car in a shared container with other vehicles or cargo, which reduces the cost per unit.

How long does it take to ship a car to Japan?

The transit time for shipping a car to Japan varies depending on the shipping method and the distance between the origin and destination. Container shipping typically takes around 4-6 weeks, while RORO shipping takes around 2-3 weeks.

What documents are required to ship a car to Japan?

The documents required to ship a car to Japan include the original title, bill of sale, import permit, and insurance policy.

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About the Author: Jason