5 Reasons Why You Should Consider Importing a Car from Japan

Breeze Customs Blog


he Japanese car industry is one of the most successful in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. Japanese cars are known for their quality, performance, reliability, and sleek designs — not to mention their affordability. That is because Japan is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. They have a very sophisticated manufacturing process and have been producing high-quality cars for many years now. As such, it is no surprise that they have gained so much popularity among consumers in the United States and other parts of the world.

While the U.S. has always been the biggest market for car sales, Japan is one of the most popular destinations for imported vehicles. But with so many different companies and models to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. One place is the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) for cars, one of the world’s largest and most popular. So, if you’re a car enthusiast, the JDM can be a pretty exciting place to shop. Here are five reasons you should consider importing a car from Japan, specifically a JDM car.

What is the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM)?

The Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) refers to vehicles and vehicle parts that are manufactured for sale in Japan. JDM cars may differ considerably from the cars that Japanese manufacturers build for export. For instance, Japanese car owners are always looking for innovation versus long-term ownership, forcing Japanese carmakers to refine new technologies and designs in domestic vehicles. This makes JDM cars more favorable for car enthusiasts worldwide, especially in the United States.

Can JDM cars be imported into the U.S.?

Yes, JDM cars can be imported into the U.S. if they meet certain standards and requirements. As with all other car imports, eligibility for Japanese imported cars is based on whether the car conforms with the rules and regulations of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and given that it does not violate emissions regulations set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This will ensure it can pass through customs with no problem.

What if my JDM car is nonconforming?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a nonconforming vehicle as “a vehicle that does not meet safety standards set by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) (as per the Motor Vehicle Safety Act) or that has been altered from its original design.” The definition also refers to vehicles not built to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards.

In some cases, your JDM car of choice may be non-conforming. Nonconforming cars can be imported into the United States by certification or exemption.

1. Certification

A nonconforming car can be imported if modified, tested, and certified by an Independent Commercial Importer (ICI).

2. Exemption

The EPA and CBSA allow for the temporary importation of nonconforming vehicles – with EPA’s pre-approval – if they are imported for the following purposes:

  • Testing
  • Display
  • Repair or alteration
  • Non-residents
  • Competition/Racing

The car must be imported under a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) bond if it qualifies for EPA exemption.

However, Japan has some of the strictest safety regulations in the world, and most cars manufactured there either meet or exceed the standards that apply in the United States. It’s best to speak to a customs broker to see if your JDM car qualifies for import into the U.S.

Reasons to import a car from Japan

Japan is known for its high-quality, dependable, and fuel-efficient cars. So, if you’re looking for a reliable and affordable car, you should consider importing a car from Japan. Here are five reasons why:

1. Low Prices

This is one of the top reasons why many Americans are turning to import cars from Japan. Japanese cars are less expensive than American cars, which means that you can get more for your money. Not only are they cheaper, but they also tend to be of better quality. So, if you’re looking for a new car, it might be worth considering importing a Japanese car.

2. Wide Variety

The Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) offers a wide selection of car makes and models, making it easy to find what you’re looking for – whatever it may be. This gives you more control over your purchase and ensures that your vehicle fits all of your needs perfectly. Moreover, the high demand for Japanese cars means that there’s always an excellent selection of cars at great prices, whether you’re looking for a new or used car.

3. High Quality and Reliability

The Japanese are known for their high-quality products, which can be seen in everything from electronics to clothing to home accessories. But there’s one product that stands out above all others when it comes to quality: cars. Not only are the engines top-of-the-line, but the design and interiors of Japanese cars are often more aesthetically pleasing than other foreign and local cars. That is why many people choose to import cars from Japan.

4. More Features

Japanese cars aren’t just cheaper than American ones; they also come with more features. For example, most Japanese cars come standard with GPS navigation systems, keyless start systems, and Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling and music streaming. These features are usually optional extras in America but are included in most Japanese models. In addition to these high-tech features, many Japanese cars also include heated seats as standard features.

5. Better Fuel Efficiency

Many Japanese cars have better fuel efficiency than their American counterparts. That is because they were designed with fuel efficiency in mind, while other cars were designed with performance in mind. This means more miles will be traveled for every gallon of gas that goes into your tank. So, if you drive a lot daily or travel long distances frequently, this may be an important consideration when deciding whether to import a car from Japan.

Moreover, the Japanese government has strict emission standards that are much stricter than those found in other parts of the world, so when these cars are imported into America, they can run much cleaner than other cars can run.


For these five reasons, many Americans are now importing cars from Japan. In fact, many people believe that Japanese cars are simply the best in the world. So, if you’re looking for a new car that will stand the test of time, you should definitely consider a JDM car import.

We hope that this article has been helpful on your way towards making one of the biggest and best car purchases of your life. And, once you’ve decided to tap into the JDM, read our article about how to import a car from Japan, which will tell you more about the steps and costs involved.

How Breeze Customs can help you import a car from Japan

At Breeze Customs, we’ve helped hundreds of importers bring their vehicles into the United States without hassle. Starting with the process of checking your vehicle’s admissibility and ending with customs clearance, we’ll take all the work off your shoulders. Book a meeting with one of our Breeze Customs Concierges and we’ll take it from there.