Company Incorporation

Key Points when Starting a Business to Export Used Japanese Cars

So, you want to export and sell inexpensive, Japanese used cars.

I understand that you need to get a business license to start a used car export business. I am often asked by clients who want to buy old Japanese cars and export them to countries and regions in Asia, Russia, the Middle East and Africa, what kind of business licenses are required.

Buying used cars in Japan requires a secondhand dealer license. Obtaining a secondhand dealer license itself is not very difficult; however, there are certain issues unique to dealing with used cars. Below is an explanation of some of these issues that are unique to a secondhand businesses involving used cars.

Issues Unique to Dealing with Used Cars

When dealing with used cars as secondhand goods, the existence of a storage place for the used cars after their purchase will be confirmed when the application for a secondhand dealer license is made.  If you get a secondhand dealer license to deal with used cars, you will be required to provide documents confirming that a storage place, such as a parking lot, is ready and available.

Although this storage place does not have to be located within the jurisdictional area of the police who received your application for a secondhand dealer license, it may be difficult for the storage place to be acceptable if it is so far from the place of sales that it is difficult to use.

In exceptional cases, an application for a secondhand dealer license for used cars  may be granted  even in the absence of a parking contract when exporting purchased used cars for overseas export where the cars are directly handed over to another large-scale exporter (in other words,  a business form that allows you to send the cars directly to a parking space (i.e., a “yard”) for the large-scale export at ports) without ever storing the used cars even temporarily on your own business property.  In this case, the contract of the “yard” or the other large-scale used car exporter is required.  

Other Licenses Other than for Used Goods

When dealing with used cars, licenses and notifications other than secondhand dealer licenses may be required. Although a secondhand dealer license is required when buying vehicles as used cars, registration as a vehicle business operator is necessary when receiving vehicles as scrapped cars.

In addition, if a vehicle is dismantled to obtain automotive component parts for export, then a license as an automotive dismantling business must be obtained.

Further, registration as an automotive fluorocarbon recovery business is required when dismantling cars since there is a possibility that a car’s air conditioning may contain fluorocarbons.  

As mentioned above, the used car business involves many registration and licensing schemes. When engaged in the used car export business, let’s determine the scope of the business and then get the required licenses and registrations.


Kobe Legal Partners has extensive experience in applying for licenses and permits for foreign nationals who are starting a business. Please feel free to contact us if you need a secondhand dealer license when exporting used cars!

Our service

-Company Incorporation