My import experience via Respect Motors Co Ltd (and some tips on researching)

MrRob_in

Part of the furniture (please de-cat your e51/2)
Premium Member
E51 Expert
E51 Owner
#1
... & getting the specification & condition car you want)

The background story.

Ok so some of you will know me as I bought my 2003 VG from Topsham Car Sales in November 2009 and have been fairly active on the internet asking and answering questions and discussing Elgrands ever since.

After 3 tough years with various house related financial saga we found that we couldn't really justify running the now very leggy VG along side our v8 Chevrolet camper & the RAV4 we'd bought to back up the VG when it was increasingly in for repairs.

So the big decision was made and The VG was listed on the Cub's selling page and sold within a day.

Time to concentrate on getting the Chevy camper back into tiptop condition and use it as our day-out car using the RAV4 day-to-day.

....

Unfortunately our old dog just won't settle in the camper, he needs to see out and just can settle and got too stressed... So it's the RAV4 for everything at the moment ... Unfortunately it is just too small for dogs, winter clothes, boots and shopping. And although it's fun to drive the RAV just doesn't supply the feel good factor that popping to the shops used to give the the VG.

@micky_h had already really spiked my interest in bagging a real bargain from Japan via Beforeward and I can while away hours 'virtually shopping' for cars on Autotrader and eBay, so I had never really stopped researching e51, model specs and purchasing options since I bought VG. It seems that you can grab some real bargains if especially if you are happy to buy outside the spec, condition and mileage ranges import Dealers look for. So even before the VG sold I was formulating a plan to import a nice cheap low spec 51 to trade with the intention to build up a decent budget for a long term e51 for when to RAV craps out.

Even more serious research began.

The plan to trade a £3.5k car was amended to be a car for us to keep.

That meant it had to have a minimum spec at least as good as the VG and be 4wd.

Then we decided it ought to have twin sunroof, and NO rust.

Then that if it was to have sunroof it may as well have curtains too.

We pushed the OTR Budget out to £4.5k


So how do you look for cars and confirm their specifications from the other side of the world?
I'm sure there are other ways but this is how I do it.

1. Find the chassis number.
Beforward list chassis numbers on their details so it's a good place to get to grips with how to do this.
2. Check Build codes
Just put the chassis number into this web form http://www.epcdata.ru and model and option codes are given on the next page.
E51 Build Spec Codes by -BitchinRob ( http://MrRob.in )-

3. Check standard options my model.
This is more complicated as the historic Nissan brochure are hard to navigate to and are in Japanese and you'll have to translate box by box. http://history.nissan.co.jp/03_minivan.html NB base trim grade and 70th edition don't get electric sliding door as standard! NONE but XL get keyless as standard. ICE/NAV/TV all optional. Note even more importantly almost any standard model feature can be deleted from build so physically double check any absolute necessities.​

This is all much harder to do if you haven't got the chassis number so it makes shopping for uk cars much more time consuming and some dealers I rang didn't want to give out this info.

-Edit 02/10/16 to add - I've started a thread to explain & discuss the various build spec codes here http://forum.elgrandoc.uk/index.php?threads/build-spec-codes-factory-options.3902/#post-31132]-

Checking Condition of JDM cars & researching the market.

This is the real risk with Beforward, you can only see pictures.

If a car has gone through the auctions in Japan it will have a condition report. Beforward get some of their cars from auction and the report will be more reliable than their photos. Sign up here (free) for access to upcoming and 3 months of previous auction car info http://auc.ts-export.com/st and search by year / mileage.

Upcoming Auction Car Search by -BitchinRob ( http://MrRob.in )-


There are plenty of guides to translating the report forms BUT the notes can have fundamental info that can't be adequately translated automatically. This is the main reason I chose to buy via an agent. A number of cars I would have been interested in because of the Grade & Plan were less attractive when the report was translated.

You can go further had have the agent arrange physically inspect of the vehicle prior to bidding but this will likely cost extra.

Budget
Its likely like me you'll have an a On The Road budget in mind over which you don't want to go. Costs in the UK to HMRC, DVLA, MOT, Transport etc are fairly easy to accurately forecast. For more info see http://forum.elgrandoc.uk/index.php?threads/import-costs-calculator-spreadsheet.1948/

Costs in Japan on top of Bid price include Auction Fee, Agent's fee, de-registration, transportation to port, storage, shipping & insurance but if you go with an agent they will bid for you making allowances for all these costs. The price of the car landed at your chosen port is called the CIF price, set that with your agent for each car you're interested in and they work out the max bid that will vary by auction location etc. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inc...e_.26_Freight_.28named_port_of_destination.29

Finding an Agent.
This is where social networking really works, and let me be far more comfortable about choosing an agent to go with. Ask other owners who they used and chat with the agents yourself. You'll soon build up a relationship and the more you put into this the more you will get back.

Finding cars to bid on. (Or just research)
If you pay a deposit to an agent they will provide their portal with a link to all the auction data or just use http://auc.ts-export.com
I found a car I liked the look of last Sunday & got wife approval to bid!

White HS grade 4 by -BitchinRob ( http://MrRob.in )-


What happens when you find the car of your dreams you want to try and buy.

1. Simple You send a deposit to your chosen agent, by bank transfer or PayPal if they accept it (& you are happy to pay the fee)
2. You chose & discuss cars you like the look of

Agent Translation of Auction report (silver HS) by -BitchinRob ( http://MrRob.in )-

3. Set a CIF for each one via their website.
4. Keep searching each day for new offers & don't rely on the agent to find YOUR perfect car, they have loads of clients and likely won't know the e51 model range & specifications as well as you do. I swapped from the car I found on Sunday, that was going to auction Wednesday, when on Tuesday night a car with same spec but with Radar Cruise & VDC (IE my ultimate dream spec car) showed up for Thursday's auction.
Silver Highway Star VDC by -BitchinRob ( http://MrRob.in )-

5. Get nervous
6. Win a car! (Or repeat 1-5 multiple times)
7. Transfer final balance to agent's bank (best arranged with your bank branch or over phone as web forms are too complicated & time consuming).
8. Wait.​



That's where I've got to now. I'm waiting for the shipping to be sorted by the agent.
The only real problem is that the OTR budget has climbed to near £6k.

EDIT 28/09/2016

Carvis now at port waiting on de-registration...

Here are the shipping condition evidence photos from the dock holding area.

2002 Nissan Elgrand Highway Star by -BitchinRob ( http://MrRob.in )-



2002 Nissan Elgrand Highway Star by -BitchinRob ( http://MrRob.in )-


2002 Nissan Elgrand Highway Star by -BitchinRob ( http://MrRob.in )-


2002 Nissan Elgrand Highway Star by -BitchinRob ( http://MrRob.in )-


2002 Nissan Elgrand Highway Star by -BitchinRob ( http://MrRob.in )-


2002 Nissan Elgrand Highway Star by -BitchinRob ( http://MrRob.in )-


2002 Nissan Elgrand Highway Star by -BitchinRob ( http://MrRob.in )-


2002 Nissan Elgrand Highway Star by -BitchinRob ( http://MrRob.in )-


EDIT 04/10/16
I Just got notified that the shipping and estimated arrival dates of 17 October and 16 November...

EDIT 18/10/16
Part 2 here http://forum.elgrandoc.uk/index.php...rt-experience-via-respect-motors-co-ltd.3935/
 
Last edited by a moderator:

sauliusagintas

Well-Known Member
E51 Owner
#2
This
... & getting the specification & condition car you want)

The background story.

Ok so some of you will know me as I bought my 2003 VG from Topsham Car Sales in November 2009 and have been fairly active on the internet asking and answering questions and discussing Elgrands ever since.

After 3 tough years with various house related financial saga we found that we couldn't really justify running the now very leggy VG along side our v8 Chevrolet camper & the RAV4 we'd bought to back up the VG when it was increasingly in for repairs.

So the big decision was made and The VG was listed on the Cub's selling page and sold within a day.

Time to concentrate on getting the Chevy camper back into tiptop condition and use it as our day-out car using the RAV4 day-to-day.

....

Unfortunately our old dog just won't settle in the camper, he needs to see out and just can settle and got too stressed... So it's the RAV4 for everything at the moment ... Unfortunately it is just too small for dogs, winter clothes, boots and shopping. And although it's fun to drive the RAV just doesn't supply the feel good factor that popping to the shops used to give the the VG.

@micky_h had already really spiked my interest in bagging a real bargain from Japan via Beforeward and I can while away hours 'virtually shopping' for cars on Autotrader and eBay, so I had never really stopped researching e51, model specs and purchasing options since I bought VG. It seems that you can grab some real bargains if especially if you are happy to buy outside the spec, condition and mileage ranges import Dealers look for. So even before the VG sold I was formulating a plan to import a nice cheap low spec 51 to trade with the intention to build up a decent budget for a long term e51 for when to RAV craps out.

Even more serious research began.

The plan to trade a £3.5k car was amended to be a car for us to keep.

That meant it had to have a minimum spec at least as good as the VG and be 4wd.

Then we decided it ought to have twin sunroof, and NO rust.

Then that if it was to have sunroof it may as well have curtains too.

We pushed the OTR Budget out to £4.5k


So how do you look for cars and confirm their specifications from the other side of the world?
I'm sure there are other ways but this is how I do it.

1. Find the chassis number.
Beforward list chassis numbers on their details so it's a good place to get to grips with how to do this.
2. Check Build codes
Just put the chassis number into this web form http://www.epcdata.ru and model and option codes are given on the next page.
E51 Build Spec Codes by -BitchinRob ( http://MrRob.in )-

3. Check standard options my model.
This is more complicated as the historic Nissan brochure are hard to navigate to and are in Japanese and you'll have to translate box by box. http://history.nissan.co.jp/03_minivan.html NB base trim grade and 70th edition don't get electric sliding door as standard! NONE but XL get keyless as standard. ICE/NAV/TV all optional. Note even more importantly almost any standard model feature can be deleted from build so physically double check any absolute necessities.​

This is all much harder to do if you haven't got the chassis number so it makes shopping for uk cars much more time consuming and some dealers I rang didn't want to give out this info.

Checking Condition of JDM cars & researching the market.

This is the real risk with Beforward, you can only see pictures.

If a car has gone through the auctions in Japan it will have a condition report. Beforehand get some of their cars from auction and the report will be more reliable than their photos. Sign up here (free) for access to upcoming and 3 months of previous auction car info http://auc.ts-export.com/st and search by year / mileage.

Upcoming Auction Car Search by -BitchinRob ( http://MrRob.in )-


There are plenty of guides to translating the report forms BUT the notes can have fundamental info that can't be adequately translated automatically. This is the main reason I chose to buy via an agent. A number of cars I would have been interested in because of the Grade & Plan were less attractive when the report was translated.

You can go further had have the agent arrange physically inspect of the vehicle prior to bidding but this will likely cost extra.

Budget
Its likely like me you'll have an a On The Road budget in mind over which you don't want to go. Costs in the UK to HMRC, DVLA, MOT, Transport etc are fairly easy to accurately forecast. For more info see http://forum.elgrandoc.uk/index.php?threads/import-costs-calculator-spreadsheet.1948/

Costs in Japan on top of Bid price include Auction Fee, Agent's fee, de-registration, transportation to port, storage, shipping & insurance but if you go with an agent they will bid for you making allowances for all these costs. The price of the car landed at your chosen port is called the CIF price, set that with your agent for each car you're interested in and they work out the max bid that will vary by auction location etc. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inc...e_.26_Freight_.28named_port_of_destination.29

Finding an Agent.
This is where social networking really works, and let me be far more comfortable about choosing an agent to go with. Ask other owners who they used and chat with the agents yourself. You'll soon build up a relationship and the more you put into this the more you will get back.

Finding cars to bid on. (Or just research)
If you pay a deposit to an agent they will provide their portal with a link to all the auction data or just use http://auc.ts-export.com
I found a car I liked the look of last Sunday & got wife approval to bid!

White HS grade 4 by -BitchinRob ( http://MrRob.in )-


What happens when you find the car of your dreams you want to try and buy.

1. Simple You send a deposit to your chosen agent, by bank transfer or PayPal if they accept it (& you are happy to pay the fee)
2. You chose & discuss cars you like the look of
Agent Translation of Auction report (silver HS) by -BitchinRob ( http://MrRob.in )-

3. Set a CIF for each one via there website.
4. Keep searching each day for new offers & don't rely on the agent to find YOUR perfect car, they have loads of clients and likely won't know the e51 model range & specifications as well as you do. I swapped from the car I found on Sunday, that was going to auction Wednesday, when on Tuesday night a car with same spec but with Radar Cruise & VDC (IE my ultimate dream spec car) showed up for Thursday's auction.
Silver Highway Star VDC by -BitchinRob ( http://MrRob.in )-

5. Get nervous
6. Win a car! (Or repeat 1-5 multiple times)
7. Transfer final balance to agent's bank (best arranged with your bank branch or over phone as web forms are too complicated & time consuming).
8. Wait.​



That's where I've got to now. I'm waiting for the shipping to be sorted by the agent.
The only real problem is that the OTR budget has climbed to near £6k.
This is proper write up. Ilove color alloys and the way it looks. Well done man.
 

SQUIZ

Member
E51 Owner
#3
Wow Robin,this is Fantastic!!!!
I am very sure that the extra £1.5 will pay for itself.
This is another JDM import experience well worth sharing.
Thanks.
 

MrChops

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#8
Great to see you've bought such a lovely example! Thanks for the write-up as it will be very helpful to people (and I'm sure you have more to come too..)
 

Phil

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#9
This is the best, most informative thread I've seen on the forum so far. Must have taken you ages to put together. :clap::) Thank you.
 

Chasdad

Here for life
Premium Member
#10
Thanks for this. Youve given me advice all along. Very helpfiul.I just need the money now. Can this be made a sticky or whatever its called so i can find it when needed
 

MrRob_in

Part of the furniture (please de-cat your e51/2)
Premium Member
E51 Expert
E51 Owner
#14
Thanks for this. Youve given me advice all along. Very helpfiul.I just need the money now. Can this be made a sticky or whatever its called so i can find it when needed
If you or anyone needs help choosing specifications for a search, looking for auction cars or checking specifications just ask, it's fun to hunt & quite addictive.
 

MrRob_in

Part of the furniture (please de-cat your e51/2)
Premium Member
E51 Expert
E51 Owner
#16
I've updated the OP with dockside photos, just waiting on de-registration now.
 

Si_clayton

Newbie
E51 Owner
#19
I must say rob I'm addicted to lookin on respect site now, drawn up a list of 8 Ellie's that I will hopefully be bidding on (again) sergey will be inviting me to the Christmas doo
 

MrRob_in

Part of the furniture (please de-cat your e51/2)
Premium Member
E51 Expert
E51 Owner
#20
Looks like a nice motor you've bagged there Rob!.. I like the colour and the HS body kit...well done
I didn't want silver again but it's the best for showing off the Streamliner lines

Hope you manage the wait. It's killing me!
I can't sleep


I must say rob I'm addicted to lookin on respect site now, drawn up a list of 8 Ellie's that I will hopefully be bidding on (again) sergey will be inviting me to the Christmas doo
Bon chance my friend;)