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Thread: jdmvip's JDM Import Car Pickup From The Port Checklist - What To Bring

  1. #1

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    Default jdmvip's JDM Import Car Pickup From The Port Checklist - What To Bring

    I am making this somewhat generic since every country will be different but in general here is what I recommend when picking up your fresh JDM Car, Imported from Japan whether it is new or used!


    1. Make sure you purchase temp insurance/permit for the day of your pickup or amount of days it will take you to get your car home or to its destination!
    2. Bring the insurance with you and stick it on your car's inside windows where ever it is supposed to go (eg. in BC Canada we have to put the permit on the front and rear windows).

    Clear Your Car/Get Permission To Pickup First
    • Make sure your car is cleared and customs paid and you have permission or an appointment to enter the port/warehouse where your car is.


    • All documentation
    • Inbond/Advice notice from the port
    • Export Certificate
    • BOL
    • Documents from your Exporter, Broker, Customs (just to be sure).

    What To Bring For The Car:

    1. Gas Can with appropriate grade/octane of gas (most cars seem to be drained of gas or have almost none at the port).
    2. Rag/Paper Towel To Check Oil Levels.
    3. Fluids if necessary (eg. coolant, oil just in case).
    4. Tire Gauge + Compressor (often the tires will be low on air and should be inflated).
    5. Jump Pack / Booster Pack In Case Your Car Can't Start (cars often arrive with totally dead batteries or the charge is low at the time).

    What To Do When You See Your Car:

    1. Take pics and video before you even approach so you can document the exact interior and exterior condition the car came in. The same goes for when you first start the car, open the hood, interior etc..
    2. Continue to take vids and pics as you go through the car.
    3. Make a claim or report it to your Exporter and Port if there is any theft or damage (at the very least don't leave without having proof of the condition you found the car in with video and pics).

    Before You Start Your Car
    1. Check essential fluid levels (engine oil, transmission oil and coolant).
    2. Keep your hood open
    3. Start your car and let it warm up (hopefully it starts if not that's why you brought your jump pack )

    Enjoy Your Car!

    1. I normally let the car warm up to temp before driving off.
    2. Enjoy the car but also check for any issues/noises
    3. Hopefully all is well and you can then register and insure the car!

    Did I miss any important points? Please let me know guys!
    Last edited by jdmvip; 12-30-2018 at 01:30 PM.

  2. #2

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    Great break down! Lots of times people forget these things because they are so excited to pick up there car lol.

    I brought a trailer for my STI, glad I did because the engine was toast. I recommend towing anyways especially if you have a far drive home like me. You never know what type of problems you will run into on your way home. It's no fun being on the side of the highway at night trying to figure out what is wrong with your car.

    As far as bringing things before you drive it home if you choose to do so, don't forget your insurance card and your temp pass from DMV to drive it home.
    - 1996 Honda Integra J32, ITR Clone -
    - 1992 Honda Civic SI K20a2 Turbo -

  3. #3

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    Thanks Holly yes I missed that so I added it to the top and added a few things to check before starting the car. Did I miss anything else? It's amazing how easy it is to forget the little things if you don't do a pickup frequently and it's easy to do if you're really excited.

    Yes I remember your poor STi that is an unfortunate case for sure. Normally we can trust the auction sheet and normally secondary inspection could pick that up.
    Eg. I remember your sheet said "engine noise" which turned out to be rod knock (to be expected) but your Exporter assured you it was OK .

    For our customers we would never bid on a car like that or if they really wanted to try on it we would have a secondary inspection done if it was at USS which I'm 100% sure they would have said "rod knock or engine problem". On my Legacy they specifically said the engine was running great when I had it inspected and they were right.

    But you're definitely right if you are driving far I do think it could be crazy to drive an unknown car for such a long distance especially if you are driving through rural areas in the winter where getting stuck could be life or death.

  4. #4

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    Yes very easy to forget something, I would say the booster pack you have listed is defiantly a must! We used ours a few times on the Forester when we were travelling back home. Every time we stopped for fuel or happened to stall the car it needed to be boosted.. PITA!

    Yep very unfortunate, this is why we have to weed out the bad exporters/importers. Most are there just for the money, and do not care what car you bid on. Lesson learned for me! At least I got a wicked built engine now lol
    - 1996 Honda Integra J32, ITR Clone -
    - 1992 Honda Civic SI K20a2 Turbo -

  5. #5

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    Yes for sure my Celsior came with a 100% dead battery if there are any stops along the way you are done for without a jump pack that's a good point. Even if someone jumps you or a tow truck does if you still have to make another stop there's a fair chance your car may not start if it needed the jump! I only think from port to home since I am lucky to be so close. It's also important to have a reliable one that can do several jumps and that it is fully charged (some packs are good and some are pad).
    I bought one from Canadiantire like 6 years ago and I am lucky it is still holding a charge and going strong (even if you don't use it for several months or even a year+ it is still good and working and just needs a small charge).

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