Vehicle Shipping From Japan

Vehicle Freight Specialists - Japan to New Zealand Shipping

We Make It Simple

Car shipping from Japan has never been easier. We have a choice of packages and services to suit your needs. From fixed price all-inclusive options to individually tailored services.

Efficient & Cost-Effective

Our outstanding relationships with external partners and large monthly shipping volume means we can get the best deal for you 100% of the time.

Minimise your documents

With offices in Japan and New Zealand, Dolphin Shipping is able to provide a hassle-free service by handling all relevant paperwork to ship vehicles from Japan.

Online Customer Portal

Our online system allows you to track shipments, book vehicles, and manage stock from any location and at all times. Shipping is 24/7 and so are we.

Car Shipping from Japan – Japan to NZ Specialists  


Dolphin Shipping can help if you’re a regular or just started looking to ship cars from Japan. To import second hand cars from Japan you must provide evidence that it meets the latest standards to be registered on NZ roads. Fuel consumption and ESC standards have changed recently. Therefore, you should be aware of the latest regulations before importing a car.


Dolphin Shipping’s core business is car shipping from Japan to NZ. As a result, we can confidently say we are the best company for it. Most importantly, we know the business inside and out. Therefore, we make the process a streamlined and stress-free one for all our customers. We are able to offer a door-to-door solution in collaboration with our Japanese Agent, Daiwa Logistics.


Our door-to-door service can include pre-export inspection and export clearance in Japan. The pre-export inspection is particularly useful for internet buyers and regular importers. It is important to know the condition of the vehicle prior to shipping the car. Subsequently, we book vessel space. Most likely on a roll on roll off Japan to NZ vessel. Moreover, once the car has arrived in NZ, we liaise with Customs and handle the port clearance. All used cars must pass a compliance inspection to register for NZ roads. We can recommend Fasttrack Compliance in Auckland and Christchurch. To sum up, we can offer a complete package inclusive of the complete cost to ship a car from Japan to NZ.


Alternatively, you may have purchased from a Japanese car exporter with export processing as part of the deal. We would liaise with your chosen export agent and handle all relevant shipping matters.

Importing A Vehicle On Your Schedule

You have a choice of 5+ sailings per month when looking to import vehicles from Japan to NZ. You're in complete control.

Competitive Rates To Import Your Car

Our large monthly volume of car shipping from Japan, means you're guaranteed one of the best rates in the industry.

Vehicle Shipping - Handled With Care

From privates to dealers looking to ship cars from Japan to NZ, our track record is close to 0% in damage claims.

Stress & Hassle Free Import From Japan

We know dealing with import regulations can be a nightmare. Our highly experienced team is always 3 steps ahead.

Get A Quote

If you require a high-quality vehicle shipping service from Japan, make Dolphin Shipping your first port of call. With over 20 years of industry experience, we’ve built a rock-solid reputation as a leading provider of logistics services. Thorough, efficient, cost-effective… you’re in the best of hands.

Get A Quote

Transit Times

Please note: Car Shipping Transit Times from Japan to New Zealand are subject to change at any time.

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FAQs - Vehicle Shipping from Japan

Most frequent questions and answers regarding car shipping from Japan.

The total cost will depend on a few variables. Such as the purchase price, departure location and destination, vehicle size, port clearance costs, and compliance. Nonetheless, an indicative cost to ship a car from Japan via a freight agent will be between $1500 to $2000.


This freight package may include:

  • Pick-up in the metro area near the port.
  • Pre-export inspection
  • Export agent fees
  • Ocean Freight
  • Marine Insurance
  • Landing port clearance charges
  • Delivery in the metro area near the port.
  • Import agent fees

Variables that usually aren’t included in the price due to their case by case basis:

  • Any pick-up or delivery location outside the metro area nearest to the related port.
  • MPI Cleaning – if required at landing port.
  • Compliance inspection & registration.
  • GST to NZ Customs – 15% of CIF (value of the vehicle, marine insurance, and ocean freight) +$55.71NZD Entry Fee

Therefore, if you are wondering about how much it is to ship a car from Japan, there is no one size fits all solution. To import a truck is obviously more expensive than to import your own car. This has largely got to do with the vehicle size. Most roll on roll off vessels will price the transport by the size and weight of the vehicle.


Rest assured, Dolphin Shipping offers the best value for money when looking to import from Japan. This comes as a result of our experience, positive attitude, and relationship with Japan export agents. Submitting a detailed quote request makes it easy for us to provide a solution tailored to your needs. Therefore, we are your best bet if you are seriously looking to ship a car from Japan.

Like most things, specialised expertise in a field gives an unparalleled advantage to the person or company that has them. Dolphin Shipping makes it easy to import from Japan for our customers. That is one of our biggest value propositions. Our customer service is unrivalled because of our work ethic and culture. Our friendly operations staff are eager to help and walk you through any questions. Firstly, we look at is whether your vehicle is compliant with NZ regulations to be registered for our roads. Secondly, we check that all paperwork is in order. Lastly, we can handle the car shipping process door-to-door. Thus, making international car shipping as easy as it can be.


Alternatively, you are able to use multiple companies at different stages of the shipping process. You may find your own agent in Japan. Also, you could go directly to a shipping line like Toyofuji to book space on their vessels. Get an import agent like Dolphin Shipping to complete the import handling. Lastly, get a trucking company to move the vehicle to your chosen compliance centre. In theory, this should be saving you a few dollars of the total cost. Realistically, it makes it harder and more often than not, more expensive. This segmented approach generally means less cohesion in the supply chain causing costly delays and mistakes.


To import a vehicle from Japan it must meet a range of approved standards before the it can be registered for NZ roads. The NZ Transport Agency is your number one source in ensuring this. Although we will give our advice, it is your responsibility to ensure the vehicle complies with NZ standards.

Japanese car brands are well known to be reliable and affordable. Many regard them as the best value for money in the industry. When looking to import a car from Japan, there’s a range of fuel efficient, hybrid and electric vehicles available. This eco-friendly range aligns well with goals to reduce our carbon footprint.


Due to the well-established Japan to NZ industry, maintenance of all kinds is stress-free. There are so many affordable Japanese parts available in New Zealand as a result and they can easily be imported. Whether you import trucks from Japan or are importing a car, parts are easier to find.


Due to Japan’s strict rules for on road vehicles, they have a high vehicle turnover rate. Vehicles only a few years old get traded in for newer models. This allows for NZ customers to capitalise on this. It means they can import vehicles from Japan in relatively new and good condition.


Second hand cars from Japan are also a better option to lower your insurance premium. Naturally, a used car may likely have a lower premium. However, there are only so many NZ-new used cars in the market. That is where imported vehicles fulfil the demand for used cars. Generally speaking, they also will not depreciate as fast compared to new cars.


New Zealand has a strong trading relationship with Japan. We have all heard about or owned the trusted car brands Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mazda. So, why not get a deal and highest quality first go by going straight to the source.

It can be difficult to know the condition and quality of a vehicle when purchasing it from overseas. Thankfully, there is a grading system on the auction inspection sheets prepared for car exporters.


These inspection sheets will rate vehicles a number between 1-5 and will outline the condition and any miniscule details. This grading system aims to give the buyer peace of mind prior to purchasing a car in Japan. It provides disclosure on faults as they are unable to inspect the vehicle in person.


Many vehicles being exported out of Japan are good quality due to the strict local rules for on-road vehicles. Many vehicles are only a few years old prior to export to New Zealand. However, it is still your responsibility to make sure you are getting the best choice from what is available.


To clarify, the used car auction guidein Japan is as follows:

  • Grade 5: Showroom condition, all original body parts, low mileage.
  • Grade 4.5: Excellent condition. Maybe some small marks.
  • Grade 4: Good condition, some scratches, and dents from normal use.
  • Grade 3.5: Average condition with scratches and dents visible
  • Grade 3: Scratches and dents, worn components, chance of rust.
  • Grade 2: Badly corroded, damaged or modified.
  • Grade 1: Not far away from being scrap, or heavily modified.
  • Grade RA or A1: Has been in a minor accident. Repaired to a good standard.
  • Grade R or A: Has been in an accident and had some parts repaired or replaced.

Our clients say

"Great company to deal with. Done business many times. Highly recommended. A++"
Ilya Krzhenitskiy
"Outstanding service. Highly recommend!! We had an urgent job to transport our car to meet us in MIQ. The team went above & beyond to deliver on time. Communication was regular & very professional."
Michelle Luxton
"All our Imports & Exports part of our business has been handled by Dolphin Shipping since 2015, always been great to deal with."
Buddhika Samarakkody
"Great service, and importantly kept me informed, answering my many question really quickly as car was held over long weekend. Thanks team, friendly and professional all the way ."

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