Should I buy a car imported into the UK from Japan?

Conversions that are required usually concern updates to the navigation system. However, every car is different in this respect, says Howe, with Volvos being among the more challenging.

As the UK’s used car drought continues and more people are forced out of their non-ULEZ-compliant cars, a used Japanese import might just be the answer for a family car buyer on a budget.

How to insure a Japanese import

They may satisfy European type approval laws, have similar specifications and be as easy to repair and to source parts for as UK cars, but used European cars imported from Japan appear to be more expensive to insure. For example, we were quoted £312 to insure a Volkswagen Touran 1.4 TSI SE DSG imported from Japan compared with £276 for its UK equivalent.

Five imports we found

Volkswagen Touran 1.4 TSI SE DSG 2011/06, 44,000 miles, £8990: Few UK equivalents but around £1500 cheaper

Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI SE DSG 2012/12, 49,500 miles, £7995: Around £500 cheaper than UK equivalent

BMW 116i Sport Auto 2012/12, 44,000 miles, £8990: Roughly same price as UK equivalent

Audi S4 Quattro 2010/10, 46,000 miles, £13,995: Few UK cars with such a low mileage

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