When I brought in my Land Cruiser 77, the whole process was pretty painless and the car was great (if a little idiosynchratic and aimed at the Japanese market - obvously). It had some nice standard features you'd never get here like and engine driven winch and snowchains (!) in a special compartment in the boot. The insurance company insisted I fit a Thatcham Cat2 immobiliser before they'd cover it for theft. After that, the insurance was about 10-15% more than I'd have paid for, say a UK-spec 80.
Remember that cars spend all their time in traffic jams if used in urban Japan - so you heard of ones with even modest mileage having a knackered auto-box or clutch (as applicable). Having said that, the grading system at the auctions there is quite detailed and reliable, so you know what you are getting usually. Buying off a reseller here is more risky I think as they tend to buy low-grade cars for pennies and tart them up.
You can save money with an import I think (or certainly get something interesting and not-rusty underneath), but it isn't all
and skittles, or I guess everyone would do it. Also, you usually don't get diff locks (not needed in Tokyo car parks, I hear) - which may or may not be a factor.
(04 KTM 640 Adv 'Naartjie'/11 KTM 990 Adv 'Tsumeb')
Last edited by andybee; 12 Jul 2006 at 14:33.