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How to read an auction sheet..

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

To some people the thought of reading an Japanese auction sheet when potentially viewing a car to buy can be a scary thing. There are many Kanji on some, with various sections splitting up the various information which all donates to the one same vehicle.

But with a fresh mind and just focusing on the easily codes, then the person can start to picture in their mind the condition of the car based upon this easy to decipher information.

Let's have a look through the codes that may see on an auction sheet (It is worth noting this is a guideline as not all auction houses in Japan will class the same car in the same grading system depending how strict they may be).

Let's take a walk around the sheet above of one 2008 GSR Evolution 10 4WD, going clockwise around the sheet.


This is possibly the key area for your concerns. This box will tend to carry information about rust, damage, repairs, dents, scratches (more on this later). Should you came across one of our auctions with a clean to read sheet like this, then a lot of people can using mobile phone apps to easily grasp the translation of this area, but of course rest assured we're on hand to confirm the details here to let you know if there is anything to stay away from.


We think you know about this one..


Each auction uses a unique auction number to be recognized by. Should the vehicle not be sold it can be relisted in the same auction house the next week either with the same of another auction number. Or it can be moved and pop up at another local auction in a few days to be attempted to be sold again.


From here on-wards we really start to understand the car and it's condition. The exterior grade can be broken down in such codes..

S or 9 - Very much like a new car out of the factory.

5 - The condition is like new and most likely under 10,000 KM's.

4.5 - There may be very slight or hard to see blemish / scratch on one panel.

4 - Here we may see more scratches on smaller dents appear on the body work.

3.5 - This level may have paint repair or larger scratches dents.

3 - Move severe wear of the body work is expected, uneven painted panels, large dents or deep scratches most likely evident also.

2 - Here we see an exterior with much, much work required to bring back to standard.

1 - Major changes to vehicles performance, the car possibly may not run at all.

R / RA - Here is a contentious area. Most commonly R grade cars are cars that have received damages somewhere, most likely by accident large or small.

An R grade car in a performance car, or show car type though may have so many alterations to it's appearance that it cannot be classed as stock and therefore can sometimes be graded in this area. The RA grade can be issued to the same damaged cars, but ones that have undergone repair to some degree.

As with any grade above, it is always best to request an inspection if possible as something can of course be missed by auction house staff due to the amount of cars they have to process in a short time.


The interior is a much simpler affair, in that is is normally graded by coding such as..

A - New condition, stunningly clean.

B - Very clean.

C - Average level of clean, expect wear and tear to steering wheels, seats, mats etc..

D - Cigarette burns, tears on seats, loose hood lining are common in this grade.


Again, you may know about this one.


Here we return to the exterior and a birds eye view of the vehicles with key points picked out, with markers that you might come across such as 'A1' or 'U2' - No, they don't mean one of England's roads, or Bono's very popular rock/pop group - So what do they represent:

XX - Panel/part replaced or painted.

A - Small scratch.

A2 - A noticeable larger scratch.

A3 - A deeper scratch that would hard to hide, Paintwork maybe required to hide if needed.

U1 - Smallest size dent.

U2/U3 - Here as the numbers increase, so will the size of dent.

X or A (On windscreen) - These can indicate a chip or small crack, so unlike XX that has been replaced, these will be evident and you may want to replace depending on the chip/crack location and the size/severity.

Y1 - Small crack.

Y2/Y3 - Here as the numbers increase, so will the size of the crack.

If you have any questions about auctions, you can contact us here: info@autoportal.co.jp

Or click on the homepage and simply fill in the contact form.

ARE YOU A USED CAR DEALER? - Either new or just looking to get started, then fill in our 'dealer' sheet (CLICK HERE) And one of our experienced staff will contact and answer any questions you have to help you get started and purchasing from Japanese car auctions in no time.

Have a great day.

Auto Portal Co, Ltd.

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