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How to read an auction sheet.. #2

Hello and welcome back to the Auto Portal blog from our team here in Osaka, Japan.

We created a popular article previously on how to read an auction sheet from Japanese car auctions.

Today we add another article from an auction chosen at random from the hundreds of cars we've inspected on the same day of this article being written.

To protect the auction house and the specific chassis number of this Subaru WRX we've omitted them from this example as of course someone else may go on to purchase the vehicle and our views may differ from their own supplier.

Let's have a look at the basic information which told us immediately of some interesting data such as a hole in the Front Bumper, rust underneath the car, the engine rocker cover being cracked, and the car currently having snow tires fitted.

'But this is a Grade 4/C car' you say.. It can be a common fairytale to many buyers outside of Japan that any car Grade 4 and above is somehow exempt from the knocks, rust, wear, and other things that come with the aging of any car - They are definitely not exempt and you should be aware of the data at hand, and also look for any extra information where possible.

Our customer on this occasion played it safe by asking us to perform our own inspection to see what else we could find. Upon the feedback from our staff attending the auction in the morning of the same day, we found a large oil leak coming from the underside of the engine, and also very heavy corrosion from the underside of the car.

The customer was informed immediately of this and needless to say we all walked away from this one and we'll pursue other cars.

So a Grade 4 Subaru WRX with aftermarket suspension - looks great right? Let's fight another day and ensure you get a car worthy of your hard earned money.

Please see below a quick fire guide of some of the markings you'll see on auctions sheets, or please see our original guide linked above.

We look forward to assisting you in all your used car needs from Japan.

Auto Portal Co, Ltd.



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.

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