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Free On Board (FOB)

We'll break down what FOB means.

What is FOB?


FOB is the term used to explain what the costs are included when the price of the vehicle is quoted. In the case of exporting a car, as well as the initial car cost (that is the cost of the car in Japan without any other charges) the price is usually quoted as FOB. This includes the car cost plus all of the costs associated with getting the car to the port, ready to ship with all the necessary paperwork and customs issues in Japan handled. The car cost alone is not really a meaningful figure since there are still other Japan side costs that will be incurred so FOB prices are used where possible.

Although it will vary on the vehicle, the source and where the car is physically located at the time of purchase, FOB is typically around 100,000 yen to 110,00 yen. As such when an FOB price is quoted, it is in fact the car cost plus cheaper FOB rates however this is usually with fairly obvious downsides in their service, typically in the quality of pre-purchase information about a car, and this is why we will usually not use an export agent charging less 90,000 yen, even though there are some out there

Costs Included in Standard FOB rate

  • Auction buying fees (if applicable)
  • Inland transportation of a vehicle
  • Port terminal receiving fees
  • Japan-Side customs paperwork, preparation and lodgment
  • Deregistration of the vehicle and export certificate preparation
  • Recycling taxes (if applicable)
  • Wholesale network buying fees (if applicable)
  • Export agent fees
  • Couriering shipping paperwork, export certificates and spare keys/log books (if applicable) to customs after shipping

Costs which might result in a slightly higher FOB rate than normal.

  • Vehicle inspection service for dealer/wholesale/privately sourced vehicles
  • Additional transportation costs if a car needs to be moved from a particularly remote area to the port for shipping.
  • In any situation where the FOB rate will be higher than normal customers are notified in advance or already have these extra costs included in the FOB price of the vehicle quoted.


Transportation of vehicles in Japan is always via transporter, they are never driven

FOB Registration

Some of the paperwork involved with Japanese deregistration.

FOB Port of Entry

Vehicles awaiting port entry!

Drift and Drive