An auction sheet is an important document containing all information regarding the car’s history from when it rolled out from the manufacturing plant through registration and use. An independent authority provides an auction sheet before a car is listed at an auction. 

However, not all JDM cars have auction sheets. Auction sheets are made only for cars that are sold in an auction. If your car was sourced from an original owner or never sold at an auction, an auction sheet would not be available. Also, there weren’t many recordings of auction data before 2007. This means that if your car was sold at auction before 2007, the probability of obtaining an auction sheet is low.

Do all JDM imports have an auction sheet?

There are chances that you could get the auction sheet in the glove box of your car. Or the agency importing your vehicle sources it for you, among other documents such as ownership history. At an auction, auction sheets of all vehicles are made public. They are displayed on the windshield for prospective buyers to view. Most import agencies will buy vehicles at auction, so there’s a chance that you’ll get an auction sheet with your vehicle. 

On the other hand, individual sellers rarely have auction sheets or any other documentation regarding the vehicle’s history. Unless it’s a rare spec model such as a Skyline R34 GT-R V-Spec NUR

A buyer maintains the auction sheet if they plan to resell the car in the future or immediately after buying it. If he plans on reselling it immediately, the auction sheet will be made public. It will be given to the final buyer. 

Suppose the car is sold at an auction again. Another auction sheet might be provided depending on the auction house and the car’s condition. A change in auction sheet number also leads to the production of another auction sheet.

How to find Japanese auction sheets online?

Not all imported JDM vehicles have physical auction sheets. If the auction was done online, you’d find that a copy of the auction sheet was uploaded online, and you have to source it from third-party websites. 

Some websites do charge to search and download an auction sheet. The amount varies from $100-$250 depending on how much information you are looking for regarding your car’s history. Basic information includes the Year and date of manufacture, date of first registration, and chassis number. 

There are also free websites that you can check and download auction sheets from. In most cases, searching for the auction sheet is done using the VIN. You only pay a small fee to download the auction sheet. This ensures that you download the correct auction sheet. One excellent example of such a website is Autopatrul.

How to read Japanese auction sheets

Most JDM auction sheets are written in the native language, so understanding one can be cumbersome. However, you do not need to understand all that is on the auction sheet. Below is are examples of a translated Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R and a Nissan 370-GT auction sheet.

Understanding JDM auction grading

During an auction, vehicles are assessed and graded depending on their condition. 

Overall grading

  • S- Almost brand-new car. Mileage is usually around 10,000km.
  • 6- An almost new car. Such cars have a mileage of around 20,000km. 
  • 5- Used cars but in excellent condition. Visible small scratches and dents. Mileage-30,000km.
  • 4.5- Evident repair works, scratches, and dents but in excellent condition with a mileage of between 30,000-80,000km.
  • 4- In good working condition with slight exterior and interior damage. 
  • 3.5- In good working condition but with interior and exterior damage such as rust and corrosion, missing or damaged components that need repair or replacements. 
  • 3- Visible huge dents, cracks, faded paint, chippings or rust on the interior or exterior. The car might also be missing some components. Engine and transmission might also be faulty. 
  • 2- Many visible dents, scratches, rust patches, and missing parts. The car might not even start, not even drive. Such vehicles are considered to be in terrible condition. 
  • 1- All vehicles that were flooded are graded “1”. 
  • RA- This grade is given to cars that have been repaired after a crash. The auction sheet indicates the point of damage and repair. 
  • R- A car graded “R” haS been repaired after a serious crash and some major parts replaced, but still, the car needs more work to start and drive. Most cars with an “R” grade cannot be driven. 
  • ***,99, X (or any other number or letter excluding the above)- Indicates that no efforts to repair the vehicle were made after a crash, engine failure, etc. Such cars are considered “Grounded.” 

Interior grading

  • A- Spotless interior. Similar to brand new. 
  • B- Interior in good condition and neat. 
  • C- Clean interior with minimal stains. 
  • D- Dirty interior with torn fabric, odor, etc. 
  • E- Terrible interior. Worn out fabric, smelly, missing parts, etc. 

Exterior grading

  • A- Scratches on the bodywork.
  • B- Dents and scratches on bodywork. 
  • C- Corrosion on bodywork. 
  • E- Dimple(s) paint. 
  • G- Stone chips and minor surface cracks on windshields. 
  • H- Paint dissolves or is faded. 
  • S- Indicates rust on some parts. 
  • P- Paintwork needs attention. 
  • U- Dents on the bodywork. 
  • W- Visible repair marks. 
  • X- A body part(s) needs replacing. 
  • Y- This means that the bodywork has either holes or cracks. Sometimes even both. 
  • XX- Indicates that a body panel had been damaged in the past and has already been replaced. 

Abbreviations were found on the Japanese auction house sheet

The following abbreviations on the auction sheet indicate the car’s features, drivetrain components and optional extras. 

  • LS- leather seats. 
  • NAVI- Navigation.
  • PW- Power windows.
  • PS- Power steering.  
  • SR- Sunroof. 
  • TV- Television. 
  • AB- Airbags. 
  • AW- OEM alloy wheels. 
  • AC- Air conditioning. 
  • AAC- Air conditioner with climate control. Most are dual-zone. 
  • CA- Column Automatic Transmission.
  • AT/FA- Standard Automatic transmission. 
  • F5- 5 speed Manual Transmission.
  • F6- 6-speed Manual Transmission.


How to read a Japanese auction sheet?

Japanese auction sheets are written in native Japanese, so if you can’t read Japanese, you can’t read them. However, the numbers and letters are written in English, and the only issue is finding out what they stand for. To check what the numbers and letters stand for on a Japanese auction sheet, crosscheck with another auction sheet written in English.