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Importing U.S. Model S

Discussion in 'Japan' started by goflagators, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. goflagators

    goflagators Member

    Jul 30, 2016

    I am a current Model S owner and am looking to move to Japan, specifically Tokyo, in the future. I am wondering if anyone else has had the experience of moving their S. Any major issues? The best I've seen online is this post: Military member Shipping Tesla Model S to Okinawa, Japan | Tesla but mostly everyone is talking him out of it. I wouldn't be driving it regularly and my move is only for a few years. Would the car require any modifications for importation? What are insurance rates like?

  2. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

    Jul 11, 2012
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Sounds like it would be a pain in the butt. I've visited Japan 5x for vacation myself and it will be my 6th time in about 1.5 months.

    A quick Google searched turned up Customs Answer(FAQ) (search for vehicle). I also found Japan: Car Import, Registration, Insurance.

    The other big problem is the obviously the steering wheel is on the wrong side, so, you'll probably find it sub-optimal to drive it there, esp. if you want to overtake. (Not that I haven't seen cars in Japan w/the steering wheel on the wrong side, but it's very rare there.)

    hiroshiy (see Japan) is in Japan w/a proper version for this market. I haven't follow this posts carefully but there have been considerations about the Model S being so big is that it doesn't fit "mechanical parking" (as they call it, aka car elevator) in many places.

    You sure you can actually get parking in Tokyo? It's not exactly plentiful there. Most privately owned automobiles tend to be on the smaller side vs. what we see in the US.
  3. 12Pack

    12Pack Member

    Aug 25, 2017
    Manchester, UK
    Outside of the regulations and size concerns, driving on the opposite side of the road has other inconveniences,e.g., parking lot entrance terminals, toll payments etc.
  4. KarenRei

    KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei

    Jul 18, 2017
    How long "in the future" is "in the future"? It's probably not what you want to hear, but you might want to have the plan in mind "sell your current car, re-buy once in Japan". And maybe consider switching to a well-upgraded Model 3 if it'll be far enough in the future, since it's a smaller car.
  5. hiroshiy

    hiroshiy Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2013
    Tokyo, Japan
    Don't do it. While the plugs are compatible here with the US models, Tesla won't offer parts for you and connectivity. A few early Model S imported from the US are still running strong, but they are now exceptions.
    • Informative x 1

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