A Quick Handbook to Understanding Japanese Auction Sheets  

When a vehicle is checked into a Japanese auction house, it comes with a standardized report known as the auction sheet. This document details the car’s condition and its journey from the factory to the road. Importantly, it’s compiled by an unbiased third party without any stake in the vehicle’s sale.  

Why does this sheet matter? It serves as a comprehensive guide for potential buyers, offering a detailed assessment of the car’s condition, even if they can’t inspect it in person. However, not every Japanese car is accompanied by this document. If your vehicle has a single-owner history or was never part of an auction, you won’t find an auction sheet. Additionally, for cars auctioned before 2007, the chances of obtaining a sheet are slim, as auction data wasn’t extensively recorded before that.  

Picture Japan’s auction landscape as a network of different systems. Each auction house uses its symbols on the sheet, with subtle variations in grading quality, adding a layer of complexity. That’s why we’re here to break down the standard details and help you confidently select your JDM!  

A Closer Look at JDM Auction Sheets

The auction sheet steals the spotlight when you’re searching for used cars from Japan. Understanding the basics is straightforward, mostly consisting of numbers and codes. Plus, most options, performance modifications, and brand names are written in English. However, there’s a hurdle when it comes to the comments—they’re all handwritten in Japanese with numerous abbreviations, creating a bit of a challenge even for locals. Whether you have inquiries about your auction sheets or simply need help finding your dream JDM, you can reach out to us for guidance!  

Now, let’s zoom into some of the important details on an auction sheet:  

  • Vehicle’s first registration date in Japan  
  • Accident history  
  • Repairs (repainting/respraying)  
  • Dents and scratches, rated according to severity  
  • Corrosion and rust issues 
  • Interior condition (including wear level, scratches, stains, cigarette burns)  
  • Engine noise, oil leaks, transmission problems 
  • Condition of the windshield, headlight, and tail lamps

Understanding JDM Auction Sheet Grading

Each car gets graded for both its interior and exterior, and there’s an overall grade that reflects the car’s overall condition. Check out the table below to decode what each total grade signifies: 

S / 6 

The car’s a fresh face, less than a year old, and both inside and out are top-notch, typically under 10,000 km. 


Similar to S, excellent overall, just with tiny flaws that need minimal fixing. 


Possesses minor imperfections in both the exterior and interior, and it secures a very high grade overall. 


Above average, might have small scratches or dents, and occasional interior imperfections. 


An average grade, signalling the need for some maintenance and minor repairs. 


An exterior with noticeable scratches, dents, and repair marks requiring bodywork. The interior often bears cigarette burn marks, stains, and wear. 


Designated for vehicles with large corrosion holes, indicating a significant setback in condition. 

*** / 0 / 99 

This implies either a lack of inspection, a history of major unrepaired accidents, or the vehicle is non-operational. 


A repaired vehicle with a documented accident history. 


Indicates a minor accident with satisfactory repairs. 


Interior grading  

A: Immaculate interior, it could pass for brand new.  
B: Interior in good condition and neat.   
C: Clean interior with only minimal stains.   
D: Interior shows signs of wear—dirty, torn fabric, and potential odors.  
E: Interior in dismal condition—worn-out fabric, unpleasant smells, missing parts, and overall deterioration.  

Exterior grading

A: Scratches present on the bodywork  
B: Bodywork exhibits both dents and scratches  
C: Corrosion detected on the bodywork  
E: Dimple(s) noted in the paint  
G: Stone chips and minor surface cracks observed on windshields  
H: Paint dissolution or fading identified  
S: Indicates rust on some parts  
P: Attention required for paintwork  
U: Dents evident on the bodywork  
W: Visible repair marks identified  
X: A body part(s) requires replacement  
Y: Signifies bodywork with holes or cracks, sometimes both  
XX: Points to a body panel that underwent damage in the past and has already been replaced  

Abbreviations on JDM Auction Sheets

Abbreviations on the auction sheet unveil the car’s features, drivetrain components, and optional extras. Refer to the table below for a quick rundown.


Leather sets 




Power windows 


Power steering 








OEM alloy wheels 


Air conditioning 


Air conditioner with climate control. Most are dual zone.  


Column Automatic Transmission 


Standard Automatic Transmission 


5-speed Manual Transmission 


6-speed Manual Transmission 

Can Auction Sheets Tell All?  

Japanese car auction sheets are a valuable tool when looking for high-quality, pre-owned vehicles, but they don’t tell the whole story. Auction sheet grades can be a bit ambiguous, so it’s crucial to dive into specific notes on the vehicle, especially for hidden issues like rust. Despite being a significant factor, rust doesn’t get much attention in the overall grade. Sure, it might pop up in the comments, but the devil’s in the details, and that’s where Jap Division shines.  

We cut through the complexity of auction sheets and streamline your buying journey by providing clear insights into your car’s condition and market value. This way, you have a clear understanding of the type of car you’re acquiring, reducing the risk of falling victim to scams.   

Ready to roll with confidence? Reach out, and let’s find your perfect ride! 


A Quick Handbook to Understanding Japanese Auction Sheets