Understanding Grade Sheets

A comprehensive guide to deciphering Auction Grade Sheets

What are Grade Sheets?

The overall auction grade is the auction inspector's assessment of the overall quality of the car. You can usually find it written in the top right corner of most auction inspection reports.

However, there are three things that need to be emphasized about overall auction grades:

  • They are subjective with different inspectors and different auctions more or less strict.
  • The details the inspector writes about the car are much more important.
  • They are broad categories covering a range of levels of quality.

In summary, a grade 3.5 at one auction may not be as good as a grade 3.5 at another auction, but may be better than the same grade at a third auction. So anyone who tells you they have a great grade 4 you should bid on is not giving you the whole story.


But I can't read Kanji?

Understanding Kanji would certainly be a huge advantage! However, by reading this guide you should have a far better understanding of auction grade sheets.

Much of the information is in english. Other vital information is "hidden in plain sight" (such as item 2, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14) which can drastically effect the price at auction or be the deciding factor on whether to bid or not.


Mark Description
PS Power steering
PW Power windows
ABS Anti-lock braking system
エアB Air Bags
AW Alloy wheels
SR Sunroof
ナビ Navigation
TV Television system. This can also be a rear screen.
本革/カワ Genuine leather
Mark Description
A Scratch.
AU/UA/B Scratch with dent.
C Corrosion.
E Paint dimples.
G Stone chip in glass.
H Paint fade.
P Paint defect. Also includes sun lacquer damage.
S Surface rust. Not to be confused with Corrosion (C).
U Dent.
W Repair mark/wave.
X Damaged panel/glass.
XX Previously damaged panel that has been replaced in the past. Usually found on Grade R/RA vehicles.
Y Hole or crack in body work. Common on aftermarket bumpers.
Grade Description
* Ungraded. Vehicle is offered "as is". Inspection is vital.
*** Ungraded. Vehicle is offered "as is". Inspection is vital.
- Ungraded. Vehicle is offered "as is". Inspection is vital.
0 Usually a heavily modified vehicle which has had a different engine or transmission fitted, or which has an aftermarket turbo charger. Cars that are illegal for use on the road in Japan can also be listed as Grade R. Other possibilities are flood or fire extinguisher damage. It can also mean vehicles that have had some degree of accident repairs. At one end of the spectrum the repairs will be a single panel replaced due a minor parking ding (XX on the map), whereas at the other extreme is a vehicle that has had multiple panels replaced. Key to understanding Grade R cars is to read the notes and map.
1 Extensive engine problems or bodywork damage. May also have flood or fire extinguisher damage. Sometimes used to denote extensive modifications or transmission swaps.
1K Extensive engine problems or bodywork damage. May also have flood or fire extinguisher damage. Sometimes used to denote extensive modifications or transmission swaps.
2 A very rough vehicle usually with corrosion holes/damage or serious mechanical issues.
3 Either a very high mileage vehicle or one which is in below average condition. Usually multiple body defects, rust and/or mechanical issues.
3.5 A higher mileage vehicle or one which will need some minor work to present in good condition.
4 A good, solid vehicle usually having less than 130,000 km on the clock with some minor defects.
4.5 A vehicle in excellent condition, but with up to a few tens of thousands of kilometers on the clock.
5 A vehicle in superb condition, very close to brand new standard, but with several thousand kilometers on the odometer.
6 This grade can sometimes be equivalent to the grades above, but sometimes will have a little more than just delivery mileage.
7 These refer to a brand new car with only delivery mileage.
8 These refer to a brand new car with only delivery mileage.
9 These refer to a brand new car with only delivery mileage.
B Accident grade reserved for heavy good vehicles.
R Vehicles that have had some degree of accident repairs. At one end of the spectrum the repairs will be a single panel replaced due a minor parking ding (XX on the map), whereas at the other extreme is a vehicle that has had multiple panels replaced. Key to understanding Grade R cars is to read the notes and map. Other possibilities are flood or fire extinguisher damage or a heavily modified vehicle which has had a different engine or transmission fitted, or which has an aftermarket turbo charger. Cars that are illegal for use on the road in Japan can also be listed as Grade R.
R1 This grade means vehicles that have had some degree of minor accident repair. Usually where the airbag was not deployed. Key to understanding this grade is to read the notes and map.
R2 This grade means vehicles that have had some degree of major accident repair. Key to understanding this grade is to read the notes and map.
R? Usually a heavily modified vehicle which has had a different engine or transmission fitted, or which has an aftermarket turbo charger. Cars that are illegal for use on the road in Japan can also be listed as Grade R. Other possibilities are flood or fire extinguisher damage. It can also mean vehicles that have had some degree of accident repairs. At one end of the spectrum the repairs will be a single panel replaced due a minor parking ding (XX on the map), whereas at the other extreme is a vehicle that has had multiple panels replaced. Key to understanding Grade R cars is to read the notes and map.
RA This grade means vehicles that have had some degree of minor accident repair. Usually where the airbag was not deployed. Key to understanding this grade is to read the notes and map.
RB This grade means vehicles that have had some degree of major accident repair. Key to understanding this grade is to read the notes and map.
RC This grade means vehicles that have had some degree of serious accident repair. Key to understanding this grade is to read the notes and map.
Recycle Ungraded. Vehicle is offered "as is". Inspection is vital.
S These refer to a brand new car with only delivery mileage.
W Accident grade reserved for heavy good vehicles.
WR Accident grade reserved for heavy good vehicles.
X Ungraded. Vehicle is offered "as is". Inspection is vital.
99 Ungraded. Vehicle is offered "as is". Inspection is vital.
XX Ungraded. Vehicle is offered "as is". Inspection is vital.
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