More than 30,000 Japanese imports are brought into the UK every year - but until now, buyers have had to check for themselves if the car was stolen, has had its mileage tampered with, or has outstanding finance owed on it.
Now a certificate of authenticity has been introduced by the British Independent Motor Trade Association (BIMTA) and the Automobile Association (AA) of New Zealand.
The partnership means BIMTA can provide background checks on Japanese imports, with the AA (NZ) guaranteeing it will buy the car back at its market value if problems arise in the future.
BIMTA General Secretary Richard Moore said: 'Because we have access to data on these vehicles before they leave Japan, we are able to offer the equivalent of HPI background checks.'
BIMTA estimates that cars with full certificates could be worth up to 20% more when they are resold.
Certificates of Authenticity cost 60 plus VAT, or buyers can apply for a Mileage Verification Certificate for 26 plus VAT.
Checks can be ordered online at www.bimta.org.