In summary, the Nissan Skyline GT-R is prohibited from being imported into the US since it does not adhere to the 1988 Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act. The Skyline was not designed with the necessary safety elements to abide by the applicable traffic safety regulations.
A vehicle is exempt from these rules once it reaches the age of 25, at which point it is allowed to be imported and used on American roads.
With California being likely the most noteworthy exception in terms of particular states where you would have difficulties importing due to tougher emissions control legislation, this means that vehicles like the R32 GTR (the original “Godzilla”) can be imported into the USA.
By 2024, you should be able to start importing the R34 GTR. The oldest versions of the R33 GTR are also starting to become legal for import and compliance (provided there are no additional changes to legislation by then, or further tightening of emissions and environmental rules which is always a risk in the current climate).
To be on the safe side, there are no laws that prevent you from importing a Nissan Skyline as a “show piece” that isn’t allowed to be driven on the road but instead sits in your garage. However, we have heard stories of people looking to buy and store Nissan Skylines with a view to registering and complying them once they turn 25 years old in the hopes of increasing value. While it is likely not a bad idea, there is always a chance that the government could modify import regulations, leaving you with a depreciating burden rather than an asset that depreciates over time. Although it’s unlikely, it’s nevertheless important to remark.
We would be interested in hearing from you if you are aware of any other legitimate ways to buy a Skyline GTR in the United States. Please comment down below!
Examining the Automotive Gray Market in More Detail
Nissan did not create their Skylines with the US market in mind. The creator of the Skylines, Naganori Ito, was imitating his instructor Shinichiro Sakurai. His task was to design a vehicle that would compete favorably with Porsche in the Japan Grand Prix.
The Skylines’ literal father was this Nissan 2000 GT. It was therefore predicted that when the 2000 GT showed its teeth at the track, everybody would be looking at the 2000 GT’s offspring.
Everyone wanted one after seeing how well it worked. The gray market became relevant at this point.
The gray market first gained popularity during World War II when soldiers fell in love with European automobiles and discovered that importing and maintaining the vehicles to meet US regulations was less expensive than purchasing the automobiles in the US.
People were able to import automobiles from the 1960s to the 1980s as long as they complied with US safety regulations. Gray market importers initially performed a fantastic job of importing cars and modifying them to meet the necessary American standards.
While the majority of gray market importers were legitimate, some discovered legal loopholes and began casually breaking the rules. At that time, illicit exotic vehicles, including the Skyline, were all over the streets.
In spite of the fact that they complied with US safety and pollution regulations, this is what encouraged automakers to pressure Congress into passing the legislation that forbade the import of automobiles from the gray market.
In short, the Skyline became unlawful since it didn’t adhere to the safety standards and laws that the Motor Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of 1988 established.
It’s interesting to note that the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) gave amnesty for imported vehicles older than 25 years after the statute was passed. This means that the R32 and R33 Skylines can be lawfully imported, but not the R34 until 2024.
Can I bring the Nissan Skyline into the US legally?
First things first, we want to set the record straight and say that several Skyline models offered in the US, mostly under the ‘Infiniti’ brand, are in a whole different league.
You’ve probably heard the untrue allegations that the later-model Nissan Skyline R33 and R34 GT-Rs are currently prohibited from entering the US.
The most frequently cited responses include “Because they’re right-hand drive” and “Because they’re moving so quickly the Police can’t catch them.”
If a vaping Honda owner offers either defense at the neighborhood meet, politely leave the room and give them the link to this article.
First off, the R32’s legalization in the US demonstrates that right-hand drive vehicles are not prohibited there.
Even the US Postal Service has frequently used RHD vehicles, despite the fact that they are by no means ubiquitous, mostly for the ease of access to the curb.
The US import restrictions are completely to blame for the Nissan Skyline’s unlawful importation for usage on public roads for two very straightforward reasons.
Why is the Skyline GTR prohibited in America?
One of Nissan’s masterpieces is the Skyline GT-R. We shouldn’t be shocked that it has developed a cult following all over the world given its unparalleled power, handling, and design. The Skyline GT-R is regarded as one of the all-time greatest drifting vehicles and has won numerous awards.
Unfortunately, the Skyline GT-R cannot be fully appreciated in the American market. For the following reasons, the car is not certified for sale in the US:
- It’s a luxury car on the gray market with features that violate US safety and emissions regulations.
- All of the vehicles are right-hand drive. None are made to US standards.
- Although Skyline GT-R spare parts are unavailable in the US, you might look into the brand-new NISMO Heritage Parts program. As of December 1, 2017, some new GT-R parts are being marketed in Japan.
- It is faster than US police cars due to its speed.
Having said that, bringing a Skyline GT-R into the US is not absolutely difficult. (See the poster we created to celebrate the GT-R.)
Is it acceptable to drive skylines in the US?
Yes, due to their poor safety measures, Nissan Skylines are prohibited in the US. The Skyline is prohibited from being imported or driven because it does not abide by the 1988 Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act.
The Skyline isn’t sold in the US since Nissan hasn’t tried to make it compliant with US safety rules. You must travel to Nissan’s native Japan if you wish to operate a Skyline.
Why not learn how to lower your auto insurance costs while you’re studying about the Skyline? Finding the best pricing for the coverage you require is quick and simple with the Jerraay app. To find out more, download the app and register for a free account.
R34 Skylines: Are they allowed in the US?
There is a widespread misperception that R34 GT-Rs are prohibited in the United States. That’s accurate for the most part, although there are some outliers. Federal legislation states that these vehicles cannot be imported until they are 25 years old, and this restriction includes the month of manufacturing.
Are Nissan Skylines uncommon?
The Z-tune, R400, and, of course, Brian O’Conner’s electric blue R34 from 2 Fast 2 Furious are a few particularly uncommon Nissan Skylines. But there is only one Godzilla that is genuinely as uncommon as a unicorn: the magnificent R33 LM.
The silhouette of this squat, wide-arched R33 may be recognizable to Gran Turismo players from the opening movie of the first game. Since then, every episode of the racing franchise has featured a similar vehicle. But unlike the fantasy realm of pixels where several copies can coexist, there is only one hard copy in existence.
It is kept at Nissan’s magnificent Zama DNA garage. A carefully crafted toy box stuffed to the gills with the Japanese manufacturer’s back catalog. We also met the LM there for a brief one-on-one conversation.
We begged and begged to be allowed to drive it, but that was not possible. Even Carlos Ghosn, the biggest of all Nissan bigwigs and chairman, president, and CEO, has never been permitted to operate a vehicle.
Even still, we continued to plead, threaten, and even consider stealing it in order to experience driving without a PlayStation controller.
Which states permit skylines?
You can use this page to click on a specific area of this text, or scroll down to read about how to import a Nissan Skyline into the US in its entirety.
Numerous Skyline guides have already been released, and we’ve seen that there is a lot of misunderstanding regarding their present legal standing in America.
Our supporters have constantly questioned us about the situation, seeking the truth and explanation.
We’ve chosen to produce a comprehensive guide explaining all the fascinating details and responding to the all-too-common query, “Why are Nissan Skylines illegal in the US?” as a result.
Since the F&F brand surely contributed to the Skyline’s rise to become a cult icon in the US, we first brought up the matter and provided some clarity in our Paul Walker Skyline article.
The Fast and the Furious star was without a doubt one of the biggest R34 GT-R aficionados in the US and was also fortunate to have owned and driven several of them in Japan, including the illustrious Mine’s R34 GT-R.
But what if you don’t want to travel to Japan to satisfy your Godzilla craving? What’s holding you back from bringing your own in and becoming a renowned figure in your community on the track or in the streets?
We have some happy news for you! Any vehicle older than 25 years can avoid the absurd US legal system.
This implies that, except for California, where there are some additional obstacles, it is totally legal to import and own a Nissan Skyline R31 or R32 GT-R in the US at the moment.
You can also lawfully import any Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R that was registered before 1995 as of the time this page went online.
However, you’ll have to wait a bit longer if you want to import a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R, as we’ll discuss in more detail below.
What makes skylines so pricey?
To sum up, there are numerous important causes for the skyrocketing cost of Skyline:
- When they were first purchased, the cars were not especially affordable (read our guides here to the R33 GT-R cost new and the R34 GT-R cost new for more information).
- Because the Skyline “fleet” is getting older, demand is declining.
- Across the board, classic car prices are growing.
- Global liquidity excess has caused asset prices to surge.
- Skylines are quickly gaining the ability to be driven on American roads, increasing their appeal to one of the world’s major markets. For additional details on this subject, be sure to read Why Nissan Skylines Are Illegal in the United States.
As a result, if you want a Skyline, you’d better be ready to spend a lot of money! Due to how sought-after these cars are, it is doubtful that Skyline prices will decline significantly regardless of whether the vintage car bubble persists or bursts.
Because of this, if you’re thinking about purchasing a Skyline, it’s imperative that you acquire a decent one. For more information on how to purchase a top-notch Skyline without getting scammed, read our buyer’s tips.
A GTR is it a Skyline?
Simply said, the GTR and Skyline are from separate automobile segments. Nissan’s Pre-R35 cars are referred to as Skyline. Despite the fact that both the Skyline and R35 models use the GTR suffix, the Nissan R35 GT-R is a member of a distinct series than the Skyline GTR. Additionally, they are very dissimilar in terms of configuration. The primary distinctions between GTR and Skyline are shown below.