Potential buyers of the Japanese-market Nissan Skyline should consider the potential high cost of purchasing and maintaining these vehicles, as well as the inconvenience of the car's left-hand drive configuration. In addition, most models of the Skyline are subject to federal regulations that make ownership difficult or impossible.
The high-performance Nissan Skyline R32, R33 and R34 were never sold in the United States, though some of the lower-performance Skyline models were sold as Infiniti models. These models lacked the signature performance modifications of the R vehicles, so most people looking to acquire a Skyline are in the market for these versions of the vehicle. Most buyers attempt to acquire a Skyline through import from Japan or one of the other countries where the Skyline was sold. Unfortunately, most of these Skylines are not considered legal vehicles for use on public roads and are often seized during the import process.
There are some exceptions to the regulations that ban Nissan Skylines from public roads. Models excepted from these regulations include Skylines that are 25 years old or older and certain models of the R33 generation produced between 1996 and 1998. R33 vehicles must be modified to comply with Federal crash protection standards, adding considerable expense to the import process. While it is possible to find a domestic owner selling a street-legal Nissan Skyline, the relative rarity of the vehicle makes this an expensive proposition as well.