Why used cars in Japan look just like New
In Japan not everyone drives a car. This is because driving can be expensive. Petrol is more expensive than in any country so just starting up your car will cost you more. On top of that there are very expensive toll roads that connect cities or parts of cities.
Probably the most overlooked is the cost of parking. You are not even allowed to own a car unless you rent a parking space. This can cost anywhere from 10000 – 25000 yen per month (£60-£150). Next is insurance which is not really that expensive (5000 yen per month). And last is the Shakken inspection. This is a vehicle inspection to make sure your vehicle is road worthy. By law anything that is wrong with your vehicle must be replaced or fixed every two years before it is inspected.
Driving can be inconvenient
In Japan there are commuter trains and busses. The trains come every 3 – 6 minutes in the peak times and can transport you much faster than a car can. The vast majority of businesses in Japan are within a 10 minute walk from the train stations. Because people can get to work faster and cheaper by train and bus, there is no need to take a car.
Older cars are more expensive
Most people in Japan who own old cars do it because they love thire car, not because it is cheaper to run. Vehicles older than 13 years old have to pay extra. One of the first things a British motorist might notice about Japan is that the cars here all seem so shiny and new, without smashed headlights, dents, rust or even dirt.
The reason is only partly that Japanese fastidiousness extends to the maintenance of cars. Rather, experts say, there really are relatively few old cars in Japan, because of an automobile inspection system that is so onerous and expensive that many people prefer to trade in a perfectly good three- or five-year-old car rather than spend hundreds or even thousands of pounds for the inspection.
Inspections are required when a car turns 3 years old, then every 2 years until the car turns 11, then every year. The inspections, which cover more than 100 items from brake function to headlight orientation, are done by a Government test center or by an authorized service station.
The UK also requires an inspection (MOT), but Japan also requires car owners to have certain items checked or serviced every 6 months, 12 months or 24 months.
Another big difference is that Japan’s Government asks the owner to have the car repaired before it is inspected, so that it will pass. Faced with this requirement, most owners give their car to the dealer or a service station to prepare it for inspection.
Only 1 in 2,000 car accidents in Japan are caused by mechanical failure, compared with between 1 in 200 and 1 in 20 in the United States and Europe.
Japanese people are so proud of their country they want it to look good for visitors. also, if you take a walk through the streets in japan (any city) early in the mornings, you’ll see teams sweeping, washing, mopping the sidewalks, collecting litter (even fallen leaves are picked up) and maintaining the streets (click here for further information). People just don’t litter in Japan either.
Japanese car owners tend to be meticulous about maintenance, however they rarely have the service books stamped due to being given a full inspection sheet instead. these don’t always get passed on with the car much the same way that we don’t always keep old MOT’s. So finding a car with full service history is quite rare in Japan, however to keep the car on the road it has to be regularly maintained so that is passes its Shakken. Mileage can always be confirmed on Japanese car and BIMTA in the UK have access to this information and can always confirm the mileage on any imported car from Japan