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Japan With Kids - Forums: Shopping in Japan: Cars
By Adrian Sandford on Wednesday, August 23, 2000 - 4:24 pm:

Does anyone have any information on buying a car in Japan. What do I need (apart from a car) to do/get before I legally drive the car. I know I need a car parking space, and the car must have a shaken. What does this cover?, how much will it cost? where can I get one? What else do I need to do? What about insurance.
If anyone has figured all this out I would be grateful if you could let me know.


By Scott Hancock on Thursday, August 24, 2000 - 7:33 pm:

In Tokyo, you do need to have a registered parking place to register the car. There is a separate procedure for registering the parking place, after which you include that certificate with your application to register the car. Parking place reg is done at your closest police station (not box).

Shakken refers to both the registration of the vehicle and the attendant inspection. A brand new car's shakken is good for 3 years. At that point there is an inspection and registration procedure. It's every 2 years until the car is ten years old and then every year.

In the 'old' days, there was this big mystique about the shakken and almost everyone paid crazy money to have it done at dealers. Dealers usually charge 150,000-300,000 depending on the weight of the car. (Part of the inspection fee is some kind of road tax which is based on weight of the car.) Nowadays, thought most gas stations do it for much less. Maybe under 100,000 with the tax.

I would enter a caveat that I had one done at a gas station recently and I don't think they knew the car as well as the dealer. They missed some things that I hope the dealer would have caught.

Basic 3rd party liability insurance is compulsory. It is about 37,000/year. Like anywhere else, if you have a loan on the car, you need damage insurance on the car itself, too. I deal with an AIU insurance agent in English which is handy.

I notice there are a few used car dealers being run by gaijin advertised in the Tokyo Classified. These are probably worth looking at as they do all this paperwork, etc. It is definitely a hassle.

So, I think the basic sequence is:
1. Agree on a price and pay someone for their car. They give you a paper that says they sold the car to you for X amount.
2. You obtain from the owner of your parking space a special form filled out "permission to use parking place" (of course in Japanese with red stamps). With this you have to make a diagram of the space with dimensions and a rough map of where it is. (I think it has to be within 2km of where the car is registered.)
3. You take your receipt, old shakken, and parking place documents to the police station and pay a small fee. They give you some papers back, along with a round sticker for the car.
4. You take all those papers and the receipt and the old shakken and your insurance reciept to the vehicle registration place and get in one of the dozens of lines and file the papers.

I think that's about how it goes. It is a huge hassle all in written and spoken Japanese, so to do it yourself, you need some support if you don't read & write. Hence, my comment about the gaijin used car dealers.

DISCLAIMER: Above is best of my knowledge and probably has some gaps or slight errors. But, gives you the basic picture.

Scott Hancock

By Andy Arguelles on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 11:44 am:

Hi! I would like to ask for some advice on buying a car in Japan.

1. Let's say you already bought the car from a dealer. What are the requirements (documents) to have the car under your name?

2. What are the other things you have to do when you have bought the car? Do you need to register with your local ward / police?

3. Can anybody suggest which type of driver's license to use - international license or your local license converted to a Japanese driver's license?

4. I've learned that for owning a car, you have to be prepared to pay for shaken, insurance, annual tax, parking fee. Are there any other expenses besides these?

5. Can you suggest some links that would be helpful?

Thank you in advance for your comments / suggestions!

By Scott Hancock on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 12:28 pm:

1. If you bought a car from a dealer, they should have completed the registration for you. It MIGHT be that they are required to...
2. If you live in Tokyo, you have to get the sticker that shows you have a parking place. The order of filing the forms is complicated (to me), so it's more reason to have a dealer complete it all. There are multipld trips to both motor vehicle place and police station (for parking place registration)
3. I would think it would be difficult to obtain insurance in your own name without a proper Japanese license. But, then who knows, it's a land of exceptions. Everyone will tell you the int'l one has the advantage that most police will not want to deal with it. Usually, true, but.... Depends on personal preference for doing things on the edge vs "properly".

Also, as for "converting" a license from another country, the process is different depending on whether you're from a left-hand driving country. If your home license is from a country that drives on the same side as Japan and has the proper treaties, etc. (UK, Austrlia, NZ, etc.) then yes, I think you can just "convert" it by bringing a translation of your license from your embassy. I'm not sure if there's a written test - maybe.

However, if you are from the U.S. or other opposite side place, you have to take the written and driving test.

4. I think you have covered the basics on costs.

5. I have written some other replies on driving here in other discussions. Not sure how to point you there, but cruise the general discussions. If you have any specific questions, post again.

By Admin on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 12:44 pm:

There is a page on getting a driver's licence in Japan at:

By Nathalie on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 1:38 pm:

For Andy :
1- When we bought our car, the dealer took care of the registration - for a fee. As we wanted to limit the cost, I took care of the parking space paperwork. It was not that difficult, and the dealer was asking for quite a lot to do that. If I remember well, we got a form to fill from the dealer (not difficult, basically your name and address). I had to bring the form to the police office near my home, paid something like 1000 or 2000 yens, went back a few days later to pick it up and sent it back to the dealer.
3 - I don't know if it's the case for other countries, but the international driver's licence issued in France is not valid in Japan. If French people come to Japan for less than one year, they have to get a Japanese translation of their French driver's licence from the embassy. For more than 1 year stays, they have to go to Samezu near Shinagawa with the translation (for Tokyo residents), get their eyesight checked and fill a few forms, and they receive a Japanese driver's licence.

By Andy Arguelles on Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 2:26 pm:

Thanks for your replies/suggestions Scott & Nathalie. I'll discuss with the dealer the registration procedure.

By the way, a Japanese colleague of mine helped me inquire about having an international license vs. a converted Japanese license. According to him, having an international license is fine. But, it is only valid for a year and you need to renew it in your home country to be able to use it the following year. So, if you do not have the chance to go back to your home country every year, it would be best to have your driver's license converted to a Japanese one.

I guess the only concern left for me is getting a car insurance. Scott, can you give me a phone number so that I can contact the insurance company (AIU) you deal with? Do you think they add a premium to their fees against the "local" insurance companies because they have an agent who can speak in English?

Thanks again!

By Nathalie on Thursday, May 9, 2002 - 7:37 pm:

If you know a little bit of Japanese, get the huge magazine called 'Car Sensor'. I think it's bimonthly. It lists all the second hand cars for sale in the Tokyo area. You have indexes by prices, areas, type of cars...
Unfortunately, most dealers are in the suburbs, and not always easy to reach by train. Some dealers are willing to pick you up from the nearest train station though. When we bought our car, we selected a few dealers from the same area who had cars in our price range, went to see them with a friend who had a car, and bought the car in a day. There was some paperwork to do, so we had to come back to pick the car. This time, the dealer met us at the
train station.
You should get the magazine, in any case it will give you ideas of the market prices.

By Saeed Akhtar on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 12:06 pm:

Hello, if you want to buy a second hand car in Japan please contact me. I am doing car business and car consulting. Guarantee of quality and competitive price, I bought the car from authorized car auction in Japan. You can tell me your budget too, and I'll find a perfect match for you. I will help you with all required papers too.
Contact me at aa67090[at]

By Owen Self on Monday, July 1, 2002 - 7:32 pm:


Does anyone know if there are any "classifieds" on the web for 2nd hand cars? I've found a couple of Auction agents but I get the feeling that they are charging a premium for offering an English-speaking service. Japanese web sites are fine.

By Karen on Monday, July 1, 2002 - 8:58 pm:

Here's a great link to information on buying a car in Japan. It's a must read:

Here's info on used car auctions:

Lastly, here's an interesting article about the Japanese market:

You could also check the Tokyo Classifieds for 2nd-hand car:

Hope this helps,


By Cornelia on Wednesday, July 3, 2002 - 11:57 am:

One of Karen's links above leads to another link for insurance:

This is an important link so I thought I'd repeat it here. The paragraph which I want to point out to all current and future drivers in Japan:

"Japan is strictly a COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE area, meaning negligence is assigned on a comparative basis regardless of which party is directly responsible for the accident. Therefore, Japanese authorities or the police could and would assign a certain percentage of the negligence to your side by reason of your 'not paying most thorough attention to the traffic.' This means in all cases you have to pay a certain amount when involved it an accident."

Just by getting in your car and taking it out on the road, you are assumed to have some percentage of responsibility in any accident.

This means that if you have a Y200,000 car and are hit by a Mercedes, you will be responsible for a portion of your car's damages and also a portion of the damages to the other much more expensive car, not to mention any injuries to passengers. This percentage is negotiated between the two insurance companies (yours and theirs). It can be as low as 10% and as high as 30% even if the accident was clearly not your fault from the viewpoint currently held in your country of origin !

So if you are thinking of paying the minimum insurance coverage mandated by law for your old beater, think again. That same insurance coverage may force you to pay some portion of repairs out of your own pocket for all cars involved, not just yours.

By Gaijinmom on Saturday, December 7, 2002 - 11:11 am:

Has anyone tried ordering a car here with U.S. specifications (environmental, left steering wheel, etc) so that it can be shipped back and used in the States? Are there cost advantages in doing this versus buying a Japanese car in the States (due to possible savings in shipping if your company pays for shipping a car back)?

By Liat Friedman on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 - 11:07 pm:

Hi all,

We just bought a 1995 Honda Odyssey from a car dealer, and hopefully we'll get it by next week.

After reading Scott Hancock's and Cornelia's messages on car insurances (thank you - the info was really useful!), I have three more questions:

1. The dealer asked for 200,000 Yen in order to get the insurance done for us. Although Mr. Hancock's message was written in 2000, I still can't figure out the vast difference between the 37,000 yen mentioned here and the 200000 the dealer is asking for. Any suggestions (besides "He's rippin' you off"?)

2. Any recommendations as for the policy, i.e. what is the best cover that will help me in case of an accident and does anyone have a rough estimate of the present cost of such a policy?

3. The Car's Shaken will expire in June this year. Once we renew it, would it be for one year or two (as the car turns 10 next year).

Many thanks in advance,

Liat Friedman

By Natalia R. on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 - 11:33 pm:

>>1. The dealer asked for 200,000 Yen in order to get the insurance done for us. Any suggestions

Get price quotes from about three dealers, and then decide for yourself. The amount you would pay depends on many factors including your age and the number of accidents you have had.

>>2. Any recommendations as for the policy, estimates

My current insurance is 68,880 yen per year. 4WD Mitsubishi Pajero 5 door. I have had one car crash which was my fault. It doesn't cover fixing my car, but it covers 3rd party. Again, get info from about 3 dealers and decide.

>>3. The Car's Shaken will expire in June this year. Once we renew it, would it be for one year or two

It depends on the car plate number. I had a Mitsubishi Pajero which had 4 number plate (don't even ask me what it means as I don't know). It was seen as a cargo vehicle, and had 1 year shaken (cheap). My next Pajero was the same type of car, but for some reason it had 2 year shaken, and was registered as a passenger car. So shaken depends on the type of your car, if you take your shakensho certificate to the place where you get shaken, they will tell you how long it lasts after renewal.

I do my own shaken. It is not that difficult. Good experience too, and saves about 20,000 yen.

Good luck!

Natalia Roschina
For ALL Co., Ltd.
Hokkaido, Japan

By Liat Friedman on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 4:41 pm:

Thanks Natalia, you've been a great help!


By kelsey aguirre-cassagnol on Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 12:52 am:

I am interested in buying a car in japan. I have an idl and about $1000 i can put towards a car. I am totally confused about shaken and car insurance and basically want a dependable car for the minimum price that will last me a year or two. I don't know if it helps, but also have access to the military bases. Any advice is appreciated.

By Alex on Saturday, December 18, 2004 - 1:59 pm:

shaken is a compulsory vehicle safety record/check that must be taken every 3 years for cars less than 8 years(?) old. every 2 years for cars older than that. and every 1 year for old old cars.

it is also(i think) your registration of the car. (your papers)

a car must have a shaken if you want to drive it.

shakens are not cheap. minimum cost to have a car shaken checked is about 80,000 yen.

it usually includes road tax on the car as well (but don`t quote me on that.)

If you want to buy a car and have it for two years then buy a car with a shaken that has/or will be done when you get it.

You must also have a parking place for your car. To register the vehicle you must show where you will park it. you do this by getting some proof from your real estate agent. usually you will have to pay for parking. especially if you live in tokyo.

By kelsey aguirre-cassagnol on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 9:18 am:

I recently bought car off base and since I dont have sofa/command sponsor, i can't keep Y plate. I need to get a regular japanese plate but i don't know where or how i do this. any help?

By Scott Hancock on Thursday, March 31, 2005 - 11:35 am:

I haven't done it, but it must be that you have to do at the shkiken-jo, the motor vehicle office where they give the drivers' license test, etc. What area are you in? The one I know is in Samezu - south of Shinagawa a few km.

Or, maybe you've already solved this. If you did, please post what you learned for others with the same situation in the future.


By al tomic on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 11:44 pm:

Im leaving japan and have to get rid of my car.
how do I do this?
how much does it cost?
I live in Sendai.

By Jillann Grooms on Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 9:38 pm:

We've been living in Tokyo for about a month and think we're ready to take the plunge to by a 7-seater van. Any advice out there or past good or bad experiences on how to go about this. We have been looking at a car company that works with ex-pats and it seems easier than doing the legwork yourself, but much more expensive. We don't speak Japanese, yet, but could get help if someone knows of a van for sale by non-English speaking people. Thanks in advance!!

By Scotth on Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 10:39 pm:

I'm curious how you found the company much more expensive. Did you compare prices with Japanese advertising for used cars?

You need to not only speak, but write Japanese to register the car for yourself if you buy one from an individual. Do-able if you have a Japanese person who will go through it for you. But, if you've only been here a month, it seems unlikely to have a relationship you could impose that on.

Please let us know how you do with this. Sorry I can't offer any direct experience. I usually advise new ex-pats to go with those companies. But, budget is budget.


By Anne Bergasse on Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 10:54 pm:

Purchasing a car in Japan is very much the same as purchasing a car at home. You go to the dealer, take a test drive, negotiate for the features and agree on the sale. They take care of pretty much all of the paper work and arrange financing if you need it. Having a Japanese friend along to translate the goings on would certainly help if you don't speak the language when actually purchasing, but you don't need Japanese language skills to go and look and compare pricing.
The internet is a great place for visiting the maker's English sites to check out models and even though I don't read Japanese, I've been able to figure out the features, etc, of various models on the Japanese sites.
Once you decide which model you want, you can contact the maker for a list of showroom locations etc.
Hope this helps. cheers, anne

By Scott Hancock on Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 11:46 pm:

Anne - Are you talking about buying from a used car lot? I think Jillann is looking for a used car...
Yes, new car is easy from a dealer. Wonder if anyone has dealt with used car lot?

By Joe Larsen on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 6:13 am:

I have purchased somewhere between ten and fifteen used cars during my 24 years in Japan, all except two from individuals.

I look for ten year old cars with at least a year's remaining shaken and rarely pay more than Y10,000 for them. I also have to pay the annual tax on them, around Y35,000, too, but sometimes that isn't due for a half year or more.

I mostly buy them from Japanese who are buying new cars. New car dealers offer very little for trade-in of used cars even if they are in excellent shape (which they usually are) and in the case of older cars e.g., 10 year olds, will actually charge for taking the car.

Of course, going this route does entail changing the registration over yourself as Scotth mentioned above. That process is a bit of a pain as it involves going to the police station to register your plates and to the "Rikuunkyoku" to get the meigi-nin name changed and maybe new plates.

I just googled "car registration procedure Japan" and found the following great site which not only explains the whole procedure in great detail, but gives you a chance to learn great new words such as "Conglutinations."

That page will either show you the way or talk you out of if.

By Joe Larsen on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 05:20 am:
My last posting should have read 'involves going to the police station to register your parking space' rather than 'register your plates.'

By Scott Hancock on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 8:05 am:

Great post, Joe! That site with the instructions is priceless! And your experience is really valuable to the people on this site. Well put!
Joe- By the way, can you let us know if you read/write Japanese?

By Jillann Grooms on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 9:12 am:

Thanks for all the valuable information on buying a car. I have not checked prices for comparison other than what I have seen posted on The American Club board and at National Azabu and Nissin grocerys on their boards. I am looking for a used van and the prices from private parties seem significantly lower than the car services for expats. I know you're paying for the service but I'm trying to figure out if buying a used car from a private party is so difficult, paper wise, that it just may not be worth the trouble. I appreciate Joe's link to the website to help decipher information about this. If anyone has a used van out there that they will be selling in the near future, please e-mail me: Thanks

By Anne Bergasse on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 11:32 am:

Used or new car dealers work pretty much
the same as far as the paper work and
financing go. The pricing will be more
variable with the used car lot dealers but if
you do some research on the net you can
get a feel for the price range that the car,
you are interested in, should sell for.

We have bought a few cars in Japan via
private sales, and with both new and used
car dealers. We are currently searching for
a car on the auction and have a company
working for us that has bilingual support.

If anyone is interested in going this route
please let me know and I will give you
their contact info. They also handle selling
your car on the auction if you have to get
rid of one fast.

Hope this helps.

By Anne Bergasse on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 12:02 pm:

Good post regarding private buys.

Another thing to keep in mind is the year that the model was created. The first skaken is for 3 years and then every 2 years after that. So if the car is 3,5,7, or 9 years old chances are it will have no shaken and be quite cheap.

Its usually better and less hassle, when buying a car privately, to have at least 1 year shaken, so look for cars that are 4,6,8, and 10 years old.

As posted previously, 10+ years old are often in excellent shape, with little mileage and most can be had almost free.

Hope this helps. Anne

By Scott Hancock on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 12:04 pm:

Jillann- Not to belabor the point, but just so you're 100% clear - the paperwork described on the how-to site has to be filed out in Japanese.

Curious why you are now using the intermediary company now, instead of from private sales as before? Would be interested to hear how it goes with the company route.

By Scott Hancock on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 12:16 pm:

And talking about shaken - don't anyone fall for the now, nearly-extinct practice of charging 100,000+ for shaken. This used to be (still is?) a way for dealers to either keep making money off their customers or bully them into buying a new car.

In fact, at the far end of the scale is doing one's own shaken. Similar to the self-registration, it involves Japanese paperwork AND being able to tidy up the car so it passes inspection. I have known gaijin to do it. Cost is less than 10,000 + the 40-60,000 road tax. Maybe there's a site about it....

In the middle are neighborhood gargages & gas stations which do shaken for maybe 20-30,000 plus road tax. But, buyer beware on those.

Some years ago, I did a gas station shaken on my 3-year old vehicle and they missed some items which would have been covered under warranty had I caved into the dealer shaken.

By Anne Bergasse on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 12:59 pm:

They are friends but I found out recently that their export service was advertised in some of the foreign media here, so they must be known. Someone posted a Honda CRV recently for sale. Left-hand steering. I forwarded the post to my friends but they had already been called by the person selling the car.

About the cheap shaken. Buyer beware.
1. You really have to know what you are doing, to do it yourself.
2. The cost is directly related to the size of the engine and the age of the car.
3. You will have no warranty if something goes wrong with your car.
The best practice is - shop around and look at the state of the shop that you take it too. Also ask for a full break down of the costs before committing.
Hope this helps. cheers, anne

By Scott Hancock on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 6:14 pm:

I fully agree with your caveats on the cheap shaken, Anne.

By Joe Larsen on Tuesday, August 30, 2005 - 1:05 pm:

Scott wrote:
> Some years ago, I did a gas station
> shaken on my 3-year old vehicle and
> they missed some items which would
> have been covered under warranty had
> I caved into the dealer shaken.


Could you expand on that a bit? Are you
saying that the items 'missed' on the
safety inspection later caused the warranty
to not cover those items? What sort of
things were they?

Is there some clause in the warranty that
requires inspections at the dealer or

Myself, since I drive 8-12 year old cars,
I'm not worrying about warranties. I've
been using the same guy for inspections
for over 10 years. He charges me Y8,000
and doesn't fix anything without talking
to with me first.

I think that's the most important thing to
get clear with whoever inspects your car.
Some places just go nuts fixing everything
and then smack you with a big bill. A good
example is brake pads. The standard for
dealers and their ilk seems to be that if
the pads aren't likely to last until the
_next_ inspection, then they should be
replaced for this inspection.


By Scott Hancock on Tuesday, August 30, 2005 - 1:28 pm:

At one time, I had a Land Rover Discovery. Got it from when it was brand new. By the time of the 3-year mark, when the first inspection was due, I had had so many problems with it, and spent so much at the dealer fixing crazy things (that weren't covered after the first year, I think), I was keen to avoid the expensive dealer-shaken.

So, I took it to my neighborhood gas station. A big chain one. Theirs was reasonable.

I had been having a mysterious gasoline smell, which shortly got worse. Finally, I noticed gasoline leaking on the ground. I took it to the dealer and they said the gas tank was leaking and needed to be replaced! It was only a few weeks past some anniversary (3 years?) that this particular thing would have been covered by. So, it cost 100-150,000. Not long after that, I got rid of the car.

Even though we won the first year in a door prize thing, it cost us huge in repairs.

SO- it seemed to me that the gas station's "safety inspection" was not too thorough if they didn't notice the gas tank leaking fuel.

Your points about how to handle the process are very good. Funny you should mention brake pads. I've been having the feeling that they aren't checking them enough!

By Anne Bergasse on Tuesday, August 30, 2005 - 1:43 pm:

"I've been using the same guy for inspections for over 10 years. He charges me Y8,000 and doesn't fix anything without talking to me first."

Is that 8,000 yen or 80,000 yen? What does this fee include? What do you pay, if anything, on top of that to actually get the shaken paper and the stickers for the car?
Thanks for your help. anne

By Joe Larsen on Tuesday, August 30, 2005 - 9:36 pm:

That's eight thousand. It's his fee for
running the car over to the inspection
station and arranging the insurance, etc. I
wish it was the whole fee! Maybe if he was
selling fake inspections stickers, but no
such luck. :-)

The rest of the charge is insurance and
tax. Those are what they are, depending
on the car.

The only other charge is for any necessary
repairs. If no repairs are needed, the total
bill is usually just around Y85,000 -
Y95,000 including his fee.

Gas stations in my area were charging
about 15,000 the last time I noticed.


By Joe Larsen on Tuesday, August 30, 2005 - 11:03 pm:


I wouldn't be inclined to place too much
blame, if any, on the gas station that
missed finding the gas tank leak. I think
it's highly unlikely that checking the tank
for leaks is on the list of things to check--
other than in a broad sense of looking for
'anything' that could be dangerous.

The inspection is essentially a 'brake and
light' inspection with a glance at the
muffler and tires. There is no reason to
expect the dealer to find it either, though
no doubt they guilt-tripped you by saying
they would have. (Did you mention the gas
smell to the gas station?)

Perhaps if the tank had been full that day
or maybe the temperture higher, either
one would have noticed it.

And consider this--suppose you had
taken it to the dealer for the shaken and
they didn't notice the leak. Then you'd
been out even more money!


By Scott Hancock on Wednesday, August 31, 2005 - 12:02 am:

You're very kind, Joe. Shows you've been here a long time. Cynicism all worn off. Thanks for reminding me to leave it.

(Though, yes I did mention it...:) )

Perhaps we should mention to everyone the unavoidables include the road tax AND the compulsory insurance, which was about 37,000 the last time I saw it.

Do you know the range on the road tax?

And should we point out to those looking to save as much as possible, that the "K" kars have even lower tax, right? The yellow plate, < 1500 cc is it?

By Saeed Akhtar on Thursday, September 1, 2005 - 11:47 am:

Jillan, Scott, Joe,

I followed your conversation and happy to inform you that I am in the used car sales business. I am buying cars from the place where all Japanese used car dealers buy. They put their profit atleast 200000 yen each car while I put 40000 yen You tell me your demand and budget and I can guide you what car to buy. You can see my buying price plus I will take 40000 yen including name transfer for ownership etc Price will include Price of the car plus 5% tax, plus 8000 yen auction fee, plus road tax and thats all. I am sure you all will like this and will recommend to your friends also.

Saeed akhtar

By Scott Hancock on Thursday, September 1, 2005 - 1:55 pm:

Saeed - Very interesting post! Sounds like an attractive service.

In the case of cars bought at auction, is there any way of providing guarantee? How does one know the car from auction doesn't have problems or has been in accident, etc.?

How does it work? One sends you the requirements for cost & some idea of make & model & features, then you find a candidate? Does the buyer get any choice or it's what you choose based on the requirements?

It will be helpful if you can fill in a bit more in this direction. I think you'll get a steady flow of interest.

By Sunshine on Thursday, September 1, 2005 - 2:16 pm:

hello friends,
There are huge auctions in Japan for used vehicles. each auctions have 5000 to 6000 used vehicle every day go for sale. we can get the membership from these auctions, quite expensive and hassle.
(my husband is a member too) we buy vehicles from the auctions according to buyers wish as u say accident vehicles also available but they have graded each and every vehicle so u can choose the best grade and the worst grade as well.
This service is done by lots of people and the service is very cheap my husband charge 25,000y, other taxes and everything paid by the buyer.

most of these peoples aim is to export vehicles to different countries. they buy big quantities and export for big margin of profit .

By Saeed Akhtar on Thursday, September 1, 2005 - 2:49 pm:

Scott and all,
They are many automobile auctions running almost everyday. Toyota Auction, Nissan Auction, USS Auction, JAA Kasai, CAA Tokyo to name few of the reputable.
To bid in the auction, one need to be a member that required warranty money, registered company, guarantor, etc.
Each auction has grading system. For example Toyota Auction, grade 0-5. 0 is the worst, 5 is the best. The grading done by certified professional at the auction, base on the km running, body condition, cabin condition, machine condition, problems, etc. Everything written on the paper, for any problem not mentioned, it is claimable.
Before bidding, the member can physically see and check the car.

About what can I do:
- You can give your detail demand, I will then advise some options. When you are set with your choice, I will bid the car in the auction for you, or
-You can come with me to auction, see the car and choose.

I will take care of the papers until ownership change. I can also provide guarantee base on the car's grade bought.

Other option is to go to internet auction like Yahoo. This can be done by personal. In that case, you need to have a good knowledge of car, detail, etc.
If you choose this way and need some advise/information on any car related, feel free too to contact me. I will be happy to help.

I hope Jillan and others who is in car search can find the good quality car, good price and no hussle bussle.
Saeed Akhtar INTAN SHOUJI COMPANY 090-2257-4972

By Scott Hancock on Thursday, September 1, 2005 - 2:59 pm:

Thank you for the further information. Going along to see the car at the auction sounds reassuring.

I hope you get some response here.

By Steven Smith on Tuesday, February 7, 2006 - 9:02 pm:

Hi all,
I've followed this topic, because I have a son, and can understand all the confussion of buying a car, getting it registered and worrying about insurance and inspection.

I have a company that buys from auctions. We personally inspect each vehicle, and we take potential buyers to the auction so that they can "kick the tires" and get a feeling for what they want.

What our auction site shows is a very detailed (in Japanese) report of the vehicle, and at least a couple of pictures. But, if you're local, then going to see a car you're interested in is so much better. I can do that for you.

If you've got any questions, contact me by e-mail. I'd be happy to tell you more about buying used cars. I know it sounds corny, but I want to help fellow gaijin get a good deal.

Just as a piece of advice, only deal with people who have a "used-car trading license". There are lots of people out there "doing business" without this license, and its illegal (I have a license :) )

Steve Smith
Japan Car Exports

By Traci on Tuesday, May 9, 2006 - 10:54 am:

We are moving to Yokohama this summer. I need a reliable small car just for getting around. Does anyone have a suggestion on where to look? I will look in my area to see if other expats are moving and selling their cars. However, wanted some other likely sources for good, used cars.

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