A Guide To Buying A Used Car In Japan

Finding the right Dealership

Buying a car is not as easy as buying a video game, a novel, or even food. You drive past some used car dealers right outside the gate after work and see some nice cars lined up. But you ask yourself if theyfre really that cheap or not. Uh oh. You might be making a mistake. Therefs more to what you see. The real cost comes afterwards until you can have your name under the new title of the car. These dealers might have great locations, more customers, offer more lengthy warrantees, but these prices are usually 15-40% higher than small dealers like us.

Inspections and Fees

Inspection in Japan is not as simple as smog testing in the states. Most cars require 2 year Gov. of Japan inspection known as the JCI (Japanese Compulsory Insurance). JCI inspections usually cost around $350 and up if you do it yourself and up to $700 or more if you have a dealership take care of it. Feel free to contact us to have it done and save yourself some time and trouble.

Road Tax Fees

Every April 1st, the owner of the vehicle is required to pay road tax. The road tax is calculated according to the license plate series (3 digit code), engine displacement size and the size of the vehicle. Vehicle tax is 7,500yen for 500 number plate users and 19,000yen for 300 number plate users. This price only applies for SOFA status individuals, which is much lower than 27,000yen-60,900yen average of what locals have to pay.

Recycle Fee

Recycle fee was instituted in year 2005. This fee is required to pay when you buy a vehicle. This recycle fee is intended to cover the cost of recycling of the parts that can still be used when you junk your vehicle. If you purchase a vehicle and do not come with a recycle fee certificate, you will be required to pay the fee the next time you perform a JCI inspection. This fee ranges from 8,000yen to 20,000yen average depending on the size of the vehicle and multi airbag options.

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