Buying a car in Japan

Japan has a lot of unique cars and many cars are well maintained or low mileage. Good reasons to buy a car in Japan. In case you are not living in Japan the most convenient option is to do it via an established importer. Below here there will be described on how to buy a car if you are living in Japan.

It is advised to take someone that can speak Japanese in case you are not able to speak Japanese because most people in Japan do not speak English and all the documentation is Japanese.

Step 1 – Search: 

Find the car you want to buy. Two mainstream websites to search for cars are:

These are mainly cars that include shaken (the mandatory inspection) and are therefore more expensive than buying a car from an auction. Buying from an auction is another option but this would require a company that has access to the auction and can buy it for you. The following steps will be for buying a car at a dealership.

Step 2 – Buy:

Once you have found the car you like, it is of course best to go and see it. Always make a test-drive to feel whether the car is the one for you. Depending on your home country, in Japan you might be driving on the other side of the road so take care with this.

So after your test drive, you decided you want to buy this car. The dealership will normally prepare a buying contract. Read it carefully! In contrary to other countries, in Japan it can take up to several weeks before you can actually pick-up the vehicle and drive it yourself. This gives time for you to do the formalities on your side. But before that, usually a part of the car’s price should be paid in advance.

Step 3 – Formalities:

In the majority of Japan a parking space is required in order to buy a car. A parking space either is rented or area on your own property. In the below link there is explained on how to get a garage certificate:

How to get a garage certificate for a parking spot

And in the below website there is more information about buying a car in Japan:

The costs of buying and owning of course differ per vehicle.
Enroll for a car insurance and be sure your vehicle has shaken before you start driving. A new shaken is normally up to two years valid.

Step 4 – Enjoy:

In case you managed to get all formalities done, it is time to drive! Keep in mind that traffic rules and other drivers behavior might be different than your home country. Japan has a lot of good driving roads and scenic places, please enjoy the other area on this website:

Driving roads in Japan – JDM for all