Buying A Car In Japan


The option to buy a new car in Japan is given to those interested in driving the same car for many years and more than willing to take complete responsibility for the repairs and maintenance.

One thing you must note is that buying a car is not a common option for foreigners in the country. This is because it is difficult to get financing without any credit history in the country and staying in the country short term makes it expensive and impractical.

More so, arranging the repairs and maintenance plus carrying out administrative tasks is hard with the issue of the language barrier. This means that instead of buying a new car, most foreigners simply turn to the option of leasing.

Nevertheless, if you want to buy a new car in Japan, you will need to undergo vehicle registration. In doing this, you will need documents from your landlord, ward office, and the police station.

All the documents will be taken to the vehicle registration office to register the car. And, it must be noted that this process is not done in English. After the vehicle registration, you will need to take the car for Shaken Inspection.

The Shaken Inspection is referred to as vehicle inspection and it is a compulsory sixty-point Inspection. The reason why it is done is for initial registration during the purchase of the new car.

More so, it is demanded three years after the initial registration and every two years after in perpetuity. A foreign car shaken Inspection is twenty percent higher than the local equivalent. However, the normal cost is ¥100000 and ¥200000.

You will also have to undergo an annual vehicle tax and this will be solely based on the size of the engine of your vehicle in 500cc increments. This tax runs between ¥30000 and ¥80000 every time.

A weight tax is also paid when buying the car or when you are renewing your Shaken Inspection. This costs between ¥10000 to ¥80000. Then, there is the acquisition tax that is paid when you are buying either a new or used car.

Furthermore, you will need a recycling certificate that proves the owner has pre-paid for the needed legal disposal of the vehicle. There is also legal insurance coverage that protects a driver from liability if any third party suffers an injury during an accident.

If you want to buy a car from a dealer, the things you need are:

•          A valid international driver’s license permit and your foreign driver’s license or your Japanese driver’s license

•          The original resident certificate that was issued by the ward office in the last three months

•          A copy of your residence card

•          A seal registration certificate from the ward office

•          Loan from the bank or credit agency.

•          Cash upfront

•          Registered hanko or name stamp. It is recorded at the ward office.

•          Car park certificate from owners of the property or the car park where you will be parking the car

Even if you are buying a used car in Japan, the process is similar to buying a new one as it demands the same forms and taxes.


Do you need a car in Japan? The UK? Or the United States? If yes, then this article will be of utmost importance to you. Ensure you read through to gain more insight on either getting a used car in these countries or purchasing a brand new car.

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