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Advantages of Buying Japanese Used Vehicles (JUV's)

This website is simply to promote the Japanese used vehicle market as a whole and be a center for information. We do not sell vehicles. We hope our advice is helpful for you.

Here are some facts about Japanese Exports:

  • In 2006, over 1,100,000 JUVs were exported from Japan.
  • Factors such as culture, regulations, and a competitive market have made trade more favorable.
  • The number of importers (businesses, but also individuals) is increasing each year.

Why should you invest money, time, and effort into buying JUVs?

Well, here is a few reasons:

Low Price

  • Owning used cars is expensive in Japan! This causes used cars to be sold early and cheap.
    • Shaken - Greatest cost for owners of cars is the car safety inspection (also written shyaken or syaken).
      • The longer you have a car in Japan, the more it will cost you.
      • New cars: the first “Shaken” is usually included into the cost and lasts for 3 years.
      • After 3 years, car must have "Shaken" every 2 years.
      • Meanwhile, the car’s official value drops and it costs more to have it pass (very strict).
    • Other Expenses
  • Out with the old! Japanese love new vehicles.
    • World Leaders - Japan is the world's leader in manufacturing new cars.
    • Accelerated Turnover - Perceived value loss in old vehicles and cheaper new cars accelerate turnover.
      • Most cars in the Japanese used vehicle market are 3-9 years old.
    • New is Better - Japanese like to have new and society promotes keeping up to date.
  • Efficient sales system. Reselling cars has become a well developed system.
    • Easy - Many involved in this market are well experienced, making everything smooth.
    • Safe - Almost all exporters are accountable and the market overall is trustworthy.
    • High Supply - Many cars are auctioned/sold every week. In 2006 over 1,100,000 JUVs were exported.

High Standards

  • Vehicles in Japan are maintained very well and used lightly.
    • Cleanliness - Most Japanese take excellent care of their vehicles.
      • Reduced wear on interior and reduced rusting.
    • High Standard Inspections - It is very expensive and difficult to pass (more on Shaken).
      • Average total inspection costs can be around $3000
    • Smooth Roads - Roads in Japan are among the best and to find a car that has gone off-road is rare.
    • Low Mileage - Traveling long distances in Japan by car is expensive and frustrating.
      • Most cars don't see over 90,000 kilometers (56,000 miles).
      • Alternative transportation
        • Trains - Reduces the use of cars between cities.
          • Road tolls are expensive
          • Traffic can be very bad
          • Japan has one of the fastest trains in the world
        • Bicycles - Cities are very dense.
          • People can often walk or bicycle for most daily activity.
      • Driving is often a very short distance at low speeds.

Unique Vehicles

  • JDM-only Models - Specially made by Japanese auto manufactures for Japan.
    • Performance cars: Cars are often designed for Japan with higher power output than outside of Japan.
      • Japan has higher-than-average octane levels in their fuel.
      • Many models outside of Japan are re-badge with a new name and are sometimes power restricted.
      • Kei class vehicles: are small, unique and have many special uses.
        • They come in all shapes: car, truck, van, and others.
  • More Equipment - Japanese vehicles contain what in most countries consider "extras".
    • For example, navigation systems and alloy wheels.
  • Manual or Automatic - Both transmissions are popular.


  • You will see on average 40,000 JUVs available on the market each week.

Buying Japanese vehicles can be a fun and exciting experience. Whichever reason you might be interested in buying Japanese cars, importing them yourself can be a rewarding time.

Going Further

Buying Auction Vehicles
Buying Stock Vehicles

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