Japan’s Used Cars Are Better Quality

Not only do used cars from Japan generally have lower mileage than their equivalents overseas, but they are usually also in better condition. Let’s look in more detail at why used Japanese cars are better quality than the cars you may be used to seeing in your country.

How come Japan’s cars in better condition?

People drive their cars less in Japan

As you can see here, the typical Japanese car is not only younger than equivalent cars in other developed countries, but it is also driven a lot less.

So an average car in Japan has just over 70,000 KM (about 43,500 miles) on the odometer, whereas in the EU the average car has 121,500 KM on the clock, and in the US the same typical car has over 162,000 KM. Obviously, the more a car is driven, the more likely it is to have picked up problems and damage along the way.

Japan not only has an excellent public transport system both within metropolitan areas and between the cities, but the neighborhoods people live in area also generally very “walkable”. That is to say, a typical residence in Japan is within easy walking distance of a supermarket, station, bus stops, a library and schools.

It can come as no surprise to learn that most Japanese people will leave their car at home when going out on local errands, preferring to walk, use bicycles or ride scooters instead. Japanese people walk 5.4 KM on average each day, whereas the same figure for car-loving US residents is 3.9 KM. They would probably walk more, but since everyone owns a bicycle, if they are going further they tend to use their bicycles.

Either way, the result is that the car is left at home.

Driving conditions are not as extreme as in many countries

Japan is a temperate country. Although there are areas in the far North (particularly Hokkaido) and the central mountainous region where there can be long periods of heavy snow, most areas where the bulk of the population live – and, therefore, drive – only experience occasional, mild snow falls.

Even in areas prone to heavy winter weather, the use of salt to keep the roads clear is not widespread. Although sometimes salt is used, in these regions drivers are expected to fit snow tires to their cars as winter approaches, so the roads are often left as- is. Another method used to clear major roads of snow is to pipe geothermally-heated water from outlets along the center crest of the road to melt snow and ice.

The overall result is that cars in Japan tend to be much less likely to have corrosion or rust than cars in other countries with similar or colder climates.

Japan’s roads are also very well paved and smooth, so there is little stress placed on vehicles by the kind of road damage you find in many other countries – potholes, cracks and stone chips.

Japanese people take better care of their cars

Japanese people are known for their fastidious nature. After all, that is something that makes Japanese cars so attractive in the first place – they are so well designed and put together. They also tend to be pretty obedient, so when the manufacturer or the dealer says that a service should be done on the car, you can bet the typical car owner will do it. And most servicing is carried out at official dealerships in pristine service departments.

On top of this, the government mandates a certain minimum level of maintenance anyway, by requiring all vehicles to pass regular roadworthiness tests. The first of these is 3 years after the car was new, and then they continue at two year intervals after this. This roadworthiness test is called the shaken (“shah-ken”) and it serves to ensure that Japan’s cars are well looked after – whether their owners really want to keep them in good condition or not.

Where can you get these used Japanese cars that are in such good condition?

So, the typical car in Japan is going to be in better condition and have lower mileage than its counterparts in other countries. Now, you are probably wondering where you can get hold of these cars. Well, the best place is the Japanese car auctions.

Want to see the Japanese car auctions for yourself?

Take just one minute of your time and sign up for 14 days of free access to our online auction system. You could be looking at cars in the auctions in Japan literally 60 seocnds from now.