Japanese used vehicle exporting is a grey market international trade involving the export of used cars and other vehicles from Japan to other markets around the world.
Despite the high cost of transport, the sale of used cars and other vehicles to other countries is still profitable due to the relatively low cost and good condition of the vehicles being purchased. Contributing factors to the feasibility of such export include Japan’s strict motor-vehicle inspections and high depreciation which make such vehicles worth very little in Japan after six years, and strict environmental-protection regulations that make vehicle disposal very expensive in Japan. Japan has very stringent vehicle emission test standards.
Due to progressively escalating costs of passing the mandatory periodic vehicle inspection, cars are typically scrapped or exported for sale abroad by the time they are about 10 years old. Engines removed from scrapped vehicles are in some cases exported for sale outside of Japan.