How to buy a used car from Japan

Japan is prominently growing to be one of the leading car markets. In fact there are lots of car dealership businesses all over the world that are hinged on this market. In this article, we are going to show you how to buy a used car from Japan – the main things you need to know.


There are a variety of options for buying a used car from Japan that you can choose from. These include; auctions, trade magazines, privately or through car dealerships. If you go in for auctions, the advantage is that many of them are online and offer the best deals.

If you are a resident in Japan, or if you choose to go to Japan, you will encounter what we call auction houses. However, the challenge with them is that they only sell to dealers, who can purchase a specific car on a customer’s behalf. It is advisable to have a Japanese partner as a legal owner on your behalf.


Immerse yourself in a deeper research on what options to use. If you are opting for auctions, find out who is going to be your Japanese partner. Use the internet, cut the long process short, get online and type, we are a user friendly site, it’s all in English, no need to learn Japanese. Navigate through and choose the car you want and we will have it delivered to you.

Ask the right questions

If you choose to use other options, it is important to ask the right questions. For example, find out how long the current inspection is valid for. This is also termed as “shaken”. The compulsory shaken is valid for three years for a new car and two years for every subsequent inspection.


You must demand the following documents from the seller; a car registration document, certificate of car tax payment, change of ownership paper, Seal Certificate and a compulsory insurance receipt. It is also important to note that re-registering a car is often done for buyers by second-hand car dealers.

However, in the case of a private sale, the buyer must have a valid driving license and a personal stamp or Seal Certificate.

In Japan the following forms should be obtained from the local police department; Proof of Parking Space (certificate which must be stamped and completed by the owner of the parking space) police parking application and a map of the location of the parking space.

All these should be completed and taken to the local police station and then to the Inspection Registration Office, along with the re-registration papers (stamped by the seller) and the owner’s cancellation registration papers (stamped by the seller).

Vehicle Taxes

There are number of taxes payable when buying a car in Japan. And these are; the car acquisition tax which is five percent tax of the purchase price and is payable at the time of purchase.

Automobile tax, an annual tax for owning a car. Last but not least, the seller must produce evidence of weight tax which is calculated based on the weight of the car.

And when all the above is finished, sit down and comfortably wait for your car.

This article has been written with additional consultations from and