The cost of owning a car in Japan
What are the costs of owning a car in Japan?
The costs of running a car are:
- Annual road tax ranges from Yen40,000 (GBP240) for ordinary cars up
to Yen70,000 (GBP420) for more for luxury vehicles.
renewal - this is a serious vehicle test (a super MOT in UK
terms) - costs at least Yen120,000 (GBP720) not including any essential
repairs or replacement items necessary to pass the test every two
years after the initial three years, that is 3, 5,7, 9 and so on.
- the typical monthly fee would amount to Yen10,000 to 50,000
(GBP60 to GBP300) depending on the area. A parking space within
a few hundred metres of an owner’s house is mandatory requirement
if you wish to a purchase a car. The police will come to verify
the size and location of that parking space!
premium, other than the basic cover in the Shaken, amounts to
at least Yen10,000 (GBP60) a month or GBP720 a year.
maintenance and repairs are never undertaken by the owner himself
but by a dealer at a high price, Services, labour, rents and advertising
costs are very costly in Japan.
The major factor behind rapidly falling car values and the tendency to
early replacement is the Shaken. Besides providing a huge income for
the government, it ensures every motor vehicle on Japanese roads is
safe and sound. As the Shaken price is the same at each renewal, the
aggregate cost will eventually amount to more than the value of the
car itself. This explains why only an "eccentric person"
would consider keeping a car longer than seven or nine years, regardless
of its condition. The large majority of these artificially depreciated
vehicles is sold at auctions in Japan and exported to the rest of
the World at a rate currently over 30,000 units a month.