Posts Tagged ‘age’

Japanese Car Age: How much does it matter?

January 22, 2008

When we are dealing with exporting/importing Japanese cars as individuals or as import businesses, we generally are speaking about Japanese used cars. This means there was a previous owner, whereas a new car would be one that never was previously owned. Note the distinction: a used car is one that is previously owned, not necessarily a old car. In fact within days of being out on the market, the new 2008 Nissan GT-R was sold as “used” at AUCNET last December.

So since age isn’t connected to the term “used”, what and how much does it matter when buying for export?

Well, most importantly, it matters to the ultimate customer which is either you or the people you will sell to. Some people just don’t want an “old” car in which they use the term very loosely, then there are also people very particular the age of the car for various reasons. For example, one model year could have major reworking of styling or performance compared to the last model year. Additionally, whole model generations can change the car you get.

What is good about Japanese Auto Auctions (Part 1 & 2 so far) is that they provide such an enormous supply of cars (and pictures!) that is changing every week and eventually the car that you want will be available. Of course, if you are extremely picky on the exact car, options, year, sub-model, etcetera, the longest I heard of was a few months wait.

Another reason buyers are concerned about the age of the car is the fact car do degrade over time in performance and condition. It is safe to say the average Japanese car is kept in good condition. The shaken (Japanese Bi-annual car inspection test) is very strict and it encourages owners to keep their car in good shape. Also, during winter in Japan, roads are not salted like many other countries tend to do. Thus a Japanese vehicle will experience much less corrosion and rust than a Western vehicle. In general, age does affect the car’s quality per say, but on average, much lesser of extent than elsewhere.

One final thought of concern is your governments regulations. Some countries regulate the vehicle’s age directly, some indirectly. For example of regulating by age:

  • The United States allow 25 years or older to import very easily. Newer vehicle must pass a number of standards, and car less than 6 years old become even more difficult to import.
  • In Canada, cars older than 15 years can be imported without restrictions. Newer vehicles must already meet Canadian Safety Standards at the time of manufacturing.
  • Australia allow imports free to enter if produced before 1 January, 1989. If newer, rules are tighter and vehicles must be complied to ADR (Australian Design Rules) by a Registered Automotive Workshop (RAW).
  • New Zealand has similar rules which allow cars built be 1990 to enter will little restrictions. New Zealand allow any car import for any age, as long as the meet requirements.
  • In the UK, any car at least 10 years old can be imported by just passing the MOT. A car less than that age must also pass the ESVA.
  • Cyprus requires special approval for cars older than 5 years since production.
  • In Pakistan, only vehicle less than 4 years old can be imported.
  • Bangladesh does not allow vehicle more than 4 years old to be imported.
  • In India, imported cars must be under 3 years old.
  • Nearby, Sri Lanka forbids import over 2 years old.
  • Peru doesn’t allow vehicle more than 5 years of age to be imported.
  • In Jamaica, imports are restricted cars 3 years or less, vans/light trucks 4 years or less, and returning residents may import vehicles5 years or less.

The age of the vehicle needs to fit all three needs (taste, condition, and regulations) for an enjoyable time importing Japanese used cars. For more information:

JUCE.info