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Buying cars online from Japan

Buying cars online from Japan is still a challenge

With all enormous popularity of the Internet – buying cars online from Japan is still a challenge. Why? There are several reasons for it where trust, way of doing business in japan, language challenges and lack of a good advise are prevalent.

Trust – one of the largest issues that the customer has while buying a car that he didn’t see with his/her own eyes. This aspect could be farther divided into company trust -since all online car exporters from Japan require 100% advance payment and confidence that the car described on the web-site is in the same condition as the site says.

Regarding the due-diligence on company’s legitimacy – there are several ways how you can check. The easiest one – just pay attention to the company site and such facts as frequency of stock updates, professionalism and clearly defined procedure how to order your car and steps necessary (please check for the details How to order section at Japan Partner Inc.). Also a good check would be to see if the company owns the domain it sells the cars from and the site is not being hosted for free (you can tell it if there is abundance of advertising). There is nothing wrong with free hosting however if the company is serious about selling cars online in Japan they would definitely need 300-1000 MB of hosting space that is never given for free.

More thorough checks can be conducted through the proper official channels. Company status is probably one of the most important factors while checking for its trustworthiness and legitimacy. There are 3 main forms of conducting business in Japan:

  1. Personal business (kojin) is least regulated and least accountable for its practices here in Japan
  2. Houjin Limited ownership (Ltd.) in Japanese (yuugen gaisya)
  3. Houjin Incorporated (Inc.) in Japanese (kabushiki gaisya)

The most prevailing form of business is Ltd. so if the company you are about to buy car online from Japan is either Ltd or Inc. then they should be legitimate and legally operate in Japan. As personal form of business (Kojin) there is nothing wrong with it but it must be transparent and do not claim that it is the “the largest exporter” in Japan and etc. There are a number of personal businesses, which are in export business, and if somebody used that koujin company before and was happy you can also use it .

Another way to check if the company that sells used cars online in Japan is whether they are registered (have registration number) with Foreign Trade Chamber. This registration number is awarded to the companies, which had trading/export history and properly equipped/staffed to conduct export business (For the format you can check our Export registration number on our company profile page ). So if the company that you are about to buy a used or damaged cars online from, has such registration number – it is a good sign of its legitimacy.

And the last but not the least – bank account. Japanese banking laws are rather strict when it concerns “monetary movements” and bank accounts. All registered (houjin businesses LTD and INC require to have their banking accounts exactly under the name that they registered their companies. So if you are buying a used car online from Japan and name on the bank account is different than the name of the trading company (or even worth belongs to an individual) then you need to investigate more before transferring the payment.

Language challenges

Even though most of Japanese study or studies English – very few can speak (even if they can write English, most of them have difficulty speaking). Make sure when you speak on the phone with your Japanese agent or dealer that you are about to buy a car from, that he/she understands what you want.

Way of doing business in Japan

Japanese business is heavily dependent on “middle men”. It wasn’t until 90s when both under the influence of depression and foreign competition Japan economy started getting more efficient and direct while doing business. Regular way of selling cars in Japan is to go through the number of middlemen before it actually comes to a company or individual abroad. So if you decide to shop before choosing your online used car company – you won’t have lots to chose from, most of the reliable but rather expensive online car traders can be counted by one hand with stock really exceeding 20-30 cars.

OK, now you did all the homework with choosing the local (Japanese) company to buy a car from and ready for the action BUT� Not so fast.

“MUST DO” before deciding on the car

You will need to check with your country import rules to make sure that the car you want to get does not fall under any restrictions. Most of the countries have liberal laws on importing used and damaged cars and when they do they mostly relate to production year or gas emissions. Also make sure you check and know what export related documents you need from Japan. The regular package is B width: 250px; margin: 0 10px 5px 0;” src=”http://www.japan-partner.com/images/a81de85407/5ab62ba306_t.jpg” />
Toyota ESTIMA 4WD – 2013
Steer.:Right. Price: USD 14,286
Close to brand new condition, low mileage only 14,727 km, 4WD, efficient 2,400cc engine, 8 seater, TV/DVD system with navigation, power sliding door


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