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Imported Jap Cars.. What's The Catch?


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Been looking at importing a glana 1.3 turbo recently, 1996 model... and some of them are described as doing 22k miles ..

22k since 1996????? :o

Does every importer clock back the miles stupidly as a big con? <_<

Or is there a genuine reason as to why imported jap cars have so little mileage on the clock for their age? :huh:

Also I heard something about a rule that means it's very hard to keep a car on the road in japan after 5 years, which is why there's so many imports around that sort of age to UK, is there any truth in this?

Someone give me the facts please :thumbsup:

oh and check out this beauty of an RX7 near me


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From what I gather the Jap Traffic system makes ours look good - so most cars are a weekend only thing. Hence the low miles. (but they DO have good public transport)

And I also heard that their equivalent of an MOT starts after 5 years and costs a grand .. so most people bin their cars after a few years.

It's also a part of their mentality .. they just upgrade everything cars/phones/computers etc every few years ..

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cheers bibbs,

i suppose if they're mainly used at weekends.... that would explain the fantastically low mileage and great condition of the imports i've seen... i can't wait!

Their MOT sounds crazy!

Places like tokyo must be so utterly crowded it's untrue, which sort of makes sense about the mileage they do!

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Myth: The mileage on Japanese cars is so low that they must be 'clocked'.

Truth: It is mostly the case that the mileage on Japanese cars is much lower than a car of the same age would be in, for example, the UK. There are several reasons for this. The traffic in Japan can be terribly slow, there are no roundabouts and a great amount of traffic lights making driving very slow. The speed limit on normal roads is 24Mph and the tolls on motorways are phenomenally expensive. It is also not a gross generalization that many Japanese do not venture outside of their own prefecture too often. All these factors contribute to the low mileage on most import cars.

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im sure i read ages ago that when they are sold at auction in japan, they get given a sort of "grade" as relating to their condition - a good seller will still have this document. try and get one with some service history as well - you might not be able to read it, but you can recognise a stamp :D

paintwork on plastic seems to fade/craze more readily on older jap imports, due to the climate over there, according to a car dealer friend of my dad who deals mainly in jap performance/4x4/mpv stuff. also, it seems that when you get them with tinted windows, that have been done post-manufacture, they turn that horrible reddy-purply colour. other than that it's just normal stuff, but make sure it has all the little plastic covers etc (eg, for a towing eye) that it needs, as often if the car has a bodykit, and wasnt sold over here, you need to import the part, and it can be daft money!

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bad side is though that even though they may be low milage, a lot of !Removed! race their cars at the weekend (it is culturally a more common and highly used form of entertainment - well they dont go out for an english and get slaughtered on carlsberg)!!

so obviuosly there may be a lot of wear and tear on the raced cars. good signs to look for are if there are any drilled holes around the footwell area and behind the seats (where a roll cage may have been).

the 'SHAKER' which is the jap m.o.t is a right git apparently (as bibbs rightly mentioned), and most !Removed! do upgrade.

did u know if u want to sell your old car to a mate, cos ur buying a new one - you cant!

there are no private sales allowed in japan and your car has to be sold through a dealer. so if i wanted to sell my car to jimlad (for example), i would have to sell it to a dealer, and tell jimlad which dealer to go to - where he would then buy it - and pay a stupid premium to the dealer!!

hence the massive auction economy between us and japan! :thumbsup:

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Tokyo is the BUSIEST city in the world........

Most people use the public transport systems as car parking spaces are few and far between and very very very expensive to boot.........£$£$£$.

The Japanese public transport system is light years ahead of ours, doesn't run late like ours, turns up, doesn't break down like ours, and the safety record is second to none........

Most Japanese peope buy a new car every 3 years so low mileage is very common when imported to us lot of high milers.........

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yeah, if your going to get a starlet, get a standard one. ones with uprated bits are usually ragged.

just ask yourself this "if i had a 6 second 0-60 car, would i rag it?"

you cant blame em!

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