Low Mileage Used Cars From Japan

If you’re looking to buy pre-owned cars from Japan, you probably have some questions, such as:

  • Why is the mileage of cars in Japan so low?
  • What are the benefits of buying a car with low mileage?

We have the answers for you.

Low Mileage Means a Longer Lifespan

The lifespan of a car’s engine and other components depends largely on mileage. Many engines may require an overhaul at 100,000 km. In addition, oil and air filters, sensors, brakes, shock absorbers, and tires will also need to be regularly replaced after your car reaches a certain mileage.

Mileage can be hard on a car. As the mileage increases, the interior seats, steering wheel, and buttons can suffer wear and tear.

Let’s compare a car with a mileage of 30,000 km to one with a mileage of 90,000. The two cars were produced in the same year and operated under the same conditions – but the difference in their condition is striking.

Because the car with 90,000 km has experienced much more wear and tear, it will have a lower resale value.

How do the prices compare?

The car with 30,000 km might sell for $10,000, whereas the car with 90,000 might sell for just $8,000. 

Let’s break these figures down.

The car with the lower price will reach 100,000 km (most manufacturers’ warranty limit) more quickly, which means it has a shorter lifespan. Whereas the car with a lower mileage of 30,000 km has a much longer potential lifespan, will require less maintenance – and is therefore of greater value.

In other words – it’s worth investing a little more in a car with lower mileage, because it has a longer potential lifespan, and therefore you’ll get more use out of it.

Why is the mileage of cars in Japan so low?

If you’ve been shopping the Japanese market, no doubt you’ve noticed that their mileage is much lower compared to other markets.

Why?  Because Japanese drivers understand the value of low mileage and the importance of regular servicing in maintaining the value of their cars. They’re renowned for taking loving care of their vehicles – and for you, a potential buyer, that’s very good news.

Why are cars in Japan driven less than cars in the U.S. or Europe?

It’s not just about reducing wear and tear. It’s also about avoiding the high costs of driving in Japan. Fuel prices in Japan are high - about 40% higher than in the United States.

In Japan, most of the highways are toll roads – which makes long trips expensive. The distance from Tokyo to our location in Nagoya city, for example, is 350 km. The one-way toll on this road is about $100. 

Paid parking is the only option on most Japanese streets. Depending on the location, parking can cost up to $40 per hour. And the penalty for Illegal parking is extremely high.

Japan has a very fast and convenient public transport system – which makes it an appealing alternative to driving. Almost all buses and trains are equipped with air conditioning and heating systems. High-speed Shinkansen trains can cover a distance of 350 km between Tokyo and Nagoya in just 1.5 hours

Although Japan is not a big country, it has a high population density. So many Japanese prefer public transport, especially in large cities, where traffic jams occur during peak hours.

Let’s compare public transport costs to driving costs

We leave Tokyo for Nagoya with Shinkansen at 8 a.m. and arrive in the city at 9:30 a.m. After doing our work, we leave at 6 p.m. and return to Nagoya at 7:30 p.m. We spend only 3 hours and $200 on our journey.

But if we drive, it takes longer and costs more.

We leave at 8 a.m. and arrive in Tokyo at 1 p.m. We leave at 6 p.m. and return to Nagoya at 11 p.m. We pay $75 for 5-hour parking, use 50 liters of fuel at a cost of $70, and spend $220 on toll roads. We will spend 10 hours on the road, and spend a total of $365.

Would you choose to travel 10 hours for $365, or 3 hours for $ 200?

It’s no surprise that Japanese travellers prefer the more affordable public transport option.

And that explains how they’re able to keep their cars in peak condition for years.

So if you’re in the market for a low mileage, premium quality car – contact us at Export From Japan. Whatever your needs, we guarantee we’ll find you the perfect fit.