Is it possible to buy original left-hand-drive cars in Japan?

While most cars in Japan are right-hand-drive, you can also find left hand drive cars (LHD) in this country. Car dealers offering European-made cars in Japan usually import the most expensive models as left hand drive. For example, most Ferrari, Porsche, Bentley, Maserati, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz models are offered as LHD in Japan.

During the 1970s and 1990s, rapid financial growth transformed Japan into a world economic power, and turned it into a leading importer of high-end European cars. Limited versions of the most expensive models of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche and Ferrari were brought to the country in massive numbers.

Among the luxury models currently available as left hand drive in Japan:

So why buy a Left hand drive car from Japan instead of from Europe or America? What are the benefits?

Here are the top 4 reasons to buy Left hand drive cars in Japan:

1) Low Mileage

In Japan, the average mileage per year is much lower than in Europe and America. The typical annual mileages:

  • 9,300 km in Japan
  • 15,000 km in Europe
  • 19,310 km in the USA.

These are general statistics for all cars, regardless of brand or model. Given that Left hand drive cars cars are mostly premium models, they have less mileage. Even today, 30-year-old left hand cars with just 10,000-20,000 km can be found.

2) Only officially registered and licensed dealers can sell cars in Japan

In Japan, selling cars is considered to be a job of great responsibility. Unlike vendors in other countries, sellers in Japan are generally honest about the age and condition of the cars they’re selling.

3) Left hand drive cars exported to Japan have high-end specifications.

In the 1970s, air conditioning and automatic transmission were considered optional in Europe, but they were base features for cars sold to Japan. That trend continues today.

4) Price of Left hand drive cars

While some models are still expensive due to increased demand, generally a car with identical specifications can be bought at a more affordable price in Japan than in the U.S. or Europe.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding LHD Cars

Why do Japanese drivers buy LHD cars?

When you ask Japanese drivers this question, the answer given by most is that LHD cars are considered different and rare. On any given day, you’ll see only 2 or 3 LHD cars on the road in Japan. Over time, importing LHD vehicles has become a proud tradition in Japan. So – if you’re a driver who likes attention, you’re sure to get it with a LHD car!

Why isn’t the Japanese domestic market supplied with its own LHD cars?

Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Daihatsu, and other Japanese car-makers produce only righ hand drive for the domestic market. Export divisions under the companies mentioned above export LHD cars abroad, thereby making it impossible to buy an original Japanese LHD car in a domestic market.

At Export From Japan, we have over a decade of specialized expertise in collectible cars – especially left hand drive european models. You can count on us to find you the very best option to meet your needs.

We have a most updated page devoted to the best left-hand drive cars for sale in Japan. 

Contact us today to see what we can do for you!