Automotive rental, trading and export – Japan

Buying a car in Japan through A-ret cars

How long does it take for a domestic purchase to be completed with A-ret cars?

Buying a car in japan through A-ret Cars depends on the specificity of the order. It can take from as short as a week or up to a month, after payments have been made. However if it is an exact vehicle customer approval order (see terms and conditions for exact order types), it’ll take a week, once the customer approves the acquisition of the vehicle.

Will you do after acquisition requests such as electrical installation, winter tires, ETC or do we purchase as is?

We will organise any work done or parts that you need, after acquiring your vehicle! If you have any requests, just mention it in the additional comments sections of the order form.

How do we take receivership of the car once the order has been completed?

First the vehicle will be delivered to your nearest agent for inspection and approval. Once the car is ready to be passed onto the customer, it will be delivered by and agent or shipped (in some cases). Usually you will meet with an agent to complete the paperwork upon delivery.

Does A-ret do insurance coverage, like many car dealers in Japan?

A-ret cars don’t have an insurance division, however we will happily help you get competitive insurance rates through a recommended insurance company as part of purchasing a car through us. If you would like us to get you a quote for insurance, let us know in the comments section of the order.

Driving in Japan

Why is Shaken so expensive?

Shaken can be pricey because of the repairs that are often necessary for the vehicle to pass the safety requirements. On top of that, you are required to pay a weight tax. For some advice on how to save money on Shaken costs, check out our Shaken guide.

Do we have to wear seat belts in the back seat?

In Japan it is always necessary for seat belts to be worn at all times for the driver and front seat passengers. There is haziness among the foreign community about back seat belt rules. The law states that back seat passengers only need to wear a safety belt when travelling on the expressways.

Do we have to have insurance?

The short answer is Yes, you do. When going through the shaken process every two years, your vehicle is subject to a compulsory liability insurance which covers injury to other peoples. In any other case, you need additional insurance to cover damages. At A-ret cars we highly recommend having the optional insurance, after all no one wants to be liable for the cost of hitting a Mercedes, or worse hurting some one.

Can I use a cell phone while driving?

Unless you are using it with a hands free kit, no is the answer and you can face rather rough penalties of up to 50,000 yen if caught using a phone while driving.

Do I need a Japanese licence to drive in Japan?

No, you can drive a vehicle for up to a year with an International driving permit. However if you intend to stay longer in Japan, you should start the licence translation process as soon as possible. For more detail on this process, see our Japanese licencing guide.


What is ETC and how can I use it?

ETC is the automated expressway tolling system used in Japan. It provides various 50% discounts and conveniences when using the expressways and is almost a necessity if you intend on using expressways often. See our ‘driving in Japan‘ guide for information on how to use ETC.

Will you do after acquisition requests such as ETC installation or winter tires or do we purchase as is?

We will organise any work done or parts that you need, after acquiring your vehicle! If you have any requests, just mention it in the additional comments sections of the order form.

Is there a way to get an ETC card without having a credit card?

Yes, you can now apply for an independent ETC card which requires an initial deposit. Its known as the personal ETC card, and you can get an application form from on-duty officers at the toll booths, or the service areas. Alternatively you can call them onĀ 044-870-7333 between 9am-5pm and they’ll send an application to you (may pay to have a Japanese friend help you out).


If I have a vehicle I want to take to back to my country, will you ship it for me?

Not a problem! If you need a car, truck or motorcycle shipped home, we can take care of exporting it from Japan to your next destination!

Can’t find the answer you you’re looking for? Enquire now.