Akagi Auto car exporting cars since 1997. Japan, USA, UK.
There are many myths that surround Japanese car imports. Here we cover the most popular misconceptions:
Truth: The vast majority of the cars sold on the Japanese domestic market roll off the same production lines and are produced by the same people and with the same materials as export models. The highly competitive Japanese domestic market ensures the highest quality standards are met. In addition to this JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) vehicles are always fitted with air conditioning.
Truth: As such, standard specifications are far higher in Japanese vehicles. The highly competitive Japanese market forces high 'standard' specifications as companies compete on 'extras'. This misconception has been fueled by several factors. Japan is very hot and humid in the summer and therefore leather seats are uncomfortable. Hence leather seats are not standard on any cars (not even the Lexus or high spec 4x4's). Of course such requirements can be met and should you wish we can fit leather seats ourselves.
Truth: It was the case that insurance companies, seeking to profit from the booming import market, did use to charge higher premiums. However competition has made this practice rare and a vast majority of insurance brokers and specialist companies do not discriminate in any way.
Truth: Japan has the most stringent vehicle regulations and emission rules, quite possibly on the planet. Every vehicle must undergo a compulsory vehicle inspection every two years, at high cost (c.GBP1-2,000 /USD3-5,000) and must meet very high standards. Consequently people look after their vehicles very well in anticipation of this test. Avoiding a gross generalisation, the Japanese are very fond of their vehicles and invariably keep them in good condition. In addition to this cars are cleaned when they are dirty and due to the climate and the use of winter tyres in the snow cars tend to rust much less in Japan than overseas.
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 is generally slow, there are no roundabouts and a great amount of traffic lights. The speed limit on normal roads is 24Mph and the tolls on motorways are phenominally expensive. It is also not a gross generalisation 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. To put this into perspective, from our founders home in Gunma to our main workshop in Takasaki in distance terms we are talking around 24km (14 miles) but on average this trip takes 65-80 minutes. For extra peace of mind we have teamed up with jdmmileage.com to provide discounted mileage check certificates to our customers.
Truth: Diagnostic kits read all languages. A call to your dealer will confirm this.
Myth: You can't get parts for Japanese imports outside of Japan.
Truth: Japanese imports use the same parts as their equivalent models outside of Japan. Even for models such as the Mitsuoka Viewt, Nisssan Figaro or Elgrand we generally find that most parts are available in all our markets. Of course if you ever do get stuck, just call us and we will have whatever you need sent out asap.