Used People Movers exported from Japan can represent great value for family buyers. When you buy a Japanese spec model, you often get top-notch build quality, great reliability and superior features to locally delivered equivalent vehices. Although great value can be had, it's still worth checking to make sure you really get what you are paying for. We took a look at this Toyota Estima currently advertised by a dealership in Reading, UK. According to the dealer advertisement, the vehicle has travelled only 56,000 miles (approx 90,000 kms), reasonably low mileage for a 2006 model.
Our comprehensive service delivers two key documents from Japan, both of which we translate for you into English, first we get you the registration certificate. This is an official watermarked document, which we retrieve from the offices of MLIT (Ministry of Land, Infrastucture & Transport) in Japan. In this case, the registration certificate shows that the vehicle had travelled 63,800 kms on registration renewal in 2011 and 97,000 kms on registration renewal in 2013. Already you can see we have a minor discrepancy when compared with the dealer's advert. What is crucial to understand however is that mileage on the registration and export certificate are recorded at the beginning of a two year registration period.
Auctions are the cheapest and easiest manner by which foreigners can buy used cars in the Japanese market, as such the vast majority of cars imported into foreign markets travel through Japan's large and highly advanced network of auctions. Importers overseas work with Export company's in Japan to buy stock from auction. To aid importers and exporters, the auctions provide an auction sheet, which gives an independent assessement of the key details about the car and it's condition. Here is the applicable auction sheet for our Toyota Estima:
As you can see, the vehicle had actually travelled 132,674 kms or 82,000 miles when it was auctioned in Kobe in March of 2015. The vehicle has some minor accident history, which has been repaired near the passenger side door. Interestingly, the dealer claims to guarantee both "Mileages and Condition". In many cases such as this one, the dealer is not trying to sell a bad car, he is trying to give himself an unfair advantage when it comes to negotiating a price with his customer. Consider, if the dealer will go to the trouble of illegally rewinding the odometer in order to gain an advantage, what else? What other lies are you being told?
If you're in the market for a used car ex-Japan, great value is there to be had - but it's also well worth doing your homework! When you independently source BOTH the de-registration certificate AND auction sheet, via our comprehensive service, we protect you from the techniques dealers are using to maximize profits at your expense.