Purchasing a Car
Links to the contents of the page
- Required documents
- How to search cars
- How to get a parking certificate
- Car purchase flow
- Average prices for second-hand cars
- Other useful information
Cars in Japan are mainly classified into two categories depending on the weight and power of the vehicle. The procedures and requirements for purchasing a car vary depending on the classification of the car you are buying.
The smallest highway-legal passenger cars. Kei-cars feature yellow license plates. A yellow-plate car is a vehicle with an engine displacement of no more than 660cc. The road tax and the weight tax will be much lower for yellow-plate cars than white-plate cars. The number of passengers that a yellow-plate car can accommodate is up to 4 people, including the driver. Since yellow-plate cars are small and lightweight, they are not as safe compared to white-plate cars.
- White-plate cars (aka regular-sized vehicles)
A white-plate car has a more powerful and larger engine displacement ranging from 661cc and up. The road tax and the weight tax will be much more expensive in comparison to yellow-plate cars. The number of passengers that a white-plate car can accommodate is 5 people or more.
Yellow-plate car 軽自動車
- Residence certificate (Juminhyo) 住民票
- Inkan 印鑑 (if available)
White-plate car (Regular-sized vehicle) 普通乗用車
- Residence certificate (Juminhyo）住民票
- Inkan 印鑑
- Inkan registration certificate 印鑑証明書 obtained from the municipal office
- Parking certificate 車庫証明書 (Not required for residents of Onna and Yomitan village)
A parking certificate is a certificate issued by the local police station to confirm that the buyer of the car has enough space to store the car. Some villages in Okinawa exempt their residents from obtaining a parking certificate upon a car purchase. Please check the list of the villages in Okinawa which exempt their residents from obtaining a parking certificate.
If you are required to obtain a parking certificate upon the purchase of a car, you will need to
- Get a document from your landlord which certifies that they have permitted you to park your car on their property.
- Visit a bank to purchase revenue stamps which will be used to make the payment for the certificate. To purchase the revenue stamps, please show the below line to indicate what you want from them.
- Visit the local police station with the following:
- document from the landlord
- scan of the car registration certificate, which has all the information on the car
- revenue stamps purchased at the bank
- Show the line below to indicate them that you are there to apply for a parking certificate:
- You will be asked to fill in the required forms. You will need to draw two maps illustrating where the parking space is located - one map should illustrate how to get to the parking from the main road, the other map should illustrate which specific point in the parking you are supposed to park.
- Wait until the police call you telling you the certificate is ready.
- Revisit the police station to collect the certificate.
The certificate will be issued approximately a week later as the police will have to visit the parking in person to confirm the parking space before issuing the certificate.
Buying from a dealership
- Find a car using search engines for car hunting
- Make an appointment for a visit with the car dealer
- Make a down payment to the dealer if you'd like to reserve the car
- Collect required documents for ownership transfer
- Submit the documents to the car dealer
- Schedule for a car pick up
- Upon pickup of the car: Pay the remaining amount and pick up the car.
Buying from an Individual (Car Title Transfer)
Negotiation and payment must be made between the seller and the buyer.
There are two ways to do the ownership transfer.
1. Do it by yourself
If you do it yourself, please collect the necessary documents and take them to the Land Transport Bureau 陸運局.
2. Ask the third party
Third-party such as car garages or car insurance companies can do the transfer on your behalf. It usually costs 3,500~4,000 JPY.
Necessary Documents from the Seller:
- Shakenshou, Car Registration Paper 車検証
- Compulsory Insurance 自賠責保険証明書
- Road Tax receipt or Certificate 自動車納税証明書
- Deed of Transfer 譲渡証明書
- Inkan Certificate 印鑑証明書
- Inkan 印鑑
- Recycle Ticket リサイクル券
- Resident Certificate 住民票 ONLY IF your current address and the address on the Shakenshou are different.
- Letter of Attorney 委任状 *IF the seller or buyer or both asks someone else to transfer ownership.
TIDA Marketplace is a webpage where OIST people advertise things they want to sell or buy. If you arrive in Okinawa at the right time, you may be able to find cars sold by other OISTers for a reasonable price. If you are interested in buying a car you have found on TIDA Marketplace; please contact the seller directly.
Cross Road is an online platform that advertises the cars sold by car dealerships on the island. Please use google translate and see the instruction below to find the cars you like. In case you want to inquire about the dealerships about the cars you are interested in, visit the Resource Center with a list of the cars you are interested in so we can help you to make inquiries to the dealerships over the phone.
Goo-net is an online platform that advertises the cars sold by dealerships across Japan. You can also filter your search by the prefecture, mileage, manufacture year, budget, etc. If you have found cars you like and want to make inquiries to the dealerships, please contact OIST Resource Center so we will help you to make inquiries about the cars.
The price may vary depending on which year the car was made, the condition, and the mileage.
Kei car (660 cc engine) Yellow license plate
- Suzuki Wagon R: ¥200,000 to ¥700,000
- Daihatsu Move: ¥200,000 to ¥700,000
Small car (around 1.3 to 1.8 Liters)
- Toyota Vitz: ¥300,000 to ¥800,000
- Toyota Corolla: ¥300,000 to ¥800,000
Regular (around 2 Liters)
- Nissan Skyline ¥500,000 to ¥800,000
- Honda Step Wagon ¥400,000 to ¥1,000,000