Hello my readers, today I would like to share my experience of vehicle inspection in Japan and of course, do not forget to introduce these cost-saving tips!
Vehicle inpection(車検-Shaken) and the costs of doing 車検-Shaken
1.1 What is Vehicle inspection(車検-Shaken)?
Vehicle inspection in Japan can be understood similarly to doing car inspection every where. Japanese law requires vehicle inspection( 車検-Shaken) to be carried out every two years. In case a newly purchased car has not been inspected, the first inspection is after 3 years and the next time is 2 years later.
This is the process of checking the quality of cars to see if they meet the standards for traffic on the road. Those standards include: technical safety such as braking, driving and vehicle emissions… If the car meets the prescribed standards, it will be granted a certificate 車検証-Shakensho and be circulated for 2 more years years until the next 車検-Shaken.
1.2 Cost when doing vehicle inspection(車検-Shaken) in Japan
Basically, 車検-Shaken cost are divided into three main types of cost.
1.2.3 Legal fee 法定費用-Houteihiyo:
It is a fee to be paid according to the Japanese road traffic law. This fee is a fixed fee based on each specific vehicle and cannot be saved (as required by law). The legal fee 法定費用-Houteihiyo is divided into three more specific types of fees, which are:
- Vehicle Weight Tax 自動車重量税-Jidousha jyuryozei: A tax payable when owning a car, this tax is based on the vehicle’s weight and how friendly it is to the environment. The weight of the vehicle is listed in the 車両重量-Sharyoujyuryo in 車検証-Shakensho. From there, readers can compare their vehicle weight tax. To learn about the tax-exempt and non-exempt eco car standards, and weight tax details here: https://www.mlit.go.jp/jidosha/jidosha_fr1_000076.html
- Mandatory insurance premium 自賠責保険料-Jibaisekihokenryo: This is compulsory insurance to pay when owning and operating a car in Japan.
- Shaken Procedure fee 車検手数料-Shakentesuuryo: This fee is also known as the administrative fee for the 車検-Shaken procedure. This fee ranges from 1,100 yen ~ 2,000 yen depending on the type of vehicle.
1.2.2.Vehicle inspection cost 点検費用-Tenkenhiyo
As the name implies, this is the cost for the shop staff to do the 車検-Shaken inspection of the car’s parts. These parts will normally be involved in checking whether the vehicle meets the registration standards or not. The common name for this cost is the 24-month basic examination cost (24か月点検基本料-Nijyuyonkagetsu tenkenkihonryou) or the 2-year basic examination cost (2年点検基本料-Ninen tenkenkihonryou). This cost will vary depending on the shop where you bring your vehicle to register 車検-Shaken.
1.2.3 Parts replacement cost 部品交換費-Buhin koukanhi
This cost is incurred when replacing parts during shaken making. Includes the price of the part and the cost of replacing it.
2. How to save money on vehicle inspection(車検-Shaken) in Japan
Through part 1, readers must have understood well about the costs that make up the registration fee for 車検-Shaken vehicles in Japan, right? Of the three types of cost, the legal fee is the one that cannot be changed, but the number 2 and number 3 cost are the revenue of the establishment you do 車検-Shaken. Therefore, saving the cost of making 車検-Shaken is focusing on choosing the shop with the lowest cost of #2 (cost of vehicle inspection) and No. 3 (cost of replacing components), and at the same time depending on the Your ingenuity when “bargaining” too). The following are suggestions based on the my experience.
2.1 Use the comparison service and get quotes doing 車検-Shaken on the internet
Recalling the first time when doing 車検-Shaken 6 years ago, I didn’t know there was an internet comparison and quote service available. Therefore, my family went directly to a shop specializing in car repair and maintenance called 整備工場-Seibikoujo with a signboard for 車検-Shaken near home. Then after a while of talking and “bargaining” they fixed the price of 車検-Shaken for me at 14 man yen. The store’s staff said that my car was old, so I had to change parts and maintain a lot (At that time, my car was a 2000 Toyota Vitz). I also feel good because I don’t know how expensive it is, but I’ll go home and think about it more.
Then when I went to fill up gas, I happened to see that the gas station also had a billboard to accept doing 車検-Shaken, I asked to try and received a quote for nearly 10 man yen. Seeing that, I was so happy that I accepted doing 車検-Shaken at the gas station. I think it’s good luck to save a few man yen.
But now I’m not as dumb as I used to be. The first secret I want to share with readers is that when preparing to make 車検-Shaken, first get a quote on the internet first. The site I use is the most popular 車検-Shaken price comparison site in Japan is Rakuten Shaken with link below:
Just enter your postal code, the type of vehicle you are using on the website will automatically search for 車検-Shaken shops near your accommodation along with a “brief” quote (Note this is only a “brief” quote. ” and is subject to change during physical inspection of the vehicle in store). From their quotation, choose 2 to 3 stores that seem to be the cheapest.
Here, I would like to note that readers should not only look at the total cost of a “brief” quote to judge which store is cheap or expensive. Due to the high level of competition, stores always launch promotional programs to attract customers. For example, giving points on the Rakuten card, reducing gas prices for two years, washing your car, or changing your car oil for free… So depending on the service you want to enjoy, you can choose a store that makes Shaken correctly.
The advantage of this Rakuten site is that it is linked with almost every gas station or shop specializing in car repair and Shaken all over Japan, and there are many incentives to donate points to buy goods on Rakuten….
2.2 Go to 2 or 3 stores for actual quotes
As mentioned in step 1, the quotes readers see on the website are only “brief” quotes. It only includes the 法定費用-Houteihiyo Legal fee and the 点検費用-Tenkenhiyo Vehicle inspection fee. When going to the store, most staffs will say they should replace this part or that part to get more profit on the part replacement so the price may increase compared to the “brief” quote. Therefore, you should visit at least 2 stores to get an accurate quote. At this point, you will have a comparison and decide which store to do 車検-shaken to make the most accurate. Please note that you should make an appointment to come to the store via 楽天車検-Rakuten Shaken‘s website to receive internet promotions!
Rakuten shaken’s car registration website is here: 口コミやランキングなどうれしい機能も充実【楽天車検】
When you bring your car to the shop, remember to bring your old Vehicle registration certificate 車検証-Shakensho, driver’s license, foreigner’s card, credit card information, and accompanying documents such as tax payment certificate, certificate compulsory insurance participation certificate (自賠責保険加入証明-Jibaisekihonkenkanyushoumei).
2.3 Negotiate with the shop to eliminate the cost of replacing unnecessary parts
This one needs readers to know about vehicles a bit. Since the cost of replacing parts will contribute a lot to the store’s revenue, they will most likely try to suggest they replace as much as possible. Sometimes the part is not necessary and is not related to whether your car is passed Shaken-車検 or not. I’m not car savvy myself, so I consulted Japanese car blogs and was advised the best time to change car parts is as follows:
- Brake fluid ブレーキフルード: Should be changed every time you do 車検-Shaken. If the car runs less, then every 4 years
- Engine oil: Change every 5000km
- Brake Maintenanceブレーキメンテナンス: It is recommended to do it every time you do 車検-Shaken
- Cleaning PCV valveＰＣＶバルブクリーニング: Should be done after 30,000km~40,000km
- Gearbox maintenance oil for automatic vehicles ＡＴＦ: Should be changed every 50,000km
- Clean engine : Should be done every time you do 車検-Shaken
- Filters such as air filter, air conditioner filter: After every 50,000km
Therefore, depending on the use of your family’s car and the old and new condition of the car to decide whether to replace components or not. Normally, if the car is used for family use, it usually only runs 3,000~5000km a year, so in my opinion, changing the engine oil, cleaning the engine, or maintaining the brakes is necessary. The rest depends on the condition of the car. In addition, I was once suggested to change tires, batteries or LLC refrigerant. However, because a friend who knows about cars said it was not necessary, I decided not to change it. Of course, my car still passes Shaken as usual!!
If you understand the rules of replacing car parts, I think readers can completely negotiate with the store to reduce unnecessary costs. In addition, when going to 2 to 3 stores in practice, readers will see that each store suggests different components, and based on that, they will understand which components are “really necessary” to replace.
2.4 Make your own 車検-Shaken (User Shaken) if the car is new and knowledgeable about cars
Making your own 車検-Shaken is called a User Shaken, which means that car owners bring their cars to the facilities that are accepted officially to do 車検-Shaken. This facility is called 運輸支局-Unyushikyoku. In this case, the vehicle owner must review and maintain as well as replace parts (if necessary) before taking away 車検-Shaken. The registration fee is only the legal fee 法定費用-Houteihiyo. This is the most cost-effective way to make 車検-Shaken!!
Therefore, if the customer’s car has just been purchased and made for the first time (after 3 years) or if the reader is diligent in regular maintenance every day, or is a “pro” about the car, it is completely possible to bring the car to the facility 運輸 支局-Unyushikyoku.
Note that making User Shaken can only be done on weekdays (if you bring it to shaken shops, it can be done on weekends and holidays). In addition, you will also have to fill out the registration forms in Japanese and run the 40km vehicle inspection course yourself at the 運輸支局-Unyushikyoku
Above are my sharing about the experience of making Shaken. I hope that the above sharing will help readers reduce confusion in making Shaken in Japan for the first time, as well as save the maximum cost. Remember, make the most of when booking and comparing prices of 車検-Shaken over the internet, surely readers will calculate how much it costs without being overtaken by 車検-Shaken shops. If you find the sharing useful, please like and share the article so that I have more motivation to share more information. Readers, if you have any other experience, please save a comment too.