How to Spot a GENUINE Japanese Vehicle

Have you ever purchased a used vehicle from Japan and found it broken down within 6 months of receiving it? Or perhaps you know someone who has had that experienced. Have you ever sent money for a cheap vehicle ony to find the exporter has "sold" that car before they received your money? Or you find out later that the vehicle you imported is a lot older than it was actually displayed at the time of purchasing.

So how did that happen? How could I tell if the vehicle was genuine through the internet, or better yet, how do I tell if the exporter is genuine? How is it possible to determine if the odometer wasn't rewound or the year of model has been displayed differently?

Ways to tell if cars OR car exporters are genuine:

  1. All genuine exporters will show at least 6 or 7 photos of each vehicle in their stock. You should be able to see all around the vehicle, the interior, the engine, and some exporters will show dents and scratches (as does JeksCars for every vehicle). Ask for more photos before sending money if there are only 2 or 3 photos available on an exporter's website.
  2. Genuine exporters will display the full chassis number and full details of each vehicle.
  3. Every vehicle comes with an Export Certificate. Only the owners of the vehicles hold the original Export Certificate and this is transferred from owner to owner. Therefore every Exporter should have this Export Certificate for every vehicle they have in stock. If not, they can't export that vehicle and it is more than likely they don't own the vehicle they are displaying on their website.

Don't be shy to ask for the Export Certificate. Every genuine exporter will send you a copy of the Certificate within a day of your request by e-mail or fax. Only cheats will refuse to send an Export Certificate since they are hiding important information from you.

The same applies for importers with stock available in your country. They have easy access to the Export certificates from their supplier and should be able to produce the certificates on demand. There is no excuse for them not to show you the certificate unless they are hiding something.

A sample copy of an Export Certificate is displayed here for your easy reference. These certificates have the following features: Scan of a Japanese Export Certificate (Masho)

(01) Information in Japanese and English on the same document
(02) First Registration date of the vehicle (the year model of the vehicle)
(03) Chassis number in full
(04) When an Export Certificate is re-produced by a photocopy machine, the word "COPY" appears in shaded ink
(05) The last recorded mileage at the last inspection is noted (in some cases the last two inspections are indicated) Beware if the mileage on the certificate is more than the mileage displayed on the exporter's website.

The mileage is important since some exporters will buy vehicles with extremely high mileage at cheap prices and wind the odometers back. This allows them to sell their vehicles at cheaper prices and still make profit. The problem arises when you have no idea when to change the timing belt. Your engine blows up and you end up with an expensive repair bill to replace the engine and or other parts. Not to mention that your non-roadworthy cheap car is a big danger to you and your family. In the end, your "cheap" car becomes more expensive than genuine cars and you lose.

Peace of mind is very important to all of us, so don't be afraid to ask for the extra photos and the Export Certificate before you commit any payment. You owe it to yourself and your family to protect your investment.

Written By: James Hanna

E-mail james@jekscars.com
URL: www.jekscars.com

Jekscars is a Japanese used car exporter recognized worldwide for genuine Japanese vehicles. We've sold many used cars, trucks, vans and buses. We'll do our best for you!

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