Japan may be renowned for its world-leading car manufacturers like Toyota and Honda, but in recent years car ownership has been dipping slightly. It first rose above 0.5 cars per household (in other words, 1 for every two households) in 1976, and then breached the 1-per-household mark twenty years later in 1996.

Since last year, the figure has dropped by 0.009 cars per household, to 1.095 per household, which is a drop of 0.8% total. A number of factors are at work here:

First of all, Japan is a small country with very limited space (which explains why a large metropolis like Tokyo has a rate of 0.497 cars per household), so it is unlikely that car ownership would continue to climb much beyond one per household. Japan also has an excellent public transport system, so there is no need for a car if you live near a station and work in the downtown area. The recession hitting at the end of 08 cannot have helped much either. Finally, the allure of the “my car” culture is apparently being replaced by newer gizmos like MP3 players and iPhones among young people.

Don’t worry, though! There are still a lot of cars left in Japan, tens of thousands of which you can buy each dat in the Japanese car auctions.

Provide Cars, we provide you with the largest selection of vehicles available from 115 car auctions in Japan each week