When it comes to car pricing occasionally there are outliers: “Why was that car so expensive in the auction today?”.  A similar car with similar kms sells for 100,000 yen less, what made this car’s selling price so expensive?

What is the Japanese “shaken”?

The Japanese Shaken system, also known as the vehicle inspection and registration system, is a mandatory periodic inspection program for cars and motorcycles in Japan. The word “Shaken” (車検) literally translates to “car examination” or “car inspection” in English. The purpose of Shaken is to ensure the safety, roadworthiness, and environmental compliance of vehicles on Japanese roads.

Here are some key aspects of the Japanese Shaken system:

1. Frequency: Shaken inspections are typically required every two years for most passenger cars and motorcycles. However, the frequency can vary depending on factors such as vehicle age, type, and fuel type.

2. Inspection Items: Shaken inspections cover a wide range of items to assess the condition of the vehicle. These include safety-related components such as brakes, tires, lights, steering, suspension, and seat belts. The inspection also evaluates emission control systems, noise levels, and general vehicle condition.

3. Inspection Process: Shaken inspections must be performed at authorized inspection centers, which are often designated by the local government. Vehicle owners must schedule an appointment and bring their vehicle to the inspection center for the examination. Trained inspectors conduct a comprehensive inspection of the vehicle, often utilizing specialized equipment to test various components.

4. Renewal and Costs: Upon passing the Shaken inspection, the vehicle’s registration is renewed for another specified period (usually two years). However, if any issues are identified during the inspection, the owner must address and repair those issues before the vehicle can pass. The cost of Shaken inspections varies depending on factors such as vehicle type, age, and the required repairs. It is worth noting that Shaken inspections can be relatively expensive compared to inspections in some other countries.

5. Maintenance and Repairs: To ensure a higher likelihood of passing the Shaken inspection, regular maintenance and repairs are essential. Many vehicle owners proactively maintain their vehicles to keep them in good condition and address any potential issues before the inspection. This can include servicing and replacing worn-out parts, such as brake pads, tires, and exhaust components.

Failure to complete the Shaken inspection within the required timeframe can result in penalties, including fines and restrictions on vehicle use. It is important for vehicle owners in Japan to be aware of the inspection schedule and ensure compliance with the Shaken system to legally operate their vehicles on Japanese roads.

It’s worth noting that specific details and regulations of the Shaken system may be subject to change, and additional requirements may apply to certain vehicle types or regions within Japan.

How can you tell a car still has shaken on in the auction?

Apart from being able to read the Japanese car auction sheets, which are very inconveniently in Japanese, the easiest way is to look at the photo of the car to see whether it still has a number plate on or not.  If it has a number plate on, it most probably still has shaken left.  The longer the shaken is the more attractive it is to local car dealers looking to buy an already registered car for their customers.