City of Kobe

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “Kobe”?  Beef or the basketball player?  Well, in case you didn’t know Kobe Bryant got his name from Kobe beef supposedly.  One source says that his parents saw “Kobe” in a restaurant menu before he was born.  I guess if people pronounced his name exactly the way the Japanese pronounce it would have been more obvious.

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Kobe is the name of a city in Hyogo Prefecture in Japan.  It is a port city and is the sixth largest in Japan.

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On January 17, 1995 the city was hit by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake which was one of the deadliest in Japanese history.  The city recovered

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Kobe in Japanese is 神戸.  It is translated as God’s door.  The city has been a hub for many years and an important port for international trade.  Today, many corporations are located in the Kobe area.

For soccer fans Vissel Kobe is the home team that has world class stars such as Podolski and Iniesta.

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Last but not least the Kobe area is where a lot of used cars are exported to other countries. It only makes sense to have auction houses when you have a constant flow of ships going in and out.

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The Japanese auto auctions carry the best used cars on the planet.  They are reliable and cheap.  If you are looking for a full service export company look no further.  Give Provide Cars Ltd a chance to provide you with the best export service there is in Japan.  We ship world wide.  Check us out at www.providecars.co.jp

 

How to avoid fees in ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone)

ULEZ!  It sounds like my sister in-laws name, who I  don’t care for much, but it stands for Ultra Low Emission Zone.  This is a new law that is going to be passed next year, April 2018, in Central London in efforts to improve air quality.  Vehicles that go through ULE Zone will have to pay fees.  How much you ask?  It depends on the size of the vehicle.  Motorcycles, cars and mini vans will pay 12.50 GBP.  Lorries and Buses will be paying 100 GBP…..Ouch!

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So, how do you avoid the fees?  Get a hybrid or electric car!

If your petrol car is more than 13 years old in 2019, then you’ll probably be affected by the ULEZ, but it shouldn’t be expensive to find a car less than that age, which does meet the required Euro 4 standard.

 

Alternatively, you may want to consider an electric car if you rarely take long-distance journeys.  A used Nissan Leaf can be purchased relatively cheap at the auctions in Japan.  All you need to do is find a trusted all service export company like Provide Cars Ltd. who is located near Kobe, Japan.

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Let’s face it.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that electric cars are going to rule the automotive industry in the near future.  In my last blog I explained that battery technology is advancing and is getting cheaper.  I am a huge fan of electric cars and can not wait to see the day when every car on the road is an electric.  Cleaner air and quite roads mean better environment for children, our pets and everyone.

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Are you looking for a used hybrid or electric vehicle?  The best place is to get one from the Japanese auto auctions.  We can help.  Check us out at www.providecars.co.jp.  We will give you a free trial account.  It won’t cost you a penny, pence, yen or a single euro.  We will walk you through the simple process of buying a car in Japan.

 

 

The Revival of Electric Cars

It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that one-third of vehicles in the early 1900s were electric cars in the United States.  But in 1915 electric cars faded out because it was cheaper to own a gasoline operated car, the Ford Model T.  It’s been over a 100 years since then and it looks like the roles are going to be reversed as we see a revival in electric cars.

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These days more and more major players in the auto industry are coming out with new and innovative electric cars.  Motor companies that are not preparing to put out electric cars in the next few years will have little to no future in the auto industry.  Many countries are pushing for zero emissions.  In some Asian countries they are planning to ban gasoline vehicles completely by 2030.

Formula E is an upcoming popular sport that I have got into recently.  But obviously I will probably never own a Formula E race car.  But owning a Tesla is not that far fetched.  Tesla’s acceleration is impressive against other gasoline operated sports cars.

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One reason I enjoy E racing is because it reminds me of my Mini Yonku(ミニ四駆), a plastic car with a battery driven motor, when I was a kid.  I used to modify my car and enter into neighborhood races.

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So what are the benefits of electric cars?  Electric cars have few moving parts than a petrol car and requires little preventative maintenance.  Oil changes are not needed with electric cars.  Some other obvious benefits is the cost on fuel.  You will spend a third or less in fuel cost compared to a gasoline car.  Some cities are offering cheaper taxation on vehicles that run on electricity as well.  Electric cars are safer as well. Due to the battery’s position electric cars have a better center of gravity.  This makes the car more stable.  Let’s not forget that it’s better for the environment.  No emission means also mean that we can enjoy better health.

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With the advancement of new battery technology the price will continue to decrease and charging time will significantly be reduced.  Lithium-ion battery prices are still above $200/kWh but by 2030 it’s predicted to be at around $73/kWh.  What does that mean for consumers?  Affordable electric cars.  .

 

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Here are some examples of top rated electric cars.

Tesla Model 3

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Chevrolet Bolt EV

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Nissan Leaf

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BMW I3

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Want to own an electric car but the prices are still a little too steep for you?  Well, you just might be able to find a deal at the Japanese auto auction.  Used cars in Japan are one of if not the best quality vehicles you can own in the world.  Get a no obligation free trial account at www.providecars.com.  Provide Cars is approved by the Japanese Used Motor Vehicle Export Association with over 20 years of experience.  Got questions?  We have answers.  Contact us at [email protected]

Reasons to buy Used not new (Part 2)

Some of the finest and most reliable cars are made in Japan.  Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Daihatsu, Isuzu.  For years domestic buyers have been trading their older vehicles for new ones on after a few years.  What prompts people to trade in a perfectly good car?  Shaken (車検)or motor vehicle inspection.  When you buy a new car you can drive it for three years without having to go through Shaken.  Afterwards every car must go through Shaken every two years.  Shaken cost anywhere from 100,000 yen to 200,000 yen. ( approximately 900 dollars to 1800 dollars)  As a result most people decide to get a newer car rather than go through another inspection.

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The market value of vehicles in Japan drop drastically after 70,000 km or 10 years in Japan.  For most people in other countries 70,000 km or 43,500 miles is not high at all.  Most people in other countries are not deterred by a 10 year old car either.  As long as it’s in good working condition and can be purchased at a fair price most cars have no issues finding a new owner.

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(Many foreign made cars are available at the Japanese auto auctions as well)

One thing I find interesting are the foreign made cars making it’s way either back to the country they were made or being transported to another one.  For instance, a lot of German made cars such as Mercedes Benz, BMW and Volkswagen make their way back to Germany.  I believe this is due to many German car owners in Japan keeping their used cars in great condition.  What I also find interesting is customers in Europe that import American cars.  You would think that American cars would be imported from the United States of America but many buyers prefer to buy them from Japan.  Why?  Because cars are well cared for in Japan.

front photo of car ??? - 2012 Chrysler Chrysler 300 3.5 - blackfront photo of car TJ40S - 1999 Chrysler Jeep Wrangler Sports ソフトトップ - yellowfront photo of car - 2011 Ford Mustang GT - wine

front photo of car 2Z15 - 2017 BMW I8 - whitefront photo of car WVWZZZ6RZBU037520 - 2011 VW Vw Polo ポロ5D TSIコンフォートL - front photo of car 463272 - 2015 Mercedes-Benz G Class G63K RAY JI-KALA LIMI - orange

 

The auto auctions sell thousands daily.  Some of the larger auction sell 1000 to 1500 cars every hour!  Importing a car may seem difficult but with a little research anyone can do it.  Whether you want a sports car or family car we can help.  We also arrange purchasing and shipping of heavy equipment and construction vehicles.  We are happy to provide services to individuals and businesses.  Just sign up at www.providecars.co.jp or email me at [email protected]

Reasons to buy USED not new

“Buying a new car is the worst financial decision millennials will make” is what one famous financial author, David Bach, says.  The car’s value decreases by 20 to 30% the first year and, in five years, it can lose 60% or more of it’s original value.  Here is a visual example below.

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In my early 20s I remember watching an interview of millionaire, Clark Howard.  He drove a used Toyota Prius and bought his sweetheart’s engagement ring at Costco whole sale store.  I was really fascinated with this guy’s financial decision to purchase a used Toyota Prius.  Now that I have a family of my own I understand the importance of making good financial decisions.  I purchased a brand new Mazda right after my wife and I got married.  I remember being worried of scratches and dents.  I often parked away from other cars.  Now that I own a used car I don’t worry as much about scratches and dings.

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So, the question is which car should I buy?  Well, according to Clark Howard these are the top 10 cars that will almost certainly last you more than 200,000 miles or 322,000 km.  Keep in mind to change your fluids and filters regularly and you should be able to get the most out of your car and save thousands!

Honda Accord

Honda Civic

Honda CR-V

Toyota Prius

Toyota Camry

Toyota 4Runner

Toyota Corolla

Toyota Sienna

Toyota Highlander

Ford F-150

9 out of 10 are Japanese made cars.  One of the best places to get your Japanese made cars is from Japan.  Why?  Because almost every car from Japan has been through inspection.  In order for cars to pass inspection their components must be in good working order.  This means that the chances of you buying a lemon is very slim to none.  Every car that is sold at the auto auctions in Japan are inspected and have an auction sheet with a grading system on it.  If you read Japanese you will have no problem reading the auction sheet below.  For those who do not read Japanese, Provide Cars Ltd. offer free translation and advice to members to help you make good choices on which cars to buy.

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We serve dealers, businesses, non-profits and individuals.  All are welcome.  Sign up for a free trial at www.providecars.co.jp and click on the “SIGN UP” tab.

New Generation Nissan Leaf 2018 and it’s e-pedal

Nissan claims the car can do 400 kms with the new 40 kWh battery pack, however the reality under more normal road conditions is more like 240 kms on one charge.

It also features the Nissan Leaf e-pedal, where with a flick of the switch, the accelerator pedal becomes both acceleration and braking, with no need to move your foot to the brake pedal.  Shown here in a youtube video from Nissan:

Also some pictures from the Japanese Nissan site:

I’d love to give this new generation Nissan Leaf a try.

Suzuki Swift

I am not a huge fan of Suzuki but I am a fan of the Suzuki Swift.  I really like the 2nd and 3rd generation Swift.  The smooth compact body is very appealing.  Besides the Swift I really can’t recall what other Suzuki’s are available on the market at this moment…I’m sure I will think of another model later.

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The Swift gets great mileage at little over 60 mpg.  It has a nice engine but some would complain that the interior needs a bit more improvement.  But when you consider what you can get for the price it all balances out.  If you are looking for a nice and affordable car to make some modifications to the Swift is a great choice.  At the Japanese auto auctions a 2008 to 2009 Swifts sells between 50k yen to 100k yen.

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Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf was introduced in 2011.  Some of the great features of the of the Leaf is the almost non-existent engine noise.  Also with the regenerative breaking system it’s a lot safer compared to petrol/ gasoline vehicles.  How about cost to operate the vehicle?  There is no need to do oil changes anymore and it costs a lot less to charge than to fill it up at gas pumps.  Compared to the Nissan Altima 2.5L 4 cylinder it costs roughly 1/3.  If you don’t believe me check it out at here:    https://www.fueleconomy.gov/

The new Leaf has a range of 150 miles.  It takes about 12 hours to fully charge the Leaf at home.  The EZ Charging location will charge 80% of the car in about 30 minutes.  As of January 2018, 300,000 Leafs have been sold world wide.

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I have always been intrigued with F-1 racing since the 1990’s.   Recently I have been watching Formula E.  There is something very refreshing about watching cars zoom by without the loud engine sound.  It’s a completely different experience.  It’s almost as if you are watching large R/C  cars running around a large course.

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The Nissan Leaf Nismo RC is mainly made out of carbon fiber and aluminum. One thing that I was not aware of was the fact that most electric cars run on one gear.  That’s right.  They don’t have a transmission like gasoline engine vehicles.

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We are seeing an increase in used electric cars being exported from Japan right now.  One of my clients wrote back sharing his excitement of how much he saved driving his newly imported Nissan Leaf.  Hybrids are becoming more and more popular.  As Elon Musk said, “Electric cars will rule the roads in the future.”  I have to agree with him.  Are you interested in getting a used car from the Japanese auto auction?  We can help.  Sign up for a free account today!

Mitsubishi GTO’s Comeback?

Do you remember playing Gran Turismo on the Playstaion 1?  Which car was the fastest?   I was told the modified Mitsubishi GTO Twin Turbo.

Image result for Gran turismo GTO 1992 Image result for Mitsubishi GTO 1992

Today the Mitsubishi GTO or GT 3000 is almost considered a classic.  The last production of the GTO was in 1998.  A car that dominated in a video game has been out of the game for 20 years now.  But is it out of the game forever?  Foreverrrrr, foreverrrrr,  foreverrrrr.  (If you never saw the movie “Sand Lot” you won’t get this joke)  Any way, there are talks that Mitsubishi is coming out with a new GTO in or after 2019!  Here are some photos of what it might look like.

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With talks of Toyota coming out with their new Supra in 2019, Honda/Acura NSX’s new model coming out soon and Nissan coming out with new GT-R lines every year, I welcome the new GTO with open arms.

I LUV VANS

I met a lot of people who were opposed to getting a van even after having kids. When I lived in the U.S. I used to hear comments like, “I don’t want to be labeled as a soccer mom” or “Vans aren’t cool looking.”  It’s rather funny because once they drive and see the benefits of owning a van people eventually get one.  The van below is the Toyota Estima.  More minivans have been coming out with modern looks and better aerodynamics. Allow me to share with you my personal experience and opinion and share why I think vans are great.

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  1. Sliding doors are awesome!  Life is stressful as it is.  The last thing you want to do is worry that you or your child will hit the car next to your’s when you open the door.  With a sliding door you won’t have to worry about that.  It makes it easier to get your infant, children, grandpa/grandma or anyone in and out of the vehicle in tight parking spaces.  It also makes it easy to put and take out stuff like groceries, furniture and other items.  Plain and simple.  It’s ergonomical.  Once on a cold windy day the wind caught the door when my wife opened the front door of our Toyota van.  The door check broke off and left the big dent in on the front end of the door panel.  I’m a DIY kind of guy but fixing the door check was a pain.  Sliding doors can prevent these types of incidents as well.

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2. Comfort, comfort and more comfort.  If you have a family and love to go on long trips then owning a van is a no-brainer to me.  If the kids get board put on a movie and wait for them to fall asleep.  We have clients visit us at the Provide Cars office from various countries.  We get groups and some of them can be larger in stature than the average Joe.  The spacious interior makes it a comfortable ride when we take them to the Japanese auto auctions or sight seeing.  Trust me, you don’t want to feel crammed after a long flight.

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Related image   Image result for Toyota Alphard interior

3. I love the space!  Most of us have moved from one place to another.  Having a van makes it easy to transport items you would rather move yourself.  I like to transport expensive electronics or precious items myself.  Some vans allow you to fold the chairs into the floor or lift up to the side.  Also, for those who love to go camping a van allows you to take more stuff!  Although I wouldn’t recommend it I have seen people haul their mopeds too.

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Nissan Elgrand is a top seller for us.

 

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Honda Stepwagon is a great van as well with a nice interior.

If you read my previous blog ” Used Car Ranking (Japan)” you may have noticed 5 out of the top 10 popular used cars were vans.  The demand is there and they are not just for soccer moms anymore.  Want to get one?  Check out the Japanese auto auctions through Providecars.co.jp.