Golden Week Break .. no break .. but it is

The traditional Japanese Golden Week holiday is upon us.  Usually there are traffic jams for miles on the main highways between prefectures and cities.  This year the public has been told to “stay home”, and they are obeying!

So here is the schedule for the auctions and office opening and closing dates: 

The office will be closed from Wednesday, April 29th until Wednesday, May 6th. It will be open and operational again from Thursday, May 7th.

The auctions: the bidding team will be bidding on cars at the auctions as normal until Saturday, May 2nd. Back to normal schedule from Thursday May 7th

March April …. the rush for companies to dump under-used vehicles before the annual car tax

From the beginning of April, owners of vehicles, whether they be private or public, get sent a bill: the annual car tax.  This is a time when both the individual or the company re-evaluates whether the car they own is worth keeping for another year, as the tax is not always cheap.  Companies that have a large number of vehicles may decide to “trade in” vehicles, so as to escape this annual tax.  For this reason, in March and April each year, the numbers of vehicles appearing in the auctions, increase.

Increases of the same models of vehicles in the auctions means more vehicles available to choose from as well as a decrease in the average price per vehicle.  That is, it is a GOOD TIME TO BUY.  Add onto this the mini-recession that the corona virus has brought upon Japan, there is even more motivation for unneeded vehicles to be traded in to save money.  2020 March / April may be a very cheap time to buy.

Hiace Wagon, ESC (VSC) present in models: TRH229W TRH224W 2016 and vans from December 2017

A big impact on importing into New Zealand with the new ESC (electronic stability control) rules, is the impact of vans going to New Zealand.  Now with the rules covering used vans going from Japan to New Zealand, when searching for a van in the used car auctions in Japan, you need to know what has ESC (often listed as VSC in vans) and what does not.

Firstly, Hiace wagons and commuters had a change to ESC (VSC) in 2016.  Don’t waste your time searching for anything older than that.

Secondly, Hiace vans had a change over to ESC (VSC) from December 2017.

The Japanese article explaining the details here.







ESC rule, the day of reckoning for New Zealand imports

Well the day is nearly upon us!  March 1st 2020.

ESC defined as:   “Electronic stability control (ESC), also referred to as electronic stability program (ESP) or dynamic stability control (DSC), is a computerized technology that improves a vehicle’s stability by detecting and reducing loss of traction (skidding). … Some ESC systems also reduce engine power until control is regained.”

Automobile Association of NZ’s report

Also the ministry of transport has pitched in it’s views and recommendations

and the VTNZ announcement

So the day has come upon us.  The key phrase in this announcement:

all other used class MA, MB and NA light passenger and goods vehicles inspected at the border from 1 March 2020.”

 First of all: “inspected at the border”, what does this mean?

Border inspection for vehicles going into NZ occurs at the ports in Japan.  Once the car is IN the yard, even if not inspected, it is considered border checked.  So any non-ESC equipped vehicles must be in the yard by February the 28th. To safely purchase from local auctions and allowing transportation to the yard, consider the “cut-off” date to be February 17th for non-ESC equipped vehicles.

Exemptions?  The following categories of vehicles are exempt from these new ESC rules into New Zealand:

…. low volume schemes, “immigrant vehicles” (privately owned and used overseas), 20 year old vehicles, special interest vehicles….

All other vehicles must have some form of electronic stability control if imported into New Zealand.  The problem:  not all recently sold new vehicles sold in Japan were sold with ESC, ESC being a maker option.  ESC is NOT stated on the auction sheets.  ESC is not stated on the de-reg. documents.  Some models always have ESC, some models they are an option, some models don’t have ESC.

I will follow up this blog with a gradual list of vehicles that DO and DO NOT have ESC.  But until then it is “buyer beware”.  Here at Provide Cars we consider ourselves “the buyer” for the “buyers”, so we always check on the existence of ESC on a vehicle before bidding.

The Worst Car Ever?

Wanna know which car is considered to be the biggest pile of crap?  The 1978 Cadillac Deville.  It came out a year after I was born so I don’t remember much about the existence of this car but I hear that this pile of crap gives you a whopping 6 miles to the gallon.  In a time when the U.S. was going through a gas crisis this car only added to people’s headaches.  Story has it that you were able to get this car for only a couple of hundred bucks a few years after it came out.  So it looks like there are a lot of cons but what are the pros of this car?  Well, I hear you could fit a lot of people in it and it offered a lot of horse power.  But beside that it was just a big car that ate a lot of your hard earned money.

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I had to add one more crap car for you.  I present to you the Ford Pinto.  This bomb on wheels was a death trap.  Why?  Well, when the Pinto got rear-ended it tended to go up in flames.  According to a report Ford did 40 tests and every time it crashed the fuel tank ruptured.  Ford knew about this but put it out on the market anyway.  So, why did Ford put the car out on the market knowing it had problems?  Because, Ford knew that if they did not put out a new sub-compact car in their 1971 line up the Japanese and Germans were going to take over the US market in the sub-compact arena.  Are you telling me that Ford picked quantity over quality?  Nooooo!  Yes, they did!  Some might say, “You get what you pay for.”  There’s some truth to that but in the case of the Pinto I would have to say don’t drive this piece of crap of a car.  I don’t care if you know how to do crazy stunts like Johnny Knoxville don’t do it!

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Well, boys and girls.  I hope you learned a great lesson today.  Buy safe and reliable cars only.  But what if I can’t afford a brand new car?  You can always get a nice used car from the Japanese auto auction.  Cars in Japan are inspected every two years and a lot of these cars are well maintained.  Plus many of these cars have great safety features to keep you and your loved ones safe.  A third of cars sold at these auctions are shipped across the sea to foreign countries.  I’m sure Provide Cars Ltd can help you get one so tell your mommy’ and daddy’s about them.  Remember, Japanese auto auctions are one of the best places to get a Toyota Prius, Estima and other Japanese cars.  Remember that you can get a nice European or American car too.

Other ways to “RENT” a car

Sleep, eat and sing.  These are all things you can do in a car.

Times Car Share is a popular car rental option with over 230,000 registered users.  My good friend Finn, his real name is Yukio, uses the service quite often.  For many individuals that do not own a car in Japan Times Car Share is a cheap and excellent option to get from point A to point B.  But the company found itself scratching their heads.  Despite people renting the car they found no mileage put on the cars.  Why?  After investigating they found out that lot of their users were using the car to eat lunch, sleep, think and practice singing among other things.  During the hot summers some users would just sit in the car with the A/C on to cool off while they gulped down a drink or ate a meal.  Others found the car to be a nice private location to catch some Z’s.  For others it was the best option to work on their vocal chords in the safety of a car in a random parking lot where there is little to no traffic.  Don’t forget that it’s a great place to meditate on your thoughts too.

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The company has expressed that their rental cars are to be used to go places and not to be used as a hotel.  Now, I know that it’s not good for the engine or the environment to sit in one location.  But you gotta give it to those who figured out another use for these rent-a-cars.  Maybe Times Car Share could hire people to drive the customers around while they eat, rest, meditate or sing a few tunes.  After a survey they figured out that one out of eight people used cars for purposes other than transportation.  Maybe they need to go into Times Space Share?  I mean if people are willing to sit in a seat and pay 400 yen for 30 minutes why not create a similar small space with sound proof windows?  Don’t forget to create that new car smell because that’s what makes sitting in a car worth it.  Right?


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