All cars in Japan must be inspected every 2 years. This ‘How to’ is specifically for having a car on Okinawa that is not registered as a ‘ Y ‘ number but as a Japanese license plate that must be inspected every 2 years hence the name JCI ( Japan Car Inspection ) or ( Japanese Compulsory Insurance ) but this is actually a false name created by local English speaking Garages to dumb it down for Americans living on Okinawa, Japan.
The actual name is: 自動車検査登録制度 which means Automobile inspection registration system.
After living in Okinawa, Japan for my 13th year, I have had many every 2 year auto inspections done to my cars and I didn’t find cheaper solution to this procedure until a long time foreigner resident who worked in garages explained the entire procedure to me.
Even Mainland Japanese people or Okinawan born and bred people have no idea on what this procedure entails and everyone is getting there information from hear say. The worst person to ask about getting the inspection procedure done is a garage. Yes, a garage is the worst place. The worst place to get any quote from is the biggest garages such as Yellow Hat or Autobaux. These garages make there living at exacerbating problems with your car that need fixing. That means they are actively finding things on your car to charge you for so that you would ‘ pass ‘ the inspection but as you will learn none of this has to be done.
I know this because I have taken my car through the government inspection site myself and went through each test and watched everything. Although I’m not going to explain all that boring stuff to you. I am going to give you one person’s business card about 30 seconds to the entrance of the government inspection site located in Urasoe City.
The wonderful lady’s office is called Uehara’s Office and if you would like to drop off your car to her and have her do your inspections you are going to need three things to bring with your for you car.
- Car Title
- Compulsory Insurance
- Paid Car Tax Receipt
The price she charges for a K car (small car) is 29,000YEN. For different sized vehicles there are different fees but the price should be within a few 1000YEN of this price if you have a larger vehicle.
If your car has REAL problems that don’t fail to meet the standards of inspection, guess what, those are the only things that Mrs. Uehara is going to have fixed for you and charged for. So for instance if one of your blinker lights does not work then that is a fail for the inspection and she will have that fixed, you will be charged and she will bring it back for round 2 of inspection later in the day.
This is the best way to have your car inspected because if you are to take it to the garage they are going to fix things unnecessarily as Uehara-san will just fix what is necessary. It seems completely logical but 99.9% people still bring there car to a garage. Although who do some of the garages sub-contract the paperwork and inspections to run through to, the answer: Uehara’s Office along with the other offices on the same little street doing the exact same service.
The only benefit to having your car inspected thru the garage is the convenience of location. You can drop it off at the closest garage. They might offer you a loaner car for the day. In the case of using Uehara’s office you will have to bring your car to her. That means after you drop it off and you will have to get a ride home, a ride the work the next day, and a ride back to her office to pick up the inspected vehicle the next day as the procedure takes about a day if you just drop it off to her. That might be a big hassle BUT since the price difference is at least 20,000YEN I think that is worth having your significant other help you. (and it is not uncommon to hear of someone paying 200,000YEN because a garage created a plethora of imaginary things they say are old and they are going to replace.)
This is not to say that garages are the boogie man. I went to a local garage along route 58 called Taba Brothers. They do incredible work for dents and scratch repair for such a reasonable price. I popped into there office first and they quoted me 500USD.. well at this exchange rate today that is 54,800YEN.. although the convenience of the location I just can’t seem to justify paying 25,800YEN more than I know I have to.
When you go to Uehara-san office she is going to ask you where you got her contact information. You can say you got it from: HIGGINS, DAVID VINCENT, that’s me. Unfortunately this is not going to get me or you any type of discount but she will understand why you ended up there.
If this blog article helped you out and saved you money please send me an email on how radical I am to here. If you are a competitive garage that wants to send me hate mail, I love that too. – Dave