I think owning a vehicle in foreign countries involves experiencing social and cultural differences. In Japan, we have “sha-ken“, that is mandatory vehicle road-worthiness inspection, comparable to MOT in the UK.
While MOT is a checkup of basic vehicle functionalities, Sha-ken is rather the “preventive maintenance” of vehicles and it’s costly here in Japan.
This time, it cost me “only”, I would say, a total of 93,000 yen, however, it cost me more than 200,000 yen two years ago, because I had to have brake pads, brake cylinders, ATF and others replaced with the new ones. The next time will be a headache again. I will have to replace the timing belt of the engine.
Included in the total cost is “Vehicle Weight Tax” (32,400 yen), compulsory liability insurance (27,800 yen) and filing seal tax (1,800) yen. The Vehicle Tax (39,500 yen) is paid separately, because it’s a prefectural tax, due in the end of May. These costs differ depending on the type and size of vehicles.
Regarding the compulsory liability insurance, it is only a bare minimum and car owners are expected to have another insurance with private companies.
For your information, most of vehicle service shops in Japan are licensed by the Government and so are automobile mechanics. According to the survey conducted by Japan Automobile Service Promotion Assocication, 85.7% are licensed mechanics.