Row of carsNissan creates iconic vehicles, which are a joy to drive. These cars are tough and durable and usually last a long time. When a model needs repairs, Nissan cars, such as the Maxima, need car parts — which might not be easy to source.

Brand new parts for these old cars might be too expensive or no longer available. This is a common problem for car models that are no longer manufactured.

Japanese Road Inspection

Not all Japanese car brands come from Japan. There are some made only for the Japanese domestic market (JDM). One advantage of these vehicles is that they are all right-hand drives. For another, the vehicle specifications follow Japanese rules regarding vehicles on the road, as well as driving conditions.

These road rules affect how the market for JDM parts has evolved. In Japan, all vehicles must pass a road-worthy inspection called “Sha-ken.” This is an expensive inspection that has a graduated high price tag for vehicles.

The older the vehicle is, the more expensive the fee, and it can be more than 100,000 yen per vehicle. To meet these standards, even common car repairs can be expensive. The repairs not only have to make sure that the car runs properly afterward but also that they meet Sha-ken standards.

Japan and the Rest of the World

This results in the majority of Japanese cars being on the road for only 2 or 3 years. In most parts of the world, cars have an average age older than ten years. There are even some car manufacturers that pride themselves that their cars last longer than 20 years.

One other difference between cars in Japan and the rest of the world is the average distance driven per year. Japanese cars average about 9,300 kilometers. In contrast, cars in the United States average 19,100 kilometers per year.

The Japanese domestic market is different from the rest of the world. They have newer cars on the road, and they have used spare parts that are still very much usable. This is good news for Japanese car owners in the rest of the world even as the models retire or get an upgrade; there is still a supply of used spare parts.