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Thread: Requirements and procedure for Purchasing a bike in Japan

  1. #1

    Default Requirements and procedure for Purchasing a bike in Japan

    This has probably been asked before, but neither google nor the forum search engine gave me satisfactory results, so I'd like to ask: what is needed to purchase a motorbike in Japan (for a foreigner living here)?

    I asked an actual dealer but he wasn't too sure himself (I live in a kinda backwater city and they haven't seen many foreigners here, let alone foreigners who wanted to purchase a bike): he told me that I need my juminhyo (got it), my hanko (got it) and my driving licence, whatever country it might be from.

    Then he asked me about the dates on my licence, and about when I came into Japan, andat the end he said that everything seems ok, but his English and my Japanese were quite terrible so communication might have been less than ideal.

    Further details: I am going to get an IDP soon, which will enable me to actually ride the thing around for 12 months (during which I can either learn enough Japanese to go and obtain a Japanese driving licence, or have my licence converted to a Japanese one, the latter being the cheaper and faster option...). I did mention the IDP to him but he seemed to deem it unnecessary or irrelevant, for the purpose of purchasing the bike.

    Can anyone confirm this, or clarify how it works? Also, I've read that it's basically impossible to ride the bike away on the same day, and that it usually takes around 1 week for them to do all the paperwork... True (if so, can I give them everything a week or two in advance, so that on the "day", I will actually be able to ride home)?

    Also, someone mentioned that I have to have lived here for one year or some other amount of time before being able to purchase, anyone knows anything about that?

    Thanks all in advance,

    Kawasquid

  2. #2

    Default

    Requirements and procedure for Purchasing a bike in Japan
    1. Walk into shop. Select desired product.
    2. Give money to shopkeeper.
    3. Leave shop with product.

    Works for bikes, clothes, appliances, sushi and all manner of easily portable items. Bit awkward if the product weighs a lot and doesn't have wheels.

    Assuming you also want to REGISTER your purchase, affix a license plate and drive it away, you also need to do the following:

    1. Find out where the vehicle inspection/ registration center for your area is. This may be different from the dealer's location but they will know. If your address is Tokyo you can go to Samezu. The dealer can do all this for you if you want to pay for the service.

    2. Go there, either in person or by proxy (the dealer) with your residence documents. Fill out a bunch of forms, pay some money, receive plate. Slightly more complicated if the bike is over 250cc and the current inspection has expired. In Tokyo, it takes about an hour from walking in the building to walking out with a plate.

    I am going to get an IDP soon, which will enable me to actually ride the thing around for 12 months
    Kinda sorta maybe not quite.......

    You are supposed to get one from your home country before you travel. If they will issue one by mail, great.

    Take out your resident card and look at the first date on the second-last line. This is the day you arrived in Japan. An IDP is valid for up to one year from this date. If that one year has passed you cannot use an IDP except in certain rare circumstances.

    Take out your current drivers license and look at the issue date. Is the issue date less than 3 months before the arrival date? Problem. Come back if that's the case.

    You should also look at supplemental insurance. The required insurance (the sticker on the plate) covers 3rd-party damages. It does not insure you or the bike at all, and they tend to sue you to recover the payout. I pay 30,000 per year for full coverage and road service, including free towing.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rtfm View Post
    1. Walk into shop. Select desired product.
    2. Give money to shopkeeper.
    3. Leave shop with product.

    Works for bikes, clothes, appliances, sushi and all manner of easily portable items. Bit awkward if the product weighs a lot and doesn't have wheels.
    "Well, no shit, what have we got here, a fucking comedian!" (Cit.) :D

    Quote Originally Posted by rtfm View Post
    Assuming you also want to REGISTER your purchase, affix a license plate and drive it away, you also need to do the following:

    1. Find out where the vehicle inspection/ registration center for your area is. This may be different from the dealer's location but they will know. If your address is Tokyo you can go to Samezu. The dealer can do all this for you if you want to pay for the service.

    2. Go there, either in person or by proxy (the dealer) with your residence documents. Fill out a bunch of forms, pay some money, receive plate. Slightly more complicated if the bike is over 250cc and the current inspection has expired. In Tokyo, it takes about an hour from walking in the building to walking out with a plate.
    Ok, that's probably why I was told that it can take up to a week. That's if I let the dealer take care of everything, they're gonna take some time running the paperwork...

    Quote Originally Posted by rtfm View Post
    Kinda sorta maybe not quite.......

    You are supposed to get one from your home country before you travel. If they will issue one by mail, great.
    Yeah, I got my family doing the paperwork back home, and sending the IDP over to me when that's done.


    Quote Originally Posted by rtfm View Post
    Take out your resident card and look at the first date on the second-last line. This is the day you arrived in Japan. An IDP is valid for up to one year from this date. If that one year has passed you cannot use an IDP except in certain rare circumstances.

    Take out your current drivers license and look at the issue date. Is the issue date less than 3 months before the arrival date? Problem. Come back if that's the case.
    My resident card is dated 10th of August, so that's a good 10 months left of IDP validity for me (as of now, probably 9 or 8 months, by the time I get the IDP and the bike).

    Quote Originally Posted by rtfm View Post
    You should also look at supplemental insurance. The required insurance (the sticker on the plate) covers 3rd-party damages. It does not insure you or the bike at all, and they tend to sue you to recover the payout. I pay 30,000 per year for full coverage and road service, including free towing.
    Yeah, reading this forum and other places I got that, I'll definitely get additional insurance (I'll probably ask the dealer about it, less of a hassle, if the price is reasonable).

    Thanks for the info, man. Have a great Thursday!
    Last edited by Kawasquid; 18-10-18 at 05:49 PM.

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