You Can Buy a Car in Japan for Ten Bucks

People hire me to to find deals on cars. Sometimes I save folks thousands off a new Mercedes or simply find the best value in the pre-owned market. It really all depends on the customer. Of course my all time favorite is when I found a client a RWD, manual, E91 3-series wagon with less than 400 miles on it. However, all of those deals pale in comparison to these two dudes in Japan who bought a car for a 1000 yen, or about $9.80.

It all started with Goo Net and Car Sensor Net, which are sort-of Japan's version of our Craigslist but with much cooler cars and fewer descriptions that have nothing to do with the actual car for sale such as-


Great runner. Girlfriend pregnant , wife mad must sell all my toys . U must take items on car. There is bbq parts, arrows, mt. Dew cans. There may also be a few items that u may throw away.

Caseey Baseel a writer for Rocket News 24, a blog dedicated to Japan and Asia news, and his friend Go, a Japanese language correspondent, managed to find a 1997 Mitsubishi Minica Guppy with just 93,000 kilometers (57,787 miles) on the odometer at a dealership in Nagoya. According to the description, the car was in very good condition considering its age and that all major components were working properly. The only real demerit was a broken rear-door handle. Not only was the car listed for a bargain price, they were able to haggle a little more-

"Honestly, we were ready to pull the trigger on our purchase right then and there. In negotiations, though, many people say you should reject the first offer, so we decided to push our luck just a little bit. "Is 1,000 yen really the best price on the car you can give us?" we asked. To our shock, the dealer admitted they could indeed knock another 20 yen off for us. With that, we were sold, and so was the car."


Of course the vehicle price alone is not the only expense they incurred, there was also the mandatory insurance and registration that added less than 90,000 yen ($886) onto the total cost. But unlike my local shady used car dealer that carries cheap vehicles that are about two steps away from the junkyard, the dealership in Japan conducted business with the utmost professionalism and courtesy.

"Even with the ridiculously low amount of revenue the transaction was bringing into Minikuru, the dealer didn't treat us like second-class customers at all. As a matter of fact, as we arrived in Nagoya to take possession of our new ride, we were surprised to see the Minica parked at the front of the lot, with its blue paint shining from a fresh wash by the Minikuru staff. True to their word, the invoice showed the cost of the car was just 980 yen.Our attentive dealer had even agreed to take care of the necessary paperwork to register the car and set it up with liability insurance for the next eight months. Even adding in taxes and sales processing fees, the total price we paid to drive off in our Minica was just 89,800 yen (US $880)."


You can find the whole story with more pictures and video on


Because my mechanical knowledge is limited, I tend to avoid these low budget rides, but this amazing story just added one more thing to a very long list of reasons why I need to visit Japan. At this point I expect all of you to put your work productivity aside and spend the rest of the day scouring Goo Net and Car Sensor Net to find the coolest, cheapest, JDM car you can. You'll thank me later.

(Photo credit

@AutomatchTom is a professional car buying consultant, lover of all things automotive and a bit wagon obsessed. You can find more ramblings and plenty of carporn here.

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