Vehicle Inspection

Timing Belt Graphic

Written into law on the 1st of June, 1951, the vehicle inspection system, or more commonly referred to locally as ‘shaken’, was introduced not only in order to uphold public safety in the upkeep of vehicles on the road, but required owners to register vehicles in their name and not that of a third party.

A 60-point comprehensive check, shaken covers all essential safety apparatuses of the vehicle to ensure they comply to the required level of safe operation and covers; headlight and indicator lamps, wheel alignment, brake test, speedometer test, headlight beam, emissions test, suspension, steering, drive shaft, muffler, drive shaft boots, tyres and oil leaks etc.

Inspections are required to be undertaken by law three years after the initial registration of new cars, and every two years thereafter.

NB: Inspections can be undertaken a month prior to the actual expiry date at your nearest transport bureau.

Vehicle Inspection Checklist

Compliance with Inspection Laws

Owners are ultimately responsible for shaken on their vehicle(s), and so should be fully aware of the expiry date. Sifting through a barrage of mail that will drop through your letterbox in the months prior to expiration may be a gentle reminder that shaken is due, however the easiest way to check is as follows:

  • 1. Displayed on small sticker in the upper-centre of the windscreen
  • 2. Listed on the shaken certificate under the heading yuu-kou-ki-gen.

NB: All dates are recorded using the Japanese calender system.

Vehicles can have their shaken renewed after the expiry date has lapsed, however additional paperwork and costs will be required to do so.

Methods of Inspection

While typically, many Japanese owners opt for the 'dealer shaken' - which includes the 60 point comprehensive maintenance check, the great expense that comes with this has seen the rapid increase in 'user-shaken', where owners, or representatives acting on their behalf, put their own vehicles through the pit-lane at their local transport department.

The Cost of Inspection

Depending on which method is used, it is possible to renew shaken for as little as JPY50,000 for a typical small road car, though this does depend on how well the vehicle in question has been maintained prior to inspection. Fixed costs include: compulsory insurance, weight tax and stamp duty