photo by ponte1112
Japan has well-developed public transport systems such as nation-wide railways and airlines, as well as locally operated private railways and bus networks, and there are no difficulties to get anywhere across Japan. But there is no public transport than beat driving your own car or motor bike. In fact, a majority of Japanese households still own cars in spite of convenient public transport systems. In recent years, many people privately trade their used cars on the internet. But how do they send their cars to buyers who live far away. Of course, they drive the cars and hand them over, but sometimes this can be quite impractical. In such a case, use vehicle transport service.
About vehicle transport service in Japan
Other than transporting vehicles traded online auctions, vehicle transport services are used in many occasions. The following is the most commonly used services.
- Long distance moving
- Transferring a vehicle to relative or friend
- Transferring a vehicle to use at the destination you travel to, or sending your car back
- Transferring a broken-down car
When you are moving to somewhere far away, driving your car there is definitely one of the options. But when you have so many things to sort out, long-distance driving can be really exhausting. Also, when you sell your car to someone, of course you can drive the car to theirs to hand it over, but you will have to pay for public transport to return to your place afterwards. In addition, the longer the distance is, more fees you have to pay. In such cases, using vehicle transport service would be the best solution.
To transport vehicles in Japan, the combination of land transportation, sea freight and air freight is commonly used. Fees vary according to travel distance. Flexible services are available, including door-to-door service and drop-off/pick up option.
How to transport a car
Your car can be transported by following the steps below. Most of vehicle transport companies accept online booking via their websites.
Fill up the online application form (e.g. address, name, contact number, details of the vehicle)
- Make a payment by following the instruction (e.g. credit card, bank transfer etc.)
- Receive a confirmation email from the transport company including drop-off/pick-up instructions
- Hand over your car to the transport company according to the instruction in the email
- Transport of the vehicle
- Pick up the vehicle at the destination as instructed in the email
Vehicle transport companies
Some companies run business across Japan while some other focused on specific areas. Most of those accept inquiries and requests just in Japanese, but there are a few that can be contacted in English. The following is a list of vehicle transport companies in Japan, other than “Hakobikata.com” which is a search engine.
Tips when using vehicle transport service
- Transit time varies deepening on distance; a car can arrive on the same day if the destination is close (e.g. next prefecture), or may take a few days if traveling long distance. Also, a transport service commences after a payment is confirmed, therefore make sure to allow plenty of time when using the service.
- Make sure to remove all private belongings in a car. Any loss of property occurred during transit will not be compensated.
- Large vehicles such as campervan may not be accepted. Inquire beforehand if you wish to transport a large car.
- Transport of cars involves a few types of transport methods such as land transportation and marine transport, and there may be sections that your car is driven by a service staff.
No more long driving
You may think that transporting a car is waste of money as you can just drive it yourself to the destination. But there are other costs you would pay, such as petrol, tolls, and accommodation if traveling long distance in addition to time and labor. In some cases, using a vehicle transporting service can be far less costly and time consuming. There are many vehicle transport services than can send your car anywhere in Japan. Getting quote or making booking can be easily made on their website.
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