Things to Consider before Buying a Car from Japan

  | 3 min read


Despite there being many local dealerships that sell reliable and affordable used and new vehicles, importing a car from abroad is becoming increasingly popular in Tanzania. Moreover, since Toyota dominates the auto market in the country, it’s not surprising that the most popular country to buy a car from is Japan. However, before you commit to  buying a car from Japan (or any other foreign country), you need to consider the following costs and benefits involved.


Whether you are buying a new or used car from Japan, the biggest benefit will be the quality assurance of the vehicle you purchase. In Japan, the government requires all vehicles to undergo a thorough quality inspection before they are imported to Tanzania. Vehicles that pass get the Japan Automobile Appraisal Institute  (JAAI) certificate (which you have to pay for), and vehicles that don’t have to be repaired and retake the test. Therefore this ensures that the car you get meets the standard you expected and paid for.


Buying a car from Japan provides you with a wider selection of car models and brands to choose from than the local market has to offer. However, it’s important to ensure that the spare parts and mechanics specialized in the vehicle you want to buy are easily available locally. Or else it will be inconvenient and costly for you if ever you need to replace a car part or have a car problem.


Not only will it take an average of 6 weeks (minimum) for you car to be delivered to Tanzania, but it will also require you to spend time filling out paperwork and following up with port authorities to ensure the safe arrival of your vehicle. So, depending on how much time you have and your own personality (you need to be patient), buying a car from Japan can be too much of a hassle.


While the cost of the car itself will be lower when buying from Japan than buying locally. The additional costs of paying import taxes and fees will raise the overall cost of buying the car significantly. Moreover, the older the car, the higher the taxation you will be charged. Therefore you can buy a cheap older model, but you will pay a significant amount in taxes for it To learn more about taxation, check out this Beforward article.

Consider buying locally

The first place you should consider looking for a car is within Tanzania itself. As mentioned before, unless you have the time and money to buy a car from Japan, there are plenty of local dealerships and private car sellers with vehicles in great conditions and prices that are reasonable. In fact, check what’s available in our car classifieds.

Though if you can’t find something satisfactory locally, companies like Beforward and Car Junction can help you find and import your dream car from Japan.

Iman Lipumba
A digital storyteller, experienced in creating content that improves website visibility on search engines, enhances the user experience, and nurtures brand loyalty. With a background in the social sciences, an expert in researching complex ideas, and communicating them in engaging language to multiple audiences.