Monday, October 22, 2012


Here in Japan, we need to have 2 types of Car Insurance. There's the normal car insurance like we have back in the states and then there is the Japanese Compulsory Insurance (JCI). The JCI is good for 2 years from the day that you get it. In order to get the insurance you have to have your car thoroughly inspected. When people are looking to buy a car on the island, how much time is left on the JCI is a major factor. Usually, you don't want to buy a car that needs its JCI renewed soon because who knows what repairs the inspectors will tell you the car needs. When you buy a car from a dealership, most come with a brand new JCI. So for my car, we won't have to renew the JCI until after 2 years of owning it since we bought it from B.C. Motors. We bought Chad's car from a private seller. When buying his car we knew the JCI would expire in November. This made me nervous. I was kind of stressing out for the past couple months thinking that something horrible was going to be wrong with Chad's car and we'd have to put a ton of money in to it. Chad knows a lot about cars so I trusted him when he told me the car would pass the inspection with no problems. Since Chad is working nights this week, he can get things done during the day that he usually doesn't have time for. Today we decided we were going to tackle the JCI. We had 2 options, we could either take it to a shop and have them do the JCI or we could try to do it ourselves. I have heard that if you take it to a shop that it could cost upwards of $800. I also read an article on Okinawa Hai about how to do the JCI yourself; it had step by step instructions and cost way less than taking it to a shop. I showed Chad these instructions and he agreed that it sounded easy enough to do it yourself, so that's the way we went!

We started out by going to ACE Insurance and buying the JCI insurance. This cost us ¥11,730 ($152).

Then we went to Camp Foster's Vehicle Registration Office to pay our weight tax. We had to pay ¥15,900 ($207).

After that, we had to walk around the building to pay $20 for the inspection. Since you can't have any passengers in the car when you go through the actual inspection, I waited outside while Chad did it. First they had him honk his horn, show that his windshield wipers work, turn his lights and turn signals on, etc. Then he drove through the building where they did a more thorough check of his car. He had to accelerate, brake, and pull the emergency brake. Then they put it up on a lift and tapped on things with a little hammer to make sure everything was all good.

Chad driving through the inside of the building to have a more thorough inspection
The only thing they found wrong with Chad's car was that one of his parking lights was burnt out. Thank god that is an easy and cheap fix! We drove over to the Shoppette on base and bought a light bulb. Chad installed it and not even 5 minutes later we were back for them to check it out and tell us we passed the inspection! If you come back the same day with the repair fixed then you don't have to pay any of the fees again but if you failed the inspection and couldn't fix whatever made your car fail the same day then you have to pay some more fees. I'm glad we had an easy fix, it could have been so much worse!

After they cleared us for the inspection, we had to go back in the Vehicle Registration office for them to update some paperwork. We then drove around to the side of the building and got a new sticker for his car. We are so thankful that is done and over with! It could have been a lot more stressful than it was but I'm glad it wasn't. So total we paid $379 for the JCI which in my book is a DEAL! Plus it only took about an hour and half of our time total, it was quick and easy! Now it's done for 2 years and we don't have to worry about it! I hope more people take advantage of doing the JCI themselves because it's not worth it to take it to a shop for them to do it! I'm glad we have the experience of doing this once so now in 2 years when both of our vehicles need a new JCI we know just what to do :)

No comments:

Post a Comment