How is it possible for Japanese car enthusiasts to get away with that? It’s a phrase I’ve heard countless times on various social media platforms. And for good reason, too – here in Japan there are no shortage of vehicles slammed mere millimeters off the ground, and with exhaust systems so loud that it makes the bosozoku seem tame.
Yes, there are times when the police do take the initiative and crackdown on modified cars, but compared to many other countries around the world, Japan really is a safe haven for tuners.
Every two years though, that safe haven is challenged as all vehicles are required to undergo an extensive shaken inspection.
I’ve just been through this with Project Rough, and brought my camera along for the ride.
Vehicle owners in Japan have three options when it comes to theshaken inspection. The first and cheapest is to simply get rid of your car. Some people would rather not deal with the headaches of returning their cars to shaken-legal status or making any necessary repairs, so simply offload them to someone else.
The second option comes with a lesser headache. As Dino has mentioned previously, a lot of shops in Japan make their living by handling the whole shaken process on behalf of their customers. But this is not cheap, and the set fees plus service starts at around ¥100,000 (US$915 at current exchange rates) depending on the shop, the car, and what’s actually required in order to pass the test.
The third option comes with the biggest headache of them all, but is significantly cheaper than option two, and that’s for an owner to do everything themselves. Just for the inspection, taxes and mandatory car insurance called jibaiseiki, you’re looking at around ¥60,000 (US$550), but if you take matters into your own hands that’s all the shaken will cost.
Given that Project Rough is a bit of a budget build, I’m sure you can guess what option I went with…