Buying used Japanese mini trucks: Things you must look out for

Buying used Japanese mini trucks: Things you must look out for

The price of an average Japanese mini truck is typically between $10,000 and $15,000. Although that’s not a lot of money for some people, for some, it is.

Japanese mini trucks

That is why many prefer to opt for used Japanese Kei trucks instead. Unfortunately, buying a used mini truck is not as straightforward as purchasing a new one. Considering it’s a used product, it’s essential to look out for so many things to ensure one is getting the best value for your money.

Of course, nobody expects a used mini truck to be on the same level as a new one, but then that’s no excuse to pay top dollars for something shabby.

In this guide, we’re going to discuss some important factors to look out for when purchasing a used Japanese mini truck.

Things to look out for when buying used Japanese Kei trucks

1. Previous purpose of use

The general belief is that Japanese Kei trucks are used mostly by regular individuals who only transport heavy loads once in a while or farmers for simple agro purposes. But the truth is some people actually use their trucks for everyday transportation. Whether that be human transport, everyday heavy load pickup, or regular rental service.

Before you spend your hard-earned cash on any truck, you must first enquire from the supplier or the truck owner for what purpose the truck was previously used.

Obviously, a truck that was used frequently wouldn’t be on the same level of performance as that which was used every once in a while.

2. Repair and maintenance report

Someone might ask, “what if the truck owner or dealership lies to me about the previous purpose of use of the vehicle?”

Well, then you’ll have to look out for the maintenance and repair history. Detailed maintenance and report can show you how much maintenance/repair has been done on the vehicle. Furthermore, it can also help you get a better idea of the truck’s overall quality.

Remember, a vehicle whose maintenance report indicates regular maintenance checkups will most likely perform better than one that isn’t maintained regularly.

3. The physical condition of the truck

Obviously, it’s important to know the physical condition of what you’re buying. By physical condition, we mean checking for things like:

  • Mileage – how long the truck has travelled
  • Tire Inspection – to examine for wear
  • Rust and Paint discolouration
  • Lights: Headlight, Taillights, and Signal Lights

If you’re buying from an offline dealership, you should simply walk down to the store with your mechanic to inspect these things. But if you’re buying from an online dealership, then you may have to hire or contact a trusted mechanic close to the dealership’s store to help with the inspection.

4. Bed integrity

A Japanese mini truck is only as good as the integrity of its bed. After all, the bed (cargo space in the back) of a mini truck is always the key reason for getting a mini truck in the first place.

This is why you need to pay close attention to the integrity of the bed. A truck that shows heavy use of bed is obviously one that has had a rough life.

You also want to check for rust and corrosion and other signs of scratches or dents – all these can indicate whether the truck was heavily or lightly used.

5. Ask for the odometer reading

An odometer is a device on the truck that indicates the distance travelled by the vehicle.

The beauty of odometer reading is that it can confirm many of the things we’ve discussed so far. For example, by assessing the odometer reading of a mini truck, one can tell about the vehicle’s wear and tear history and also whether or not the vehicle has been heavily used.

For perspective, most vehicles’ average miles driven in Japan is always about 6,000 miles/year. If you’re getting a truck and its odometer reading shows a total distance travelled that’s way higher than this average, then clearly such a vehicle has travelled far longer than average and therefore has been in heavy use.

6. Look out for the frame build

Like the bed, the vehicle chassis is also of great importance. It’s the frame upon which the whole vehicle engine is built. Therefore, you want to ensure you’re getting a truck whose frame is strong and unaltered.

A mini-truck with a bent frame can indicate that the vehicle had been involved in an accident or that the vehicle had been used for heavy-duty purposes.