100,000km or 10 years

There’s one part of culture in Japan that is the exact opposite in New Zealand that was highlighted yesterday when I took my car in for a WOF (warrant of fitness). We all have an image of Japanese cars as being safe and reliable, and able to run for years, right?

In New Zealand, at least, we tend to run cars into the ground, using them for as long as is safely possible. Well, in Japan, they have a culture of ‘100,000km or 10 years, and it’s time for a new car.’ This isn’t always the case, of course, but it is common enough that most people do in fact get a new car after one of these criteria have been met.

The reason this was highlighted yesterday was that the car I drive is now 14 years old, having done 120,000km and still going strong. Japanese cars are truly reliable beasts. I’ve even heard of a Toyota Hilux clocking more than one million km. I guess the Japanese just didn’t get the memo (or they’ve been sold on an idea to sell more cars).

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