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JET ProgramCoordinator SF
January 14th, 2015, 02:44
Is this asked in the interview or do you have to bring it up?

I'm on the same boat.

I'm fine with driving if there's no other choice, but I prefer not to.

Miami PC touched on it, but it's worth repeating. Whether or not you are willing to drive in Japan is binary. It is a yes or a no, not a "Well, I don't really want to, but if I have to, I guess I will." In our database you are either marked as a JET who can drive or a JET who cannot / isn't willing to drive in Japan. That's it. If you are an alternate I'll be honest and say that this can really affect your chances of being upgraded. I definitely skipped over a number of alternates to get to someone who had a driver's license. That was the deciding factor between going and not going for a lot of people.

Most JETs drive. Most people that commute to work in the world drive. Driving in Japan is not a big issue. It's a little nerve-wracking getting used to driving on the other side of the road, but think about the tens of thousands of people who come to America each year and rent a car to get anywhere. Buying a car is pretty painless too, as they have a system in place where everyone is buying a new car every couple of years, so it's very easy and streamlined. I was able to get a great car from a second-hand dealer in one day.

My strong recommendation is that if you have a driver's license, say that you're willing to drive in Japan. Be marked as a Y on our database instead of a N, because that can be the difference between being upgraded or not as an alternate. That's assuming that getting onto the program is more important to you than having to drive in Japan.

Furthermore, aside from Tokyo, Osaka, and a few other major cities, you will need a car to go anywhere in Japan. Japan's transportation network is great for going around big cities but the train does not stop off at your local grocery store, mall, school, etc. If you want a social life outside of work there is a high probability that you will need to get a car. I really think everyone should set their initial expectations as "I'm going to drive in Japan and I'm going to need to get a car."

Finally, I absolutely loved having a car. I didn't think I would, but it makes a huge difference. It's a lot cheaper when you want to travel across Japan with friends (more people paying for the toll roads rather than everyone buying their own ticket). It's a lot faster to travel around in a car than on most trains. You can easily go shopping, go to Costco to stock up on supplies, you can use your car to go camping, etc. You can meet up with Japanese friends that you've just made, or go to events that you really want to go to in a neighboring town, where there is no direct train line. Most everyone in Japan not in a major city has a car. I honestly could not imagine being able to enjoy so much of Japan that I was able to without a car.

weepinbell
January 14th, 2015, 02:59
Miami PC touched on it, but it's worth repeating. Whether or not you are willing to drive in Japan is binary. It is a yes or a no, not a "Well, I don't really want to, but if I have to, I guess I will." In our database you are either marked as a JET who can drive or a JET who cannot / isn't willing to drive in Japan. That's it. If you are an alternate I'll be honest and say that this can really affect your chances of being upgraded. I definitely skipped over a number of alternates to get to someone who had a driver's license. That was the deciding factor between going and not going for a lot of people.

Most JETs drive. Most people that commute to work in the world drive. Driving in Japan is not a big issue. It's a little nerve-wracking getting used to driving on the other side of the road, but think about the tens of thousands of people who come to America each year and rent a car to get anywhere. Buying a car is pretty painless too, as they have a system in place where everyone is buying a new car every couple of years, so it's very easy and streamlined. I was able to get a great car from a second-hand dealer in one day.

My strong recommendation is that if you have a driver's license, say that you're willing to drive in Japan. Be marked as a Y on our database instead of a N, because that can be the difference between being upgraded or not as an alternate. That's assuming that getting onto the program is more important to you than having to drive in Japan.

Furthermore, aside from Tokyo, Osaka, and a few other major cities, you will need a car to go anywhere in Japan. Japan's transportation network is great for going around big cities but the train does not stop off at your local grocery store, mall, school, etc. If you want a social life outside of work there is a high probability that you will need to get a car. I really think everyone should set their initial expectations as "I'm going to drive in Japan and I'm going to need to get a car."

Finally, I absolutely loved having a car. I didn't think I would, but it makes a huge difference. It's a lot cheaper when you want to travel across Japan with friends (more people paying for the toll roads rather than everyone buying their own ticket). It's a lot faster to travel around in a car than on most trains. You can easily go shopping, go to Costco to stock up on supplies, you can use your car to go camping, etc. You can meet up with Japanese friends that you've just made, or go to events that you really want to go to in a neighboring town, where there is no direct train line. Most everyone in Japan not in a major city has a car. I honestly could not imagine being able to enjoy so much of Japan that I was able to without a car.

This is a compelling argument but I'm not sure I'll ever truly be sold lol... however, I'm curious, when you were in JET (I'm assuming?), and you had to buy your own car, did you have any help or was it sort of a go it alone, good luck type of deal? The reason why buying my own car right off the bat freaks me out is because, what if I leave and I can't sell it? Or what if something happens, I end up leaving early and I'm stuck with car payments in another country? These are the kinds of things I think about, and honestly, it's the only major thing that makes me crazy nervous when I think about moving to Japan, which is why I'm kind of keeping my distance...

If I were to change my mind between now and the interview, would it be appropriate to mention something since I have "No" marked on my application?

JET ProgramCoordinator SF
January 14th, 2015, 04:05
This is a compelling argument but I'm not sure I'll ever truly be sold lol... however, I'm curious, when you were in JET (I'm assuming?), and you had to buy your own car, did you have any help or was it sort of a go it alone, good luck type of deal? The reason why buying my own car right off the bat freaks me out is because, what if I leave and I can't sell it? Or what if something happens, I end up leaving early and I'm stuck with car payments in another country? These are the kinds of things I think about, and honestly, it's the only major thing that makes me crazy nervous when I think about moving to Japan, which is why I'm kind of keeping my distance...

If I were to change my mind between now and the interview, would it be appropriate to mention something since I have "No" marked on my application?

I was on JET for three years, from 2009 - 2012. I actually bought a car from my a local JET who was leaving for $1000. Unfortunately when I got there it turned out to be a complete lemon, and I found out that that ALT was rather notorious amongst the local JET crowd. The AC didn't work, the sound didn't work, it needed new tires, it literally had his old gym socks in it, it was a complete piece of rubbish. I ended up haisha-ing it to get $200 back. Haisha, or "abolishing of car", is a program offered by the government where they buy back your car. You usually get somewhere around $200~$300 for it, depending on its condition. I've heard that they usually take those cars and sell them to poorer parts of South Asia at a discount. Anyways it's what JETs (and Japanese people) will do when they can't resell their old car. So you definitely have a way to get rid of a car if you can't sell it. As for acquiring a car, there are a variety of ways to go about it, each with their pros and cons. We do our best to give you all the pertinent information so you can make the best decision.

After my bad experience with that car I went to a second-hand dealer. Actually I checked out a couple of smaller mom and pop autoshops that people recommended. One car was nice but it was previously owned by a smoker and the smoke stench wouldn't come out of the upholstery. I'm also a tall guy - 6'4" - so I needed to be able to fit inside the car. Thankfully I found a great car (Nissan Tino) at one of the local second-hand dealers (of which there are a lot of in Japan). A lady from my office went with me - they had to drive me to these different places since I didn't have a car - and she helped translate where I needed it. Your office will help you get to and from school, and if you need a car to get to work, they will help you acquire one. After I found the car I wanted it was just a matter of signing some documents and paying the $2000 in cash (Japanese people are used to making large purchases like that in cash, so it wasn't out of place).

It was a great, trustworthy car. I took friends in it to Costco, to Fukuoka and Nagasaki, to camping trips and festivals. When my family and friends visited me from America I was able to pick them up from the airport and drive them up to Kumamoto Castle and to my favorite restaurants. The amount of freedom that you have with a car is invaluable. I sold it to my successor, who then ended up selling it to another local JET, who then sold it to his successor, who happened to be a JET that I sent from San Francisco last year.

If you suddenly and abruptly leave the country early you will be stuck with more than just car payments - you'll have your phone bill, utilities, and a whole host of other bills to pay and issues to sort out. But everyone knows when their contract will be up and will be moving back to America, so you have plenty of time to get everything organized. It can definitely be a pain sometimes - I had to ask my friends to pay off a late credit card charge after I had moved back to America - but welcome to being an adult, replete with headaches and responsibilities.

And if you decide that you are willing to drive in Japan, be sure to mention it at your interview. We'll be sure to change it.

Ini
January 14th, 2015, 04:25
a tino?

how ghastly

weepinbell
January 14th, 2015, 04:41
I was on JET for three years, from 2009 - 2012. I actually bought a car from my a local JET who was leaving for $1000. Unfortunately when I got there it turned out to be a complete lemon, and I found out that that ALT was rather notorious amongst the local JET crowd. The AC didn't work, the sound didn't work, it needed new tires, it literally had his old gym socks in it, it was a complete piece of rubbish. I ended up haisha-ing it to get $200 back. Haisha, or "abolishing of car", is a program offered by the government where they buy back your car. You usually get somewhere around $200~$300 for it, depending on its condition. I've heard that they usually take those cars and sell them to poorer parts of South Asia at a discount. Anyways it's what JETs (and Japanese people) will do when they can't resell their old car. So you definitely have a way to get rid of a car if you can't sell it. As for acquiring a car, there are a variety of ways to go about it, each with their pros and cons. We do our best to give you all the pertinent information so you can make the best decision.

After my bad experience with that car I went to a second-hand dealer. Actually I checked out a couple of smaller mom and pop autoshops that people recommended. One car was nice but it was previously owned by a smoker and the smoke stench wouldn't come out of the upholstery. I'm also a tall guy - 6'4" - so I needed to be able to fit inside the car. Thankfully I found a great car (Nissan Tino) at one of the local second-hand dealers (of which there are a lot of in Japan). A lady from my office went with me - they had to drive me to these different places since I didn't have a car - and she helped translate where I needed it. Your office will help you get to and from school, and if you need a car to get to work, they will help you acquire one. After I found the car I wanted it was just a matter of signing some documents and paying the $2000 in cash (Japanese people are used to making large purchases like that in cash, so it wasn't out of place).

It was a great, trustworthy car. I took friends in it to Costco, to Fukuoka and Nagasaki, to camping trips and festivals. When my family and friends visited me from America I was able to pick them up from the airport and drive them up to Kumamoto Castle and to my favorite restaurants. The amount of freedom that you have with a car is invaluable. I sold it to my successor, who then ended up selling it to another local JET, who then sold it to his successor, who happened to be a JET that I sent from San Francisco last year.

If you suddenly and abruptly leave the country early you will be stuck with more than just car payments - you'll have your phone bill, utilities, and a whole host of other bills to pay and issues to sort out. But everyone knows when their contract will be up and will be moving back to America, so you have plenty of time to get everything organized. It can definitely be a pain sometimes - I had to ask my friends to pay off a late credit card charge after I had moved back to America - but welcome to being an adult, replete with headaches and responsibilities.

And if you decide that you are willing to drive in Japan, be sure to mention it at your interview. We'll be sure to change it.

Awesome. This is super informative and helpful, thanks so much.

AyaReiko
January 14th, 2015, 11:10
I realize I can probably google this information, but does anyone know off-hand how it works if you want to drive a scooter? Do you need a permit and everything? Are the easy to get?

(Also, should all this information on driving be moved to its own thread?)

word
January 14th, 2015, 11:47
I realize I can probably google this information, but does anyone know off-hand how it works if you want to drive a scooter? Do you need a permit and everything? Are the easy to get?

(Also, should all this information on driving be moved to its own thread?)
We've had a few driving threads in the past, but SF's comments regarding the "will drive/will not drive" (and the affect it has on your admission into the program) are sticky-worthy and exactly the sort of thing we've been saying for years. Lemme see what I can do.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 14th, 2015, 11:52
Seconded, definitely.

word
January 14th, 2015, 11:54
That [whether or not a candidate can drive a car] was the deciding factor between going and not going for a lot of people.I should make this my new signature. Pay attention, people. Driving a motor vehicle is a skill that any competent adult ought to possess--especially for Americans. I understand that in some countries, acquisition of a drivers' license is an expensive and difficult process. In the United States, it is not. Get your freaking drivers' license.

uthinkimlost?
January 14th, 2015, 11:59
Wasn't that one guy that walked 1 km an hour the one that insisted he wouldn't need to drive?

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 14th, 2015, 12:02
Wasn't that one guy that walked 1 km an hour the one that insisted he wouldn't need to drive?

You mean the guy that wasn't accepted? Yeah.

word
January 14th, 2015, 12:03
I realize I can probably google this information, but does anyone know off-hand how it works if you want to drive a scooter? Do you need a permit and everything? Are the easy to get?
Oh, and to answer your questions about the scooter:

On the International Drivers' Permit (IDP), you may ONLY operate a scooter legally if you have the motorcycle endorsement stamped. That is, you must be licensed to operate a motorcycle in your home country. I'm not sure about all nationalities, but in the US, a motorcycle endorsement is separate from a regular drivers' license. For example, in Texas, a "Class C" license permits you to operate most passenger vehicles, but you need a "Class CM" license in order to operate a motorcycle or scooter. If you have this, your IDP will be stamped to indicate as much, and you'll be fine to operate a scooter (or even a motorcycle) in Japan.

If you don't have this endorsement on your IDP, you cannot legally operate a scooter or motorcycle on Japanese roads.

Once your IDP runs out, though (a year after your arrival or when the IDP expiration date is reached, whichever comes first), you'll need to get a Japanese license. If your scooter is under 50cc, you don't need anything other than the regular ol' J-license. It is actually possible to get a scooter-only license, incidentally. If you want to operate anything larger than 50cc, you must get a motorcycle license, which requires additional testing.

Scooters are relatively easy to get but tend to be a bit overpriced (like everything else in Japan). They're very pleasant to ride when the weather is very nice and if there is no traffic, but nightmarish in bad weather or heavy traffic. If you live in the ultra-inaka or in a quiet area, they can be fine for puttering about town in the late spring to early fall. They're not much fun in the winter. I haven't started mine in a few weeks.

mothy
January 14th, 2015, 12:21
With the driving thing I put down I was willing to drive. But I really didn't want to. I was so happy when I saw my placement... And then I saw Saitama...

If I'd had to drive I might not have came, though I probably would have, but I figure it's better to give yourself options.

Ini
January 14th, 2015, 12:30
people who don't drive should be lined up against a wall and shot. They are nothing more than a liability

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 14th, 2015, 12:32
people who don't drive should be lined up against a wall and shot. They are nothing more than a liability

... I don't drive.

mothy
January 14th, 2015, 12:32
I can drive in the US. Just don't like to and I hate car ownership. But yeah. If you can't drive at all... Worthless.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 14th, 2015, 12:37
I can drive in the US. Just don't like to and I hate car ownership. But yeah. If you can't drive at all... Worthless.

Well, I can technically drive, as in, I can make a car move in a direction without crashing. And motorbikes are no problem. But I just never bothered to get licensed - cars were fine for the south of france, where I was the only person on the road most of the time I was driving, and the biking was all on private land. And when I moved into the city, there just didn't seem to be a point.

ambrosse
January 14th, 2015, 12:41
An ex-JET friend of mine actually got in a car accident while driving in Japan.
Japanese wonky intersection + old people. No one was hurt but she said it was a pain in the ass getting the car repaired. The BoE gave her a little crap about it, but they recontracted her for two more years and still allowed her to drive, so I guess it wasn't that big an issue.
I'm not surprised she got in an accident though. She was a pretty crazy driver back here in the states!

Ini
January 14th, 2015, 12:50
Everyone is fine without driving until a nuclear powerstation explodes in your backyard and then they all come crawling out the woodwork begging for a lift out of the exclusion zone. Should have thought about that before the sky was raining caesium 137.

Jiggit
January 14th, 2015, 12:51
That's assuming that getting onto the program is more important to you than having to drive in Japan.


This is the most important part to me. How much do you not want to drive? Enough to refuse a placement? Because that's what you'll potentially be doing.

I can't drive, but if I could you can be damn sure I would have put it on my application. Why would you not maximise your chances?

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 14th, 2015, 13:03
Everyone is fine without driving until a nuclear powerstation explodes in your backyard and then they all come crawling out the woodwork begging for a lift out of the exclusion zone. Should have thought about that before the sky was raining caesium 137.

That is... actually a pretty good point.

sharpinthefang
January 14th, 2015, 13:09
I really can't understand all this hate about driving. I love it and miss it here. Its not worth me getting a car here though as there is a fairly decent public transport network. It just takes ages.

At least I can look forward to my road trip!

Ini
January 14th, 2015, 13:10
ha! as if you could afford a car on an interac salary

sharpinthefang
January 14th, 2015, 13:13
One of the plus sides to Interac? Travel costs are reimbursed.

Ini
January 14th, 2015, 13:35
where are you going to find the money for a car and insurance payments? Picked up some part time work have you?

sharpinthefang
January 14th, 2015, 13:38
where are you going to find the money for a car and insurance payments? Picked up some part time work have you?
I run an online shop and have done since the day I got here. What do you think is funding the america tour?

Ini
January 14th, 2015, 13:45
Take it to the lounge ini.

Zolrak 22
January 14th, 2015, 14:11
I run an online shop and have done since the day I got here.

Legally, of course. [emoji14]

(You pay for taxes and whatnot. )

mothy
January 14th, 2015, 14:13
I doubt it.

sharpinthefang
January 14th, 2015, 14:55
Legally, of course. [emoji14]

(You pay for taxes and whatnot. )
I don't make enough to bring taxes into it. I checked before I did it.

Ini
January 14th, 2015, 14:58
I don't make enough

understatement of the decade

sharpinthefang
January 14th, 2015, 15:04
understatement of the decade
For everyone on the planet I would imagine.

Gizmotech
January 14th, 2015, 16:02
Car accidents over here are not a big deal. My friend is doing his fifth year this august and he's wrecked 2 rentals and done some serious damage to others. They still keep giving him a job.

word
January 14th, 2015, 16:06
Yeah, there's a couple I know who've been involved in a few traffic accidents and they're both still employed. As long as you've got good insurance and don't kill anyone, it's probably all good.

It shouldn't be, though, because some of these people can't drive for sh*t.

itsabird
January 14th, 2015, 16:07
Yeah, there's a couple I know who've been involved in a few traffic accidents and they're both still employed.

Word. Someone crashed in Okinawa and still has their job. Had to buy a new card, but meh.

Ini
January 14th, 2015, 16:09
I've stuffed a few cars over the years. Thats just life on Japanese roads for you. If you're not crashing you're not pushing the car hard enough.

johnny
January 14th, 2015, 21:13
I have a nice set up and I really don't need a car. I take a taxi to get to one of my schools that I work at once a week, but that's a lot cheaper than getting a car.

Ini is right about one thing though, I might be screwed in an emergency situation. I'd need to depend on the kindness of others if the trains stopped running.

word
January 14th, 2015, 21:33
Take it from a couple who lives amongst a bunch of JETs who "don't need cars." If you're the sort of person who depends on the kindness of others on an even somewhat regular basis, those others probably kindof hate you a little from time to time. Also, in the event of a zombie apocalypse or a caesium 137 shower, those people are totally f*cked if they think they can turn to us for help.

Zolrak 22
January 14th, 2015, 21:54
those people are totally f*cked if they think they can turn to us for help.

http://media.tumblr.com/502ed637c7c86884abe5692daa27ed87/tumblr_inline_najml6pHd51swrsj7.gif
?


I don't get those kinds of people, back when I didn't have a car I would walk everywhere.

6km to school? Not a problem.

I'd just have to wake up early.

As for the topic, I imagine the only ones who wouldn't need a car are those that live in "The city", with the convenient public transportation . Even then you'd benefit from one when going on trips.


By the way, whatever happened to the Tokyo placements?

Is that still a thing or was it vaporware?

mothy
January 14th, 2015, 22:16
In case of zombie apocalypse I can steal a car. I know how to drive well. Just don't have a jappy license. My wife has a license so on the rare occasions we need a car we can rent one.

johnny
January 14th, 2015, 22:27
Take it from a couple who lives amongst a bunch of JETs who "don't need cars." If you're the sort of person who depends on the kindness of others on an even somewhat regular basis, those others probably kindof hate you a little from time to time. Also, in the event of a zombie apocalypse or a caesium 137 shower, those people are totally f*cked if they think they can turn to us for help.

I don't ask anyone for rides because I don't need them. Besides, no ALT's around me even have cars, so I couldn't mooch rides even if I wanted to.

Seriously, I live a two minute bike away from my closest grocery store. I'm a roughly a ten minute bike ride away from two big malls. I'm seven or eight minutes away from my local train station too.

If I'm in need of a car ride, I'll call a cab. They're expensive, but not so expensive that I'll go broke.

If I want to take a trip, I can just rent a car too.

I actually agree with you about the asking for rides when you also say that you don't need a car, but not all cities are equal. My city is a damn convenient place to live.

Ini
January 14th, 2015, 22:29
What do you do when the pain gets too much and you need to drive recklessly at high speed in your sports car in a rocky 4 thinking about Apollo creed style montage?

SFC
January 14th, 2015, 23:20
I don't drive and I don't think I'll get my driver's license until a long way into the future when environmentally friendly cars become the norm. The world is better off without the crap put into the atmosphere from pretty much everyone driving around to get somewhere 10 minutes sooner. Not being condescending, but when there is an argument along the lines of "well if there's a nuclear explosion" I think it's fairly safe to say I won't be needing a car for more than two weeks into the future anyway.

Don't worry though, lining up against the wall now Ini. Get your rifle ready.

Ini
January 14th, 2015, 23:30
10minutes sooner? Try 4 hours. Outside of major cities Japan's public transport network is a joke.

uthinkimlost?
January 15th, 2015, 00:25
Not being condescending, but when there is an argument along the lines of "well if there's a nuclear explosion" I think it's fairly safe to say I won't be needing a car for more than two weeks into the future anyway.


That is actually the bit that wasn't a joke. Ini's seen some shit, plus he had to leave his collection of dried Peruvian foreskins behind in the exclusion zone. He's also right about travel time.

out of curiosity, what qualifies as an environmentally friendly vehicle?

Zolrak 22
January 15th, 2015, 00:30
what qualifies as an environmentally friendly vehicle?

http://www.starcarhire.co.uk/UploadedImages/222_1large.jpg

?

ambrosse
January 15th, 2015, 00:56
http://www.starcarhire.co.uk/UploadedImages/222_1large.jpg

?

No shoes required.

Zolrak 22
January 15th, 2015, 00:57
No shoes required.
Even more environmentally friendly!

mothy
January 15th, 2015, 01:27
Please tell me SFC is a joke.

ambrosse
January 15th, 2015, 01:33
Please tell me SFC is a joke.

Right? If it's easy to get a drivers license, people should get a damn drivers license whether they'll use it or not.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 15th, 2015, 02:06
Right? If it's easy to get a drivers license, people should get a damn drivers license whether they'll use it or not.

That would be a waste of paper, and thus harmful to the environment.

Though I am curious, SFC - if you're environmentally conscious, are you aware of how incredibly not-environmentally-conscious Japan is? You may face some everyday annoyances, especially if misuse of cars annoys you.

OtherPulse
January 15th, 2015, 02:16
Now, now, there's nothing wrong with being environmentally conscious. I stopped eating meat because of how shittastic the meat industry is for the planet. Not sure how that's going to fare in Japan as all my Japanese friends are absolutely bewildled by the idea of not eating meat, but I'll adapt.

Even if someone is trying in vain to be environmentally conscious, I can still respect their desire to actually do something about it.

Beer Baron
January 15th, 2015, 03:56
This is your friendly warning to keep things on topic.

Valkerion
January 15th, 2015, 14:12
Meh guess I'll take the advice and suck it up and start begging to practice actual car driving a few times a week just incase I get chosen. No motorcycle would be the real culture shock horror for me. NOooooo~

Ini
January 15th, 2015, 14:14
The way the Japanese drive you really dont want to be on a motorbike....

jenzor
January 15th, 2015, 14:41
Miami PC touched on it, but it's worth repeating. Whether or not you are willing to drive in Japan is binary. It is a yes or a no, not a "Well, I don't really want to, but if I have to, I guess I will." In our database you are either marked as a JET who can drive or a JET who cannot / isn't willing to drive in Japan. That's it. If you are an alternate I'll be honest and say that this can really affect your chances of being upgraded. I definitely skipped over a number of alternates to get to someone who had a driver's license. That was the deciding factor between going and not going for a lot of people.

Most JETs drive. Most people that commute to work in the world drive. Driving in Japan is not a big issue. It's a little nerve-wracking getting used to driving on the other side of the road, but think about the tens of thousands of people who come to America each year and rent a car to get anywhere. Buying a car is pretty painless too, as they have a system in place where everyone is buying a new car every couple of years, so it's very easy and streamlined. I was able to get a great car from a second-hand dealer in one day.

My strong recommendation is that if you have a driver's license, say that you're willing to drive in Japan. Be marked as a Y on our database instead of a N, because that can be the difference between being upgraded or not as an alternate. That's assuming that getting onto the program is more important to you than having to drive in Japan.

Furthermore, aside from Tokyo, Osaka, and a few other major cities, you will need a car to go anywhere in Japan. Japan's transportation network is great for going around big cities but the train does not stop off at your local grocery store, mall, school, etc. If you want a social life outside of work there is a high probability that you will need to get a car. I really think everyone should set their initial expectations as "I'm going to drive in Japan and I'm going to need to get a car."

Finally, I absolutely loved having a car. I didn't think I would, but it makes a huge difference. It's a lot cheaper when you want to travel across Japan with friends (more people paying for the toll roads rather than everyone buying their own ticket). It's a lot faster to travel around in a car than on most trains. You can easily go shopping, go to Costco to stock up on supplies, you can use your car to go camping, etc. You can meet up with Japanese friends that you've just made, or go to events that you really want to go to in a neighboring town, where there is no direct train line. Most everyone in Japan not in a major city has a car. I honestly could not imagine being able to enjoy so much of Japan that I was able to without a car.
I do have a drivers license, but I marked no on the willing to drive in Japan. In the interview, if they touch upon it, will I be able to change my decision to a yes, I am willing to drive? Or have I sealed my fate with my original answer?

itsabird
January 15th, 2015, 14:44
In case of zombie apocalypse I can steal a car. I know how to drive well. Just don't have a jappy license. My wife has a license so on the rare occasions we need a car we can rent one.

Sorry Malfoy. You need a license to drive a stolen car during the zombie apocalypse. You don't want to be pulled over, do you?

Ini
January 15th, 2015, 14:46
Buying a car is pretty painless too, as they have a system in place where everyone is buying a new car every couple of years, so it's very easy and streamlined. I was able to get a great car from a second-hand dealer in one day.

Missed this. How exactly did you get a car in one day???

itsabird
January 15th, 2015, 14:48
Missed this. How exactly did you get a car in one day???
Stole it. Literally takes just a few moments.

Zolrak 22
January 15th, 2015, 14:49
Missed this. How exactly did you get a car in one day???

Through the magic of Montage!


And probably assistance from his BOE or coworkers.

Ini
January 15th, 2015, 14:54
still, I would say 3 days to 2 weeks is closer to reality

itsabird
January 15th, 2015, 14:58
I wish you were snow right now, Ini. Because then I could follow up that post with a You Know Notice Snow....

Zolrak 22
January 15th, 2015, 15:02
I wish you were snow right now...

That is inispicable!

Maybe it was a special deal the car lot had back then?

Ini
January 15th, 2015, 15:03
I've bought 8 cars over the years and none of them were ever driven off the forecourt on the same day.

Valkerion
January 15th, 2015, 15:06
The way the Japanese drive you really dont want to be on a motorbike....

I've noticed...

One of my random hobbies is watching driving videos from Japan, just cause the night views in cities is amazing, same with some of the rural roads... be it artsy or normal just driving with the car sounds no editing videos, about every 3-5 videos has someone almost side swiping a scooter or something haha. Not to mention the oddly hypnotizing accident cam videos. Went through a dark time about 2 months ago where thats all I watched on youtube for a week straight lol.

Ini
January 15th, 2015, 15:14
Maybe it was a special deal the car lot had back then?

a special deal that ignored the legal requirements for transferring ownership of a car? To do it in one day you would need to get your inkan shomeisho the day before, get to the dealer first thing in the morning, hanko everything then the dealer would need to rush over to the registration centre, register the transfer of ownership then rush back and deliver the car to you. This is assuming you aren't in the vast majority of places that require a shako shomeisho. In that case you would need to go get a hokan basho shodaku shomei from your landlord then get the police to measure your parking space. On top of all that if the car is getting a new shaken then that will only add even more time to the whole messy affair.

Gizmotech
January 15th, 2015, 15:27
Ini, assuming the shakken has been taken care of, then he could technically drive it off the lot. He wouldn't own it, nor would he have insurance on it right away, but he could certainly take it out. You don't need to own the vehicle if the driver has given you permission to drive it (We actually checked this back in August when my friend lent me his car until next week).

Also, you can get your inkan shomeisho the day you get there (I did it).

Ini
January 15th, 2015, 15:33
Whos going to let billy big nose gaijin drive off in a car they dont own?

Ini
January 15th, 2015, 15:37
Also, you can get your inkan shomeisho the day you get there (I did it).

yeah, but that'll eat into your time and if you are trying to pull off this amazing task of getting a car in one day every second counts

Gizmotech
January 15th, 2015, 15:38
The brother of the supervisor who is selling you the car at an over inflated price :P

Ini
January 15th, 2015, 15:41
hes going to let a FOB round eye drive off in a car on only JCI?

word
January 15th, 2015, 15:47
Hesitant though I am to disagree with Ini, when we bought our old Nissan Cube, the dude let us drive it off the lot that day, and another JET I know was able to buy a car form a dealer and drove it home that day... and come to think of it, the dude I bought my van from let me drive it away that day... I dunno, man. Maybe it depends on where you live? Out here in the inaka, I don't think anyone really gives two shits.

Ini
January 15th, 2015, 15:48
you live in the land of no parking regulations though. Try doing that in tokyo

johnny
January 15th, 2015, 16:12
Most Jets won't be in Tokyo, and those who are probably wouldn't bother with a car. That's what I
assume anyway.

Ini
January 15th, 2015, 16:13
how ghastly

coop52
January 15th, 2015, 18:44
I put a down payment on my car on the day I test drove it and could have probably done the paperwork that day, but the insurance guy couldn't come in. Then again it's a kei in the middle of the inaka so I didn't have to do the bullshit about proving I had a parking space.

Lorenzo
January 15th, 2015, 21:36
Damn, I don't drive, so SF's comments are a little concerning. I'd love to be able to drive and have wanted to for ages, but there's absolutely no way I can afford lessons/tests/insurance/a car on my student loan.

It's alright, if I get accepted I'll just get a bike.

Viral
January 15th, 2015, 21:41
Lorenzo, exactly same position as me. I've wanted to for ages, but no money (especially with the absolutely tragic student loan we get in London), and on top of that - there's seriously no reason to need a car when living in London. I will be happy to cycle given a placement, might need to improve my fitness levels a little though; haha.

word
January 15th, 2015, 21:53
What are things like in the UK? Do you really need an insured car in order to actually acquire your license? Can't you just get the license? I mean, driving isn't hard. You could figure it out when you get here, so long as you've got your license.

I feel for you guys; in the 'States, it is ridiculously easy to get a drivers' license. You'd have to be functionally blind to fail the practical test, and it's dirt-cheap to get the thing.

ambrosse
January 15th, 2015, 22:03
I feel for you guys; in the 'States, it is ridiculously easy to get a drivers' license. You'd have to be functionally blind to fail the practical test, and it's dirt-cheap to get the thing.

Yup, pretty much. You're over 18? Great! Read up, take the written test, get the permit. Drive on the permit for a couple months, take the practical exam, prove you're not blind, walk out with a drivers license. Don't own a car? Oh well, no one cares.
I find just having a license (even though I don't own my own car) very useful. It's especially useful if your driver snaps their ankle and can't drive!

Viral
January 15th, 2015, 22:06
The thing is, in London there's seriously no point in driving whatsoever. It's quicker to get anywhere by public transport (or in my case cycling). Gas prices are ridiculously high (although they have lowered the past couple of weeks considerably) and there's just too much money for insurance (especially for students), MOT, etc etc (and congestion charge which is something like £15 (~$25) just for entering London each time). You have to pay for a provisional license which I think is now £60 ($90) and that allows you to learn to drive. That process from what I can see is roughly £20-£25 a lesson, and generally 10 lessons are sufficient. You then have to pay for the practical test, and theory test and possibly something else (never gone through the process myself). For something which is not only not needed, but completely redundant in London, there never was a need to do it. Yeah, I now realise the downsides when it comes to JET, but hopefully I get somewhere with decent transport links/ can cycle relatively easily (providing I actually pass the interview stage).

word
January 15th, 2015, 22:19
I dunno, I mean... yeah, London. Can't you go somewhere else? Out of town or something, just to get your license? You don't need to actually own a car to get a license, right?

I'm always kinda baffled by city folks, they seem so... self-restricting. I mean, the world is a a lot bigger than a city, but it never seems to occur to them. I'm not trying to call you out or anything; hell, if anything, people from big US cities are even worse. I dunno, it just seems like something about living in a really big city gives you a weird sort of way of thinking about things that I can't really wrap my head around.

Viral
January 15th, 2015, 23:13
Think about it in my shoes. Before JET, I've never had the need for a driver's license - straight and simple, no point in getting one (putting aside the fact that it would be impossible to fund with the joke of a student loan we are given). The only times I've ever been out of London is on holiday (where public transport has always been readily available, or another family member who can drive, would drive), or last year when I lived in Singapore. And again, no need to drive in SG, public transport is amazing there and taxis are so cheap that they can actually count as PT - that and the fact that to have a car there you need a COE which costs something like S$100,000 per 10 years (~£50k).

word
January 15th, 2015, 23:19
Would it be cheaper to take a train a couple of hours out of they city and get your license there? Like, you wouldn't need to actually own a car to do it or anything, would you?

sharpinthefang
January 15th, 2015, 23:21
Oh god. With a step mother who is a driving instructor I can answer pretty much all of the UK driving questions.
You can get your provisional at 17 and then the sky is the limit to how long it takes you to upgrade to the full. You have to do a theory test (which has gone down in price, yay government!) which is valid for one year. In that year you can take your practical as many times as needed (also gone down in price but waiting times have shot up).
You don't need to own a car to get your license, it's advised so you can get extra practice in.
Number of lessons? Average learner is 15-20 lessons at 2 hours each. You could find a cheap instructor, but the cost may reflect the quality of teaching forcing you to spend more in the long term.
At the very least get your damned license, it's much easier to learn while you are young.

As for owning a car? Petrol prices have dropped to their lowest point since the start of 2000, same for diesel.
MOT, every car under the age of three must have one. Its your cars yearly check up.
Insurance, well everyone must have it. Its the idiots who don't have it and then have accidents which forces the price up. (Japanese wa culture would be good here).
Road tax; again only applicable to cars over a certain age and then for newer cars its still cheap. (I paid £30 a year for a 1.2 l engine) It's based on your engine size and its emissions. Don't want to pay much road tax? Get a newer smaller car. Also, do you want to pay toll roads on every motorway? I know I don't.
London congestion charges? Tough, you chose to live/go to uni there.
As said above, you don't need to own your car, just get the licence. Makes your future a lot easier and brighter jobs wise.

sharpinthefang
January 15th, 2015, 23:22
Would it be cheaper to take a train a couple of hours out of they city and get your license there? Like, you wouldn't need to actually own a car to do it or anything, would you?
Regardless of where you take your test, its the same cost.


Think about it in my shoes. Before JET, I've never had the need for a driver's license - straight and simple, no point in getting one (putting aside the fact that it would be impossible to fund with the joke of a student loan we are given). The only times I've ever been out of London is on holiday (where public transport has always been readily available, or another family member who can drive, would drive), or last year when I lived in Singapore. And again, no need to drive in SG, public transport is amazing there and taxis are so cheap that they can actually count as PT - that and the fact that to have a car there you need a COE which costs something like S$100,000 per 10 years (~£50k).
Missing the point. You will need it for future life, or were you planning on relying on others/ living in a major city all your life?

Viral
January 15th, 2015, 23:24
Maybe I'm misunderstanding. If you're saying to get it now, in light of JET, then it's possible but not easy. Theory test alone takes a long time to perfect (as far as I've heard the pass mark is near 100 now), and the scheduling isn't exactly frequent. That and you need to apply and wait for your provisional before you can do anything. If you're asking why I didn't do it previously, then that's because I didn't need to. But going out of London to get a license is no different to doing it in London, and no you don't need to own a car to have a license. I was looking into getting scooter licenses as that might have been an option for Japan, but they seem unbelievably expensive to get just because of the risk associated with them x_x. Oh well.

sharpinthefang: I've been in school my entire life. I've not needed it, so haven't had one. I don't rely on others, but one of my family members does drive because he works outside of London. I really don't know how to explain it to you, but living in a city like London or SG; you're an idiot if you have a car, frankly.

Yes, maybe I should have thought about needing it in the future, but as I said in my first post - I do want to learn to drive, but it's just not financially viable for a student in London who gets given 5% more of a loan than someone who lives outside of London (and therefore pays ~15%-20% of the rent I pay). And before you suggest getting a job - my university is 9-6 every day, and I work part time in a bar from 6pm-4am just to my rent. Adding in 1-2k for something I might need in the future just isn't something that can be accounted for. Especially when, before JET, I've never considered living anywhere suburban/ rural.

sharpinthefang
January 15th, 2015, 23:32
Maybe I'm misunderstanding. If you're saying to get it now, in light of JET, then it's possible but not easy. Theory test alone takes a long time to perfect (as far as I've heard the pass mark is near 100 now), and the scheduling isn't exactly frequent. That and you need to apply and wait for your provisional before you can do anything. If you're asking why I didn't do it previously, then that's because I didn't need to. But going out of London to get a license is no different to doing it in London, and no you don't need to own a car to have a license. I was looking into getting scooter licenses as that might have been an option for Japan, but they seem unbelievably expensive to get just because of the risk associated with them x_x. Oh well.


We are saying get your license anyway, regardless of JET. You are limiting your options but not having it, no matter your path in life.
You're in London, I just googled test centres and came across over 350 different centres. They hold tests weekly. You can buy the practice test CD from morrisons, tescos, asda etc for a fiver. It contains both the hazard perception and the multiple choice sections. Use that for a week and you will be ready in no time.

If your going to get a scooter one, you're better of going for a car one as you can use scooters up to 50cc on it anyways.



sharpinthefang: I've been in school my entire life. I've not needed it, so haven't had one. I don't rely on others, but one of my family members does drive because he works outside of London. I really don't know how to explain it to you, but living in a city like London or SG; you're an idiot if you have a car, frankly.

Yes, maybe I should have thought about needing it in the future, but as I said in my first post - I do want to learn to drive, but it's just not financially viable for a student in London who gets given 5% more of a loan than someone who lives outside of London (and therefore pays ~15%-20% of the rent I pay). And before you suggest getting a job - my university is 9-6 every day, and I work part time in a bar from 6pm-4am just to my rent. Adding in 1-2k for something I might need in the future just isn't something that can be accounted for. Especially when, before JET, I've never considered living anywhere suburban/ rural.

My student loans covered my rent and that was it, maxed out. Still had to get a job. Costs in London are higher yes, but not that much.

Viral
January 15th, 2015, 23:41
My friends are all up north, in Hull, Newcastle, where have you. They pay an avg of £40/wk with bills. Cheapest university accommodation where I study is ~£190/wk with bills. The place I stay, which was the cheapest on the market at the time, is £155/wk with bills. The difference is not only high, it's staggeringly high. The difference in student loan is approximately £400/yr for those who live in London - it simple doesn't add up. My university is around one of the most expensive parts of London, and taking into account the travel costs associated with the monopoly that is TFL if I were to move any further out than I already am, it would end up being more than £155/wk and I wouldn't be able to carry on with my past-midnight bartending job.

In an attempt to keep it on topic though; as I said I do want to get a driver's license, regardless of JET's decision and have wanted to before. But until I can find the time let alone the money, that's not a possibility. My loan + my part time job just about covers my rent (not exactly though), and the rest I get from my family (I'm in the fortunate position where they are able to help me, albeit not as much as they would like to).

In summary: 1) a license in London is stupid. 2) I do want and have wanted to get one anyway, for situations like this, but time and money are both two big issues. 3) If I can overcome those barriers, then sure.

sharpinthefang
January 16th, 2015, 00:09
I should point out that most of my explanation of the UK driving experience was mainly aimed at Word, not you.

I was down in Plymouth, and I was paying £135 a week plus bills on the edge of the middle of the city.

But on topic, cars are not that scary. Even if you don't get one to drive, at least get the ability to drive.

Ini
January 16th, 2015, 00:12
well..... kei cars are a little scary if you've ever seen one involved in a crash.

ambrosse
January 16th, 2015, 00:17
Getting a license in the UK sounds just annoyingly expensive.
In Minnesota, as long as you're over the age of 18 you only have to pay for your permit and your license. You don't need to take lessons at all, but need to practice with a licensed driver 21 years or older and the practical test, for the most part, is free ($20 for the third try or more).

Teens can get their permit at 15, but only if they take a Driver's Education course which includes classes and three behind-the-wheel lessons ($300). You can obtain your license at age 16 at the earliest.

Even if it's pricey, I agree with Sharpie. Why limit yourself? I've mentioned before that it is very useful in emergencies (I have experienced one or two and was glad to have a license). I understand you're a bit prickly about us pushing you about it, but set a little bit of money aside every week/month. It adds up fast! :)
Just keep it in mind.

sharpinthefang
January 16th, 2015, 00:23
Getting a license in the UK sounds just annoyingly expensive.
In Minnesota, as long as you're over the age of 18 you only have to pay for your permit and your license. You don't need to take lessons at all, but need to practice with a licensed driver 21 years or older and the practical test, for the most part, is free ($20 for the third try or more).

Teens can get their permit at 15, but only if they take a Driver's Education course which includes classes and three behind-the-wheel lessons ($300). You can obtain your license at age 16 at the earliest.

Even if it's pricey, I agree with Sharpie. Why limit yourself? I've mentioned before that it is very useful in emergencies (I have experienced one or two and was glad to have a license). I understand you're a bit prickly about us pushing you about it, but set a little bit of money aside every week/month. It adds up fast! :)
Just keep it in mind.

In the UK you don't have to take lessons, you could go out with someone with over three years experience and is 21+, but this is not in a pen where you drive between cones. This is on the real roads and instructor cars have duel pedals so are that much safer. Plus with lessons you don't have to pay anything more than the lesson fee (none of the car expenses).

ambrosse
January 16th, 2015, 00:29
In the UK you don't have to take lessons, you could go out with someone with over three years experience and is 21+, but this is not in a pen where you drive between cones. This is on the real roads and instructor cars have duel pedals so are that much safer. Plus with lessons you don't have to pay anything more than the lesson fee (none of the car expenses).

Behind-the wheel lessons are on actual roads too. Same with our practical exam. The only time I used cones was to practice parallel parking, but that's pretty much it. I hated the dual pedals...some instructors are trigger happy! I took my practical exam in a freaking van while everyone else had their little sedans. I felt like a badass.

Ini
January 16th, 2015, 00:30
I took my practical exam in a freaking van while everyone else had their little sedans. I felt like a pedophile.

indeed....

ambrosse
January 16th, 2015, 00:31
indeed....

Of course, Ini...

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
January 16th, 2015, 00:33
Ini - play nice.

Ambrosse - don't look him in the eyes!

Does passing with a van license you for other goods vehicles?

ambrosse
January 16th, 2015, 00:38
Ini - play nice.

Ambrosse - don't look him in the eyes!

Does passing with a van license you for other goods vehicles?

Naw, a van is still considered a regular vehicle so I have a D class license, but taking the practical exam is much much harder with a larger vehicle. Most people borrow a small car from a friend or family member to take the test. Honestly, I can see my blind spots better with the van (bigger mirrors) than with my mom's Corolla.

PuddingHead
January 16th, 2015, 01:38
I feel for you guys; in the 'States, it is ridiculously easy to get a drivers' license. You'd have to be functionally blind to fail the practical test, and it's dirt-cheap to get the thing.

Driver's Ed was a free class offered at my high school. I did my official driving test through them. My teacher was also the school coach, and the test was to drive my teacher to the nearest store so he could pick up some towels for the football team.

Zolrak 22
January 16th, 2015, 01:43
Driver's Ed was a free class offered at my high school. I did my official driving test through them. My teacher was also the school coach, and the test was to drive my teacher to the nearest store so he could pick up some towels for the football team.
That. sounds. awesome.

My experience was boring, practicing with my father then one single practice in a driving school before getting the test.

The instructor thought I drove well, but it was clear my father was out for blood when teaching me.

ambrosse
January 16th, 2015, 01:45
Driver's Ed was a free class offered at my high school. I did my official driving test through them. My teacher was also the school coach, and the test was to drive my teacher to the nearest store so he could pick up some towels for the football team.

We had to pay for Drivers Ed at my high school, but I grew up in a pretty populated suburban town....so it was to be expected :/

weepinbell
January 16th, 2015, 01:46
I think you guys may have swayed me. I asked a JET acquaintance and my ex-JET professor and they both said driving isn't even a big deal... I'm already wanting to go to Japan, what's one more responsibility? Lol at least it's a pretty big learning experience I guess. That being said, I have a question for US people - how long did it take you to adjust to driving on the other side of the road? What was the hardest part? I'd be so paranoid that I'd accidentally drift into the right lane out of habit haha. Also, is there any other process besides getting your IDP that you had to go through?

ambrosse
January 16th, 2015, 01:51
Hardest part? I would guess watching out old people flying out from blind corners...

PuddingHead
January 16th, 2015, 02:08
That. sounds. awesome.

My experience was boring, practicing with my father then one single practice in a driving school before getting the test.

The instructor thought I drove well, but it was clear my father was out for blood when teaching me.

It was definitely my favorite class at the time. I remember it was my first time ever steering a car at all and the only experience I had was with bumper cars. I thought the amount you had to turn the wheel to turn the car was similar. It wasn't. But I got parallel parking down on my first try!

Your father sounds... like an interesting man.


We had to pay for Drivers Ed at my high school, but I grew up in a pretty populated suburban town....so it was to be expected :/

Yeah, I'm pretty sure my year was the last one that was able to do it for free. There was a small gas charge for anyone after that.

ambrosse
January 16th, 2015, 02:17
But I got parallel parking down on my first try!

I can apparently parallel park the van, but a small car is difficult. It's the difference in mirrors, I swear...

PuddingHead
January 16th, 2015, 02:27
I can apparently parallel park the van, but a small car is difficult. It's the difference in mirrors, I swear...

Ha, that's great. Perhaps you should consider buying a happenin' VW Van.

ambrosse
January 16th, 2015, 02:28
Ha, that's great. Perhaps you should consider buying a happenin' VW Van.

Probably

JET ProgramCoordinator SF
January 16th, 2015, 02:35
I do have a drivers license, but I marked no on the willing to drive in Japan. In the interview, if they touch upon it, will I be able to change my decision to a yes, I am willing to drive? Or have I sealed my fate with my original answer?

If you decide that you are willing to drive in Japan, be sure to mention it at your interview. We'll be sure to change it.

JET ProgramCoordinator SF
January 16th, 2015, 02:38
I think you guys may have swayed me. I asked a JET acquaintance and my ex-JET professor and they both said driving isn't even a big deal... I'm already wanting to go to Japan, what's one more responsibility? Lol at least it's a pretty big learning experience I guess. That being said, I have a question for US people - how long did it take you to adjust to driving on the other side of the road? What was the hardest part? I'd be so paranoid that I'd accidentally drift into the right lane out of habit haha. Also, is there any other process besides getting your IDP that you had to go through?

It took me maybe a few weeks / month or so to really adjust, it's hard to say. I never went down the wrong way except for one time when I almost turned on to the off-ramp of a highway...thankfully there were other JETs in the car to yell at me :) I've heard from other JETs their stories of accidentally driving on the wrong side of the road - usually it's more of an embarrassing story, because everyone helps them get on the right side and of course that story will spread like wildfire throughout your small village...

Getting your IDP is the easiest part of the entire JET application process. It's $15 and 15 minutes of your time. Walk into AAA, give them your ID and money, 15 minutes later you have your IDP, valid for one year (for US drivers). If you recontract for more than one year you need to get your Japanese driver's license, which is a pain in the butt (as any JET can attest to), but it's almost like a ritual that we all have to go through. Doable, it's just annoying.

Gizmotech
January 16th, 2015, 07:06
Idps are 1 year from date of issue not date of entry so be careful. They are also one year for all countries.

Getting a j license is a pain in the butt for Americans. For the rest of us, it's just a couple of trips to the dmv and walk out with a converted license :p

As for bad assign driving tests... I did my multiple tests in a full sized pickup truck with cap. Everyone else had tiny ass sedans and I had a truck. Every time the tester got in they just looked at me like "you know there's no harder way to pass this test right?"

word
January 16th, 2015, 09:28
I really don't know how to explain it to you, but living in a city like London or SG; you're an idiot if you have a car, frankly....but not an idiot to get a drivers' license/learn to operate a motor vehicle safely. I get the money thing; that sucks, and it sucks that it takes so much time, too. Things in the UK sound weird.


We are saying get your license anyway, regardless of JET. You are limiting your options but not having it, no matter your path in life.
word


well..... kei cars are a little scary if you've ever seen one involved in a crash.word

I've been in a kei car involved in a very mild accident (J-friend was driving). MG and I both thought we were going to die, and we're actually incredibly lucky that we didn't. If another car had been on the road, things would have been far more serious. We don't drive or ride in kei cars unless there is literally no other option. MG has really nice legs, after all, but the nicest thing about them is that the're both functional and still attached to her body. I don't want that to change anytime soon.


Getting a license in the UK sounds just annoyingly expensive.It really does.


In the UK you don't have to take lessons, you could go out with someone with over three years experience and is 21+, but this is not in a pen where you drive between cones. This is on the real roads and instructor cars have duel pedals so are that much safer. Plus with lessons you don't have to pay anything more than the lesson fee (none of the car expenses).Wait... you don't have to take lessons? Then why would you? Just go out into the countryside with a friend and practice driving around for a little while.

Like, without the lessons, how much does it actually cost to get your license in the UK?

And, yeah...


Behind-the wheel lessons are on actual roads too. Same with our practical exam. The only time I used cones was to practice parallel parking, but that's pretty much it.This. I did all of my lessons on actual roads. The practical exam is given on the residential/commercial streets outside of the Department of Public Safety.


Driver's Ed was a free class offered at my high school. I did my official driving test through them.Same here. My teacher was Mrs. Asbill, an older, Professor McGonagall-like woman who could be terrifying one second and grandmotherly the next. She was furious when she was given an automatic-transmission car for our class; it was the first year she hadn't used a MT. Among many other things, she made us all practice changing a tire and taught us the proper way to clean our windshield with a gas station squeegee.


My experience was boring, practicing with my father then one single practice in a driving school before getting the test.

The instructor thought I drove well, but it was clear my father was out for blood when teaching me.My father taught me how to drive a manual. It was a nightmarish experience. I swore that if I evar taught anyone how to drive a MT vehicle, I was going to be a good teacher. I'm proud to say I've successfully done so, having taught several friends, MG, and even another ALT how to drive a MT vehicle--with all smiles and fun all around, rather than screaming fury.


I have a question for US people - how long did it take you to adjust to driving on the other side of the road? What was the hardest part? I'd be so paranoid that I'd accidentally drift into the right lane out of habit haha.It was remarkably easy. Once, during my first week of driving, late at night, in stormy weather, I turned the wrong way on a street and had to back out, embarrassed. I had realized my mistake immediately and no one was in any danger. I don't think I've ever made the same mistake since.

However... I kept turning my windshield wipers on when I would go to make a turn for months after I arrived, and I still do this any time I go back to the US--both back in the 'States and here when I get back. It makes me feel super-dumb.


Hardest part? I would guess watching out old people flying out from blind corners...word

Seriously, this is probably the greatest danger you will face on Japanese roads. Old people are terrible drivers and they do not give a f*ck.


If you decide that you are willing to drive in Japan, be sure to mention it at your interview. We'll be sure to change it.word


If you recontract for more than one year you need to get your Japanese driver's license, which is a pain in the butt (as any JET can attest to), but it's almost like a ritual that we all have to go through. Doable, it's just annoying.word

Trival's guide (http://www.ithinkimlost.com/threads/11107-How-to-Kick-the-Japanese-Driver-s-License-Test-in-the-Face-on-Your-First-Try) is fabulous and worked marvelously for me. You Brits, Canadians, Aussies, Kiwis, and the like have it easy, and I envy you. 'Murikans, South Africans, and a few other nationalties are gonna hafta take the test.

Zolrak 22
January 16th, 2015, 14:29
It was a nightmarish experience. I swore that if I evar taught anyone how to drive a MT vehicle, I was going to be a good teacher. I'm proud to say I've successfully done so, having taught several friends, MG, and even another ALT how to drive a MT vehicle--with all smiles and fun all around, rather than screaming fury.


Your family stories are always so relatable to me. [emoji28]

PuddingHead
January 16th, 2015, 18:57
I only have fond memories of learning to drive. My SO taught both me and my sister how to drive manual and my sister actually pissed her pants from laughing so hard. She was trying to get across a crowded intersection and stalled the car out nearly ten times. Finally managed to lurch it through the entire last half.

Gizmotech
January 16th, 2015, 19:15
Mt is fine if you learn on an easy(read forgiving) clutch. I learned on some Nissan ultra sensitive clutch that everyone had trouble with. I stalled that car so many times. The Toyota here that my buddy owns, one year no mt and boom no problems.

Ini
January 16th, 2015, 19:40
Wait... you don't have to take lessons? Then why would you? Just go out into the countryside with a friend and practice driving around for a little while.


Because the test is hard so dicking around in the countryside isnt going to help you on the test when you come to a 5 lane roundabout and other drivers are flying by at 80mph. If you pay for lessons the guy teaching you will have a car with dual controls so when you first encounter said roundabout the instrutor can slam on the break if you are about to cause a 20 car pileup.

word
January 16th, 2015, 19:44
Mt is fine if you learn on an easy(read forgiving) clutch. I learned on some Nissan ultra sensitive clutch that everyone had trouble with. I stalled that car so many times. The Toyota here that my buddy owns, one year no mt and boom no problems.
The car I learned in was a POS '91 Ford Escort. The next MT I drove was a '79 Chevy Suburban--a three-on-the-tree with a monster clutch that took the strength of f*cking Thor to release completely. After that, no MT seemed very difficult. Even UPS trucks were easier.

The easiest MT I evar drove was my Honda Element. I loved that thing.

word
January 16th, 2015, 19:45
Because the test is hard so dicking around in the countryside isnt going to help you on the test when you come to a 5 lane roundabout and other drivers are flying by at 80mph. If you pay for lessons the guy teaching you will have a car with dual controls so when you first encounter said roundabout the instrutor can slam on the break if you are about to cause a 20 car pileup.

Can you not take the test in the countryside, too? Or do you hafta take it where you live or something?

Beer Baron
January 16th, 2015, 19:46
Just dont buy an audi. Unless you want to keep chucking money at it every month on repair bills. First audi died with a head gasket going at 90000 miles. Current one has a wrecked gearbox at 67000 miles. I hate cars.

Beer Baron
January 16th, 2015, 19:46
Lol word - yea who cares about the pileup after u pass the test :)

Ini
January 16th, 2015, 19:55
Can you not take the test in the countryside, too? Or do you hafta take it where you live or something?
I guess you could. I heard rumors of a test centre in middle of nowhere up in Scotland where the test consisted of driving down a road, do a three point turn then drive back. I took mine in some urban hell hole where everyone thought they were recreating the Italian job.

word
January 16th, 2015, 19:57
Lol word - yea who cares about the pileup after u pass the test :)

Pretty much! That's the 'Murikan way of thinkin' about it!

But I dunno; I think about it a lot like teaching--you aren't actually going to be good at it until you've got some real-world experience, anyway.

Also, I think I'm coming from the perspective of poor white trash. Driving is a privilege, not a right, but in the 'States, it's a privilege that's open to almost anyone. It sounds to me that in the UK, the privilege has been restricted somewhat to those with the financial means to get the license. If there's a way for garbage-grubbing peasants like me to game the system and get the license without having to invest money they don't have, I'm exactly the sort of arsehole who would encourage them to do so.

sharpinthefang
January 16th, 2015, 20:28
Can you not take the test in the countryside, too? Or do you hafta take it where you live or something?
You can take the test where ever the hell you want, but they are all the same test with the same standards. https://www.gov.uk/practical-driving-test-for-cars/what-happens-during-the-test this is a really simple break down of the practical test.
The cost of the test is all relative, it is a privilege, but a privilege that allows you freedom of movement and independence.


Pretty much! That's the 'Murikan way of thinkin' about it!
Which is why you guys have to take the test in Japan (and are known as bad drivers)


But I dunno; I think about it a lot like teaching--you aren't actually going to be good at it until you've got some real-world experience, anyway.

Which is what the lessons are for, practical experience in real life situations.

OtherPulse
January 16th, 2015, 20:36
Also, I think I'm coming from the perspective of poor white trash. Driving is a privilege, not a right, but in the 'States, it's a privilege that's open to almost anyone. It sounds to me that in the UK, the privilege has been restricted somewhat to those with the financial means to get the license. If there's a way for garbage-grubbing peasants like me to game the system and get the license without having to invest money they don't have, I'm exactly the sort of arsehole who would encourage them to do so.
This is purely anecdotal, but I think driving among young people in the UK is becoming less popular. I have a driving license because my dad told me finding the time to learn after I graduate would be a pain in the ass, but among my group of friends, only one other has a driving license, and he's from the middle of nowhere. The UK is really densely populated, so the vast majority of people live in urban areas. Even though our public transport is terrible in comparison to the rest of N.Europe, it's still sufficient to not need to drive. Combine that with driving being really expensive, and students being able to get discounted rail fares, and it's easy to understand why a lot of young people don't see the point of learning.

word
January 16th, 2015, 21:35
You can take the test where ever the hell you want, but they are all the same test with the same standards. https://www.gov.uk/practical-driving-test-for-cars/what-happens-during-the-test this is a really simple break down of the practical test. Yeah, but it's easy to get intimidated when you're dealing with a lot of heavy traffic. I can easily see why someone might prefer to test in a quieter environment in which the consequences of failure are less dire.

Also, those guidelines look pretty easy and pretty much the standard sorta stuff that we hafta do in the 'States, too. Our test doesn't usually last 40 minutes, though.


Which is why you guys have to take the test in Japan (and are known as bad drivers)I'm sorry, but that's not actually true. I'm not going to claim that Americans are all good drivers or anything--we've got some spectacularly bad ones--but on the whole, I think it's fair to say that America is known for its car culture and isn't widely known for producing bad drivers. Asshole drivers--yeah. We're assholes. Bad drivers? Not as much. But more importantly, I'm fairly certain that isn't actually the reason we have to take the test. Doesn't it probably have more to do with the fact that Americans show up with 50+ different licenses? What was that phrase that Ini used... talking bollocks? I love British insults. That is one thing that you guys definitely do better than any other English-speaking nation, to be sure.


Which is what the lessons are for, practical experience in real life situations.I dunno. I somehow doubt that professional driving lessons as essential as the daughter of a driving instructor would make them out to be. All I'm sayin' is that (1) not everyone is so dumb that there is no way they could pass the practical without professional lessons and (2) if you hafta deal with testing in heavy traffic centering around a 5-lane roundabout in the middle of f*cking London, it might be worth it to go out into the countryside, where passing the test just might be significantly easier. Why do people from big cities always seem to view the idea of leaving the city as horrifically unthinkable, even when the advantages of doing so are glaringly obvious?

johnny
January 16th, 2015, 22:29
The driving test I had to take was a pain in the ass. There were so many ways to automatically fail.

You could auto fail by turning left in an intersection when people were still crossing the street (even if they had almost reached the other side). You could also auto-fail by spending too long in an intersection when waiting to turn left regardless of whether or not people were still crossing the street.

You would automatically fail by going to fast in a school or playground zone too.

You really could be screwed sometimes.

Anyway, I failed my first time. I don't feel bad because roughly half of people fail the BC driver's test when they take it for the first time.

I passed my second time with no demerits though.

That was just for my "new driver" certification. I got to go through the whole process again two years later! Yay!

word
January 16th, 2015, 22:36
See, I think that's something that 'Murika does differently that's actually a little better--the test isn't about testing, it's about whether or not you're a complete retard. We aren't looking for ways to fail the potential licensee. We're just doing our best to make sure they're not gonna get someone killed as soon as they get behind the wheel. I mean, compare that to Japan, where the test is all about how well you can take the test, rather than how well you can drive. Kids here spend 25-30man to get their drivers' licenses, and they're certainly not any better drivers for it (obviously--I mean, you all live here; you know). The comprehensiveness of lessons and tests here certainly don't appear to have produced superior drivers. I will say that their lower speed limits in residential/commercial areas and encouragement of pedestrian and bicycle culture here, though, are certainly superior to that of most of the US.

sharpinthefang
January 16th, 2015, 22:47
I dunno. I somehow doubt that professional driving lessons as essential as the daughter of a driving instructor would make them out to be. All I'm sayin' is that (1) not everyone is so dumb that there is no way they could pass the practical without professional lessons and (2) if you hafta deal with testing in heavy traffic centering around a 5-lane roundabout in the middle of f*cking London, it might be worth it to go out into the countryside, where passing the test just might be significantly easier. Why do people from big cities always seem to view the idea of leaving the city as horrifically unthinkable, even when the advantages of doing so are glaringly obvious?
I did say that you don't have to have professional lessons, just thats what everyone tends to do rather than get their own car and have to deal with all the previously mentioned paperwork and expenses.
The practical test has a lot of auto-fail sections, but like the 'Merican test, its about being safe on the roads.
5 lane roundabouts will have to be dealt with at some point in life, may as well get used to them. But i think you are maybe getting confused about the differences between the country and the cities. The country is not all rolling hills and orchards, there are lots of medium sized towns dotted around, which may or may not have a local test centre. ( I grew up in a medium sized town and personally hate cities.) They will take you to the local 'hard spots', be it a large roundabout, a narrow windy country lane with no passing points and lots of blind spots, or the dreaded hill starts. I don't believe that there are any 'easier' test sites as they are all kept to a national standard.

coop52
January 16th, 2015, 22:56
A lot of kids around here grow up driving trucks around their pastures or down dirt roads where no one gives a shit. I was not one of those kids and was the only one I knew that had to take the test twice. I was in a mini-van and couldn't see behind me, so I messed up both the part where you have to reverse in a straight line for like 50 yards and the parallel parking part.

My deer-watching skills have come in handy since they're pretty applicable to watching out for random keis leaping out in front of you.

ambrosse
January 17th, 2015, 00:15
The comprehensiveness of lessons and tests here certainly don't appear to have produced superior drivers. I will say that their lower speed limits in residential/commercial areas and encouragement of pedestrian and bicycle culture here, though, are certainly superior to that of most of the US.

The Minneapolis area is known for its growing bicycle culture, but where I live it's no dice. I live between the country and suburbia. Any attempt of riding my bike would either A. Get me killed because there are no sidewalks or road shoulders or B. It would take me half a day to get to the nearest grocery or super store. I suppose that since the lake is frozen up I could skate my way to the other side and walk to my favorite local restaurant. It might take me an hour, but it's got to be worth it, right?

ambrosse
January 17th, 2015, 00:19
A lot of kids around here grow up driving trucks around their pastures or down dirt roads where no one gives a shit. I was not one of those kids and was the only one I knew that had to take the test twice. I was in a mini-van and couldn't see behind me, so I messed up both the part where you have to reverse in a straight line for like 50 yards and the parallel parking part.


Parallel parking. The bane of my existence. When I was preparing for my practical exam I was living in a developing neighborhood so there were many roads, but few people. It definitely helped. I took my test in a van too and passed the first time at probably the most difficult and unforgiving driver's course in Minnesota. I'm ready for anything.

word
January 17th, 2015, 00:47
I did say that you don't have to have professional lessons, just thats what everyone tends to do rather than get their own car and have to deal with all the previously mentioned paperwork and expenses.
The practical test has a lot of auto-fail sections, but like the 'Merican test, its about being safe on the roads.
5 lane roundabouts will have to be dealt with at some point in life, may as well get used to them. But i think you are maybe getting confused about the differences between the country and the cities. The country is not all rolling hills and orchards, there are lots of medium sized towns dotted around, which may or may not have a local test centre. ( I grew up in a medium sized town and personally hate cities.) They will take you to the local 'hard spots', be it a large roundabout, a narrow windy country lane with no passing points and lots of blind spots, or the dreaded hill starts. I don't believe that there are any 'easier' test sites as they are all kept to a national standard.So, you're claiming that there is no psychological difference between taking the test in the heart of London and taking it in BF, England?


A lot of kids around here grow up driving trucks around their pastures or down dirt roads where no one gives a shit. I was not one of those kids and was the only one I knew that had to take the test twice. I was in a mini-van and couldn't see behind me, so I messed up both the part where you have to reverse in a straight line for like 50 yards and the parallel parking part. The first time I ever drove a motor vehicle, it was a four-door extended-cab diesel truck with a 26-foot goose-neck trailer attached. I was doing fine until the trailer swung around and I clipped the one of my granddad's gates off of the post.

By the time I got ready to take my driving test, operation of most vehicles--even large ones--was pretty damned easy for me.


My deer-watching skills have come in handy since they're pretty applicable to watching out for random keis leaping out in front of you.word

You get used to this in Texas, too. You also totally learn that if you see one deer, there are at least three more around, and every single one has a desperate suicidal lust to jump in front of your car. This skill has already proved invaluable to me out in the ultra-inaka.


The Minneapolis area is known for its growing bicycle culture, but where I live it's no dice. I live between the country and suburbia. Any attempt of riding my bike would either A. Get me killed because there are no sidewalks or road shoulders or B. It would take me half a day to get to the nearest grocery or super store. I suppose that since the lake is frozen up I could skate my way to the other side and walk to my favorite local restaurant. It might take me an hour, but it's got to be worth it, right?It's no fun in Texas, either. I've had sh*t thrown at me, nearly been run over moar times than I can count, and even had "That's what the sidewalks are for" yelled at me (riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is actually quite illegal in Texas). It sucks.


Parallel parking. The bane of my existence. When I was preparing for my practical exam I was living in a developing neighborhood so there were many roads, but few people. It definitely helped. I took my test in a van too and passed the first time at probably the most difficult and unforgiving driver's course in Minnesota. I'm ready for anything.Learn to do it in a delivery truck. Anything else will be laughably easy in comparison.

Perilwink
January 17th, 2015, 01:00
Parallel parking.

So... My state doesn't require parallel parking to get a license, and I've never had the need to learn for real since usually I could slide into an easy parallel parking space or get a friend to watch bumpers for me. Is this something required for the Japanese license? Did you guys find it a necessary skill while living in Japan? If I need to do some empty parking lot driving lessons before then, I will while I can.

ambrosse
January 17th, 2015, 01:01
So... My state doesn't require parallel parking to get a license, and I've never had the need to learn for real since usually I could slide into an easy parallel parking space or get a friend to watch bumpers for me.

You are one lucky fool.

word
January 17th, 2015, 01:03
Is [parallel parking] something required for the Japanese license?No.


Did you guys find it a necessary skill while living in Japan?Not where I live. Knowing how to maneuver your car in a very tight space, though, can be fairly essential from time to time. Don't worry about it. You'll be fine unless you have no natural driving skills.

Perilwink
January 17th, 2015, 01:14
Thanks for the reassurance!

hiddenlee22
January 17th, 2015, 01:20
You are one lucky fool.

+1

Wtf. Where I live, if you don't know how parallel park by yourself in a space just wide enough for a hover-round you're screwed

Perilwink
January 17th, 2015, 01:44
In my state, even our big cities aren't so big that you always have to. Maybe you'd have to pay a little more for a garage or parking lot, or maybe you get lucky and slide into an easy space.

I do understand the theory of it! I'd just be that person trying for 10 minutes because I'm too afraid to get closer to the other car even though I know I have to.

ambrosse
January 17th, 2015, 01:51
In my state, even our big cities aren't so big that you always have to. Maybe you'd have to pay a little more for a garage or parking lot, or maybe you get lucky and slide into an easy space.

I do understand the theory of it! I'd just be that person trying for 10 minutes because I'm too afraid to get closer to the other car even though I know I have to.

Much of it is just knowing how large your vehicle is in relation to the spot. When I parallel park our van, I have to be more mindful of the space. When I park the Corolla, it has a back-up camera so it doesn't matter whether I'm in a smaller spot or a giant one.

acpc2203
January 17th, 2015, 11:48
Does anyone have experience with manual cars and switching from left hand drive to right hand drive cars? I've driven a right hand drive car before but it was automatic (Biggest challenge was getting the blinker and windshield wipers mixed up). Having to shift with my left hand and shifting in instead of out is a bit worrying.

word
January 17th, 2015, 12:07
I did it. Drove a MT Subaru (which, incidentally, I was surprised to find that I hated and really made me nevar want to own another Subaru) here for a while; hadta go back to the testing center to get my MT license.

It was remarkably easy, actually. I was surprised. The pedals aren't reversed or anything, obviously, so, there's that.

Gizmotech
January 17th, 2015, 12:19
Shifting to left hand actually felt really natural to me. Almost more natural than right. It just took a few minutes in the car for me to reconfigure my head to left hand shift points.

PuddingHead
January 17th, 2015, 12:36
I did it. Drove a MT Subaru (which, incidentally, I was surprised to find that I hated and really made me nevar want to own another Subaru) here for a while; hadta go back to the testing center to get my MT license.

The only Subi worth owning is an STI, anyway.

sharpinthefang
January 17th, 2015, 13:04
Does anyone have experience with manual cars and switching from left hand drive to right hand drive cars? I've driven a right hand drive car before but it was automatic (Biggest challenge was getting the blinker and windshield wipers mixed up). Having to shift with my left hand and shifting in instead of out is a bit worrying.
Im having to switch from a UK manual to a US automatic with a year of no driving in between for my tour. Im aware that Im going to have to spend 20 mins in a car park to get the hang of parallel and reverse parking again.

PuddingHead
January 17th, 2015, 13:36
Im having to switch from a UK manual to a US automatic with a year of no driving in between for my tour. Im aware that Im going to have to spend 20 mins in a car park to get the hang of parallel and reverse parking again.

What part(s) of the US are you visiting? And for how long?

sharpinthefang
January 17th, 2015, 13:48
What part(s) of the US are you visiting? And for how long?
I technically start in Canada, (Vancover) then heading down the border to Seattle. Pick up the car on the 4th of March then heading to The Redwoods, then Salt Lake, San Fran, LA, San diego, Grand Canyon, Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas, dropping the car in New Orleans, flying to Washington and then flying to NY before heading to the UK then Japan. All in all the US leg is 6 weeks, the UK for 3 and then Japan again ready in time for the new contract to start.

PuddingHead
January 17th, 2015, 23:26
Wow, that's a lot of driving, but you certainly have enough time. Washington state or DC? I was assuming DC, but..

sharpinthefang
January 17th, 2015, 23:55
Wow, that's a lot of driving, but you certainly have enough time. Washington state or DC? I was assuming DC, but..
Yeah, DC. And I enjoy driving. For my 21st I was given a racing car experience day at Goodwood which was great fun.

Zolrak 22
January 17th, 2015, 23:55
Wow, that's a lot of driving, but you certainly have enough time. Washington state or DC? I was assuming DC, but..
If it's DC, I'd prefer taking a bus ride, allows you to see the area and it'll probably be a lot cheaper. [emoji28]

PuddingHead
January 18th, 2015, 00:14
If it's DC, I'd prefer taking a bus ride, allows you to see the area and it'll probably be a lot cheaper.

She can always go park her car and then hop aboard the tourist express. Honestly, it's a much better view than your car. I also genuinely enjoy acting touristy in my own country.

Zolrak 22
January 18th, 2015, 02:10
I also genuinely enjoy acting touristy in my own country.

Eh, seeing as how I'm disconnected from the rest of the USA. For all intents and purposes I am a tourist.

I imagine it's the same in places like Hawaii.

So it's nice to occasionally pretend I'm a foreigner.

"Lo siento, no hablo inglés! "

acpc2203
January 18th, 2015, 05:15
I did it. Drove a MT Subaru (which, incidentally, I was surprised to find that I hated and really made me nevar want to own another Subaru) here for a while; hadta go back to the testing center to get my MT license.

It was remarkably easy, actually. I was surprised. The pedals aren't reversed or anything, obviously, so, there's that.
That's good to hear, nice to know that will be an option.

webstaa
January 19th, 2015, 08:50
So... My state doesn't require parallel parking to get a license, and I've never had the need to learn for real since usually I could slide into an easy parallel parking space or get a friend to watch bumpers for me. Is this something required for the Japanese license? Did you guys find it a necessary skill while living in Japan? If I need to do some empty parking lot driving lessons before then, I will while I can.

The transfer test? No. The full Japanese license test? They make you back into a parking space at least, probably parallel parking too. It's not that difficult if you are familiar with how big your vehicle is. I learned to drive in a huge 70s sedan and a minivan. Which meant I had to know where the bumpers of my own car were. If you know that - and the turning radius of your car - parallel parking is nbd. Backing straight into a parking space in a tiny kei-car is harder.

Ini
January 19th, 2015, 08:52
any half decent car these days will have a rear camera so just line up the yellow lines in the green box and put your foot down.

webstaa
January 19th, 2015, 09:06
any half decent car these days will have a rear camera so just line up the yellow lines in the green box and put your foot down.


Assuming I'm not driving some shitty kei-box from the late 90s like most ALTs. Although I rented a Toyota Aqua (I think it was Aqua) when I was doing the translator/guide thing for some friends this past summer. Going back to the US where my car has 200ish hp and actually has torque... I made plans to get rid of that shitty kei-box as soon as the shaken runs out.

uthinkimlost?
January 19th, 2015, 09:09
The transfer test? No. The full Japanese license test? They make you back into a parking space at least, probably parallel parking too. It's not that difficult if you are familiar with how big your vehicle is. I learned to drive in a huge 70s sedan and a minivan. Which meant I had to know where the bumpers of my own car were. If you know that - and the turning radius of your car - parallel parking is nbd. Backing straight into a parking space in a tiny kei-car is harder.

You used your own car for the test?

frayedflower
January 19th, 2015, 09:09
I have a license and checked yes, but I haven't driven in roughly ten years due to a lot of factors - I'm not super worried though. I learned to drive well enough to pass the test on a few hours to begin with, and that was spread out over weeks. I figure if I'm placed somewhere that requires a car, the roads aren't going to be so insanely busy that I can't get back into the swing of it.

webstaa
January 19th, 2015, 12:20
You used your own car for the test?

In the US, yes. They do a basic safety inspection (lights/turn signals/mirrors) before the test actually starts.

In Japan? Can you imagine doing the crank or s-curve in a kei-car. No challenge at all. The only issue would be gunning it to get up to 50 kph in the first stretch...

word
January 19th, 2015, 12:59
In the US, yes. They do a basic safety inspection (lights/turn signals/mirrors) before the test actually starts.

In Japan? Can you imagine doing the crank or s-curve in a kei-car. No challenge at all. The only issue would be gunning it to get up to 50 kph in the first stretch...
To be fair, the crank and s-curve aren't actually that difficult in the old taxi-white plates, either, unless you've been driving around in a kei car and have forgotten what real cars feel like.

Ini
January 19th, 2015, 13:21
unless you've been driving around in a kei car and have forgotten what real cars feel like.

Is this your pick up line you use at JET conferences?

uthinkimlost?
January 19th, 2015, 13:25
"Hey baby. Hop on outta that Jimny and climb aboard my Ram. I'll let you work the stick."

word
January 19th, 2015, 13:26
Is this your pick up line you use at JET conferences?

No, but it should be.

sharpinthefang
January 19th, 2015, 13:30
Or your put down line....

ebochan
February 4th, 2015, 04:13
What if someone isn't asked if they are willing to drive or not? I remember being asked when I had my interview many moons ago, but they didn't ask my husband.

Zolrak 22
February 4th, 2015, 04:17
Did he say he was willing to drive in his application?

ebochan
February 4th, 2015, 04:40
Hmm, I'm not sure. We will have to check.