The Truth About JDM Cars: 5 Facts to Note (2024)

The Truth About JDM Cars: 5 Facts to Note (1)

By Tsukasa Azuma

Last updated Nov 02, 2021


If you claim yourself to be a motorhead, you must have heard of JDM Cars. These vehicles are much in demand among car loversbecause of their exceptional quality and less availability.

There are so many rumors about thesecars in the market that you may wonder which one to trust. Well, we’ve discussed thetruth about JDM enginesto clear your confusion. Let’s learnwhat are JDM carsbefore moving onto busting some myths about them.

What is a JDM Car?

What does JDMmean? It standsfor “Japanese Domestic Market”. These vehicles aremanufactured for Japan’sdomestic vehicle market. Many people do the mistake of calling all Japan-produced cars asJDM. That’s not true.JDM indicates the cars intended only for the domestic market of Japan.

The Truth About JDM Cars: 5 Facts to Note (2)

The Truth about JDM Cars: 5 Facts to Note

Thinking about buying JDM cars? These facts will help you differentiate between the myths and truths about these particular cars.

Not Every JDM Car Ensures Speedy Ride

Let’s bust the myth with a single liner: JDM carsdo not mean Japanese sports cars.

However, there is a reason for this common belief.Whenever we talk about JDM models, we mostly refer to Nissan Skyline, Toyota Supra, or other sports cars, whichare some of the best examples of Japanese performance vehicles.

But you need to understand that just because these sports cars are in the JDM category, not all models will give you equal performance. Japanese Kei cars, compact cars, mid-sized cars, and sports cars —all fall in the category of the JDM cars.

Not All JDM Models are of Over-The-Top Quality

Just like the speed, the standard of these vehiclescan often disappoint you. Most of them don’t have the impressive quality of performance vehicles.

Japan introduced some new technologies through thesecars, the Variable Cylinder Management system, for example. But that is not the case for every JDM car. The Japanese automakers also manufacturemany local market vehicles, which are not up to the mark quality-wise.

Take 1996 Suzuki X-90 or Honda Cityas an example. The companiesused cost-cutting methods to build theseaffordable car linesfor average car buyers inJapan.


  • Check This List of the Best JDM Models
  • The Rules of Importing Cars from Japan

JDM VehiclesDon’tAlways Cost a Hefty Amount of Money

In Japan, you will find these carsat both high-range and mid-range prices. But the price is higher in some countries because of the taxes and tariffs required to import these cars from Japan.

For example, the European Union (EU) countries do not impose these taxes and fees on the importers. So, JDM carsare a lot cheaper in the EU than in many other countries in the world.

The Japanese Car You Have May Not be a JDM After All

If you are a U.S.citizen and have bought a Toyota Camry presuming it to be a JDM car, we are sorry to inform you that the seller must have fooled you.

Manufacturers build these carsto sell only in theJapanese local vehicle market. These cars are not supposed to be available in the U.S.before a certain time.To sell any JDM car legally in the U.S., the car model has to be 25 years old.

Furthermore, it is considerably tough to import thesevehicles legally in the U.S. So, if a dealer is selling JDM cars in the U.S., be sure that they are importing them legally before spending your money on one.

JDM Car Parts are Expensive and Hard to Find

Since the target customers ofthese carsare for people living in Japan, their partsare also locally sourced. In case you are going to import or purchase a JDM car outside Japan, remember that you will not find its spare parts in the local shops. There are high chances that even the aftermarket companies will find it difficult to source these parts.

Many people assume that these carparts arecheap because of the low price of the vehicles, which is not true. You may struggle to find secondhand parts for your JDM vehicle when a repair is needed.

Wrapping Up

If you are planning to buy cheap JDM cars, it’s better to be aware of the myths and reality. These facts will keep your expectation in check. Most people get disappointed after purchase, thinking of them as performance or exotic cars. If you buy one, treat it as any other low-priced used car, so it won’t be a letdown even if it does not perform well. Before making a purchase,it is wise to check legal documents from the dealer.

The Truth About JDM Cars: 5 Facts to Note (2024)


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