Car Mileage

Every 2 years in Japan, cars must go through a vehicle inspection called Shaken. This is to ensure that the cars are still safe to drive and that they haven't been illegally modified. It's usually costs at least $1000, which is annoying, but it's even more annoying when you have a bunch of repair costs tacked on top of it.

When I arrived in Japan, I had to buy a car because public transportation up in the mountains was not feasible. The car mechanic in town had a pretty good deal on a 2004 Subaru R2.

The Subaru R2 is a Kei car, denoted by its yellow plate. Kei cars are smaller and have smaller engines. This also means they get some pretty great gas mileage. I bought the car in 2013, but as Shaken loomed in 2021, the bottom plating had begun to erode away and it was no longer road-worthy. My mechanic information me that the repairs would be too much, and I should buy a new car. I had a bunch of money saved up from stimulus checks and not traveling due to lockdown, so it wasn't too bad.

My mechanic and I went through a bunch of cars on the open market, and I finally settled on a 2017 Daihatsu Mira ES. I wanted to continue owning a Subaru, but they discontinued their line of Kei cars, and Daihatsu has purchased their designs. The Mira is a slight evolution of the R2 mixed with Daihatsu designs.

I went with Red to try and set myself apart from the conformity of all the White, Off-White, and Grey cars of Japan. Nobody likes colors in their cars over here. It's still not completely unique, though, as the Mira ES is one of the most popular Kei cars on the road. I think that's good because it'll be easy to find replacement parts in the future if stuff breaks. Also the mechanic can easily figure out how to fix it.

Fast forward to today, and I've finally made the final payment on my car. :)

Car Mileage

Whenever I pay for gas, I've gotten in the habit of writing down the Odometer on the receipt in order to calculate my own gas mileage. These receipts pile up, and I eventually take all of the data and enter it into spreadsheets in Google Drive.

Those are both a year's worth of receipts. One pile is from 2020. The other pile is from 2022.

Over the 8 years I owned my Subaru R2, I drove it 105,000 kilometers. I took some roadtrips to Hiroshima, Kyoto, and Chiba. Many times I drove to Tokyo, too. Throughout its life, it had an average of 32.93 or 33.67 mpg, after conversions from liters and km. Towards the end, it started losing some of its mpg, and after Covid started, I was really only driving around town.

Here are the full stats on my Subaru R2:

I have continued to do gas accounting with my Daihatsu Mira ES. Here are its stats:

Gas Cost

In March 2022, the war in Ukraine began and gas prices began to climb in the United States. People were paying as much as $70 for a tank of gas.

Not so much in Japan.

For the whole year of 2021, I spent 97390 on gasoline. In 2022, I spent 104654 on gas. It did go up, but only by 7000. In fact, if you wanted to go further with it, the exchange rate for Yen to Dollars tanked after the war started. If you convert this to dollars, I paid $881 in 2021 and only $792 in 2022. It's $90 less, in this case.

Comparatively, I bought 600 liters in 2021 and 603 liters in 2022.