Thursday, November 20, 2008

Matchbox car

I have a new car. It is only for a few days while my car is getting fixed (I love the Japanese custom of giving you a car free of charge to use while you are having repairs done), but it is giving me the chance to experience one of Japan's wonders.... the "Kei car". "Kei" literally means "light" and it is definitely that! I feel a little like I am sitting directly on the ground and as my daughter has discovered - she is taller than it is.... she is only 8 years old!
Kei cars are subject to lower taxes than regular cars and can be distinguished by their yellow number plates. According to wikipedia people couldn't afford big cars and the taxes that they required after world war two so to promote the growth of the car industry, as well as to offer an alternative delivery method to small business and shop owners, kei car standards were created. Although over the years the size restrictions of kei cars has changed it is currently... maximum length - 3.4m, maximum width - 1.48m, maximum height 2m, maximum displacement 660cc.
Initially I was very impressed when I went to fill it up with petrol and the total bill only came to 2,000 yen (when I fill mine it always costs more than 7,000 yen), but after driving it around today I discovered that it also uses quarter of a tank on the way to work and back!
I guess after driving my box for a few days I will be happy to have my big beast of a car back.....


  1. Now you know why I keep running out of petrol!

  2. Well, the good thing about this Japanese car is that its light. When the car is light you tend to have a good speed and speed lovers really love that.