#Auto Mobile

Cheap Japanese Pickup Trucks Gaining Popularity in America


In recent times, there has been a global trend of downsizing, with people opting for minimalist lifestyles and smaller living spaces. Interestingly, this trend has now extended to the realm of transportation. One remarkable example of this is the growing popularity of Kei trucks, small Japanese pickup trucks that are capturing the hearts of many Americans.

What are Kei trucks?

Kei trucks are compact vehicles, measuring about 11 feet in length and less than seven feet in height. They originated from three-wheel trucks based on motorcycles after the Second World War. Several manufacturers, including Daihatsu Hijet, Subaru Sambar, Suzuki Carry, Mitsubishi Minicab, and Honda Acty, have produced these trucks.

While Kei trucks are commonly seen on Japanese roads, they have also found favor among certain Americans seeking affordable and versatile transportation options. Farmers, surfers, and hunters, in particular, appreciate their nimbleness and the storage space they offer for surfboards or animals.

Reasons for Popularity

Affordability is one of the key factors contributing to the popularity of Kei trucks. Japan Car Direct, a reputable company, sells the cheapest Kei truck for around $5,000, with shipping costs making up a significant portion of the total amount. This makes them an attractive choice for individuals who require a vehicle without wanting to spend a fortune.

The versatility of Kei trucks is another factor driving their popularity. These vehicles can be utilized for various purposes, including transporting goods and people. Additionally, their compact size enables easy parking and maneuvering in tight spaces, making them highly suitable for urban driving conditions.

Purchasing a Kei truck

For those interested in buying a Kei truck, there are several Japanese companies that export these vehicles to the US and other countries. However, it is important to be aware of certain restrictions in the US.

Newer models, in particular, face restrictions imposed by the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency. Depending on the state, Kei trucks are typically limited to a maximum speed of 25 mph. For instance, in Pennsylvania, they must be registered as off-road vehicles, while California’s stringent environmental regulations make it challenging to use a Kei truck there.

Kei trucks that are over 25 years old are exempt from these restrictions, and they constitute the majority of imports to the US. Reputable companies like Japan Car Direct and their competitors can guide customers through the import process, which involves completing several forms.

However, buying a car from a foreign country without physically inspecting it requires a certain level of trust. Therefore, it is crucial to conduct thorough research and select a reputable company to ensure a smooth purchasing experience.


Kei trucks provide an affordable and versatile transportation option for individuals in need. Their compact size makes them easy to park and maneuver in congested areas, making them ideal for urban driving. However, it is essential for buyers to be aware of the restrictions in the US and choose a reputable company for importing a Kei truck. Given their increasing popularity, it is evident that these tiny Japanese trucks are here to stay.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *