QEEQ

The Complete Japan Driving and Rental Guide

Although Japan has prided itself as having the most efficient public transportation systems around large metropolitan areas around Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, less known sceneries are definitely worth and handy exploring by car. Here is a brief guide aiming at helping you drive comfortably on Japanese roads.

  • Speed Limit and Traffic Signs
  • Seatbelt and Child Safety
  • Parking, Fuel and Toll
  • Traffic Violation
  • Driving Licence and Age Requirements

Speed Limit and Traffic Signs

Driving is on the left-hand side of the road in Japan. Even though Japanese drivers are renowned for their respect of the driving rules, you should pay attention to cyclists, some of whom happen to ride on the wrong side of the road.

Speed Limit

The speed limits in Japan are between 80 and 100 km/h on expressways, 30 km/h in side streets, 40 km/h in urban areas, and between 50 and 60 km/h elsewhere unless states otherwise.

Traffic Signs

There are mainly four types of traffic signs in Japan: regulatory signs, warning signs, information and direction signs. For each type, you can find below several signs that you may not familiar with.


A typical Japanese regulatory sign generally features a red circle with a white background and blue pictograms. 

Japan_Traffic_Sign_Speed_Limit_90km_hSpeed Limit (90 km/h)Japan_Traffic_Sign_Minimum_Speed_Limit_50km_hMinimum Speed Limit (50 km/h)Japan_Traffic_Sign_No_OvertakingNo OvertakingJapan_Traffic_Sign_Road_Closed_to_TollRoad Closed to TollJapan_Traffic_Sign_Road_Closed_to_VehiclesRoad Closed to VehiclesJapan_Traffic_Sign_Give_WaySlow down (In Japanese and English)

Japanese warning signs feature a diamond shape and yellow background.

Japan_Traffic_Sign_CrossroadsCrossroadsJapan_Traffic_Sign_Bumpsy_RoadBumpy RoadJapan_Traffic_Sign_Wild_Animals_Crossing_DeerWild Animals Crossing (Deer)Japan_Traffic_Sign_Succession_of_More_Than_Two_Curves_to_the_RightSuccession of More Than Two Curves to the RightJapan_Traffic_Sign_Railway_Crossing_AheadRailroad Crossing AheadJapan_Traffic_Sign_Tram_Crossing_AheadTram Crossing Ahead

Japanese information signs feature a green background.

Japan_Traffic_Sign_Emergency_TelephoneEmergency TelephoneJapan_Traffic_Sign_Rest_Area_Parking_Fuel_Stand_EtcRest Area/Parking Fuel Stand, Etc.

Direction signs in Japan feature a rectangular shape with a blue or green background.

Japan_Traffic_Sign_Expressway_EntranceExpressway EntranceJapan_Traffic_Sign_Destination_&_DirectionDestination & Direction

To read more about Japanese road signs, here is a more detailed booklet.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Seatbelt and Child Safety

Seatbelt Laws

Drivers and all the passengers are required by law to wear a seatbelt. Failure to fasten your seatbelt may result in a fine.

Booster Seat Laws

Children under 6 years of age must be seated in child seats.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Parking, Fuel and Toll

Parking

· Permitted Parking


In Japan, parking cost normally depends on the size of the city and the distance from the city centre. Parking in small towns and cities is usually free.


Paid parking can be expensive in big cities, costing several hundreds of yen per hour. Parking lots in national parks or near tourist attractions sometimes charge a flat fee (typically 200 to 500 yen per use). Urban hotels usually provide parking for their guests at a flat rate (typically 1000 yen per night), while hotels outside the large cities usually offer free parking.


· Forbidden Parking


Please do not park your car indicated with the “No Parking” signs. 

Japan-Traffic-Sign-No-Stopping


Also do not park the rental vehicle in a place only allowed to use by renting on a monthly basis, marked by the “Kanji” of “月極 ” or “月極駐車場”. 

Japan Monthly Parking Lot


In addition, it is against the law to park a vehicle in the following places in Japan:


- In a tunnel


- On, or within five metres of the edge of an intersection


- Within three metres of the automobile entrance of a garage, car-park or similar


- On pedestrian or cycle crossings and railway lines


- Within ten metres of a bus stop or a bus stop sign


- Within five metres of the edge of an area of road works


- Within five metres of a fire hydrant, water tank or other fire safety equipment


Forbidden parking in Japan will lead to a hefty fine.

Fuel Prices

The average gasoline price in Japan in January 2018 was 141.50 Japanese Yen per litre, while the diesel price was 118.40 over the same period of time.

Toll

Most of the expressways in Japan are toll roads and you must pass through the automatic ETC (Electric Toll Collection) gate or manual gate with ticketing machine. It is highly common to rent an ETC system with the car hire company when taking a self-driving tour in Japan, and it allows you to drive through the ETC gate without stopping. ETC gate feature white “ETC 專用” characters on a purple background.5

Japan ETC Lane(Image from takingflights.com)

Japan ETC Device(Image from demflyers.com)


Alternative to ETC tolling, you may proceed to the manual gate, which is recognized by the“一般” characters written with a green background. Cash or bank cards can be used to pay the toll fee before entering the road. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Traffic Violation

DUI Laws

The alcohol limit in Japan is BAC 0.03%. Drink driving above the limit can result in a maximum prison sentence of 3 years or a fine of about $480,000 Japanese Yen.

Traffic Fines

Speed cameras and speed traps are used to monitor driving speed in Japan. Drivers who exceed the speed limits up to 40km/h over can be fined from 9000 Japanese Yen to 35,000 Japanese Yen, and a 50km/h excess or more over will be viewed as criminal infringement and can result in a prison sentence up to 6 months, or up to 100,000 Japanese Yen fine.


Parking in the prohibitive areas will usually cause a fine from 10,000 to 20,000 Japanese Yen.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Driving Licence and Age Requirements

Japanese law requires that all drivers who do not hold a Japanese driver’s license must hold a country of origin driver's license and an International Driving Permit issued under the 1949 Convention on International Road Traffic. Driver’s licence must be held for at least 1 or 2 years (according to different car hire company).


The minimum driver age for renting a car at a Japanese rental office is 18 years old. This age may vary according to the state and car category rented. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Guest reviews

1 /
P.Mueller

March 4, 2020

Destination: Sapporo

9.7Efficient English-speaking rental company

Very smooth rental service and good English speaking staff. While the pick-up location is about 5min drive away from the airport, then rental company is very responsive on LINE and provides very clear information where they come pick you up at the airport and without much waiting.

View more
R.Sestakij

February 24, 2020

Destination: Naha

8.7Very Good

Service of counter staff were very good both at pick-up and drop-off. Car in good condition and we love it. However, there was some disappoint which we were so surprise about the staff at the airport... It was the time when we went to wrong drop-off location,as GPS guided us to the airport (where the shuttle bus picked us up to get the rental car). We saw one man with Times sign, he was SLEEPING while waiting for arrival passenger. We didn't want to wake him up but we had to and yes, he DIDN'T WANT TO ANSWER ANY QUESTION. We asked him where we can drop the car off and what he answered us was just pointed his finger to the door, DIDN'T EVEN OPEN HIS EYES. Luckily, we found the place in the next 5 minutes.

View more
Watcharakorn Chotigo

February 23, 2020

Destination: Naha

9Excellent

No additional insurance offer. Smooth pick-up and drop-off process. Free shuttle bus to airport.

View more

February 20, 2020

Destination: Nagano

7.3Overall good and smooth

There’s seems some problem on the brakes

View more
Anchasa Chatsirichok

February 20, 2020

Destination: Tokyo

10Good

Good service. They didn’t have the car type we booked so they upgraded a bigger car for us.

View more
c.uttawat

February 19, 2020

Destination: Naha

10รถสภาพใหม่ดี แต่ต้องนั่งรถรับส่งไปรับรถนอกสนามบิน ตอนคืนรถต้องโชว์บิลน้ำมันด้วย

รถสภาพใหม่

View more
Horace W

February 19, 2020

Destination: Naha

7Okinawa Self-drive Trip

Even we have the full insurance coverage bought along with the booking, we have to pay the claim for the damage on the front wind shield glass. It was damage was caused by an unknown foreign object hitting on the top right corner of the front glass wind shield. The vehicle was a bit "old", with a lot of minor scratches all over the car body when we did the pick-up inspection.

View more
K.Tay

February 18, 2020

Destination: Naha

8.7Quite smooth overall.

Fast procedure and no queue

View more
P.Boonsupthip

February 18, 2020

Destination: Osaka

8.7I will try to booking in advance, maybe than one wk from the app. That will smoothly than this time.

For this branch, the staff advise us to buy more insurance. When I told him that I paid basically insurance (included CDW) from the application already, he said it’s from the application (not from Nippon rent a car). The basic cost around ¥1,500/day, but I denied to pay more. He warned us, if something happened just a little bit destroyed. The dealer will charge us at least ¥150,000, luckily we drive safely along the trip. When we drop the car on the last day, the old staff urged us for the nearest gas station’s receipt before returning. But I told him that the receipt I put it at the hotel and I didn’t fill the petrol from here, so I showed him that the fuel scale is full and a little bit over scale too. Finally he is okay for that, but it takes time for a while.

View more
Mick Farley

February 18, 2020

Destination: Sapporo

9.7Seamless

Car Rental Hokkaido were excellent - very professional and thorough. Also friendly, warm and welcoming. I’d use them again.

View more
C.Mann

February 17, 2020

Destination: Sapporo

10It was easy and efficient

The people where super efficient and friendly. I will definitely recommend them to others and will use them again

View more
X.Friend

February 16, 2020

Destination: Kawasaki

10Very happy with Easyrentcars.com in Japan

We have rented from Europcar in Japan quite a few times and always have fantastic service.

View more
P.PhETTONGKAM

February 16, 2020

Destination: Naha

8.3Very Good

Cheap and good

View more
S.Wong

February 15, 2020

Destination: Naha

10Excellent

A nice company

View more
S.Mak

February 15, 2020

Destination: Naha

9.7Excellent

Easy and fast pick up. Multi language staffs available for customers from different country. Received message in advance on pick up notice. However, there r 2 things I haven’t experienced with other rental company before. First, I have been asked to return the car in sharp( I set my return time at 9:00am). Any delay will cause voided on the insurance. When I ask to extend my return time to 10am for flexibility, I have been told to charge 1100yens for the insurance. I can’t believe a car insurance is counted by hour not by day. Second, the fuel policy is full to full but I have also been asked to provide receipt for proof. These r the strange policies I have never been experienced

View more

February 11, 2020

Destination: Sapporo

8.3Amazing

Staff very helpful and give excellent service both during picking up and drop off time

View more

February 10, 2020

Destination: Tokyo

8.3Very Good

I have to wait for a long time to get a car because there is one staff at counter service. The car exceeded my expectations, a lot of space for luggage and save oil.

View more
G.Quah

February 10, 2020

Destination: Chuo-ku

10Fantastic.

It was a smooth reservation and the process of picking up car n returning was simply awesome.

View more
Karen

February 7, 2020

Destination: Osaka

9.7Highly recommended

Overall car rental experience with Nissan was great, the car was in great condition, the hotline was helpful and car return process was easy.

View more
s.hamzah

February 6, 2020

Destination: Sapporo

8Easy and fast car hire

Great ecperience with easy and smooth procedures

View more
Kin Kenneth

February 6, 2020

Destination: Tokyo

9.3Good, but not the best yet

Snow Tire needed to be added seperately in Nissan counter Compare to Japan Local Website, eg: Tocoo Car, They have included the package of Snow Tire and additional Wifi Egg for User

View more
S.Wong

February 5, 2020

Destination: Osaka

9Just Perfect with value money

Space are just OK. Overall good.

View more
J.J

February 3, 2020

Destination: Sapporo

10Perfecto

Atencion excelente y un trato muy bueno y amable

View more
T.Cheung

January 31, 2020

Destination: Naha

10Good Car Rental at Okinawa

Times is doing a good job in arranging the pick up and registration everything in order, staff also give very good and tiny service for local traffic attention and the car details. Times rental also provide good useful information from the local interest / map code and car return information. Really good rental car experience.

View more
Cheng Perry

January 26, 2020

Destination: Naha

10Excellent

This is very good company. There is a very nice Taiwanese lady to help us

View more
B.Park

January 22, 2020

Destination: Fukuoka

9.7Quick and easy

Good location and service.

View more
S.Chor

January 22, 2020

Destination: Naha

9.7Good experience driving in Okinawa.

Nil

View more
T.Bishop

January 16, 2020

Destination: Tokyo

9Recommend

The car we hired was clean and in good condition. They did not have a E Toll pass so we had to have cash on hand to go through tolls. We requested snow tires which were fitted but didn’t give us a window scraper so we had to buy one. No other complaints

View more
KinChong Lai

January 16, 2020

Destination: Naha

10Excellent

很好 在到達沖繩機場 租車公司的穿梭巴士不在國際線出口等待 需要徒步走到國內線出口10號位置才有穿梭巴士到租車公司 Check in的時間 都很快十分鐘內完成 車輛非常完美 在還車的時間也非常快也有穿梭巴士接送來往機場

View more

January 13, 2020

Destination: Sapporo

10very efficient service. will definitely recommend to friends

Speedy collection of car and very polite staff.

View more
S.Chotchuang

January 9, 2020

Destination: Sapporo

10Excellent

Good service, so convenient!

View more
Mingliang Yao

January 8, 2020

Destination: Kyoto Minami-Ku

10Excellent

Very nice experience with Nissan

View more
Rudin Leong

January 7, 2020

Destination: Osaka

9.78D7N road trip across Osaka, Kyoto, Biwako Valley, Kobe and Nara

The only feedback is that the staff did not recommend us to use ETC pass for tolls payment

View more
C.HO

January 6, 2020

Destination: Naha

9Nice experience.

Though a bit far away from the airport, they offered free shuttle service. So far so good.

View more

January 6, 2020

Destination: Naha

10Rental process was smooth and there was no problems with the car

Counter staff could speak some english which was useful

View more
B.Koh

January 5, 2020

Destination: Naha

9Great

Not easy to locate the rental car pick-up point. Waited for more than 30 mins to get the car. Although lucky to get a brand new car, it is lack of power. New to pay extract for returning the car out of its nornal office hour. The staffs were late in the early morning when need to return the car making us rushing to airport to catch the flight.

View more
E.Maruyama

January 5, 2020

Destination: Osaka

5.7Average

店が移転している知らせがなく、電話も変わっていて探すのが大変だった。予約8時にしていたが、ずいぶん後に返却が9時というメールがきて飛行機の時間を変更し、飛行機キャンセル料二万円かかった。他のレンタカー会社は8時なのに

View more
T.Lee

January 4, 2020

Destination: Naha

10I will come again when next visit

Good service

View more
D.Tan

January 3, 2020

Destination: Fukuoka

8Very Good

Overall is fine, but the 2 female staff that serve me not so professional and lack of smile, maybe is because of communication in English not so fluent for them. Example when I pick up the car they should ask me or give me the foreigners on driving sticker instead I ask for it. The rest everything was smoothly done.

View more
C.LEUNG

January 2, 2020

Destination: Naha

9.3Excellent

Perfect service in picking up and dropping off the vehicle. But seats of the vehicle has some dirt, as that is not a leather seat version. The GPS always provide a slow and small road, like pass through some farm land which is not a direct way to destination. leather

View more
K.Ma

January 2, 2020

Destination: Naha

10Excellent

Great Car! New Car! Very Spacious!(Nissan Serena)

View more
K.LEE

January 2, 2020

Destination: Naha

9Convenient but car brand should be the same as booking

Car types not guaranteed. Toyota was given instead of Subaru.

View more
J.Su

December 31, 2019

Destination: Osaka

9.7Excellent

Very good experience. If the pickup location instruction can be clearer, that will be perfect!

View more
C.Ooi

December 30, 2019

Destination: Tokyo

10Excellent

Very good

View more
Y.M.

December 27, 2019

Destination: Tsukuba

10Great car hire experience.

I recommend this car rental place due to its low excess, easy access from the station, friendly staff and quality of cars. Payment is at the point of pick up not at the time of booking but they accept all credit cards as far as I can tell.

View more
S.Laokerkiat

December 27, 2019

Destination: Naha

9.7Nice car for 7people. Tight space to fit 3 large luggages at the back.

Vehicle had problem on automatic sliding door open (passenger side)

View more
Travel from HK

December 22, 2019

Destination: Osaka

10Good experience

Very good condition. Staff at counter is very helpful.

View more
T.Tai Fong

December 21, 2019

Destination: Tokyo

10Really great experience. I will book with them again next trip!

Samurai Car Rental indeed live to the expectation. Great service,and hassle free. Their return process doesn't require you to return in full tank,which really a big advantage. New car as well,so you can be assured of the car condition is tip top.

View more
K.TAN

December 20, 2019

Destination: Osaka

8Good service

Good

View more

January 4, 2020

Destination: Fukuoka

10Excellent t

The only issue was determining the difference between easy car rentals and the actual car rentals offering Otherwise the service was brilliant

View more

Best car rental deals in Japan

Best rates found by QEEQ users in the last 30 days.

Frequently asked questions

Q1.What is an insurance excess?

The excess is the amount you'll only be liable for in case of damage(under Collision Damage Waiver) or theft(under Theft Protection) of the vehicle.
Information about the excess will be clearly stated in the price inclusion when you reserve a car on QEEQ.

Q2. How can I add an addtional driver?

You are advised to make a request upon your arrival at the rental counter. Additional charge per day will incur unless '1 Additional Driver Included' is stipulated on the rental.
Please note that the same licence and age requirement applys to the additonal driver. The addtional driver is supposed to present the required licence document along with the main driver at pickup.

Q3.What if I want to pick up or drop off my rental car out of office hours?

QEEQ will show you the car offers available at your chosen time on the search results.
However, pick-up or drop-off out of general opening hours may subject to an extra fee unless self-service pick-up or drop-off is available.
After you reserve a car on QEEQ, we will inform you of specific policy of the car hire company by email.

Q4. Can I take the hired car to another country or cross border?

If you want to pick up your car in one country and drop it in another, your search results will show you cars you can do that with.
If you're planning to cross any borders during your trip, bear in mind:
1. You may have to pay more.
There are often extra fees, taxes or additional cover you'll pay at the car hire counter.
2.It may not be allowed.
Depending on where you're hiring, you may not be able to take your car to another country.
Please email us if you want to take your hire car into a different country during your trip, and we'll talk you through your options.

Q5. Can I pick up my car at one location and return it at different location?

Yes. You can pick up the vehicle in one place and drop it off in another. An ‘one-way fee’ will incur. Whether it is inclued in the rental price or what additional cost may arise will be clearly stated at the time of booking on QEEQ.
Please inform the car hire company of your drop-off location when you pick up the vehicle or contact them directly during your trip. You will find a phone number on the rental agreement you signed at pickup.

Explore more destinations in Japan

Subscribe for Exclusive Offers and Deals

Know our privacy policy - you can easily unsubscribe any time!

terms of use and Privacy Policy"> terms of use and privacy policy.">