Vehicle Hire / Rent-a-Car

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Please use this page to contact car and vehicle hire agencies in Hokkaido, Japan.
There are some things to remember when hiring vehicles in Hokkaido, Japan.

  1. You must have a valid drivers licence and an international drivers licence.
    (International Licenses can usually be obtained from the D.M.V or auto clubs in your country.)
  2. A special license may be required depending on the type of vehicle hired.
  3. Some vehicles (such as some mini buses) are only hired WITH a
    driver. This can be a great help if you are unfamiliar with roads and road
    conditions, however the cost of these vehicles is also higher.
  4. The Hokkaido area receives a huge amount of snow in the winter months. Be
    sure that the vehicle is equipped with snow tires and take appropriate caution
    when driving in snowy / icy conditions.
  5. The Hokkaido area has increased costs for vehicle hire during the summer
  6. Most, if not all, rental companies require you to reserve the vehicle at
    least three (3) days in advance.

If you would like your business listed on this page, please go to our advertising section.

Rental Car Agencies in Sapporo
(Area Code 011)

Mazda Rent-A-Car & Car Lease Hokkaido
Official Website
Mazda Rentacar
( )
Reservation Center
Ph. (+81) 011-0120-015656

Toyota Rental
Official Website
Toyota Rentalease
( )
Reservation Center
Ph. (+81) 011-0120-148939

Nippon Rent-A-Car Service
Official Website
Nippon Rentacar
( )
Reservation Center
Ph. (+81) 011-717-0919

Orix Rent-A-Car Hokkaido
Official Website
Orix Rentacar
( )
Reservation Center
Ph. (+81) 011-737-0543

Nissan Rent-A-Car
Official Website
Nissan Rentacar
( )
Reservation Center
Ph. (+81) 011-0120-004123

Station Rent-A-Car (Ekiren) Hokkaido
Official Website
( )
Reservation Center
Ph. (+81) 011-742-8211

Honda Rental & Leasing Sapporo
Reservation Center
Ph. (+81) 011-865-5555

Mitsubishi Rent-A-Car
Reservation Center
Ph. (+81) 011-0120-111300


Some notes on rental cars and driving in Hokkaido;

General –
Unlike much of Japan, renting a car in Hokkaido can be a good option for getting around depending on the destination, time available and season. Road conditions change significantly between the summer and winter period and many roads in winter may be closed. Hokkaido does not have the extensive train network that operates on the island of Honshu and therefore rental cars or buses will be the only option for getting to some areas. Top

Roads & Speed Limits –
Roads in Hokkaido are relatively wide and straight when compared to other areas of Japan, which makes driving easier and much of the island has expressways which provide even faster more direct routes. Expressways however, are always toll roads and therefore can be expensive. Also although roads are generally wide and straight, speed limits on national roads tend to be very low when compared to foreign countries. Most national roads have limits of 50, 60 or occasionally 70 km/ph. Expressways are slightly higher with limits of 70, 80 and occasionally 100km/ph. Winter driving in Hokkaido can also be quite difficult and dangerous. The area receives many meters of snow during the winter and falls of 40, 50 and 60cm in a day are not uncommon. Top

License Requirements –
It is absolutely necessary to provide an international drivers license when hiring a car in Japan. It should be noted however that certain countries, namely France, Germany and Switzerland use a different international driving convention and therefore international licenses from these countries are NOT valid in Japan. Drivers from these countries must obtain an official translation of your home country’s driving license. Please contact your local consulate for information on how to get a translation. The minimum driving age in Japan is 18 years old, however some agencies may not rent to people under the age of 25. Top

Pricing & Bookings –
Cars will vary in price depending on class, and engine size. There may also be extra charges for navigation systems and baby seats. Insurance is always necessary but varying levels are possible. Small cars start at about 5000 yen per day, medium about 10000 yen per day and large about 15000 yen per day. It is possible to find various specials during the year which make rental cheaper. Rates will also change seasonally and this is especially true in Hokkaido. Due to the small number of companies operating in Hokkaido and the huge number of tourists that come during the summer, car agencies can and often do run out of vehicles. The summer period will have a summer surge charge which can significantly increase the price. Also most rental companies will require you to book at least three (3) days in advance, especially during the peak summer period. Unfortunately most rental companies do not offer English websites or English help services. Top