Blog / Travel

Driving in Japan: How we chose our Rental Company


There are a tonne of car rental companies in Japan so choices are a plenty, which is great in terms of availability but can make it harder to decide who to go with. There are fewer choices for hiring campervans and motorhomes in Japan and it didn’t take us long to decide who we wanted to rent our camper from for our 2017 road trip.

Here are some of the most important things we looked for in finding a rental company in Japan:

  • Straightforward, English language rental contract – easy to understand with minimal fine print and no nasty surprises or confusing terminology.
  • Options for unlimited kilometres and reduced insurance excess – we happily took this option as we were covering a lot of ground during our road trip.
  • A range of van sizes and budget options on offer – yes and yes! We rented a spacious and comfortable mid-size van for a backpacker friendly price.
  • Navigational equipment – our van hire included an iPad with maps for navigation and a dashboard mount for easy use when driving. It also came with additional information for driving and van support and apps to help us find rest stops, camp grounds, onsen and more. This really made our road trip a breeze.
  • Personal service and ongoing support during the rental period – when you’re in a foreign country without too much English being spoken, office support from English and Japanese speakers is a must. We were able to contact our company easily at anytime during our road trip if we needed emergency support or advice.
  • Good facilities included in van hire – we had basic cooking facilities (camp stove, cooking equipment, etc), camp table and chair set up, comfy mattress and bedding and all the charging ports and cords we needed included with our rental, including an audio cable to play music and podcasts straight from our phones.
  • Extra comforts – Our van was equiped with a parking heater (a heater that runs all night without using the engine or main battery). This really saved us during our road trip since we were travelling at the beginning of Spring but it was still freezing cold.

So who did we end up renting from? Japan Campers and we couldn’t have been happier with them, in fact we’re already planning our next Japanese road trip!


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