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Updated: February 20, 2024

Car Rental

With Tokyo's peerless public transportation system, it is unlikely you will need to rent a car if you are staying central throughout your stay. However, if you are travelling in a larger group, planning a trip outside of the city, traveling with children or older people, it is something worth considering.

Car Rental Usage

The All Japan Rent-A-Car Association  provides all the details you need to know regarding driving licenses, traffic regulations and car rental.

List of major car rental companies

Main Traffic Rules

Be sure to observe Japanese traffic rules when driving.
In Japan, cars are driven on the left side of the road.
Parking violations are dealt with severely in Japan. Always use a parking lot.
Drink driving is strictly forbidden by law. Any passenger who knowingly gets into a car with an intoxicated driver will also be held liable.
Using your mobile phone or smartphone to talk or send messages while driving is extremely dangerous. Do not do this.
For more information on valid international driving permits and licenses in Japan, as well as related conditions, please refer to the following websites:

Valid International Driving Permit in Japan (Metropolitan Police Department)
Valid Foreign Driving License in Japan (Metropolitan Police Department)
Foreign Driver's Licenses and International Driving Permits (Metropolitan Police Department)

Expressway Tolls

Toll payment is required when driving on the Shutoko (Metropolitan Expressway). There are three ways to make this payment: via ETC (Electronic Toll Collection system), with a credit card, or with cash. For further details, please refer to the Shutoko's official website, as shown below.

Shutoko (Metropolitan Expressway Company Limited.)「If using ETC」
Shutoko (Metropolitan Expressway Company Limited.)「If using cash」