Expat Car Leasing and Rental in Japan

Relocation support for all your mobility needs in Japan!

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Expats can get a car without a Japanese credit history or driver's license

As an international professional, you can arrange for your car before or after you move to Japan. Together with our Japanese partner, we can arrange finance, insurance, registration, maintenance checks, delivery and 24-hour emergency English help line. A Destination service created for expats.

Our program for expatriates will save you time and money

With the “Personal Car Shopper Service”, you will benefit from the help and intercultural advice from somebody skilled and knowledgeable, who understands the car market in Japan.

Offices in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Kobe (Osaka) providing nationwide service.

New and Used Cars

Let your Personal Car Specialist assist you with locating the right car for you. You can either buy cash or our partner can assist with financing options.

Expatriate Financing or Leasing?

We offer two different leasing options (closed end lease and open end lease) at a competitive interest rate for qualifying customers.

Expat Auto insurance

Get competitively priced insurance. No Japanese driver’s license needed to set up coverage. Our Japanese partner works with Hoken Sogo Kenkyujyo Co, Ltd to get you the best possible coverage.

Car rentals for foreign professionals

Rentals are from 1 day up to 12 months. The rental car program covers 100 countries globally. Click here to book…

How it works: Leasing a Car in Japan

• Your request for an estimate is received.
• An estimate is prepared and sent to you for verification. Changes can be requested, or the estimate can be accepted.
• If accepted, sign the estimate for your car and send it back.
• Once the signed estimate is received we begin the process of ordering and registering your car. Your final contract is prepared.
• All required documents will need to be received before delivery
• Your new lease car is delivered. A representative will fully explain your new car and its options
• You sign the final contract, and get on the road!

We will assist you in leasing the best car at the best price to suit your needs and your budget. Security is ensured through full-service maintenance and full coverage insurance policies that are included in the monthly lease fee. We will be there to assist from the time of delivery to the day the car is returned. All of our services and contracts are offered in English. All of our consultants are bilingual in English and Japanese and we boast a great mix of foreign and Japanese staff.

Note: It is strongly recommended to obtain an international driver’s license before entering Japan.

Tell us what type of car you want, and we will find it for you nationwide

We arrange rentals and leases in all cities: Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Kobe, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Kawasaki, Saitama, Hiroshima, Sendai, Kitakyūshū, Chiba, Setagaya, Sakai, Niigata, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka and Sagamihara and many more cities…

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should I get an International driver’s license before relocating to Japan?

    Yes, if you hold an International driver’s license when you enter Japan for the first time, it will make the leasing process much easier.

  • Do you offer used and new cars for lease?

    Yes, we offer both used and new car leases, however we do not exactly have a stock of used cars, so our used car availability is mostly dependent on the timing of when the previous user returns a car to us.

  • Does the lease include insurance? Is there an excess charge on claims?

    Yes, our leases included both full voluntary and compulsory insurance for all drivers. There are 0 yen excess charges on claims for accidents regardless of fault

  • Is there a deposit or initial payment to initiate the lease?

    Yes, there is a deposit required. Before delivery we will ask for the first 2 monthly car payments. The following payments will need to be made by the 28th of each month, starting with the month that the car is registered. This will effectively set the monthly payments to two months in advance.

  • For a 12 month lease, would I need a work Visa for longer than 12 months?

    If you are seeking a 12-month lease, we don’t require you to have a visa for more than 12 months. However, we would need to be sure that the timing of the lease contract is in line with the length of the visa. Additionally, should the client request a 24 month lease, then they will need to have a visa that is valid for at least 24 months.

  • What is included in the lease?

    All leases include the following:

    • 24-hour emergency help line in English
    • GPS navigation system with English audio guidance and visual aids (when possible)
    • 0 yen excess charges on claims for accidents regardless of fault
    • ETC (Electronic Toll Collection) device
    • Full Voluntary and Compulsory Liability Insurance for all drivers
    • Regular maintenance checks every 6 months
    • All car related tax
    • Registration costs
    • Roadside service assistance
    • Floor mats
    • Spare tire/tire repair kit (when available)

  • How long is the lease term?

    We offer lease cars for terms ranging from 12 months and up for new vehicles, and 6 months and up for used vehicles.

  • Is there an English GPS navigation system available in Japan?

    Yes. We'll provide bilingual navigation systems whenever possible.

  • What if I have an accident?

    We offer all of our clients a FREE 7 day/24-hour help line service for any emergency or problem with the lease car. We will help translate if needed, contact the police for you if needed, lodge all insurance claims, have the car repaired and offer you a temporary car while

  • Can I purchase my lease car at the end of the lease?

    Yes, just contact us for details.

  • Can I cancel my lease at any time?

    No. While you can return the car early, all remaining installments must be paid in full at that time. For example, if you return the car on the 7th month of a 12-month lease, you will have to pay the remaining 5 months.

  • Do you support Global Mobility HR with their expats’ transportation needs?

    Yes, we can assist corporate human resource divisions in coordinating all transportation needs for their employees on international assignments.

  • Do you offer corporations direct billing via invoicing instead of credit card payment?

    Yes, we offer different payment options worldwide for corporations. This is individually accessed and may not be available for all.

  • How can ExpatRide support our corporate relocation service needs?

    We work with you to establish a global mobility program for all aspects of car transportation. Aligning customary transportation across continents, budgets, allowances, self-pay, approved vehicles, individually tailored solutions, and centralized direct billing arrangement across all services.

    If you work with a Relocation Management Company. We can support and implement the plan mentioned above together with the RMC, including coordinating expense management for your employees, thus utilizing the relocation support services infrastructure already provided to you by the RMC. We work with all the major RMCs and Destination Services Providers.

    Please see more information on our “Corporate page”

  • Is ExpatRide specialized in only supporting expatriates, or is it available for short-term and domestic needs?

    ExpatRide’s primary focus is on workforce mobility services. It includes all employees’ transportation needs, be it short-term international assignments or long-term and permanent moves. We can assist employees moving domestically and internationally.

Practical Information on Driving in Japan

Speed limit

Expressways: 80 to 100 km/h
Urban areas: 40 km/h
Side streets: 30 km/h
Elsewhere: 50 to 60 km/h

Kids in cars

Children under the age of six must be buckled into a child seat in the rear seats when traveling by car.

Minimum age

The legal minimum age for driving is 18 years.


• Driver’s Licence
• Proof of Registration
• Vehicle Insurance

Alcohol and driving

Don’t do it! Drinking and driving in Japan carries severe penalties. At an alcohol level of 0.15 mg per 1L of breath, a driver is considered to be Driving Under the Influence (DUI), which is punishable by imprisonment with work for up to 3 years and a fine of up to JPY 500,000.

Phone use

It is illegal to use your phone while driving. Drivers of standard vehicles found using smartphones or mobile phones while driving will face a fine of 18,000 yen, a threefold increase from the previous levy.

Auto Insurance

Driving a car in Japan requires Japanese Compulsory Automobile Insurance, or JCI (sometime Compulsory Automobile Liability Insurance, or CALI). JCI mandatory insurance only covers the other parties of the accident up to 30 million yen in coverage for death (of a third party), 40 million yen for ongoing injuries (to a third party), and 1.2 million yen for injury (to a third party) as a result of an at-fault accident.

Seat Belts

According to the Road Traffic Act, each person in a motor vehicle must wear a seat belt. Whether you are the driver or a passenger, be sure to wear your seat belt. A child seat must be attached and used for children under six years of age.

Driver's License

Foreigners can drive in Japan with an International Driving Permit (IDP) for a maximum of one year, even if the IDP is valid for a longer period.

International driving permits are not issued in Japan and should be obtained in your home country in advance.

Japan only recognizes international driving permits based on the 1949 Geneva Convention, which are issued by a large number of countries. Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Monaco, Switzerland and Taiwan do not issue permits based on the 1949 Geneva Convention, but instead have a separate agreement that allows drivers from these countries to drive in Japan for up to one year with an official Japanese translation of their driver’s license.

A translation can be obtained from the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) or some of the respective countries’ embassies or consulates in Japan.

People from other countries whose international driving permits are not recognized by Japan and people who stay in Japan for more than one year, must obtain a Japanese driver’s license.

How to Exchange your foreign driver’s license to a Japanese Driver’s License

Japan has bilateral agreements with more than twenty countries, including Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom, as well as the US states of Hawaii, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, to ease the process of acquiring a Japanese license. If you hold a valid driver’s license from one of these countries you can get a Japanese license without taking a written or practical exam.

Instead, go to your local license center with an official translation of your license (obtainable from the Japan Automobile Federation), your passport, and proof that you held your license for at least three months in the issuing country before coming to Japan. Then, take a basic eye and physical test and you will be issued a new license on the same day.

If you have a driver’s license from a country or state which does not have an agreement with Japan, such as China, Brazil or most US states, you will have to take a written and practical exam in order to obtain a Japanese driver’s license. This process typically takes several attempts, even for experienced drivers.

For more information, visit the Japan Automobile Federation

Note: Information may not be up-to-date. Please check official government information for latest laws and regulations.

We finance all makes and models nationwide

We offer the following car brands and any other car brand available in Japan

Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Ferrari, Fiat, Ford,Genesis, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Lamborghini, Lancia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lotus, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Mini, Mitsubishi, MG, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, Rolls-Royce, Smart, Subaru, Suzuki, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo

"Everything worked out better than expected. Thanks!"

– Michael from Canada, Toyota C-HR

We are ready to assist!

    • Start process before or after arrival to Japan
    • Competitive interest rates
    • We can source any make and model
    • Personal Car Shopper Service (free service) - saves time and hassle with visiting dealers
    • Intercultural assistance throughout the term in regards to registration, renewals, etc.