Renting a Car in Kobe

ByJustin Hanus
Jun 26, 2024

Renting a Car in Kobe

Renting a car in Kobe is a useful alternative to buying or importing a vehicle if living in or moving to the city. Although Kobe has a great public transport system, having a car gives you more scope to explore the city’s many attractions without having to worry about vehicle maintenance.

Here’s an overview of car rental in Kobe.

Driving in Japan

Many people drive in Japan and the country has a good quality road network. Japan is one of a handful of nations where vehicles travel on the left-hand side of the road, similar to the UK and Australia. You can legally drive at the age of 18 as soon as you pass your driving test and get a license. Expats can exchange their existing licenses, although the process depends on your home nationality. Japan’s Road Traffic Act details the main rules of the road. Speed limits vary from 30km/h in residential areas to 100km/h on freeways.

Requirements to Rent a Car in Kobe

As in the rest of Japan, you will need either a valid Japanese driving license or an international driving permit (IDP) to rent a car in Kobe. If you need an IDP, you will have to sort this out before you travel to Japan. Additionally, most rental companies will ask for your passport or valid photo ID before assigning you a vehicle.

Although you can legally rent a car from the age of 18 in Japan, some rental companies may have higher age requirements, e.g. 21 or 25. You won’t need to take out insurance as this is done by the rental firm. However, you may want to check coverage and purchase additional protection if you’re worried about exclusions.

How to Rent a Car in Kobe

Car rental in Kobe is quite straightforward. You just need to choose a suitable hire company and choose your car. Most firms have a selection of automatic and manual cars including various brands and styles. You can usually book online and arrange to pick your car up, or alternatively you can sort everything out at a rental depot or office. As soon as you’ve paid the fees along with any deposit required, you can collect the vehicle and it will be yours for the allotted time. Bear in mind that you will usually pay additional fees if you return the car late.

Costs of Kobe Car Rental

Hire costs depend on the type of vehicle but average at around 7,000-8,000 yen a day. This ranges from approximately 5,000 yen a day for small cars to 15,000 yen a day for larger cars. Typically, the vehicle will have a full tank of petrol when you pick it up and you will be expected to top it back up before returning it.

You can check hire prices using a comparison tool such as this one here.

Car Rental Companies in Kobe

Popular vehicle rental firms in Kobe include:

Tzuhsun Hsu, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Justin Hanus editor

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