Hire Car in Nagano
Coming to ski in Japan and thinking about a Nagano car rental? Increasingly in recent years many visiting skiers to the region choose to rent cars for their Nagano ski trip. Whilst it is not always straightforward to hire a car in Nagano, neither is it too difficult.
Nagano Car Rental | Hire Car in Nagano
Rent a car in Nozawa, Madarao, Shiga Kogen & Hakuba
Renting a car for your Nagano ski holiday is a great idea. Public transportation in Japan is renowned for his excellence, but it doesn’t always get you close to the ski resorts in Nagano Alps. Nor do local resort shuttles necessarily – especially if you want first tracks. Car hire in Nagano will give you that convenience and freedom and you won’t be tied to timetables. For your rest days it’s great to explore and see some of the sights, do some shopping or find a hidden onsen. Plus Nagano car rental can also be an economical choice if you are travelling in a group.
Nagano Car Rental Booking Search
See below for hire car locations in Nagano:
Exactly where are all the local ski resorts?
The map below covers just about all ski resorts in the region of interest to foreign skiers and their location in regard to major train stations and Nagano car rental locations.
Important notes about car rental in Nagano!
- Do make sure to have a valid international drivers licence and proper travel insurance covering any excess/liability;
- Driving conditions here can be much more hazardous than in your home country. Check snow reports and drive carefully;
- If renting in Tokyo or Narita do make sure the car is fully winterised and 4WD (these options are free in Nagano);
- Japan has zero alcohol tolerance for driving. If you drink anything, don’t drive;
- Some local hotels and ski resorts charge a parking fee when visiting (500-1,000 yen per day). Book accommodation with a free car park and make sure not to park in an undesignated parking spot (fines can be steep);
- We’d recommend taking English GPS if there is an option available. If you have a wifi rental or roaming you can use Maps on your phone. If you can only get a Japanese GPS here are video instructions to help you: Part 1 and Part 2;
- Remember to lift up your wipers when you leave your car to prevent them sticking to the windscreen and don’t put on your handbrake as it can freeze on. Instead make sure it is in gear and on a flat surface;
- Ask your hotel if you can borrow a shovel and squeegee/scraper during your stay. These are definitely essential items on big snow days! If not, buy some cheap ones from a hardware store;
- Go here for a comprehensive guide on winter driving in Japan.
Also, a note of warning. Beware of “car sharing” situations. Until 2021 Uber and any type off car sharing was illegal in Japan. That means that if you are paying money to use a private vehicle that hasn’t been registered as a rental vehicle under the new regulations, any insurance for that car will be considered null & void. It will not cover you in case of accident irregardless of what the vehicle owner tells you..
This is why you need a shovel and scraper!
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