In today’s article, we would like to tell you about car sharing in Japan. When you are living in a megapolis like Tokyo, owning a car might be a negative asset. Because parking lot fee is way high, thus it can be a heavy burden for those who do not ride much. In addition to this, Tokyo has an excellent train network, which makes the everyday commute convenient. Car sharing in Japan is a unique solution to this situation. Because you can use it only when necessary, it does not require an insurance fee or gasoline fee – a perfect service.
Today, we will introduce three well-known car share companies and compare them to each other. In addition to this, we will discuss the new car sharing in Japan called “Anyca” that was launched by the DeNA Co., Ltd.
Car sharing in Japan is spread all over the country, which makes everyday life comfortable. For example, having a car share station close to your apartment can help a lot when moving your stuff to a new place. Car sharing in Japan also helps to save money, because compared to a car rental you can reserve it for a short period.
Let’s start with the Careco car sharing in Japan, which belongs to the Mitsui Group.
1. Company Profile:
The Careco car share service stands out from other car sharing in Japan because of its “environmentally friendly” attitude. Firstly, the word Careco is a combination of two words – “Car” and “Eco.” “Car” stands for the car, “Eco” stands for “Economy” and “Ecology.” It alludes to the concept of “using a new, environmentally friendly car.” Secondly, instead of the practical application of lithium-ion batteries and the general release of electric vehicles, Careco has used electric cars as a car-sharing vehicle from September 2009, immediately after service started. They have introduced hybrid cars like the “Toyota Prius.” About 20% of all vehicles in Careco are electric and hybrid cars. It is the highest value among major companies offering car sharing in Japan. Furthermore, since 2012, they are actively engaging in unique environmental initiatives such as planting activities according to the annual mileage of car-sharing vehicles and offsetting some of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from vehicles.
2. Additional Fees:
- Admission Fee – 0 JPY
- Monthly Fee – First month – 0 JPY / From the second month – 980 JPY
- Mileage Fee – 15 JPY/km (equals to 0 JPY if less than 6 hours)
3. Membership Plan:
- Basic Plan
- Weekday Plan
Basic plan means that you can use car share service any day and anytime you want. You will need to pay the hourly and mileage fee, and the monthly 980JPY fee will serve as a discount. It means that it is in your interest to use the Careco service at least once a month. In this case, you will not lose the 980JPY because it will be deducted from the car share service fee. However, if you are not planning to use Careco for several months it is better to stop the subscription; otherwise, you will be paying 980JPY per month as a membership fee.
Weekday plan is better for those who use a car from Monday to Friday more than on weekends. Service price for weekday car share significantly drops in this case. Besides, it does not mean that you can not use it on holidays or weekends. However, the weekend cost compared to the “basic plan” is slightly higher.
4. Reservation method:
You can make a reservation through their website or mobile application. Unfortunately, they support only the Japanese language on both platforms. To start with the service, you need to register on their site. In addition to this, Careco accepts only credit cards, so be sure that you have one 🙂 Here you can find the guideline for making a reservation on their website and application. (Japanese only)
5. Other features:
In addition to regular car sharing in Japan services, Careco also has cars for camping and all necessary goods for a trip. Reservation process differs from basic car share; for example, it can be made only by phone, and a cancellation fee can be charged. For further information, please proceed to this link (Japanese only).
Second car sharing in Japan that we would like to introduce is Times Car Plus, which is a subsidiary of the Times24 Group.
1. Company Profile:
Times Car Plus is a unique car sharing in Japan service. The company is growing fast and opens a lot of new stations, and it is the reason why it is so popular among Japanese people. For example, recently they added cars to the IKEA store located in Tachikawa, which made the delivery of goods much more convenient.
2. Additional Fees:
- Membership Card Fee – 1,550 JPY
- Monthly Fee – 1,030 JPY
- Mileage Fee – 16 JPY/km (equals to 0 JPY if less than 6 hours)
3. Service Fee:
For this type of car sharing in Japan, you can choose between two kinds of reservation:
- Unspecified Course
- Specific Time Pack Course
In case of the first type of reservation, price depends on the car class.
In case of second type reservation, price depends on a specific period.
4. Reservation Method.
You can make a reservation through their website or mobile application. Unfortunately, Times Car Plus supports only the Japanese language. To start this type of car sharing in Japan, you need to register on their website. In addition to this, they accept only credit cards, so be sure that you have one 🙂 Here you can find the guideline for making a reservation on their website and application.
5. Other Features:
Times car sharing in Japan announced stations where clients can reserve a car for 36, 48 and 60 hours. Prices are respectively 11,000 JPY, 13,000 JPY, and 18,000 JPY. It is very convenient if you plan a short trip and do not have any car rental services close to you. In this case, you can use Times Car Share Long Course service. It might be more expensive compared to other car rentals. However, you do not need to spend extra time and effort when returning the car. Here is the link to the guideline and list of stations that have a vehicle available for a long time course. (Japanese only)
The third most popular car sharing in Japan company is Orix car share, which is a small part of the Orix Corporation.
1. Company Profile.
Compared to Careco and Times car sharing in Japan companies Orix has much fewer stations, and most of them are in Tokyo city center. However, it is better to use in case you are planning a long distance trip. This car sharing in Japan distinguishes itself from others by promoting various campaigns and facilities.
2. Additional Fees.
- Membership Card Fee – 1,000 JPY
- Monthly Fee – 980 JPY (0 JPY in case of Plan B)
- Mileage Fee – 15 JPY/km
3. Service Fee.
Oryx offers two types of payment – Plan A and Plan B. Plan B costs are a bit higher than Plan A. However, the difference between two plans is that in case of Plan B you do not need to pay monthly 980 JPY fee. It is better to use the Plan B if you do not plan to drive a lot during a month. Therefore, even on the Oryx website, they offer free of charge change of plan during the month when you do not use their service. Indeed, it is very convenient because you do not need to pay 980 JPY for anything.
4. Reservation Method.
You can make a reservation through their website or mobile application. Unfortunately, Times Car Plus supports only the Japanese language on both platforms. To start with the service, you need to register on their website. This car sharing in Japan accepts only credit cards, so be sure that you have a valid one 🙂
5. Other Features.
Along with other lucrative campaigns, Oryx car share announced of acquiring a car where the use of IQOS – tobacco device is allowed. Some of the car rentals have cars where you are allowed to smoke. However, it is strictly prohibited for car sharing in Japan. Knowing about smoking addiction and the popularity of IQOS in Japan, Oryx’s decision seems very promising. More on the subject here. (Japanese only)
As it was mentioned above, we want to share with you information on “Anyca” – newly launched C2C car sharing in Japan. DeNA launched the C2C car sharing service “Anyca” (Enica) that allows you to lend and borrow owned vehicles among individuals. It is not limited to Japan; overseas C2C car-sharing service is a fast-growing industry. In the US – RelayRides and Getaround, in China -Atzuche.Com.
The service is straightforward. It reminds of Airbnb and opens new opportunities for both car owner and borrower. The service started a few months ago, and the number of registered cars is already about 300 units. The focus area, currently, is Tokyo, but it is available throughout the country. If you rent a car for one day, the price varies between 3,000 and 5,000 JPY depending on the car model. Compared to a passenger car called a five-seater Prius, it is 5,500 JPY for Anyca (insurance premiums are 1,000 JPY), 12,000 JPY for rental vehicles and 8,300 JPY for B2C car share services.
For luxury/sports cars fee might be around 7,000 JPY or 10,000 JPY. Insurance is covered with the assistance of Tokio Marine & Nichido and decided after making the purchase. DeNA, who provides the Anyca service takes 10% commission, and the owner receives the remaining 90%. More on the topic here. (Japanese only)
In conclusion, we want to share a Car Share Companies Compare Table that we have created. We believe that having this table will make it easy to choose the best option.
Disclaimer: Information that we provide on the blog is accurate and correct to the best of your knowledge, but that there may be omissions, errors or mistakes.