The Bizarre World of Japanese Car Rental

posted in: Car Hire, Van Hire, Weird News

What are you planning to do with your rental car?

Asian Lady Sleeping in Car

Our hire cars and vans get through a lot. If you can think of it, the chances are it has been transported in our vehicles, and it takes something a bit special to raise our eyebrows.

This story raised our eyebrows.

Imagine this. You lease a car to a customer and when it’s returned, you realise they’ve added no miles to the clock. Fair enough, you might think – there’s always the chance the customer was ill for a couple of days and never got the chance to drive it anywhere.

But then you notice a growing trend in rental vehicles being returned without having covered any miles. That’s the situation for car rental companies in Japan right now, where customers are using them to sleep in, to call friends and family and even to hold impromptu karaoke sessions.

As The Guardian reports, some cars have found a new life as (not especially) mobile storage depots. One customer “rented a car to eat a boxed meal that I bought at a convenience store because I couldn’t find anywhere else to have lunch.”

It’s fair to say the vehicle rental model is rather different in Japan, enabling customers to rent a car for as little as half an hour. Virtually all Japanese workers say they don’t get enough sleep. And then there’s the legendary lack of space in Japan’s major cities. The combination seems to be what’s driving customers to rent their own personal four-wheel cubicles for a quick snack or snooze – even if they don’t plan on driving them anywhere.

If you’re thinking of renting from us we’d echo the sentiments of one rental company official who told The Guardian, “We believe it’s best for our cars to be used for driving.”

If you need a rental vehicle (for, you know, driving) get in touch to find our best prices now.

> Car & Van Hire in Bolton | Leeds | Lincoln | Rugby | Scunthorpe