One of the questions we often get from customers is “why can’t I rent a car in winter”?
Indeed, closing our shops in wintertime means having to turn customers away, causing inconveniences to them and a loss of business for us. However, your safety is our priority and knowing the winter conditions in Japan, we do not encourage driving in winter.
As drivers and experts on Japan travel, we know that winter conditions in many parts of Japan make it difficult to drive. Heavy snow and ice make roads slippery and dangerous, reduce visibility and lengthen reaction times. Even when there is no snow on the ground, low temperatures can lead to ice forming on the roads, sometimes creating “black ice” which is not visible against the road surface, giving drivers a false impression that the road is clear.
Of course, efforts are made to clear the roads of snow and ice in winter, but in times of heavy snow, snow removal efforts may not be able to keep up. Especially in rural areas, roads may not be cleared as efficiently and in places like Hokkaido where there is just too much snow, the roads can be perpetually covered in a layer of white.
Snow tyres do help to provide greater traction for driving in the snow, but they are not a solution for winter driving. Drivers need to have the relevant knowledge, skills and experience for driving in snowy and icy conditions, which most tropical Singaporean drivers are not equipped with. Jumping from driving in the tropics to the middle of winter is a huge, and dangerous, leap!
Considering how dangerous winter driving is, especially for Singaporeans inexperienced with winter conditions, we choose not to rent out cars in wintertime to avoid the risk of any winter accidents befalling our valued customers.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused, but hope that you will understand and rent with us in the green season instead.