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Renting a Car in Hakuba
This is becoming more common nowadays in Hakuba and is a real option, especially if you have booked accommodation away from the shuttle bus routes, or have a large family for example so just can’t be stuffed with catching buses. Same rules apply as anywhere else-check over the car properly before you rent and make sure you have a copy of the included insurance. Most important thing is to drive slowly-ice is not the easiest substance to stop quickly on and sometimes it can be difficult to see. 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; instead make sure it is in gear and on a flat surface. You will need your international drivers license AND your home license. Without BOTH of those you are driving illegally and insurance won’t cover you. The standard insurance policy that is provided by the rental companies still requires you to fork out the first 50,000 yen in case of an accident and as usual they will take a hold against your credit card for that. There are 2 companies currently renting cars in Hakuba-they both pick and will drop off for free. If you are looking at getting first lifts then you will need to rent from the day before as you won’t be able to get the car before 09.00 am or so, making it a bit of an expensive exercise. All cars come are 4WD, equipped with snow tyres, GPS and ski racks. The 2 companies are: Hakuba Car Rental, based near the train station and Windy Car Rentallocated near Happo. Price depends on the type of vehicle you want, and how long you want it for.