After joining this service, you will receive either a key card, or a QR code sent to your mobile phone, which you can use to access any of the share-car vehicles parked in a number of locations all over Japan. Once you use your access code, the usage of the car automatically gets logged to your account, so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of mileage, fuel, etc. All of these costs go onto your account, which you pay on a monthly basis. When you borrow a car, you may use it as long as you want within the specified time-limit (this differs from company to company), and when you’re done, you simply return the car to the parking lot and your usage automatically goes onto your tab.
This is especially convenient if you just need to borrow a car for a short period of time, for example picking an important company contact up from the airport, or taking some friends out to the country for a day-trip picnic.
Some of these companies even offer their cars on a parked basis for a few minutes, if you just need somewhere quiet to make a phonecall (the streets can be quite noisy!).
There are a number of companies offering this service in Japan, but we’ve heard few recommendations for Times Car Plus, so that might be a good place to start looking if you think you might be interested in using this service. Of course, it’s always best to compare a few different companies and prices to find one that best suits your needs, and your budget!