Rental Car and Car Sharing Markets in Japan: Key Research Findings 2023

For 2030 Forecasts, Rental Car Market Size in Japan to Exceed 1 Trillion Yen and Car Sharing Market to Surpass 150.0 Billion Yen

Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has surveyed the rental car and car sharing markets in Japan and has found out the status, trend of market players, and future perspectives.

Rental Car Market Size Transition and Forecast in Japan
Rental Car Market Size Transition and Forecast in Japan
Car Sharing Market Size Transition and Forecast in Japan
Car Sharing Market Size Transition and Forecast in Japan

Market Overview

According to Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), the number of rental cars (all vehicle types) in Japan as of end of March 2022 has dropped significantly to 646,815 units, down by 16.3% on YoY. This owes to COVID-19 crisis that has reduced the number of tourists and the demand for rental cars, having led some businesses to let go of excess vehicles thereby to try to reduce maintenance and management costs and improve profitability. As a result, the number of rental cars has declined for two years in a row after the end of March 2021. As behavior restrictions have been eased, however, the business is improving, which is likely for the number of vehicles to increase after 2023.

The number of vehicles for car sharing in Japan is 56,178 units, as of March 2023, according to the Foundation for Promoting Personal Mobility and Ecological Transportation. The number has grown since the commencement of the statistics in 2002 due to expansion of needs and increased entries by enterprises. However, as with rental car market, outing restrictions, decreased tourism demand, and stagnant supplies of new cars have decelerated the growth rate. Nevertheless, the numbers of car stations, vehicles, and members are projected to increase as the demand recovers hereafter.

Noteworthy Topics

Average Fee Per Use for Rental Car was \11,185 and That for Car Sharing \5,957

To analyze rental car and car sharing users in recent years in Japan, an online questionnaire was conducted to men and women in their ages between 20s to 60s nationwide in August 2023. The responses for the average fees per use for rental car and car sharing were obtained from 11,506 rental car users and 1,581 car-sharing users. It was found out that there was a wide gap between the two in the fees per use, with the average fee per use for rental car service was 11,185 yen, and that for car sharing was 5,967 yen.

The additional survey to each of randomly selected 500 users of rental cars and car sharing has obtained multiple responses. The survey has found out that while the rental car service was mainly used for events such as traveling and leisure, the car sharing service was used not only for traveling and leisure but also for daily use such as for shopping. Such difference in objectives seems to have affected the gap for fees.

With tourism demand in the course of recovery, it is important to prepare appropriate vehicles for stores and regions, renewing the considerations on customer base and use.

Future Outlook

The rental car market size based on the sales at businesses is expected to reach 773,600 million yen in 2023, owing to increased demand by visitors from overseas and to revitalized demand both for private as well as corporate. In addition to these demands, against a backdrop of a growing number of inhabitants in urban areas, the market is expected to grow up to 1,082,600 million yen by 2030.

With improved values for traveling by automobiles after the corona crisis, when behavior restrictions or self-restraint activities have become relaxed, the presence of car sharing, that is suited for shorter-time use, seems to have further intensified. The business side, too, has taken strategies and campaigns to arrange vehicles appropriately, aiming at improved operation rates. The car sharing market size for 2023 is, therefore, projected to expand to 77,236 million yen, based on the sales at businesses. As expansion of sales channels to areas other than major cities and entries by new businesses are expected, the market is projected to expand to 156,271 million yen by 2030.

Research Outline

1.Research Period: June to October 2023
2.Research Object: Rental car and car sharing service providers, users of rental cars as well as car sharing services
3.Research Methogology: Face-to face interviews (including online) by expert researchers, surveys via email and phone, Online questionnaire, and literature research

Rental Car & Car Sharing Markets

Rental Car Business: The service to lend vehicles for a fee at a store by businesses licensed to engage in private automobile rental. This research has estimated the market size by targeting passenger cars, microbuses, trucks, vehicles of special use (lorry, dustcart, etc.) that MLIT publicly disclosed the statistics.

Car Sharing: The service for members to share vehicles at car sharing stations established in parking lots. As with rental cars, the service is provided by businesses licensed to engage in private automobile rental but differs from rental car business in that no human operation required and the fee basing on the shorter-lending time from 15 minutes. This research has estimated the market size by targeting B2C passenger-car sharing service (rental-car type sharing).

<Products and Services in the Market>

Rental car: Passenger car, microbus, truck, vehicle of special use, etc. Car sharing: B2C passenger car sharing (rental car-type car sharing)

Published Report

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