Stuck on the road? Call JAF for roadside assistance

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photo by Indiana Stan

Drivers in Japan, have you got a membership in JAF? If you own a car and drive on a daily basis, you may have one. But probably you don’t even know what JAF is if you normally use public transports. JAF is a public service organization that supports all drivers in Japan. It also offers its members various useful advices and benefits.


About JAF

Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) is a public service organization that provides roadside assistance for drivers, and organize motor sports events in Japan. They provide a wide range of assistance such as changing a flat tire and towing a broken-down vehicle. There are many car insurance providers that offer roadside service as standard option, but most of those insurance companies outsource their roadside services to other entity. Accordingly, it is quite common for roadside services by insurance company to take time before mechanics arrive. On the other hand, JAF is widely known for speedy service. JAF members can have roadside assistance for free by paying annual membership fee. Non-member can also have a service from JAF for a charge.

Joining fee and annual membership fee

To join JAF, joining fee and annual membership fee are charged. Annual membership fee can be paid in one lump sum for up to 5 years. The followings are joining fee and 1-year membership fee. Discount will be applied if you pay your annual membership fee for multiple years.

  • Joining fee: 2000yen
  • Membership fee (1-year): 4000yen

※See JAF Website for detailed information


Roadside assistance by JAF


JAF provides roadsides services for the following occasions

  • Fat battery
  • Tire change 
  • Temporary repair of flat tire
  • Locked out of car
  • Wheel stuck in ditch
  • Running out of fuel
  • Towing service

Requesting JAF for a roadside assistance 

You can request JAF for a roadside service by phone, email, FAX or smartphone app. They have one pilot phone number 0570-00-8139 and a local number in each region. Inform an operator of exact location of the disabled car, model and color of vehicle and vehicle registration number. Make sure to carry your JAF membership card on you every time you drive as you must present it before getting a service for free.

Service fees for non-members

Non-members can also have a roadside services of JAF subject to fees. Major service fees for non-members are as follows.

  • Jump-starting your vehicle: 12880yen(Night-time: 14940yen)
  • Changing 1 tire: From 11020yen (Night-time: from 13080yen)
  • Temporary repair of a flat tire: 12880yen (Night-time: 14940yen)
  • Locked out of car: 12880yen (Night-time: 14940yen)
  • Wheel stuck in ditch: From 11950yen (Night-time: from 14010yen)
  • Running out of fuel: 8230yen plus actual cost of fuel (Night-time: 10290yen plus actual cost of fuel)
  • Towing broken-down vehicle: 12880yen plus 720yen/km (Night-time: 14940yen plus 720yen/km)


JAF services for rental car users

There is no need to provide a fleet number to join JAF. Their services are provided to individual members, therefore ownerships of broken-down vehicles are irrelevant. In other words, a members of JAF can have a roadside service for free when he has a trouble with a rental car he hired. But it is not very practical for occasional drivers to get a JAF membership just because they might have a chance to drive a rental car. For non-members who want to have a free JAF service, TOYOTA Rent-a-Car offers a rental JAF membership card for 540yen that allows you to have JAF services free of charge.


Support for non-Japanese drivers

Other than general roadside services, JAF provides translation service of driver license issued in foreign countries for those who have non-Japanese driver licenses. When you convert your foreign license to Japanese one or drive on your foreign driver license, you are required to present Japanese translation of it. The translation must be issued by an entity appointed by Japanese government. JAF is one of approved body in Japan to translate foreign driver licenses.
To request for a translation service, you can visit one of the branch offices of them or mail a request form to their office from Japanese address. Bring the following things when requesting for a translation.

  • Application form 
  • Original copy of your driver license issued in your country
  • Copy of your residence card or residence certificate in Japan (if license is printed in Arabic or Russian, or issued in South Korea, Thailand and Myanmar)
  • Translation fee 3000yen

※Request cannot be sent from address outside of Japan
※Translation may be issued on the same day of application, or take up to 2weeks.

JAF Branch offices for translation service


Happy Driving!

Not many people think of what if they have a trouble while driving a car. But this is quite normal. You hardly imagine that you were about to encounter a trouble until you actually face it. A car accident or malfunction often happens without any sign. In case of such an emergency situation, it is important to know where to contact for an assistance. Roadside service of JAF is available 24-hours 7days all over Japan. If you are a frequent driver, why not join JAF?


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あきらことほ Kotoho Akira

Living outside Japan for a good many years, I often rediscover nice little things about this country every time I return here. I would be more than happy if this column may help you find your "nice little things about Japan"!

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