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Car Rental in Malaysia

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Car Rental in Malaysia

If you are planning a trip to Malaysia and want to explore the beautiful country at your own pace, renting a car is a convenient option. However, it is important to understand the local driving laws and requirements before hitting the road.

Driving Laws and Requirements

Before you rent a car in Malaysia, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the local driving laws and requirements. The minimum age for driving in Malaysia is 18 years old, and you must have a valid driver’s license from your home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Malaysia. It is also mandatory to wear seat belts at all times, and the use of mobile phones while driving is prohibited.

Choosing the Right Car Rental Company

There are numerous car rental companies in Malaysia, so it is important to choose a reputable and reliable company. Look for a company that offers competitive rates, well-maintained vehicles, and good customer service. It is also recommended to read reviews and compare prices before making a reservation.

Driving in Malaysia

Driving in Malaysia can be a wonderful experience, allowing you to explore the diverse landscapes and attractions at your own pace. However, it is important to be aware of the local traffic rules and road conditions. Keep in mind that traffic drives on the left side of the road in Malaysia, and be cautious of motorcyclists and pedestrians.

Renting a car in Malaysia can provide you with the freedom to explore the country independently. By understanding the local driving laws and requirements, choosing the right car rental company, and being aware of the local driving conditions, you can have a safe and enjoyable driving experience in Malaysia.

Rental Requirements

Age Limits

To rent a car in Malaysia, the minimum age requirement is typically 23 years old, although some rental companies may require renters to be at least 25 years old. Additionally, there is usually a maximum age limit of 70 years old for renters.

Driving License Requirements

When renting a car in Malaysia, you will need a valid driver’s license from your home country. An International Driving Permit (IDP) is also recommended for foreign visitors, although it is not always mandatory. Some car rental companies may require you to have held your driver’s license for a minimum period, such as one or two years.


In addition to a valid driver’s license, you will also need to present a valid passport as proof of identity when renting a car in Malaysia. Most car rental companies will also require a valid credit card in the renter’s name for the security deposit. Be sure to check with your chosen rental company for their specific documentation requirements.

Insurance Information

When renting a car in Malaysia, it’s important to understand the insurance options available to you.

Basic Insurance

The basic insurance typically includes Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Protection. CDW covers the cost of damage to the rental car in the event of a collision, while Theft Protection covers the cost if the car is stolen.

Additional Insurance

In addition to the basic insurance, you may have the option to purchase additional coverage such as Personal Accident Insurance, which provides coverage for medical expenses for you and your passengers in the event of an accident, and Supplemental Liability Insurance, which provides additional liability coverage beyond the basic insurance.

Insurance Tips

Before renting a car in Malaysia, it’s recommended to check your existing travel insurance policies to see if they already provide coverage for rental cars. This can help you avoid purchasing duplicate coverage and save you money on insurance costs. Always make sure to read and understand the terms and conditions of the insurance coverage offered by the car rental company.

Local Driving Laws and Regulations in Malaysia

General Traffic Rules

Driving Side: Driving in Malaysia is on the left side of the road.
Speed Limits: Urban areas – 50-70 km/h, Rural roads – 70-90 km/h, Highways – 90-110 km/h.
Other Useful Info: Traffic lights follow the standard red, amber, green sequence.

Overtaking and Lane Usage

Overtaking Rules: Overtake on the right and do not cross a solid white line.
Lane Discipline: Keep left unless overtaking on multi-lane roads.
Other Useful Info: Be cautious of motorcyclists weaving through traffic.

Seat Belt and Child Safety

Seat Belt Laws: Front and rear passengers must wear seat belts.
Child Safety: Children below 135 cm in height must use a child seat or booster.
Other Useful Info: Car rental agencies can provide child seats for a fee.

Use of Mobile Phones

Mobile Phone Restrictions: It is illegal to use a hand-held mobile device while driving.
Other Useful Info: Use of hands-free devices is permitted.

Alcohol and Driving

Legal Blood Alcohol Limits: 0.08% for regular drivers, 0.02% for novice drivers and commercial vehicle drivers.
Zero Tolerance Policies: Strict penalties for driving under the influence.
Other Useful Info: Random breathalyzer tests are common.

Tolls and Charges

Toll Roads: Malaysia has an extensive toll road network with electronic payment options.
Congestion Charges: No urban congestion charges in Malaysia.
Other Useful Info: Cash and Touch n’ Go cards are accepted at toll booths.

Roundabouts and Intersections

Navigating Roundabouts: Give way to traffic on your right when entering a roundabout.
Intersection Rules: Traffic signals and road signs indicate right of way.
Other Useful Info: Be cautious of motorcyclists and pedestrians at intersections.

Headlight and Windshield Wiper Laws

Headlight Usage: Use headlights from dusk till dawn and during rain.
Windshield Wiper Rule: No specific law requiring headlights with wipers.
Other Useful Info: It is common to use hazard lights during heavy rain.

Emergency Vehicles

Right of Way for Emergency Vehicles: Pull over to the left and give way to emergency vehicles with sirens and/or flashing lights.
Other Useful Info: Do not follow emergency vehicles to bypass traffic.

Driving Tips for Malaysia

Road Conditions

In Malaysia, the road conditions can vary widely. While major highways and roads in urban areas are generally well-maintained, rural roads may be narrower and have more potholes. It’s important to drive cautiously and be aware of your surroundings, especially when driving in rural areas.

Urban vs. Rural Driving

The driving style in urban areas of Malaysia tends to be fast-paced, with heavy traffic and frequent lane changes. In contrast, rural driving may involve slower speeds and more unpredictable road conditions. It’s important to adapt your driving style accordingly and be prepared for different traffic scenarios.

Navigational Tips

When navigating in Malaysia, using a GPS can be very helpful, especially in urban areas where road names and signs may be in Malay. Maps are also useful for planning longer journeys and getting a sense of the overall road network. It’s a good idea to have a backup plan in case of GPS signal loss or technical issues.

Other Useful Tips

– Familiarize yourself with local traffic laws and signage.
– Be cautious of motorcycles and scooters, which are common on Malaysian roads.
– Consider renting a car with good fuel efficiency, as gas prices in Malaysia can be high.

By keeping these driving tips in mind, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience while renting a car and exploring Malaysia’s diverse landscapes and attractions.

Roadside Assistance and Emergency Procedures

When renting a car in Malaysia, it’s important to be prepared for any potential breakdown or emergency situation. Here are some important things to keep in mind:

Breakdown Procedures

In the event of a breakdown, the first step is to safely pull over to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. If it’s safe to do so, place a warning triangle behind your vehicle to alert other drivers. Contact the rental company immediately to report the issue and follow their instructions for further assistance.

Emergency Services

It’s crucial to have the contact numbers for emergency services readily available. In Malaysia, the emergency hotline for police is 999, while the ambulance hotline is 999 as well. Most rental companies also provide a dedicated hotline for roadside assistance, so make sure to have that number on hand.

Rental Company Policies

Before embarking on your journey, familiarize yourself with the roadside assistance and breakdown support offered by the rental company. Many rental companies in Malaysia provide 24/7 assistance and towing services in case of a breakdown. It’s important to understand their policies and procedures to ensure a smooth experience in the event of an emergency.

Where can you Rent a Car in Malaysia?

You can browse all the city locations below, sorted alphabetically. Use Ctrl+F (or Cmd+F on a Mac) to quickly find the one you want to explore.