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andyhsu

Travelled to 12 countries / regions

Written 21 briefs
I am from Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan

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Asia > Taiwan > Useful Info
Submitted on Feb 06, 2019 Useful Info

How to rent a car in Taiwan

  • Any visitor to Taiwan over the age of 20 can rent a car if prepared
  • Renting a car in Taiwan is similar to most Western countries, but with a couple of key differences:
  1. Only a small number of international car rental companies operate in Taiwan (see below for the 2019 list). Most of the rental agencies are local and car availabilities are not all posted online. You will need to call them to check if a car is available. The major ones will have English-speaking agents
  2. You need an International Driving Permit as well as your regular driver's license (both are required, one does not replace the other). This applies to every country, no exceptions. IDP is very easy to obtain, you can get usually get it in less than 1 hour; it's paperwork & fee, no tests required. Check IDP's official website for where you can get it in your country: https://internationaldrivingpermit.org.
  3. Most car rental companies require you to be at least 20 years old and will charge you a premium if you're under 25
  4. Unfortunately, there's no single online booking portal where you can find all the available cars across multiple local rental companies. Kayak shows you the availabilities of only the 3 international rental companies operating in Taiwan, and they only have a small portion of all available cars. Your only option is to go down the list of local car companies and call them individually to check availabilities. However, the benefit is with local car companies you can usually negotiate some kind of discount.


  • Road rules are very similar to Western countries. A couple of key things to point out:
  • Most cars are automatic rather than manual
  • We drive on the right side of the road
  • You cannot turn right on a red light, unless you see a green arrow accompanying the red light
  • We use kilometers here, not miles. All speed signs and car odometers are expressed in km
  • There are speed cameras everywhere and it's very easy to get caught for speeding
  • It's illegal to use mobile devices while driving. Hands-free only


  • Road condition:
  • I've driven in North America. Personally I find road condition to be pretty similar. Driving in central Taipei feels like driving in Manhattan. Vast majority of drivers follow traffic rules
  • Outside of city centers, road condition is very good and not packed at all
  • In cities, watch out for scooters. Check your blind spots when you change lanes and turning because the scooters can sneak up on you


  • Rates:
  • Car rental in Taiwan is not cheap. Most car rental companies start at 2000-2500NT per day, roughly $65-$80USD, for a small car
  • With local car rental companies, you can negotiate discounts if you rent for more than 3-4 days. You can usually knock 500NT off the quoted daily rate if you ask. With all discounts included you should be able to get cars from local companies for around 1500NT per day


  • Parking:
  • There are plenty of car parks in cities in Taiwan and you usually shouldn't have issues finding a spot
  • The parking rates are quite cheap by western standards. In Taipei and Kaohsiung it usually costs 30-40NT ($1-1.3US) per hour and 200-300NT ($6.5-$10US) per day
  • There are some apps you can use to find spots: ParkMe, iTaipei


  • Gas:
  • We mainly use gasoline here instead of diesel
  • Gas prices are 30-50% more expensive than in the US
  • You can pay for gas in Taiwan by either credit card or cash
  • But in Taiwan most gas stations are not self serve. There will be attendants to help you fuel up
  • You don't need to tip the attendants, but if you really insist you can tip them 50NT


  • GPS: I recommend using Google Maps or Apple Maps for navigation, instead of renting one from the car rental company. The GPS that comes with car rental only works well with Chinese input because there is no standardized alphabet spelling of Taiwanese city names.


  • International car rental companies operating in Taiwan as of 2019:
  • Hertz
  • Avis
  • Budget


  • Major local Taiwanese car rental companies
  • Chailease Auto Rental (中租租車): branches in all major cities. I personally use this most often because it's very professional and rates can get as cheap as 1600NT per day ($50US)
  • EasyRent (和運租車): branches in most major cities. Rates usually start at 2000NT per day ($65US)
  • CarPlus (格上租車): available in most major cities. Rates usually start at 2400 NT per day ($77US)
  • Formosa Car Rental (九龍租賃): I don't think they have locations in Taipei other than Taoyuan Airport. Rates usually start at 2000NT per day


  • Other smaller local Taiwanese car rental companies:
  • Pony Rent-A-Car (小馬租車): available in many major cities
  • Gharry Car Rental (廣招徠租車): available at major airports and most high speed train stations
  • IWS Rent-A-Car (IWS租車): available in all major cities
  • VIP Car (嘉賓租車): only available in Taipei
  • 1 Car Rent (進豐租車): only available in Taipei
  • Car 880 (超省錢租車): only available in Taipei
  • Good Cars (固得租車): mainly in Taipei and Taoyuan Airport. But have presence in Taichung as well
  • EasyCar (中港國際租車): only available in Hualien. Not to be confused with EasyRent
  • CB Auto Leasing (慶賓租車): only available in Taipei, Taoyuan Airport, Taichung high speed train station, and Kaohsiung high speed train station
  • OK Cars (OK租車): only available in Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Kaohsiung
  • RHINO Car Rental (犀牛租車): only available in Hualien
  • Chun Xi Car Rental (錞禧租車): only available in Hualien
  • Zhong Mei Car Rental (中美租車): only available in Taichung
  • Shun-Jie Car Rental (迅捷租車): only available in Taichung
  • K Car (隆韻租車): only available in Kaohsiung

Comments

Richard

Travelled to 0 country / region

1 Week Ago

Hi! I've been looking everywhere for information about renting cars in Taiwan, and your brief is the best I've found - by far! Thank you so much for sharing.

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