The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Korea

Korea is an interesting country with a strong culture and a fascinating history. There are many different places that you may want to visit including the War Memorial of Korea and Gyeongbogung Palace, both of which are in Seoul. You might also want to venture to some of the beautiful parks including Bukhansan National Park and Seoraksan National Park. Everland in Yongin is a fun amusement park that the kids will enjoy.

Renting a car in Korea

When you are traveling in South Korea, you will find that having a rental vehicle to get around to all of the places you want to visit makes it much easier. Drivers in the country need to be at least 18 years old. You will need to have an international driving permit to drive in the country. When you pick up your rental vehicle, make sure you have the phone number and emergency contact information for the rental agency, just in case you need to get in touch with them.

The vehicle needs to have a red reflective triangle or flashing light included. Make sure the rental company has the item before you leave the agency.

Road conditions and safety

In the major cities, you will find that the signs are written in English as well as in Korean. Getting around in the cities should not be much of a problem thanks to the signs. The roads in the cities are in good condition and do not have potholes or other issues. The roads in the rural areas can be dirt, and they are not always in good or drivable condition. This is especially true after the rain, but the nation’s infrastructure has been improving substantially.

You will drive on the right side of the road, and you are allowed to turn right on red after coming to a complete stop. Unless there is a left turn light, making left turns at a light is generally forbidden. The speed limit and the distance is shown in kilometers. Drivers are required to wear seatbelts, and so are the passengers. Whenever a pedestrian is in the crosswalk, the vehicle needs to come to a complete stop.

In many areas of the larger cities, you are not allowed to use the horn on your vehicle. When you are driving, you are only allowed to use a mobile phone that is part of a hands-free system.

The drivers in Korea are generally going to follow the rules of the road, but the cities can still get hectic at times. You will always want to pay attention to what the other drivers are doing and to drive defensively.

Speed limits

Always follow the posted speed limits when you are driving in Korea. The speed limits in on the different types of roads are generally as follows.

  • Expressways – 100 km/h
  • Highways – 80 km/h
  • Rural roads – 60 km/h
  • Urban areas – 50 km/h

When you have a rental car, it becomes easy to visit all of the places you want to see on your vacation.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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