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The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia

The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com

Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore. You may want to check out the Ethnology Museum, or the Southern Ridges where you can walk through the jungles. Penang National Park is another popular destination to consider. You could also visit the Islamic Arts Museum or the Petronas Twin Towers, both of which are in Kuala Lumpur.

Renting a vehicle

In order to drive in Malaysia, you need to have an international driver’s license, which you can use for up to six months. The minimum driving age in Malaysia is 18 years old. However, to rent a vehicle, you need to be at least 23 years old and you need to have had a license for at least one year. Some of the rental companies will only rent vehicles to those who are under 65 years old. When you rent the vehicle, be sure to get the phone number and emergency contact info for the rental agency.

Road conditions and safety

The road system in Malaysia is considered to be one of the best in Southeast Asia. The roads that are in the populated areas are paved and should not present any problems to the travelers. Emergency phones are located on the side of the road every two kilometers (1.2 miles).

In Malaysia, the traffic will move on the left side of the road. You are not allowed to turn left at red lights, unless there is signage dictating otherwise. Children who are under four years old need to sit in the back of the vehicle, and all children should be in car seats. Seatbelts are required for passengers and the driver.

Driving with a cell phone in hand is illegal. You need to have a hands-free system. When it comes to the road signs, most of them are in Malay only. English is only used on some directional signs, such as those pointing toward attractions for tourists and for the airport.

You will find that most of the time, those who are driving cars in Malaysia are courteous and obey the rules of the road. However, motorcyclists have a bad reputation of not paying attention to the traffic laws. They will often ride on the wrong side of the road, go the wrong way down one-way streets, drive on the shoulder of the motorway, and even along paths for pedestrians. They will often run through red lights as well.

Toll roads

Malaysia has a number of toll roads. The following are some of the most common, along with their prices in ringgits, or RM.

  • 2 – Federal highway route 2 – RM 1.00
  • E3 – Second link expressway – RM 2.10
  • E10 – New Pantai expressway – RM 2.30

You can use cash cards, or touch-n-go cards, both of which are available at the toll kiosks on the highways.

The Speed limit

Always obey the speed limit that is posted. The following are the common speed limits for different types of roads in Malaysia.

  • Motorways – 110 km/h
  • Federal roads – 90 km/h
  • Urban areas – 60 km/h
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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