In contrast to the predominance of cars in Western countries, owning this means of transport is considered to be high-class in Vietnam. Thus, the service for tourists renting a car in Vietnam is still new and unpopular. Nonetheless, it is making proper steps in big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
The cost of renting a car in Vietnam depends on the type of car, the brand, and its model. Though there are various options to choose from, the most prevalent type is sedan and SUV, with some standard models like Toyota Camry and Innova, Mercedes C and E Class, BMW 3 and 5 series, etc. As usual, you must pay the fee in cash, along with a deposit or initial amount. Besides, do not forget to specify the date with the car rental agency since the price can be higher at weekends.
1. Common Models:
2. Mid-tier Models:
3. Luxury Models:
Prices listed in USD are for reference only. The actual exchange will vary.
Deposit amount: 50% to 100% of the total cost of the contract or a specified amount (usually VND 15 mil - 20 mil)
Fuel prices per liter (2019):
- Gasoline: VND 20,540 (about USD 0.90)
- Diesel: VND 16,350 (about USD 0.7)
Price of renting a car in Vietnam does not include the fuel charges - the tank either comes almost empty or full
There are two ways to self-drive in Vietnam: you must have an International Driving Permit as well as a national driving license, or you must convert your existing national driving license. These are essential documents you have to submit to the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam or Department of Transport (in each city or province):
1. A copy of the passport
2. A copy of existing national driving license with a notarized and translated version
3. Three passport size photographs
4. The filled application form
5. Valid visa for three months
6. A processing fee of approximately VND 100,000
After receiving the converted license, you will show it to the car rental agency. Then you will sign the contract and complete the payment.
If this sounds like too much to provide with the limited time you have, cars for rent with drivers are available at travel agencies. They offer 4 - 45 seat buses with drivers. It is easier for service in big cities. Note that vehicles with more than 16 seaters will require advance arrangements and reservations. Note that most of the drivers don't speak English, thus it can be challenging to rent a car and communicate with the driver due to the language barrier. Most travel agencies will have the service of a tour guide to assist with the operations.
Check out our private motorbike tours with professional local guides
Driving by yourself in Vietnam tends to get overwhelmed by the excessive number of motorbikes and scooters on the street makes it hard maneuver while they are moving in and out of lanes. Except for when you're driving on the highway where there is a minimum speed limit, you'll have to adapt to the motorbikes going somewhat randomly on Vietnam's streets.
Driving in Vietnam can be a challenging task sharing the road with numerous motorbikes
Preparing documents to self-drive is intricate and time-consuming. Therefore, only rent a car when you are staying in Vietnam for an extended time. Also, the traffic system is quite complicated for foreigners, so finding a local driver would minimize the risk and save your time finding the roads.
Before you rent a car, do not forget to check its quality deliberately. Sometimes, you might receive a vehicle with broken details, and you will be extra charged later. Thus, you should be alert to ensure your safety and avoid unexpected damages when returning the car.
In 2018, more than 6,000 people lost their lives in Viet Nam due to road traffic crashes. Thus, travel insurance is essential to support you if any losses or accidents occur. However, note that your insurance will be automatically invalidated once you are driving without an appropriate license.
Get a quote from World Nomads below:
- Tan Son Nhat Airport, Ho Chi Minh City
- 5F Gami Group Building, Hanoi
- 68 Nguyen Huu Tho, Da Nang
Address: 33A Truong Son Street, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City
Or find private transfer with a driver below:
When you want to explore attractive destinations throughout the country, but public vehicles and motorbikes cannot fulfill, renting a car is a beautiful alternative. Sitting behind the wheel, you will explore Vietnam through your lenses and create memorable experiences. However, since driving in Vietnam is a challenging and complicated task, make sure you have read our Vietnam travel guides carefully before starting your journey.
© Written by Uyen Ho for itourvn.com