Car Rental in Malaysia
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
Why rent a car in Malaysia?
A land of contrasts, Malaysia is one of the most interesting destinations in Southeast Asia. From the spectacular skyline of Kuala Lumpur to traditional temples and indigenous cultures, as well as a spectacular diversity of nature, it has plenty to offer any curious traveler. Add long tropical beaches, misty mountains, and delicious cuisine, and you have all the ingredients for a great travel experience.
Top ways to enter Malaysia
- Kuala Lumpur Airport: One of the busiest airports in the region, Kuala Lumpur Airport handled 62 million travelers in 2020. The airport hosts flights of around 50 different airlines, connecting it with destinations across Asia, Oceania, the Middle East, and Africa. Located 55km (37 miles) south of the capital, the trip to the airport takes about 50 minutes.
- Kota Kinabalu Airport: Serving the capital of the Sabah State, it is the main hub for accessing Malaysia’s portion of the island of Borneo. Served by around 20 airlines including the low-cost carrier AirAsia, the airport has connections with destinations in South and East Asia. Many travelers from outside the region arrive here via a transfer in Kuala Lumpur. Located 8km (5 miles) south of the city, the airport can be reached in about ten minutes.
- Penang Airport: Serving the island of Penang and the city of Georgetown, this airport handled about 8 million passengers in 2019. In addition to domestic flights, the airport has connections with countries like China, Thailand, and Qatar.
- Langkawi Airport: Serving another popular tourist island near the border with Thailand, the airport has flights to a number of countries in the region, as well as seasonal flights to London, Manchester, and Birmingham in the United Kingdom.
- Singapore Airport: Connected to Malaysia via a bridge, the city-state of Singapore is another popular point of entry to the country (the trip to Kuala Lumpur takes only about five hours). Changi Singapore Airport handled more than 68 million passengers in 2019, making it one of the busiest airports in Asia and providing connections with destinations all over the world. Not every rental car provider permits cross-border trips from Singapore to Malaysia and you may also need a visa to visit either country (read more about this in the Crossing Borders section below), but for many visitors, it remains a viable way to travel to western Malaysia.
Top cities and places to visit
- Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia’s futuristic capital is a business and innovation citadel, but also a great place to visit as a tourist. The city’s mosques, museums, and public gardens are a joy to explore, and the capital is also the right place to try the delectable dishes of all the different peoples and cultures that inhabit Malaysia.
- Georgetown. Another great city destination, Georgetown is notable for its striking architecture. The best place to get familiar with it is the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is known for its many well-preserved colonial buildings and ethnic districts. A place of the great religious diversity typical of Malaysia, the city is also home to many remarkable Islamic, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, and Taoist religious buildings.
- Kuching. One of the biggest cities in East Malaysia, Kuching has a rather different atmosphere than the western metropolises like Kuala Lumpur and Georgetown but is just as interesting to explore. Highlights include the traditional communal longhouses, many of which have now been turned into tourist attractions, as well as museums, temples, and nature preserves that can be easily reached with a rental car.
Most popular rental car
The most popular rental car in Malaysia is the Perodua Bezza, followed by the Proton Saga and the Proton Persona. The most popular rental car types are economy, mini, and compact.
Driver license requirements
- Drivers on a short-term visit who have a driver’s license in English can use their license in Malaysia
- If your driver’s license is not in English, you need to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) or an official translation of your driver’s license to English.
- Even if you have an IDP, you’ll need to also provide your original driver’s license from your home country
- If your driver’s license doesn’t show your photograph, you’ll need to provide an additional document that has your photo.
- You must carry your driver’s license, not a copy, with you at all times.
- You need to have had your driver’s license for at least two years.
- Some rental car suppliers charge a young driver fee for drivers under the age of 25 and a senior driver fee for drivers over the age of 65.
- There may be additional requirements depending on the car provider and car category, so make sure to check the terms and conditions before booking.
Malaysia has land borders with four countries: Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, and Indonesia.
It is technically possible to cross the border from Singapore to Malaysia in a rental car; however, not all rental car suppliers allow this. You can find the ones that offer international one-way rentals by entering the pick-up and drop-off locations when searching. You also need to see if you need a visa to visit either country. While visitors from most Western nations (the European Union member states, United States, Australia, etc.) can visit both countries visa-free, there are some differences between the two countries’ visa policies, so, depending on your citizenship, you might need a visa to visit either or even both of these countries.
The situation with Brunei is generally similar to that with Singapore — even if you’ve found a rental car supplier that permits border crossings, see if you need a visa to visit either country.
Important: It might not be permitted to cross the border with Singapore and Brunei in a rental car, even if you plan to return to Malaysia to drop off your car later. Always ask your rental car supplier in advance about any planned border crossings.
It is not possible to cross the borders with Thailand or Indonesia with a rental car. If you plan to visit Malaysia and either of those countries on the same trip, you can cross the border with public transportation and pick up a rental car after arriving at your destination.
Every expressway in Malaysia, including many around Kuala Lumpur, is a toll road.
Some toll roads use an open toll system while others use a closed toll system. In the open system, the driver pays a fixed toll fee upon entering each new toll segment. In the closed system, upon entering the toll road the driver receives a printed ticket that states the point and time of the entry; upon exiting the toll road, the fee will be calculated, depending on the length of the trip. It is important not to lose the ticket, otherwise the highest possible amount will be charged.
For most toll roads, payment can be made either in cash in the local currency, the Malaysian ringgit (MYR), or via one of the two electronic toll collection systems, Touch n’ Go or Smart TAG. Touch n’ Go is an electronic card while Smart TAG is an on-board transponder. The lanes for drivers who pay via Touch n’ Go or Smart TAG are specifically designated on the highways, and it’s important not to use them if you plan to pay in cash. It’s also important to remember that some toll roads will only accept an electronic payment.
Most rental cars come equipped with at least one of the electronic payment systems. The car rental provider might charge an additional fee for this service. Ask your rental car provided in advance about this service and about the best toll road payment method for your planned route. If your rental car is not equipped with either of the electronic payment systems, you can also purchase Touch n’ Go card and put some credit on it yourself.
Top driving routes
- Langkawi. Located near the border with Thailand, the idyllic island of Langkawi is a popular beach destination (it is, in fact, an archipelago made up of 99 islands, though the name is usually equated with the largest and most visited of them). Getting a rental car ensures that you have the freedom to explore the island, get away from the most crowded beaches and find special spots on your own. Don’t miss out on visiting Gunung Raya, the highest peak on the island — after following a road through the rainforest, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views from the top.
- Kota Kinabalu. The capital of the state of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu is both a notable destination in its own right and the gateway to the region’s beautiful beaches, islands, mountains, and rainforests. Adventure junkies will appreciate some of the best dive sites in all of Southeast Asia while the more culturally inclined will get to learn about the state’s surprisingly diverse indigenous cultures.
- Pahang. The state of Pahang in the eastern part of peninsular Malaysia is a nature lover’s dream. Attractions include the Cameron Highlands, a popular tourist area known for its hill stations, orchards, and tea-growing estates, as well as Taman Negara, the oldest national park in the country. More traditional than the highly urbanized neighboring states, Pahang is also rich in terms of culture.
Car Rental Prices
- Large cars - from $40 per day
- Medium cars - from $30 per day
- People Carriers/Vans - from $56 per day
- Small cars - from $23 per day
- SUVs - from $57 per day
How can I save money on my rental car?
There are several good methods to find a cheaper rental car:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Malaysia is the cheapest in July when renting a car is about 25% cheaper than the yearly average and about 48% cheaper than renting a car in December.
Top 6 Most Popular Locations in Malaysia
Car Rental at Kuala Lumpur Airport from $10.45 per day
Car Rental at Penang Airport from $10.45 per day
Car Rental at Johor Bahru (Senai International) Airport from $13.06 per day
Car Rental at Langkawi Airport from $22.06 per day
Car Rental at Kota Kinabalu International Airport from $20.94 per day
Map of Car Rental Locations
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Malaysia?
What’s the average rental length in Malaysia?
What’s the most popular time for renting a car in Malaysia?
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Keddy||Perodua Bezza||5||1||Small cars|
|KK Leisure tour Rent a car SDN BHD||Nissan Urvan||4||2||People Carriers/Vans|
|Keddy||Perodua Myvi||5||1||Small cars|
|Europcar||Proton Saga||4||1||Small cars|
|Keddy||Proton Exora||4||2||People Carriers/Vans|