Car rental - Asia
Things which affect the renting of the car in Asia:
- Direction of traffic: In many countries in Asia the traffic is left-handed. In countries like China, Vietnam, the Philippines and Laos the traffic is right-handed.
- Age restrictions: The minimum age for renting a car is usually 18 - 25 years. Drivers under 25 years of age and over 65 years of age are charged an extra fee or get rental terms and conditions, which include to take an additional insurance for damage / collision.
- Driving abroad: Without special contracts a rental car can almost invariably only be driven inside of the country in which it is rented.
- Driver’s license and documents: An international driving license, passport and credit card are mostly required to rent are car. The exception is China, where only a Chinese driving license is valid, so for driving in China it is either a Belgium or a Hong Kong driving license required, which can be translated to Chinese.
- Additional costs: Renting a car from the airport can be cheaper than elsewhere.
- Insurance: The insurances vary a lot from country to country. In some countries car insurances have almost western policies (eg. Japan), and in some countries car insurance policies are not comprehensive or may not cover all international car rental companies. You should also keep in mind, that in developing countries scams are very common and tourists often considered to be guilty, no matter if the caused the crash or not.
- Return in a different location: Large car rental companies often also allow the return of the car in a different state than the starting point, although it can be considerably costly.
- Tolls: Road tolls are very common in most parts of Asia. Some rental companies have their own electronic toll pay devices in their cars, which must be specified as an option in connection with the rental. Otherwise the payment is paid cash or by in advanced purchased toll labels.
- Traffic: The traffic in big cities, is chaotic and congested at almost all times of the day and inside the cities it is preferable to use public transportation or taxis.
- Other: In developing countries, like Laos / China / Thailand it is often more profitable to hire a driver in connection with the car, because in low-wage countries the payment for the driver is often only a very small extra charge. In Japan, however, the public transportation network is exceptionally good and the traffic very congested, so renting a car is often much more expensive and takes more time than using the public transportation.
- Roads, bridges and tunnels with tolls: Geography of toll roads Asia.