City streets of Taiwan - car rental guide

Renting a Car in Taiwan: Beginner's Guide for International Travelers

Are you all set to kick off your Taiwanese escapade? Well, there's no better way to delve into the heart of this enchanting country than hopping into a rental car and taking it to the streets.

2023-07-24 · 30 min read

Are you all set to kick off your Taiwanese escapade? Well, there's no better way to delve into the heart of this enchanting country than hopping into a rental car and taking it to the streets.

Taiwan is like a postcard come to life, with its breathtaking landscapes, tantalizing cuisine, and hospitable locals – it's an ideal backdrop for a memorable road trip. But as in any adventure, the groundwork is key: getting a grip on the rental process, identifying a reliable rental company, and navigating Taiwan's driving conditions.

In this ultimate guide to car rental in Taiwan, we'll walk you through everything you need to know for an unforgettable road trip. From understanding the different rental options available to navigating Taiwan's roads and highways, we've got you covered.

So buckle up, hit the gas, and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime in Taiwan.

Why Rent a Car in Taiwan?

When you want to make the most of your Taiwan adventure, renting a car is the way to go.

When you rent a car, you no longer need to stick to the usual tourist routes or rely on crowded buses and trains. Instead, you can explore off-the-beaten-path destinations and discover other beautiful places that are not accessible by public transportation.

Night city streets in Taiwan

Rental car prices in Taiwan are relatively reasonable, and you can choose from various rental companies such as Avis, Hertz, and Budget.

Renting a car also means you won't have to worry about the schedules and routes of public transport, which can be time-consuming and sometimes inconvenient. Moreover, rental contracts in Taiwan are usually easy to understand, so you won't have to worry about hidden fees or charges.

If you're planning on driving in Taiwan, it's good to know that the driving standards are high and the roads are generally well-maintained. Plus, with a car rental, you'll have the added benefit of exploring at your own pace and stopping wherever you want.

So, renting a car in Taiwan is an excellent option for anyone looking to explore the country on their terms.

Exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations

By venturing off the main tourist routes, you'll discover hidden gems rarely seen by visitors to Taiwan. Unlike relying on public transport or tour groups, you can create your itinerary and visit places that interest you the most.

While rental car prices may seem daunting initially, it's essential to consider the convenience and quality of the rental service you'll receive.

Plus, the cost of a rental car can often be offset by the money you'll save on transportation costs and the unique experiences you'll have exploring the lesser-known areas of Taiwan.

Taroko Gorge

Taroko Gorge, Xiulin Township, Hualien County, Taiwan

A stunning natural wonder with marble cliffs and cascading waterfalls. The best time to visit is during Spring or Fall.

Exploring Taroko Gorge by car is the best way to do it. It is easier to get around by car and take advantage of car parks at the trailheads for the main walks.

Can you drive to Taroko Gorge?

You can drive to Taroko Gorge. Most pickups come from Hualien City, and a motorbike or car rental along with your IDP is the most viable option.

Sun Moon Lake

A tranquil lake surrounded by mountains and lush forests

Recommended Time to Visit

Summer or Autumn

Suggested Mode (s) of Transportation

bus, train, motorbike

Kenting National Park

A tropical paradise with white sandy beaches and coral reefs

Recommended Time to Visit

All year round

Suggested Mode (s) of Transportation

bus, scooter, car, bicycle

Taroko Gorge National Park

A breathtaking canyon with towering cliffs and crystal-clear streams

Recommended Time to Visit

All year round

Suggested Mode (s) of Transportation

car, train

Avoiding crowded tourist buses and long waits for trains

Consider renting a car to truly experience Taiwan without the hassle of crowded tourist buses or long waits for trains. With a car rental, you can explore off-the-beaten-path destinations at your own pace, without worrying about schedules or tour groups. Here are some reasons why renting a car in Taiwan can make for a more enjoyable and efficient trip:

  • You can customize your itinerary: With a car rental, you have the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want. You can take detours along the way, stop for a photo op, or spend more time in a particular destination if you feel like it. You won't be limited by the fixed schedules of buses or trains, which can be especially inconvenient in rural areas.
  • You can avoid crowds: Popular tourist attractions in Taiwan can get very crowded, especially during peak season. By renting a car, you can arrive at these destinations early or late when the crowds are thinner. You can also explore lesser-known destinations that aren't accessible by public transportation, giving you a more authentic and intimate travel experience.
  • You can save time: Public transportation in Taiwan can be time-consuming, especially if you have to transfer between different modes of transportation. You can save time and energy by traveling directly to your destination with a car rental. You can also avoid the stress of navigating unfamiliar public transportation systems, which can be tricky for non-native speakers.
  • You can enjoy the scenery: Taiwan is known for its stunning natural landscapes, from lush forests to dramatic coastlines. By renting a car, you can enjoy these scenic routes at your own pace without worrying about missing a bus or train. You can also stop at designated rest areas to take in the views, pack a picnic, and enjoy a scenic lunch break.

Understanding the Rental Process

Are you planning to rent a car in Taiwan? Before diving into the rental process, knowing the requirements for renting a car is important. You'll need an international driver's license or a valid driver's license and a credit card.

You must also learn how to reserve a rental car, pick up and return it, and understand rental periods and prices.

Get ready for an informative and engaging discussion on the ins and outs of renting a car in Taiwan.

Requirements for renting a car

You'll need an international driver's license, a valid driver's license, and a credit card to rent a car in Taiwan. These are the basic requirements that car rental companies in Taiwan ask for. Make sure to bring these documents with you when you go to rent a car.

  • International Driver's License - Widely known as an International Driver's Permit, it is a document to translate your valid driver's license. You need this document to help you rent a car or drive legally on Taiwanese roads.
  • Valid Driver's License - This means you must carry a license that is not expired. Driving without a license may subject you to a maximum fine of NT$ 24,000, around US $781 on average.
  • Credit Card - For security, deposit, and insurance purposes, car rental companies may require that you use a credit card.

With these requirements, you can rent a car and drive around Taiwan at your own pace.

How to reserve a rental car

Planning a road trip in a foreign country can be intimidating, but reserving a rental car can be a breeze with simple steps. The first step is to select a reputable car rental company. Many international rental car companies like Avis, Hertz, and Budget operate in Taiwan. However, local companies such as EasyRent, YoYoGo, and Carplus exist. Research the companies online and read reviews from previous customers to ensure you select a reliable company.

Once you have selected a car rental company, the next step is to make a reservation. Most car rental companies in Taiwan have online reservation systems that allow you to choose the car, the rental period, and any extras, such as GPS or car seats. Making a reservation in advance, especially during peak travel season, is recommended to ensure availability. To simplify the reservation process, use the table below to compare the reservation process for some of Taiwan's top car rental companies. With these simple steps, you can easily reserve a rental car and begin your Taiwan adventure.

Here are some car rentals, their average price comparisons, and their contact information.

Company - Average Rental Prices (24 hours)

Avis - NT$ 2,900

Hertz - NT$ 2,400

Budget - NT$ 2,400

Pony - NT$ 2,500

IWS Car Rental - NT$ 1,500

Carplus - NT$ 2,500

Chailease Auto Rental - NT$ 2,400

Car Rental Company - Reservation Process - International Toll Fee Number

Avis - Online reservation system, phone reservation - (886) 2 6620 662 0110

Hertz - Online reservation system, phone reservation - (886) 2 2731 0377

Budget - Online reservation system, phone reservation - (886) 2 6620-6660

EasyRent - Online reservation system - 0800-024-550

IWS Car Rental - Online reservation system, phone reservation - (886) 4 2313 4568

Carplus - Enterprise | Online reservation system, phone reservation, walk-in reservation - (886) 800 22258

Picking up and returning the car

When picking up and returning your rental car, thoroughly inspect the vehicle for any damage and take note of it before driving away. This ensures that you aren't held responsible for any pre-existing damages.

Here are some tips you can follow to avoid any additional fees or issues:

  1. Check the car's exterior and interior, including the tires, rims, windows, mirrors, and upholstery. If you notice any scratches, dents, or other damages, take pictures and inform the rental company immediately. It's also a good idea to test the car's lights, horns, and brakes before hitting the road.
  2. When returning the car, please fill up the gas tank to the level it was when you picked it up. If you fail to do so, the rental company may charge you an additional fee.
  3. Once you have parked the car in the designated area, remove all your belongings and do a final walk-through to ensure you haven't left anything behind. Don't forget to return the keys and any accessories with the car.

Following these simple steps, you can avoid potential issues and have a stress-free car rental experience in Taiwan.

Understanding rental period and rental prices

To make the most of your time exploring Taiwan, it's important to understand the rental period and how rental prices are calculated. Here are some key things to keep in mind when renting a car in Taiwan:

  1. Rental period: Most car rental companies in Taiwan offer daily, weekly, and monthly rental options. The longer the rental period, the cheaper the daily rate. If you plan on renting a car for multiple days, it's best to opt for a weekly or monthly rental to save money.
  2. Peak season surcharges: Remember that rental prices may be higher during peak tourist seasons, such as Chinese New Year and summer vacation. If you're traveling during these times, be prepared to pay a little extra for your rental.
  3. Additional fees: In addition to the rental price, you may also be charged for extras such as GPS rental, child seat rental, or additional drivers. Ask about these fees upfront so you don't have any surprises when you return the car.
  4. Insurance coverage: Basic insurance is usually included in the rental price, but you may want to consider purchasing additional coverage for peace of mind. Be sure to read the fine print and understand what is and isn't covered under your insurance policy.

Understanding Taiwan's rental period and prices allows you to plan your trip more effectively and avoid unexpected costs. With some research and preparation, you'll be ready to hit the road that Taiwan has to offer.

Choosing the Right Rental Company

When choosing the right rental company for your Taiwan adventure, there are a few key points to keep in mind.

  1. Get an overview of the major rental car companies in Taiwan. This will give you a sense of the market and available options.
  2. You'll want to compare rental companies and prices to ensure you get the best deal possible.
  3. Booking through rental websites can be a convenient and efficient way to secure your rental car and ensure a smooth experience.

Overview of major rental car companies in Taiwan

Major rental car companies in Taiwan offer a variety of vehicles and services, making it easy for travelers to find the perfect car rental for their adventure.

Some of the significant companies include Avis, Hertz, Budget, and Thrifty.

Each company has unique features and benefits, so it's essential to research and choose the one that best meets your needs.

  • Avis is a popular choice for those who want a reliable car rental service with a wide range of vehicles.
  • Hertz is another great option, offering a variety of cars and excellent customer service.
  • Budget is known for its affordable rates and convenient rental locations, while Thrifty is the perfect choice for those who want to save money without sacrificing quality.

Whatever your needs and preferences are, a rental car company in Taiwan will provide the ideal vehicle for when you drive in Taiwan.

Comparing rental companies and prices

Now that you have an overview of Taiwan's major rental car companies, it's time to compare them and their prices.

Each rental company has its strengths and weaknesses and varying rates depending on the type of car and rental duration.

These are just some samples of the famous car rental prices in Taiwan. Always remember that the cheapest deals aren't always the best choices. Read the terms and conditions carefully, check for hidden fees, and compare the insurance coverage.

With a bit of diligence, you'll be able to find the perfect rental car to drive around Taiwan!

Booking through rental websites

To easily book your rental, utilize comparison websites or online travel agencies. These websites allow you to compare prices and features of different rental companies all in one place. You can easily filter your search by location, rental dates, and car type.

Once you've found the perfect rental for your adventure, you can book directly through the website with just a few clicks. Booking through rental websites also gives you access to exclusive discounts and deals. Some websites even offer additional perks like free cancellation, unlimited mileage, and free additional drivers.

Plus, you can read reviews from other travelers to get a better idea of the quality of service and vehicles offered by each rental company. Using rental websites is the easiest and most convenient way to book your rental, so take advantage of them when planning your Taiwan adventure.

Driving in Taiwan

As you get ready to hit the road in Taiwan, it's essential to understand the country's driving rules and speed limits.

You'll also want to know how to navigate city driving and toll fees, especially if you plan on visiting major cities like Taipei.

Using Google Maps for navigation can help you get around quickly, but remember some tips for driving in both major cities and remote areas.

Understanding Taiwan's driving rules and speed limits

If you plan to drive in Taiwan, familiarize yourself with the country's driving rules and speed limits. Here are some essential things to keep in mind:

  • Drive on the right side of the road. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's important to remember that Taiwan follows the same driving rules as the United States and many others. If you're not used to driving on the right, take some time to practice before hitting the road in Taiwan.
  • Wear your seatbelt at all times. This is not only required by law but also a safety measure that could save your life in the event of an accident.
  • Follow the posted speed limits. Taiwan has strict speed limits that police officers and cameras enforce. The speed limit on highways is generally 80 km/h, while the limit on city streets is usually 40 km/h. Be sure to pay attention to signs and adjust your speed accordingly.

Following these rules allows you to safely and confidently navigate Taiwan's roads safely and confidently. Remember to stay alert and watch for other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. With a bit of caution and common sense, you'll be able to enjoy all Taiwan offers from behind the wheel.

Disregarding these rules and causing accidents or injuries to pedestrians can cause fines to imprisonment as amended by the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通觀禮處罰條例)

Navigating city driving in Taiwan can be overwhelming, but don't let toll fees add to your stress! As you drive through the city, you'll notice that many toll roads require payment. These tolls are calculated based on the distance you travel, so it's important to pay attention to the signs and have coins or EasyCard ready.

In addition, tolls in Taiwan are mostly collected through an ETC or Electronic Toll Collection, which allows toll collection to be smooth without unnecessary stops.

Using Google Maps for navigation

Get ready to feel more confident and relaxed while driving in Taiwan with the help of Google Maps for navigation! This popular app is widely used in Taiwan and is an excellent tool for locals and tourists.

With Google Maps, you can easily navigate the busiest streets and find your way to your destination without getting lost. The app is easy to use and provides real-time traffic updates, making it easy to avoid congested areas and find alternative routes. It also offers turn-by-turn directions, making it straightforward to follow the suggested route.

Additionally, Google Maps provides information on nearby restaurants, gas stations, and other points of interest. This makes it easy to plan your trip while on the road.

Tips for driving in major cities and remote areas

As you make your way through major cities and remote areas, a few tips will help you navigate easily and confidently.

  1. When driving in major cities such as Taipei or Kaohsiung, be prepared for heavy traffic and always expect the unexpected.
  2. Stay alert and anticipate sudden lane changes or turns from other drivers.
  3. Use the many public parking garages available to avoid the hassle of finding street parking.

Driving may be a bit more challenging in remote areas due to narrow and winding roads. However, the scenery is often worth the effort. To make the most of your journey, remember these tips:

  • Drive slowly and carefully, especially around turns and blind spots
  • Be aware of any animal crossings or road hazards
  • Always carry a paper map as the GPS signal can be spotty in some areas

We've prepared more driving tips which you can read for you to navigate smoothly in Taiwan.

Preparing for Your Road Trip

Are you ready to hit the road and explore the beautiful sights of Taiwan? Before you do, it's important to prepare for your road trip.

Start by planning your route and including popular destinations like Sun Moon Lake. Don't forget to estimate the driving hours and consider the traffic conditions.

And when it comes to fueling up, ensure you're prepared for gas station visits and understand the fuel policies, including the fuel type used for the car you're renting.

Always remember that a little preparation can help ensure that you will get a smooth and enjoyable road trip.

Planning your route

Exploring Taiwan's scenic routes is a must, and no itinerary is complete without a visit to the stunning Sun Moon Lake and other popular destinations. Sun Moon Lake, located in the heart of Taiwan, is known for its clear blue waters and beautiful mountain scenery. It is a popular tourist destination where visitors can take a leisurely boat ride or bike along the lake's perimeter.

Aside from Sun Moon Lake, there are other popular destinations that you should consider including in your road trip itinerary. Taroko Gorge, located in Hualien County, is a natural wonder that features marble cliffs, waterfalls, and hiking trails. The Alishan National Scenic Area, known for its picturesque sunrise and sea of clouds, is another must-see destination. To help you plan your route, check the table below for some ideas on the driving distance and estimated travel time between these destinations.

Destination - Driving Distance (km) - Estimated Travel Time (hrs)

Sun Moon Lake - 150km - 2

Taroko Gorge - 180km - 3

Alishan - 220km - 4

With this information, you can easily plan your route and make the most of your Taiwan road trip adventure. You may also check other activities you can enjoy during your visit in Taiwan.

Estimating hours of driving and traffic conditions

Get ready to hit the road and feel the excitement as you assess the hours of driving and navigate through Taiwan's traffic conditions. Before embarking on your journey, it's essential to estimate the time it will take to travel between your planned destinations.

During the rush hour, keep in mind that Taiwan's roads can be narrow and winding, and traffic can be heavy. So here are some tips to help you estimate your driving hours and navigate through Taiwan's traffic conditions:

  • Check the distance between your destinations and use maps like Google map to estimate the driving time. Consider the terrain, the condition of the roads, and the speed limits.
  • Be prepared to encounter traffic jams, especially during peak travel seasons and holidays. Plan your itinerary accordingly and consider alternative routes if necessary.
  • Stay alert and follow traffic rules. Taiwanese drivers can be aggressive and impatient, but driving defensively and avoiding sudden moves can help you stay safe and avoid accidents.
  • Take breaks and stretch your legs. Many scenic spots and rest areas along the highways offer facilities such as restrooms, food stands, and souvenir shops.

With these tips, you can enjoy a smooth and safe driving experience in Taiwan. Don't forget to buckle up, keep your phone charged, and have fun exploring the island's natural beauty and cultural treasures!

Preparing for gas station visits and understanding fuel policies

In Taiwan, gas stations can be found on major highways and in cities, but they may be few and far between in rural areas. It's essential to plan and fill up your tank when you can.

Regarding fuel policies, most rental car companies in Taiwan have a policy of providing a full tank of gas at the start of the rental and requiring it to be returned with a full tank. Some companies may offer the option to prepay for a full tank or to return the car with less than a full tank for a fee.

Always read and understand the fuel policy of your rental car company before hitting the road to avoid any extra charges at the end of your rental period.

Understanding Car Insurance and Rental Policies

As you plan your road trip, don't forget to consider the importance of rental car insurance. It's crucial to understand the common terms and conditions in rental policies to avoid any unwanted surprises.

Read the fine print and ask questions before signing any agreements to ensure you have the necessary coverage and protection on your adventure.

Importance of rental car insurance

You don't want to be caught without rental car insurance, especially when exploring Taiwan's busy roads and unpredictable weather.

Rental car insurance is essential because it can protect you from unexpected expenses in case of accidents or damages to the vehicle. While most rental car companies offer insurance options, it's important to understand what each policy covers and doesn't.

Rental car insurance can cover damages to the car, theft, and even personal injuries sustained during an accident. It can also provide roadside assistance, which is crucial when traveling to remote areas in Taiwan.

Without insurance, you may end up paying for repairs and medical bills out of pocket, which can be costly and ruin your vacation. So before you hit the road, make sure to review the insurance options and choose the right policy that fits your needs and budget.

Common terms and conditions in rental policies

It's crucial to be familiar with the terms and conditions in rental policies to ensure you're fully aware of your rights and responsibilities as a renter.

One common condition is the age requirement. Most rental companies in Taiwan require renters to be at least 20 years old and have a valid driver's license for at least one year. Some companies may have higher age requirements or charge an additional fee for renters under a certain age.

Another important condition is the rental period. Most rental companies in Taiwan have a minimum rental period of one day. Some may also have maximum rental periods or restrictions on the number of days the car can be rented. It's important to clarify these details before making a reservation to avoid any unexpected charges or penalties.

Additionally, make sure to review the policies on fuel, tolls, and damages to the vehicle. By being informed about the terms and conditions, you can have a smooth and stress-free car rental experience in Taiwan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any age restrictions for renting a car in Taiwan?

Yes, there are age restrictions for renting a car in Taiwan. To rent a car, you must be at least 21 years old and have held a valid driver's license for at least one year. However, some rental companies may require drivers to be at least 25 years old or have held a license for at least two years.

It's important to note that if you're under 25 years old, you may be subject to a higher rental fee or additional insurance requirements. Make sure to check with the rental company beforehand to ensure that you meet their age requirements and have all necessary documentation.

What types of driver's licenses are accepted for car rental in Taiwan?

To rent a car in Taiwan, you must have a valid driver's license from your home country or an international driver's license. Taiwan does not accept temporary or learner's licenses, so make sure your license is up to date before planning your trip.

It's also important to note that the driver's license must be in English or Chinese. If your license is not written in either language, you must obtain a translation through an International Driver's Permit.

Remember that different car rental companies may have specific requirements, so it's best to check with them beforehand to ensure that you have all the necessary documentation.

With the right license and paperwork, you can hit the open road and explore all Taiwan offers on your terms.

Can I rent a car in Taiwan if I don't speak Mandarin or Taiwanese?

Yes, you can rent a car in Taiwan even if you don't speak Mandarin or Taiwanese. Major car rental companies in Taiwan, such as Hertz, Avis, and Budget, have English-speaking staff who can assist you with the rental process. They can help you fill out the necessary forms and provide information on the rental agreement.

Additionally, most road signs in Taiwan are written in both Chinese and English, making it easier for you to navigate. However, it's still important to familiarize yourself with basic Mandarin or Taiwanese phrases to communicate with locals or in case of emergencies.

Again, renting a car is still possible if you have an International Driver's Permit to translate your valid driver's license. It's always essential to have them when you're planning on renting a car and exploring Taiwan yourself.

Therefore, language should not be a barrier to renting a car and exploring Taiwan.

Is it necessary to have an international driver's permit (IDP) to rent a car in Taiwan?

Yes, having an International Driver's Permit (IDP) to rent a car in Taiwan is necessary.

The IDP is a translation of your driver's license and is required by Taiwanese law for foreigners who plan to drive there.

You can obtain an IDP in your home country before your trip, valid for one year.

Without an IDP, you may face legal consequences and pay maximum fines if you're pulled over by the police or get into an accident while driving in Taiwan.

It's important to note that some car rental companies may also require you to present your original driver's license, so bring both with you on your trip.

What are the consequences of breaking traffic laws in Taiwan while driving a rental car?

If you break traffic laws while driving a rental car in Taiwan, there are several consequences you may face.

Firstly, you may be fined by the police. The fine will depend on the severity of the offense, and it can range from a few hundred to NT $24,000.

Additionally, if you cause an accident, you will be responsible for any damages or injuries. This means that you may have to pay for repairs to the rental car and any medical bills or other costs associated with the accident.

Finally, if you commit a serious traffic offense, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may even face criminal charges.

Therefore, it's important to be aware of Taiwan's traffic laws and follow them carefully while driving.


Congratulations! You're now armed with all the information you need to unleash your Taiwan adventure with a car rental.

With stunning scenery, delicious cuisine, and fascinating culture, Taiwan is a must-visit destination for any traveler. And with a rental car, you can explore all this beautiful island has to offer at your own pace and on your terms.

Remember to choose the right rental company for your needs, prepare for driving in Taiwan, and understand your car insurance and rental policies.

With this ultimate guide, you can confidently explore Taiwan's winding roads, bustling cities, and breathtaking landscapes. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your Taiwan road trip today, and prepare for an unforgettable adventure!


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