Driving Tips, Rules & Regulations in Malaysia

There’s a lot going around about driving in Malaysia, and it’s most likely due to the incredible road system that the country has. Those who plan to visit the country and travel around by car, however, need to go there prepared. Cars are imposed customs duties and placed under strict DUI regulations.

But it’s all worth it because driving in Malaysia means you’ll be able to take advantage of the benefits of Southeast Asia’s best system, composed of approximately more than 98, 700 km in roads, not to mention that this peninsular country is effectively connected with Thailand and Singapore, two of its neighbor states.

Your international driver’s license (if you have one) is good in Malaysia for as long as 90 days. From there, you will need to apply for a local license. If you happen to be from countries like Singapore, Australia, or Germany, you’ll be able to use your local license to get a class D license in Malaysia. You’ll need to double check if the country you’re from is in that list, but most European Union member states are there.

The country is quite populated and most Malaysian households have more than one vehicle, so expect to see lots congested roads in the bigger and metropolitan cities. Most of the local motorists are known for their road rage, so be prepared to deal with the frantic driving culture. Stay defensive as much as possible, since foreigners have been known to be subjected to a higher fine when involved in an accident. It has also been said that it’s best to stay on the good side of the police, since they tend to force you to give bribes when you don’t respect them (it’s hard to say how true this is, but it’s always better to play safe in another country).

But other than that, you’ll experience smooth driving in Malaysia thanks to the peninsula’s amazing road structure. It’ll be easy to get from one end to another. You just need to familiarize yourself with the toll roads. Since there are a lot of them, it’s better to take a hold of a cash card called the “touch-n-go” cards that can be bought along the highways, in petrol stations, banks, and the card company’s hubs. These will work as payment as you pass through these tolls.

In case of an accident, take note that there are emergency phones stations at least two kilometers from each other along the highways. Always remember to stick to the left lane, unless you intend to overtake. Don’t give other drivers a reason to tailgate you. You’re going to want to stay away from the other drivers in the highway anyway, since they’ll be moving as fast as 160 km/h. Speaking of speed limits, the highway limit is at 110 km/h or 68 mph, but don’t be surprised if there are drivers that pass by at high speeds.

If you’re coming in from the West, make sure you make the most of driving in Malaysia by stopping by Melaka, Kuala Lumpur, the Cameron Highlands, and Penang, in that order.

Summary

Your international driver’s license is good in Malaysia for 90 days, so sufficient if you are renting a car.
Malaysia has an amazing road structure.
There are lots of toll roads.
In case of an accident, there are emergency phones stations at least two kilometers from each other along the highways.
Always remember to stay in the left lane, unless you intend to overtake
Speed limits on motorways is 110 km/h or 68 mph.

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