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About Malaysia (MY)

Malaysia is a country of both literal and figurative duality, located partially on the Asian mainland, and partially on the northern half of the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia. The country itself is likewise a mix of modern cities and developing areas in the West, opposite lush, mountainous landscapes of the East. The West Malaysia border is shared by Thailand, and the peninsula is linked to Singapore by a bridge and causeway system. East Malaysia borders on Brunei and Indonesia. West Malaysia’s capital city of Jakarta is defined by towering infrastructure and a cosmopolitan way of life. Elsewhere, the country is known for untamed wilderness and dense jungle vegetation. Some visitors describe Jakarta as a “less expensive Singapore”, while the archipelago shares a sparkling resemblance to the aquatic wonderland of its neighbor, Indonesia.

  Getting around

Getting around Malaysia is likewise a tale of two countries. The urbanized western half is connected by a superb network of roads, many of which are in brand-new or very good condition — compared to other Asian countries — while the eastern half is dominated by undeveloped jungle and rainforest. Highway driving is generally straightforward in the west, but limited to the Pan Borneo Highway in the east. Like many South East Asian countries, motorcycles and scooters are the preferred mode of transportation for the majority of locals; however, most visitors will find it far more efficient and affordable to rent a car. Congestion is prevalent in the cities of Kuala Lumpur and Penang on the western side, while absolutely not an issue in the remote areas of Sabah in the east.

  Choosing your car

Malaysia car rentals are supplied by Europcar, Avis, National, Sixt, Budget, and a number of other major brands. Cheap car rentals are most likely found in the economy and intermediate sedan class. However, 7-12 seater minivans and SUVs are the most popular vehicles on Malaysian roads.

  Tips and advice


Book your Malaysia car rental far in advance to get the best deals and the prime selection of vehicles. Outside of the major cities, car hire fleets tend to sell out during peak seasons.


Malaysia is slowly but surely embracing the automobile, and there are increasingly numbers of cars on the roads, but that also means a rising number of inexperienced drivers. While driving habits don’t rival India for recklessness, Malaysians are still kind of getting the hang of things.


The most efficient routes are toll roads on the “touch and go” system. Electronic cards may be purchased from toll kiosks at various points along the routes.


Avoid any type of “road rage” behaviors, including offensive gestures. Foreigners involved in traffic accidents are held to a higher level of responsibility, mainly by dint of having more experience. It’s considered a grevious sign of disrespect to lose your cool in a traffic incident.


Malaysian drivers tend to share the Indonesian habit of believing that they’re only responsible for what is directly in front of them, so it’s common for cars to pull out of perpendicular roadways and into the flow of traffic with no regard for oncoming cars. Keep your eyes peeled for this type of behavior to avoid collisions, for which you’ll most likely take the blame.


Red lights are controlled intersections stay red for much longer than most Western drivers are accustomed. “Jumping the red” is common, especially among motorcyclists. Resist the temptation to follow suit.

Urban Speed Limit


60 kph  | 37.3 mph
Rural Speed Limit


90 kph  | 55.9 mph
Motorway Speed Limit


110 kph  | 68.4 mph
Fuel Price




Road Driving


Driving Age


17 years of age
23 years of age to RENT
Emergency Services


Documentation requirements



Malaysia Driving Ideas Guide

Malaysia is a relatively small tropical country in Southeast Asia that’s divided by the South China Sea.  The majority of the country is on the Malay Peninsula, while the remainder is on Borneo Island and getting between the two is largely restricted to air travel.  Both are exotic locales and offer affordable goods, such as electronics being a popular choice, and a varied cuisine that is indicative of this nation’s multicultural profile.  But for a tourist destination, it’s the fantastic weather and incredible landscapes that put Malaysia high on the “to see” list.  Kuala Lumpur, or simply KL, is a modern city packed with entertainment and places of interest, but it’s in the countryside where one can truly understand the natural beauty and a Malaysian car rental is a convenient way of getting around.

Port Dickson

Malaysia is often depicted as a tropical paradise with palm trees, azure waters, white sand and cottages on stilts suspended over the sea.  Port Dickson in the southern part of the country, 60 km (37 miles) from KL, is an excellent choice where to see this depiction in reality, and waking up here in your Malaysian accommodation is paradise found.  Known simply as PD to locals, relaxation is the biggest show in town, but there’s also an animal farm with ostriches and a 3D art gallery that begs for selfies.

The Blue Lagoon, 16 km (10 miles), is paradisiacal with calm, crystal clear water and free admission.  A longer drive to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary in the village of Lanchang, 190 km (118 miles), is perhaps your best chance to come face to face with an elephant on the Malay Peninsula.


This city on the Malay Peninsula does not have the same level of skyscrapers and modern buildings as KL, but has more of an influence from the country’s past and is truly representative of Malaysia’s multicultural population with a heavier influence of Chinese. However, like KL, there is excellent shopping and walking around the city, or taking a trishaw, are the best ways to experience it and enjoy the hundreds of Chinese shop-houses.  Street art adorns the walls of many buildings and gives areas a fun vibe.  Two religious buildings worth visiting include the Hindu Sri Mariamman Temple that has a very colourful exterior incorporating embedded diamonds, and the Buddhist Kek Lok Si Temple that is Malaysia’s biggest.

Batu Ferringhi, 17 km (11 miles), is a perfect escape from cities and crowds with its gorgeous beach, and the nearby butterfly and tropical fruit farm is a great way to spend part of the day.


On Borneo Island, this city is located between the sea and a rain forest so it’s not surprising it has the pseudonym, The Nature City.  With wildlife on the doorstep, Sandakan is a good base to visit the many parks and conservation areas, as well as being able to relax by playing golf at an 18-hole (Par 72) green.

The Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, 37 km (23 miles), is located in a mangrove forest and is an opportunity to see this species not found elsewhere in the world. Orangutans can be viewed in their natural habitat at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, 23 km (14 miles), particularly when the primates are fed their meals by staff at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Whichever side of the South China Sea you are on in Malaysia, your Cheaperthanhotels accommodation and your Cheaperthancars rental car will help you have a memorable vacation by saving you money so that you can do more when you get there.

The Cheaperthancars Team



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