You must be at least 20 years old to rent a car in Taiwan. The steps to rent a car will vary by car rental agency. Review the rental contract and add your payment method. From there, collect your car, drive, and eventually return your vehicle.
I’ve lived in Taiwan for 5 or more years and have learned a lot about driving in Taiwan. If you want to explore Taiwan in luxury or to take road trips, you’ll want a car rental.
In this guide, I’ll cover the following:
How to Rent a Car in Taiwan?
To rent a car, you’ll generally need to follow these steps:
- Visit a car rental website or retail storefront
- Add your payment method
- Review your lease
- Collect your vehicle
- Clean your vehicle once you’re done
- Return your car
These steps will vary by car rental service.
#1 Booking Your Rental
Visit the car rental company’s website, select the dates that you want to book, and choose your car. From there, you’ll need to enter your information.
Some information will include your full name and passport number.
Every insurance company will have varying auto insurance deductibles. You’ll find sections such as ‘insurance description’ or ‘Terms of Service.’ Check this information before proceeding.
Let’s cover what you’ll need to rent a car.
#2 What Do You Need to Rent a Car in Taiwan?
You’ll need the following items or to meet these eligibility requirements:
- Driver’s license from your home country
- International driver’s permit
- Visa or entry stamp OR Alien Resident Certificate (ARC)
- MasterCard or Visa credit cards: no debit cards allowed
Some car rental agencies will accept Union Pay, American Express, JCB, and other card types. Review each car rental company’s website before renting. Find out what payment methods they accept.
Every car rental place I’ve seen in Taiwan requires you to be at least 20 years old to rent a vehicle. For “premium” vehicle rentals, you’ll need to be 25 or older.
The definition of premium rental cars in Taiwan will differ by company.
#3 Read Your Car Rental Contract
Ensure you check all the fine print in your car rental contract for terms like:
- Cancelation fees & policies
- Hidden fees
- Fuel fees
- Add-on purchases
- Auto insurance deductible
You’ll usually find this information on the company’s “Terms of Service” page. Otherwise, just check their car description pages.
#4 Returning Your Car
Clean your car, record any damages, then return the vehicle to where you picked it up.
When returning your car, ensure it has the same amount of fuel as when you picked it up. For instance, if it had a full tank when you picked it up, return it with a full tank.
Taiwan uses the following types of gasoline:
- 98 unleaded gas
- 95 unleaded gasoline
- 92 unleaded gasoline
If you have a Costco membership, you can use it in Taiwan. BUT there are only a couple of Costco gas stations in Taiwan.
The average price for gas in Taiwan is NT$115 ($3.5) per gallon. Or NT$30 ($0.94) per liter .
Taiwan Car Rental Companies
Here are various rental car companies in Taiwan compared:
|Company||Rental Car Prices (Avg.) *||# Of Rental Car Locations||English Site?|
|Budget Car Rental||NT$2,400/day||28||Yes|
|Chailease Auto Rental||NT$2,400/day||31||Yes|
|Dollar Rental Cars||NT$2,400/day||23||Yes|
* These aren’t exact pricing. Various factors will impact what you pay. For instance, hidden fees, gas, insurance, and where you pick up your car.
Some of these companies include GPS, child seat, or dashboard cameras for free. In most scenarios, you’ll have to pay an extra surcharge for these add-ons.
Ensure you check the locations of every car rental service before booking. Say you’re going to Taichung City. Don’t make a mistake by booking a service that has a pick-up location in Kaohsiung, but not Taichung.
In some cases, you may spot car rentals deals if you use an aggregation service like Kayak.
How To Drive in Taiwan
Learn how driving in Taiwan differs from driving in your home country.
Taiwan Traffic Rules
Here are driving rules for driving in Taiwan [2, 3]:
- You CAN’T turn right on red lights in Taiwan
- Speed limits for most streets is 50 mph (80 kp/h)
- Taiwan’s blood alcohol limit is 0.03% Blood Alcohol Concentration
- Don’t honk 3 times consecutively
- Don’t drive on road shoulders
- Taiwan measures in kilometers per hour (kph) (1 mph = 1.60 kph)
- Steer clear from bus-only lanes: look for lanes with signs having blue buses
- Don’t drive on motorbike-only lanes: you’ll see many motorbikes converging into these lanes
Driving isn’t much different than in the U.S. I haven’t driven in many other countries. Thus, I don’t have a wide frame of reference.
I recommend familiarizing yourself with Taiwan’s freeway signs (PDF link).
Meanwhile, let’s talk about car horns. It’s important to know when to use them.
Here are the best times to honk according to Taiwan’s Motor Vehicle Services:
- During emergencies (not specific)
- Can’t see what’s around the corners or up hills: use this to warn potentially hidden drivers
In many scenarios, Taiwanese will use horns to express their anger. But when you hear a car horn and are around one of the above areas, watch your surroundings.
Watch out for traffic speed or red light cameras. They’re everywhere. Some GPS apps may warn you whether you’re approaching one, but don’t get caught by one of these.
Let’s explore driving etiquette.
Taiwan Driving Etiquette
In most scenarios, Taiwanese will use horn honking to warn you they’re approaching.
Watch out for scooters/motorbikes. Many motorbike drivers will creep into your blind spots or can appear out of nowhere. Check your blind spots and use mirrors before turning to avoid hitting anyone.
Let’s cover alternatives if you’ve changed your mind about renting a car in Taiwan.
Alternatives to Taiwan Car Rentals?
If you need a car to transport luggage or other large items, you may want to consider a taxi, Uber, buses, or taking trains.
There’s also iRent Taiwan. It’s a service you’ll pay hourly to rent cars through an app. Think of it like Zipcar.
Taiwan expats and digital nomads can only use iRent if they have an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC).
I have a separate guide that covers ARCs and their requirements. In short, it’s a resident certificate.
If you have an ARC and want to use iRent, keep reading.
You’ll find nearby cars on the app that are rentable. Then when returning them, you’ll take them from where you picked up the car. Or to a parking lot or street side partnered with iRent.
Rates for iRent will vary by:
- Day you travel
- Your destination
I’ve seen some people pay NT$125 an hour on weekdays. And NT$200 on weekends.
iRent doesn’t have an English website. And their mobile app isn’t in English. You’ll need to know Mandarin Chinese, get a translator’s help, or use Google Translate for translations.
Update: I don’t recommend iRent. There was a recent data leak that resulted in cyber attackers leaking all their customers’ data. And this leak lasted for 9 months without them allegedly notifying their customers 
Don’t need to haul luggage around the country?
If you’re in the countryside, consider renting a motorbike instead. They’re more agile and affordable to rent.
Explore these commonly asked questions about renting cars in Taiwan.
Can Foreigners Rent a Car in Taiwan?
Foreigners can rent a car in Taiwan. So long as they’re aged 21 and older and have the older documents.
Is It Expensive to Rent a Car in Taiwan?
It’s not expensive to rent cars in Taiwan. If you choose an affordable service and rent on weekdays.
Does Taiwan Drive on the Right or Left Side of the Road?
Taiwanese drive on the right side of the road.
Do Taiwanese Drive Manual or Automatic Cars?
More Taiwanese drive automatic cars than manual.
City driving sucks in Taiwan.
I recommend short- or long-term car rentals in Taiwan if you’re going on a road trip, have a lot of luggage to carry, or don’t want to give Taiwan’s public transportation a try.
I recommend checking out other ways to get around Taiwan, though. I compare each method in a separate guide.