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Malaysia is a wonderful country to visit and is well suited for traveling around. Remember that Malaysia is separated by the South China Sea into two regions, one called Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo’s East Malaysia. In the case of Peninsular Malaysia, it shares a land border with Thailand and Singapore. So, is it safe to drive in Malaysia?

Malaysia is properly the best of a bad lot for driving in Southeast Asia. Malaysia ranks in the top ten for most dangerous countries to drive in. The roads in Malaysia especially in Peninsular Malaysia are well built, fuel is cheap and there are plenty of road signs. The main problem is that Malaysian drivers tend to ignore the rules of the road such as tailgating, sudden lane changes, and not giving priority when they should.

In this post, we will go through whether is it safe to drive in Malaysia. Let’s get started!

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Can Tourists Drive In Malaysia?

Yes, tourists can drive in Malaysia. Renting a car is the best way to travel around Malaysia. You are required by law to hold an international driving license or a valid driver’s license in English from your country. Along with your passport. Also, you need to be over 22 years old.

Penang Bridge Malaysia

Are Cars In Malaysia Right-Hand Drive?

No, cars in Malaysia drive on the left-hand side of the road, the same as in the UK or Thailand.

Do I Need Insurance To Drive In Malaysia?

Yes, car insurance is needed to drive in Malaysia. If you are driving a car, drivers must have third-party insurance at a minimum.

You will need to check your travel insurance to see if you are covered to drive a moped in Malaysia.

If you are involved in an accident, you may end up having to pay a bribe and pay all the costs involved, both yours and 3rd parties.

Is It Safe To Drive In Malaysia?

Typically, it is not safe to drive in Malaysia. The reasons are as follows.

  • Malaysia was one of the worse road safety records in Asia.
  • Malaysians tend to ignore the road of the rules, it’s a bit more of a guideline than being obeyed. This is can be a big problem for tourists.

Malaysia Was One Of The Worse Road Safety Records In Asia

Simply the record of having one of the worse road safety records in Asia speaks for itself. This is mainly due to the Malaysians ignoring the rules of the road but the road infrastructure in Malaysia is as go as any country in the west.

Malacca River

Rules Of The Road Are A Bit More Of A Guideline Than Followed

The Malaysians in general don’t follow the rules of the road it is more of a nice guideline. So don’t expect drivers to stop at traffic lights or give way when they should. Along with that many Malaysian drivers are unaware that you are not aware of the local way of driving.

What To Do If You Have A Car Accident In Malaysia?

Firstly regardless of how bad the accident is, the tourist will more than likely get the blame. If your moped or car gets damaged you will have to pay for the repairs.

Now if you damage anything other than your car such as property. You will have to negotiate with the owners. If the police get involved, more than likely you will get the blame.

First, you need to get all personal information from the other driver which involves their name, address, and national id number. Then take photos of the damage, the scene, and anything else that might be important.

Remember to stay calm and don’t pay any money upfront. A lot of drivers in Malaysia will demand cash up front to pay for their damage. And if you have insurance then call your insurance company.

Wrapping Up

Finally, Malaysia is properly the best of a bad lot for driving in Southeast Asia. Malaysia ranks in the top ten for most dangerous countries to drive in. The roads in Malaysia especially in Peninsular Malaysia are well built, fuel is cheap and there are plenty of road signs. The main problem is that Malaysian drivers tend to ignore the rules of the road such as tailgating, sudden lane changes, and not giving priority when they should.

And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on if is it safe to drive in Malaysia has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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