Renting a car can be the perfect way to explore Malaysia's spectacular and rare sites from East to West without having to follow any fixed schedule or lose time waiting for buses, trains and taxis. Simply pick up your car and decide when you want to leave and which states you wish to visit to take full advantage of your holiday time. When travelling as a group or with your family, car rentals are definitely cost-effective, and less challenging, than having to organize transport for each individual or group.
When you are planning to visit Malaysia by car, the best way to take full advantage of the car rental is to use it for exploring the different regions in more depth. Avoid driving from one region to another. It is always better to fly or take a bus for long-distance travel, then rent a car once you arrive to the region you wish to visit. This said, try and rent a car on a weekly basis, as three day car rentals can be quite a bit more expensive. The freedom of being able to drive where you wish is a great advantage and the best way to explore those off-the-beaten-track locations. It is however important to keep in mind that you will be driving in a foreign country, therefore some experience as a driver is advisable, especially if you are not used to left-hand driving.
There are many good deals to be had and the low-down on car rentals can really provide some excellent options. What you need to avoid is showing up at the airport and walking up to the Budget, Hertz or Avis desks without having booked your car beforehand. Car rental rates will always be higher if you have not booked in advance. So, make sure you do so at least a week before you travel to Malaysia.
It is worth checking out smaller firms and car rental companies that can be found locally, as these often provide last minute deals, and prices can be considerably lower than the bigger rental companies. Car hire websites can be of great help when tracking these down, as the website automatically researches the best deals offered by car rental companies, without you having to spend endless hours researching the Internet for the hundreds of deals available.
When you are browsing through the various possibilities make sure you check the extra costs carefully, as often tax and insurance are not included with the price quote, and these may vary according to the rental company you choose. Some car rental companies offer special coupons and sales that can be found directly on their personal websites, which are worth exploring as a possible way to cut down on the original price. However, at times you can find better prices with other companies that are not offering sales. This is why using an automatic price research platform on the web can really save time and money.
Quick tips to remember:
- Fuel prices in Malaysia are set by the government but you may find somewhat higher prices in urban areas and Kuala Lumpur, often exceeding three or three fifty dollars for a gallon, so generally a smaller car is a better option for city-goers. It's worth checking a regularly updated global 'pump price' chart before your visit to get an idea of the cost relative to your home country. A smaller car will provide less luggage space, so when you pack, either pack light or rent a car with a roof rack for added luggage space.
- One important issue is your unlimited mileage options. Many car rentals will not sell you unlimited mileage when you book directly at their airport desk, and you really do need unlimited mileage when on holiday exploring the various regions in Malaysia, so advanced booking is definitely a plus. If you do decide to rent a car on site, always do so from a downtown car rental agency, as often airport agencies add airport location fees that can add up quite a bit to your total car rental costs. Getting there should not be a problem as transport hubs and car rental agencies in town offer free shuttle service.
- You can also get discounts and advantages if you join frequent renter clubs, which you can join for free and get as much as fifteen percent off your rental service. The advantage of joining these clubs is that you can get better options and conditions as well as enhanced service.
- By booking ahead online you can rent the smallest available car for a very good price, and find yourself automatically offered a larger car when you pick it up at the airport, as most Malaysian rental services avoid stocking up in smaller cars. If a car rental agency no longer has a small car on site, the rental contract requires them to offer you the next largest option they have available. In Kuala Lumpur in particular, there is a good chance you'll receive a free upgrade if you select a mid-range model.
- Getting extra insurance when renting a car is a waste of money, for you probably already have your own health insurance as well as your car insurance. Car rental services often try to sell you additional insurance of all types and it really is an unnecessary additional cost. Keep things simple and hit the roads!
Malaysia has something to offer everyone, but it takes a flexible travel plan and the freedom to explore to top-off a happy and enjoyable visit. We want to make sure you leave Malaysia with nothing but wonderful memories to share so get browsing today!
Don't forget to complete your trip with our travel essentials checklist: Tours, Flights and Car Rental
- Tailor all aspects of your holiday or visit to Malaysia with comprehensive tour and package choices.
- Our guide to Malaysia flights is packed with advice and pointers on finding the best routes and super deals.
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