Malaysian Driving Guide
Understanding Malaysian Traffic Rules
Welcome to Malaysia.
Driving & Safety Tips
Thank you for choosing Avis Malaysia.
Driving styles and traffic rules can vary in different countries. Avis Malaysia cares about the safety of our customers. Here are precautions you can take to ensure you have a safe and pleasant journey.
We look forward to serve you again soon.
Driving in Malaysia (Pt.1)
Road signs in Malaysia are in accordance with the international road signs, so despite the occasional Malay words, most foreigners should be able to understand basic traffic signs.
The slow lane is on the left lane on a three lane road and the fast lane is on the right most lane. In a three-lane expressway, you may remain in the middle lane when driving in a constant speed or when not overtaking.
In general, the speed limit around town is always between 60kmph-80kmph, but when you're on the North-South highway the speed limit can range from 90 - 110kmph. You should also be aware, that there are a number of strategically-placed speed cameras, so please refrain from speeding.
There are always a number of motorcyclist sharing the roads with you- hence you should always be aware of your surroundings as their safety should also be your responsibility when driving. Be alert at traffic lights, intersections and also when entering a bend or corner.
Always remember to fasten your safety belts before driving, and keep the speed limits.
Malaysian Driver's Permit
Expats in Malaysia are permitted to use a foreign license for a three-month period before they will need to apply for a new international permit. Though the ease and speed of the process varies depending on the nationality of the applicant and their status, this should not dissuade anyone who wants to drive for long periods in Malaysia.
Expats hailing from countries under the Bi-lateral agreement (Australia, France, Denmark, Singapore, etc) looking to acquire an international driver’s permit in Malaysia, will have to submit the following details to an office of the JPJ (Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan Malaysia which translates as Road Transport Department Malaysia ). A completed JPJL1 form, which can be acquired at any JPJ office, must accompany the following documentation:
- Original and copy of valid driving license. (For expired driving license, the expiry date should not exceed 3 years)
- One colored photograph (25 mm x 32 mm).
- English translation of the driving license by Embassy of the issuing country. If the country has no Embassy office in Malaysia, translation can be done by Malaysia Translation Institute (www.itnm.com.my)
- Original and copy of the passport (must be valid for the next 6 months)
- Processing fee – RM20.00
- Categories of license which may apply for conversion:
i. Competence Driving License (CDL)
* RM 30.00 (car) – per year.
* RM 20.00 (motorcycle) – per year.
ii. Probationary driving License(P)
* RM 60.00(car) – two years.
* RM 40.00(motorcycle) – two years.
It is important to re-assert that different procedural processes when applying for an international driving permit in Malaysia apply depending on the nationality of the applicant. Comprehensive details on the procedures that have to be followed depending on what nationality the occupant falls under can be found on this page, which should serve as the first resource to refer to for anyone looking to acquire an international permit. A list of nations whose expats are offered automatic conversion of their licenses (which takes a mere 1 day) and which expats require their application be sent to the Road Transport Department in Putrajaya (a process which can take up to one month to complete) can be found here.
There are JPJ offices in every Malaysian state, and a list of them and their addresses can be found here. Opening times for JPJ offices can be found here.
The renewal fee for an international driver’s permit is RM150 per annum, and the procedures and stipulations below need to be followed in order to renew the permit.
The license may be renewed in Malaysia only.
Provide 2 passport size photographs.
Present your IDP for renewal.
Complete Form JPJ L1.
RM150 per annum for the renewal fee.
It should be noted that drivers licensed by the JPJ must notify the JPJ if and when they change the color of their vehicle.
For expats who do not have a driver’s license but wish to go for one, a five hour road safety course will need to be completed (though this can be complicated by the fact that the majority of these courses are delivered in Bahasa Melayu), a 45 question written examination, 16 hours’ worth of driving lessons and final tests (on the open road and in a car park). Once these are completed successfully, the license given can be converted into an international driving permit.
Driving in Malaysia (Pt.2)
At the Airport or Avis Office
Review maps and other visitor information before leaving the rental car area or any other locations. Reading a map while driving is dangerous and can indicate you are unfamiliar with the area. You are welcomed to ask for directions or assistance before leaving the rental counter.
At airports, rental car plazas or other transportation terminals, never leave your luggages unattended. If there is more than one person in your party, assign someone to stay with the bags. Only the renter and any additional drivers is required for the car rental precedure.
Your Rental Vehicle
Familiarize yourself with the vehicle's safety equipment, including hazard lights, windshield wipers, the spare tire, seat belts and door locks. Always be alert to your surroundings and know how to reach your destination prior to your departure.
Always make sure the vehicle always has sufficient fuel.
Don't stop if a passing motorist tells you that something is wrong with your vehicle or if someone bumps you from behind. Pull into the nearest police station, service station or other well-lit public areas. Call the police, if you feel that your safety is at stake.
At traffic lights, always leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the one in front of you in case you must pull away quickly. Always keep doors locked and windows rolled up when driving or when parked. Keep valuables in the trunk or in the locked glove compartment (away from sight).
Learn emergency vehicles' signals. Police lights are red and blue. Do not stop for flashing white headlights alone. Do not resist in the event that a stranger demands your valuables. Your well-being is always more valuable than your belongings. Always use seat belts. It is the law and may save your life in the event of an accident.
Avoid picking up hitchhikers under any circumstances. Hitchhiking is not common in Malaysia. Always be aware of the pedestrian traffic around your vehicle. Always park in a well-lit area. Have the car keys in-hand and check inside and around the car before entering.
Avoid taking shortcuts to save time or exit expressways prematurely to save on tolls. Tolls are a nominal charge, and toll payments are made via Touch N' Go cards. Ask about Touch N' Go cards at our Avis outlets before leaving.
Use automated teller machines (ATM) found in public, unobstructed areas and only count your money inside the car with the doors locked.
Drivers should do everything they can to prevent their car from being an easy target, such as always remembering to lock doors and windows before leaving the vehicle.
In The Event of an Accident
Try to stay calm. If there are any injuries, call 999 for assistance. If there are no injuries, try to move your vehicle to a safe area away from traffic.
As with any traffic accident, it is important to collect as much useful information as possible. Have the other driver write down his or her name and address, and not the model and vehicle registration of all vehicles involved. Exchange your respective insurance information and avoid discussing whose fault the accident was.
It is very important that you refuse the services of tow-trucks operators that arrive uncalled on the scene. In such instances, be sure to call Avis Emergency service for assistance.
Stay Secure in Your Vehicle
If your car malfunctions on a major thoroughfare, lock the doors, turn on the hazard lights and wait for the police to arrive. If someone offers help, have them call the police.
Refrain from pulling over to assist what may appear to be a disabled car, even if someone tries to wave you down. If you have a cellular phone, use it to call the police to assist them.
Drive to a service station or store if you need information or directions. Casual street-corner directions are the surest way to get lost. Alternatively you may use the WAZE or Google Maps applications to help you get around.
These safety tips are general common-sense suggestions from Avis. The safety of you and your passengers is most important. However, remember that personal safety is your responsibility. Do what you think is best under the circumstances. Above all, stay alert and be cautious.
Some Rules & Regulation
- Drive on the left in Malaysia
- Seat belts are compulsory for all occupants, front and rear
- Children under eight years of age must be strapped in a child safety seat
- Headlights must be turned on between 19:00 and 07:00
- Mobile cellular phones must not be used while driving
- Never drive when under influence.
Have a safe and pleasant drive & Enjoy your time in Malaysia.