Malaysia has a good road system, one of the best in Southeast Asia. Emergency phones are located along the roads every two kilometers. Along with state or federal roads, there are toll roads. Drivers can pay by cash cards or ‘touch-n-go’ cards; both can be bought at toll kiosks on highways. In large cities, there are many cars and motorcycles on the road since driving in Malaysia is popular.

For driving in Malaysia, any foreign driver needs to have an International driver license. It is allowed to drive with the International driver license for up to six months; after that period, visitors must obtain the Malaysian driver license by applying to the Road Transport Department. Drivers with driving permits issued by Thailand or Singapore are permitted to drive in Malaysia without any restrictions. Malaysia has three types of licenses: Learner Driving License, Probationary Driving License, and Competent Driving License. When foreign drivers exchange their National driver licenses, they receive Malaysian Competent Driving Licenses after the required written test.

Malaysian car drivers are generally courteous. However, motorcyclists are not so well behaved; they can run through red signals, ride along the wrong side of the road, the wrong way of one-way streets or motorway shoulder, or along footpaths.

General driving information:

  • Traffic moves on the left side of the road; most cars are right-hand drive.
  • Turning left at a red light is prohibited if it is not other marks.
  • Seatbelts are obligatory for drivers and all passengers.
  • Children under 4 years old must sit in the back; all children should use a child seats.
  • The minimum driving age is 18 years. For rent a car, driver must be at least 23 years old (age can vary for different car category) and has had a driver license for one year. Some rental car companies enforce a maximum age limit of 65 years. 
  • While driving, using cell phone without hand-free support is illegal.
  • All times while driving, any foreign driver must care his domestic driver license, International driving permit, registration and insurance documents.
  • Most road signs are on Malay language; English is only used for important directional signs such as airports and tourist attractions. European numbers are used on the signs. European ISO system is used for advice, directional, obligatory, prohibitory, and regulatory signs; hazard signs are yellow diamonds with black symbols.
  • Road markings are clear everywhere; double yellow lines usual mean “no parking”
  • Speed is measured in kilometers per hours.
  • The speed limit on motorways is 110 km/h; on federal roads – 90 km/h; in urban areas – 60 km/h.
  • Prior to turning, drivers must use their turn indicators.
  • Drinking and driving is illegal; breathalyzer tests are common by the police. The permitted blood alcohol level is 0.08%.
  • In cities, it is not easy to find a place for parking.
  • The police and ambulance number is 999.
  Malaysian Road Traffic Signs

 Driving Overseas - Short Information