Local transportation 6: Driving

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Driving in Taipei

Visitors may legally drive in Taiwan with their foreign driving license and an International Driver's Permit (IDP) provided that the visitor's home country offers reciprocal treatment to Taiwan's drivers. See the Taipei Motor Vehicles Office website for a list of countries, subnational states, and territories that have reciprocal driver's license recognition with Taiwan.

Driving in Taipei is no worse than driving in New York City. A careful driver should be mindful of following:

  • Beware of scooters (called motorcycles in Chinese despite the fact they are not) that constantly change lanes and zig zag around cars. There is a special designated place in front of traffic light intersections where scooters may stop during a red light.
  • Beware of taxis as taxi drivers practice offensive driving.
  • Always signal when changing lanes or making turns so that the scooters behind you have time to react.
  • There is absolutely no turn on red unless a green light (or arrow) is on.
  • Speed limit is always enforced by hidden, privacy invading cameras.
  • While only the front passengers must fasten their seat belts on normal roads, all car and van passengers must fasten their seat belts on freeways and expressways.
  • Try to drive defensively even though neighboring vehicles will give you pressure not to.
  • Because the right of way is seldom respected, do signal pedestrians to cross even though they may be hesitant to do so when you stop in front of them.
  • When driving on national freeways, bring a map to make sure where the freeway toll station checkpoints are. There is one toll station checkpoint between the Taoyuan Airport and Taipei City. See the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau website for details.

Car Rental

Although car rental services are available at the Taoyuan Airport and around the city, we highly recommend you to take advantage of public transportation because of the high parking fees and the lack of space around major streets.

Here is a partial list of rental car services in Taiwan:

All Taiwan High Speed Railway stations have a car rental services counter.