Car Hire at Ho Chi Minh City
This information is correct as of June 2015.
Where to hire a car in Ho Chi Minh City
There are only a few car hire companies in the area, and most of them only offer a limited number of four-wheel vehicles, due to the fact that the most popular mode of transport here are motorcycles. Rental or hiring vehicles here mean either hiring taxi cabs or hiring motorcycles, and rental cars or hired vans are almost unheard of. That said, travellers may still access cars, although sometimes at hefty costs and in relatively poor conditions. At best, travellers may hire them from the airport, or through online means. Some of the only few car hire agencies in the area include Vietnam Car Rental, VN Rent A Car, Car Rental Ho Chi Minh City, Satsco, and CHAOcom.com.
What to expect when hiring a car from Ho Chi Minh City
Generally speaking, hiring cars within Ho Chi Minh, or Vietnam, for that matter where the traveller themselves plan to drive is almost unheard of. Hiring vehicles in most parts of the country, particularly in Ho Chi Minh, means that hiring a vehicle and a local driver, who would of course gladly drive you around and to your destinations. Usually, the costs rise up if you’re planning to go on an inter-city travel. In addition to the hired vehicle and the payment for the driver, the gas and the occasional toll fees are to be shouldered by the traveller, who of course, should pay in the local currency. This is actually a more preferable, safer, and enjoyable option, as driving in the cities of Vietnam is pretty much dangerous, especially for inexperienced travellers. This is due to the fact that Vietnam is a motorcycle-riding country, and its roads are almost always filled with motorcycle drivers who occupy at least two to three lanes out of four.
Apart from this, the general driving habit in the area is simply to drive – and we really mean simply driving and not minding the rules and the regulations of traffic. Unlike Singapore, Hong Kong, and Korea, South-east Asian nations are notorious for its road (un)safety, and that does not exempt Vietnam. Most, if not all, local drivers show no courtesy to other drivers on the road, and if in the very rare occasion that you were allowed to drive an (probably) old vehicle, you’d be honked at so that you’d speed up or at least give way. Local drivers also rarely look at their wing and rear mirrors - thus crashes are daily occurrences here, especially for motorcycle riders. Thank us for suggesting hiring drivers later.
Getting to your destination
Ho Chi Minh City is located at the southern part of the country, about four to five hours away from central Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. It is previously known as the beautiful but notorious Saigon, before having a facelift and being named as such. Within Ho Chi Minh and its surrounds, travellers may check out the following sights:
Historic Hoi An is Vietnam's most picturesque and atmospheric major port, boasting of grand architecture and beguiling riverside setting that befits tis heritage. Hoi An is also an almost always non-traffic centre, making going around delightful and light. Sights that can be visited in Hoi An include Tan Ky House, Japanese Covered Bridge, Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese Congregation, and the Tran Family Chapel. Since it is quite far from Ho Chi Minh, travellers are advised to simply look for flights instead of driving all the way to the north.
The capital of the country, Hanoi has risen from its grueling past and proved that it is indeed a strong and beautiful city – even surpassing the expectations of some skeptics who do not believe in it in the past. Today, it stands strong and sturdy, vibrant, and even very atmospheric - holding its own against Ho Chi Minh, which is considered as the economic machine of the country.
Ho Chi Minh – Ho Chi Minh City is a colourful southern urban district that has been in place since modern Vietnam was established. Known previously as Saigon, this city is a well-visited metro for its sights, sounds, and culture.