Taiwan is a place that should be explored not just with public transportation (as convenient as it is). If you only take public transportation everywhere you go, you are missing out on a huge part of Taiwan. You could take taxis everywhere to see these sights, like a rich Chinese person, or you can take the cheaper option and rent a vehicle. Many of the scenic and rural sights of Taiwan can’t be experienced except by hiring your own vehicle.
Renting cars or scooters in Taiwan:
Taiwan is the scooter capitol of the world. Driving a scooter is dangerous, but scooters are fun. You can stop pretty much anywhere on the side of the road easily and take photos and enjoy the scenery. They are also pretty easy to learn how to operate; if you can already drive a car and/or ride a bike, picking up riding a moped shouldn’t be that hard. There’s not much better of way to experience Taiwan than cruising down the streets like everyone else with the wind blowing in your face. However, if you are afraid that scooters are dangerous, I would suggest renting a car.
Gas Scooter Rental Fast Facts:
Scooter rental shops are next to most all train stations in Taiwan. Some scooter repair shops also rent scooters. Most of these are mom and pop rental stores, but more expensive ones are in Chains like Heyun or Yamaha.
Cheapest is 100 NT a day, average is about 500 NT per day, expensive is 800 NT per day.
What should I bring?
Maybe rain gear. Usually they will provide rain gear for you. They will definitely give you helmets. Some will siphon the gas out before you ride so you need to go get gas right away.
Do I need a Scooter License?
Maybe, it depends on where you go. If you go to the countryside or some outer islands, they may not care. If you go to a more rural part of Taiwan, most likely they will accept an International Driver’s Permit (IDP). If you go to a place such as Taichung, no one will let you rent a scooter unless they see your Taiwanese license. For more information, please see our blog post about getting a Taiwanese driver’s license here.
How do I get a local Taiwanese licence?
Check out our guide on getting a driver's licence in Taiwan here.
Cities that require a local Taiwanese Scooter License (that we know): Taichung, Taipei, Magong, Chishang.
Cities that only have a few shops that will let you rent with an IDP: Tainan (北門租車）, Hualien (Pony leasing and Rental Group 小馬租車集團), and Yilan. Otherwise you will need a local license for these cities.
Cities that accept an international driver’s permit: Tainan (北門租車）, Chiayi, Kaohsiung, Nantou county (Sun moon lake and Jiji) , Taitung, Hualien (Pony leasing and Rental Group 小馬租車集團), Ruisui, Kenting, Jiaoxi, Nanzhuang, Jiji, and offshore islands
Cities that do not require a license: Offshore islands (Xiaoliuqiu, Green Island, and Lanyu) and Chiayi (some).
(please feel free to comment if you have an update to any of the lists above)
Electric Scooter Vehicle Sharing:
Recently there have been quite a few electric scooter sharing companies popping up in major cities in Taiwan. The nice thing about these is that you just need to register using the app and can rent the scooter with your phone, which can be done 24/7. Once you are done you can park it in a legal scooter parking spot, however these can only be used in major cities and you need a local Taiwan scooter license to rent. Here is a list of the major scooter sharing companies:
Anything else I should consider when renting a scooter in Taiwan?
Renting a car?
Please see our guide on car rental in Taiwan here.
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Also, feel free to contact us with any specific questions about car or scooter rental in Taiwan.
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.