Kota Kinabalu Car Rental: Everything You Need to Know Driving in KK

Looking to rent a car in Kota Kinabalu?

Renting a car in Kota Kinabalu is a great option if you want to have the freedom to explore the region at your own pace. With a rental car, you can visit places that may be more difficult to reach by public transportation, and you can also make your own itinerary and go off the beaten path.

Some of the top attractions in the area, such as Mount Kinabalu, Poring Hot Springs, and the Kinabalu Park, are easier to access by car, and having your own transportation can save you time and hassle.

Our team of writers, who are located in Kota Kinabalu, can provide expert guidance on renting a car in the area. Additionally, we'll share some helpful driving tips for navigating the local roads and attractions.

#1 Choice

Our Pick

Mirai Travel – Tel: 01133073800

Most Popular Car Rental Deals

TypeCar ModelDailySizeAction
CompactProton Persona or similarRM1415 seats, 1 luggageBook now
CompactHonda BR-V or similarRM2715 seats, 1 luggageBook now
StandardNissan X-Trail or similarRM2715 seats, 1 luggageBook now

Cheapest Car Rental Rates

TypeCar ModelDailySizeAction
Economy ElitePerodua Bezza or similarRM1225 seats, 1 luggageBook now
IntermediateHonda City or similarRM1575 seats, 1 luggageBook now
CompactNissan Almera or similarRM1805 seats, 1 luggageBook now
Standard EliteHonda CR-V or similarRM2717 seats, 2 luggageBook now
price might fluctuate over peak season

kota kinabalu car rental

renting a car in Kota Kinabalu FAQ

Should I rent a car in Kota Kinabalu?

Renting a car in Kota Kinabalu can be a good choice if you want to explore the region at your own pace. The decision depends on your personal preferences and travel style.

How much does it cost to rent a car in Kota Kinabalu?

The rental fee for a car in Kota Kinabalu varies depending on the type of car, rental duration, and rental company. On average, you can expect to pay around RM100-RM150 MYR per day for a basic economy car, but prices may be higher during peak travel seasons.

What's a popular destination for renting a car in Kota Kinabalu?

Mount Kinabalu is a popular destination for renting a car in Kota Kinabalu, as it is located about 90 kilometers away from the city and can be challenging to access by public transportation.

With a rental car, you can drive to the park and explore the area at your own pace, taking in the stunning scenery and hiking trails.

What's the most popular car to rent for Kota Kinabalu?

The most popular car to rent in Kota Kinabalu is typically a compact or economy car, as they are affordable and practical for navigating the city and nearby areas. However, if you plan to drive on rough roads or go off the beaten path, you may want to consider a 4×4 SUV or a pickup truck.

Can I rent a car from Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI)?

Yes, you can rent a car from Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) from a number of reputable rental companies located inside the airport terminal. However, it is recommended that you book your rental car in advance (with Discover Cars) to ensure availability and the best rates.

What happens if I need to cancel my Kota Kinabalu car reservation?

The cancellation policy for a KK car rental reservation depends on the rental company and the terms and conditions of your specific booking. In general, there may be a fee for cancelling your reservation, and the amount may vary depending on how far in advance you cancel.

How much is the price of fuel in Kota Kinabalu

The price of fuel in Kota Kinabalu can vary depending on the type of fuel and location, but as of February 2023, the average cost of a liter of petrol is around RM2.10 and diesel is around RM1.90.

#1 Choice

Our Pick

Mirai Travel – Tel: 01133073800

Driving in Kota Kinabalu: what you need to know

Is it safe to drive in Kota Kinabalu?

Kota Kinabalu is generally safe to drive in, although drivers should be aware of the local traffic laws and road conditions. Some areas may have heavy traffic during peak hours, and it is important to exercise caution when driving on rural or winding roads.

Car park coupon System

Kota Kinabalu has a car park coupon system in place that requires drivers to display a coupon showing the time of arrival and the duration of their stay in the car park. Coupons can be purchased at designated locations and must be prominently displayed on the vehicle dashboard to avoid fines.

When there are numbers in the car park slot, you are typically required to use a coupon based on the color-coded tier of the car park rate: blue, yellow, or red. The parking rate is RM0.50 per hour for blue, RM1.00 per hour for yellow, and RM2.00 per hour for red.

Mandatory use of child seats

In Malaysia, it is required by law for babies and infants to be secured in a car seat while travelling in a vehicle. It is the responsibility of the driver to provide an appropriate car seat, and failure to comply with this law may result in a fine.

Do I need Kota Kinabalu car insurance?

Many rental companies require it as part of their terms and conditions. It's important to review the rental agreement carefully to understand the coverage provided and any additional insurance options available.

Beware of pot holes

Potholes can be common on some roads in Kota Kinabalu, particularly after heavy rainfall or in areas with heavy traffic. Drivers should be cautious and drive slowly to avoid damaging their rental car or causing an accident. It's also a good idea to check your rental car for any damage before you leave the rental lot so that you can avoid being blamed for any pre-existing issues.

Road Flyovers are under constructions

There are ongoing road and flyover constructions, as these can cause delays and changes to usual traffic patterns. It's important to follow all posted signage and be extra cautious in construction zones.

Kota Kinabalu speed limit signs are in kilometres per hour

Speed limit signs in Kota Kinabalu are posted in kilometres per hour (km/h), which is the standard unit of measurement for speed limits in Malaysia.

What's are the common car rental scam?

Thankfully, incidents of car rental scams in Kota Kinabalu are rare. Additionally, when booking through Discovery Cars, you can rest assured that you're working with a reputable company.

It's illegal to use your mobile phone while driving

Yes, it is illegal to use your mobile phone while driving in Kota Kinabalu and throughout Malaysia. This includes using your phone to make calls, send texts, or access social media, and can result in fines and demerit points on your driving license.

Do I need to pay for Road tolls?

There are no road tolls in Kota Kinabalu.

Final thoughts about renting car in Kota Kinabalu

Road trip is one of the best ways to see the beautiful city, especially places like Kundasang and Kinabalu Park.

Even if you're not doing a full road trip, the easiest way to explore KK's hidden gems is by car.

Driving in Kota Kinabalu is generally considered safe, and renting a car in KK is usually a simply, hassle-free process.

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