Rent a Car for Travel in Hanoi

Hanoi, Vietnam’s bustling capital, is a city rich in history and culture. Having your own car to explore Hanoi and its surrounding areas allows greater flexibility and convenience. Here are some tips for renting a car for travel in Hanoi:

Finding a Reputable Rental Company

There are many rental car providers available in Hanoi, including:

  • International agencies like Avis, Hertz, Europcar
  • Local Vietnamese companies like Travelo Vietnam, Viet Uc Car Rental
  • Ride-hailing apps like Grab offering car rentals

When selecting a company, consider:

  • Convenient pickup/drop-off locations
  • Clear pricing and insurance options
  • Reputation and reviews from past customers
  • Reservations process and availability of English support

Booking 1-2 months in advance can help secure better rates.

Required Documentation

To rent a car in Vietnam, you’ll typically need:

  • Valid driver’s license from your home country
  • Passport
  • Credit card for payment
  • Possibly an International Driving Permit

Check with the individual rental company on their specific requirements.

Driving Safety Tips

Driving in Hanoi can be challenging for those unfamiliar with local conditions. Important driving safety tips include:

  • Obey speed limits, traffic lights, and all road signs
  • Watch out for motorbikes that may drive in between lanes
  • Use caution when passing slower vehicles like bicycles or cyclos
  • Do not drink and drive – Vietnam has strict legal limits
  • Avoid driving at night when possible
  • Always wear a seatbelt; require passengers to do the same

Defensive driving and extra care will help ensure a safe trip.

Top Destinations to Visit By Car

Having your own rental car makes visiting these popular sites around Hanoi more convenient:

Ha Long Bay

Drive the 3-4 hour scenic route to Ha Long Bay to explore its breathtaking islands and limestone formations.

Perfume Pagoda

Located about 60km from Hanoi, the Perfume Pagoda is a famous Buddhist pilgrimage site.

Ba Vi National Park

Get back to nature with a drive to this wildlife park west of Hanoi with hiking trails and temples.

Cuc Phuong National Park

Spot native wildlife like monkeys and birds by driving 2-3 hours to Vietnam’s oldest national park.

Tam Coc

Tam Coc’s dramatic karst landscapes and rice paddies make an ideal day trip by rental car.

Having your own transportation allows you easy access to top attractions around Hanoi.

Parking Tips

Finding parking in Hanoi’s congested streets can be difficult. Here are some tips:

  • If staying at a hotel, ask if they offer parking for guests
  • Some restaurants, shops, and attractions have dedicated parking lots
  • Hire a local driver who knows the good spots if you prefer not to search yourself
  • Be ready to parallel park on tight streets
  • Motorbike parking is plentiful – you can park a car in a motorbike area in a pinch
  • Parking meters exist in some areas – have coins ready

With some cleverness, you can find suitable parking to enjoy your rental car in Hanoi.

FAQ About Renting a Car in Hanoi

What side of the road do Vietnamese people drive on?

Traffic in Vietnam drives on the right-hand side.

Is it better to get a car with automatic or manual transmission?

Either is fine, but automatics may cost more. Reserve early if you need automatic.

Are International Driving Permits required?

Some agencies require an IDP, while others allow a license from your home country. Check before booking.

Are taxes and insurance fees included in rental car rates?

Typically no – expect to pay extra taxes, licensing fees, and insurance on top of the base rental charge.


Renting a car can make navigating Hanoi and visiting key surrounding sites much more flexible and enjoyable. Research reputable companies, understand required documents, and take safety precautions when driving. With an adventurous spirit and some preparation, driving yourself allows you to fully experience the very best of Hanoi and northern Vietnam.


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