By | 16th January 2018

Should you rent a car in Miri?

Do you need a car in Miri > Should you rent a car in Miri Malaysia > Miri ( MYY )

Situated in Malaysian Borneo just south of the border with Brunei, Miri is an important gateway to the Malaysian jungle, and especially to the hugely impressive Mulu Caves.

Do you need a car in Miri? Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Why should you rent a car in Miri?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Miri?

Miri Car hire summary

Overall drive rating



Cheapest rate for one week




How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?





Free parking score

Total 42 - of which 24 have free parking. [full notes - parking]



  • We don’t really think it’s worth hiring a car in Miri.
  • You could hire a car to drive south along the coast, or on inland roads which run parallel to the coast.

Why not? Visiting Miri without a car

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Miri public transport quick facts

Train score



Water travel score


Overall public transport score


Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

(walking + cycling)


The town of Miri itself is compact enough. Although its bustling by Borneo standards, this is no Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur. It’s perfectly easy to get between the major hotels on foot, or by taxi if necessary. There are also enough buses scooting around to travel along the coast, and also into neighbouring Brunei. Having said that, despite extensive deforestation, there are still very few roads heading inland anyway, so the main way in and out of Miri by land is the travel along the coast.

  • To reach Mulu National Park for the Mulu bat caves, travel by boat via Marudi, or take ashort hop flight.
  • Other than the road towards the village Long Lama on the Baram River, there are very few other roads which can be driven on.
  • Generally, car hire in Miri is expensive relative to other locations in South East Asia (see pricing tables).
  • Plenty of options just to come to Miri and relax on the beach – but this would be a huge waste if you are coming here from further afield!
  • The airport in Miri is very close to the town centre – you could almost walk it, but you probably won’t want to with a bag, given the usual humid heat in Borneo.
  • There are no driving roads between Sabah and Sarawak, other than routes which go through Brunei. You can make this journey by bus, or a combination of bus and ferry, but you will be unlikely to be able to get a hire car in Miri and get insurance to drive it into Brunei. See our cross border driving pages for more information.It is generally better to fly to Kota Kinabalu instead.
  • There are very few options for one way rental from Miri, since you would only be able to return your car to a location within the state of Sarawak. One such location might be Kuching.

So should you rent a car in Miri? The real reason for coming into Miri in the first place must surely be to head into the jungle, and in particular to trek into the Mulu caves. The best way to reach this area is to travel by river, and a variety of fast boat and slower local services is available. So there really is not much point in getting a hire car here, so our Miri car hire advice is not to bother.


Car rental in - Miri Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Miri?

Based on comparison with transit, walking and cycling.

Is it worth hiring a car in Miri?

Based on value for money

Should you rent a car in Miri?

Weighing up the above, if you are asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Miri if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

For families?


Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Miri if we are staying in a central area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the city/resort?

Or in a rural area?


What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Miri if I prefer not to drive?

If I am easy either way?

If I prefer to drive?



Final score:


Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Would you hire a car in Miri?

Have you driven in Miri? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Miri?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:

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