By | 16th January 2018

Is it worth hiring a car in Taipei?

Do you need a car in Taipei > Should you rent a car in Taipei Taiwan > Taipei ( TPE )
Do you need a car in 0? Is it worth hiring a car in 0? Should you rent a car in 0? Should you rent a car in 0?

Taipei Car hire summary

Overall drive rating

Based on a weighted score across all factors, including driving roads, hire and fuel costs, road safety etc. [Full notes - drive rating]


Cheapest rate for one week

Based on cheapest economy car hire deal with no added extras. [full notes - basic costs]



  • Price alone isn't the only factor in determining whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Taipei but clearly it's an important one. See our "why" section for more figures.
How much should I expect to pay in the peak season? Based on cheapest deal during the summer holiday season. (Unless otherwise noted) [full notes - seasonal variations]




  • During the peak holiday season, public transport is often better value, as many train and bus fares are fixed throughout the year. See our "whynot" section for more suggestions.
Free parking score Based on the number of hotels which offer free parking.Total 835 - of which 238 have free parking. [full notes - parking]




  • During the peak holiday season, public transport is often better value, as many train and bus fares are fixed throughout the year. See our "whynot" section for more suggestions.

Taipei public transport quick facts

"Top trumps" train score

Higher scores go to the systems which take you to the most amazing places.



  • [full notes - top trumps trains]
  • A good rail system doesn't mean you shouldn't hire a car, but it often means you have a decent range of options.

Overall public transport score

This is a more practical rating based on bus and rail travel.



  • [full notes - overall transit] buses | trams | metro | local & regional rail | national rail
  • Is public transport in Taipei good value, or is it worth hiring a car just because it is cheaper overall?

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around Taipei



Take to the waters!

This is a general rating for all types of water travel, including scheduled ferries, sea / rivers cruises and excursions in Taipei


Need, worth & should!

Whether you have come here asking "do I need a car in Taipei", "is it worth hiring a car in Taipei", or whether or not you "should" hire a car here, these are all slight variations on a similar theme:

Do you need a car in Taipei?

This is essentially based on whether or not public transport and other "non car" options are good enough to get around and beyond the city.

Is it worth hiring a car in Taipei?

Is car hire good value, especially during the peak season? How does this compare with transit fares?

Should you rent a car in Taipei?

Weighing up the above questions, if you are here for the first time AND asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?

Generally, there is little point in looking at getting a hire car in the Taiwanese capital Taipei. The main reason for this is largely obvious enough – Taipei is one of the main Asian powerhouses, a huge city of more than 10 million people, where traffic moves slowly and where public transport is widely available, including one of the world’s most extensive metro systems.

Do you need a car in Taipei? Introduction

When someone asks "Do you need a car in Taipei?", this often breaks down to two key questions:

  1. Can you actually get around using public transport, or is a car all but essential?
  2. Is it worth hiring a car in Taipei? Is it good value for money, compared with non-car options?

Over the next few sections, we wil look at the pros and cons of driving in Taipei as a tourist, and ultimately weigh these up, so we can answer the key question of Should you rent a car in Taipei?

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Why should you rent a car in Taipei?

What are the main reasons for hiring a car here? Do you just want to drive locally? Do you want to go further afield, or should you even look at taking a road trip?

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 Taipei?

  • We don’t think it is worth renting a car in Taipei, even for going into rural areas. Many of the most popular rural areas are well served by local buses.
  • A rental car might make some sense if you are in a large group and want the convenience of sticking together.
  • Taipei would be a natural point from which to start a round Taiwain road trip. Allow considerably longer to drive down the eastern side, which is much less developed, compared to driving down the western side. A Taipei to Kaohsiung drive might take around 4 to 10 hours down the western and eastern sides respectively, without any stops.

Why not? Visiting Taipei without a car

What is public transport like in Taipei? What about local conditions for walking or cycling? Can you rely on public transport and maybe a few taxis for most or all of your trip? Are there some times of year when it's easier to get by without a car than others? When should you rent a car in Taipei?

Yet of course there is still a huge amount more to Taiwan outside the capital, but many areas can be explored by using the country’s excellent national rail network, and then taking local buses to places where the trains don’t reach. Given that Taiwan is highly mechanised, you will almost certainly find that any location with a large number of tourists will also have a good standard of public transport going to it, and this also includes any number of national parks and other scenic areas around Taipei itself.

  • There is only one major national level motorway, Route 1, running between Taipei and Kaohsiung. The alternative Route 3 is a motorway standard road, but not as direct.
  • There is still one means of getting around which has been particularly well developed in Taiwan, and that is by bicycle. Chances are, if you have bought yourself a high performance road, hybrid or mountain bike, then the frame at least will have been made in Taiwan, and in recent years, the Taiwanese government has started to see the benefits of building local cycling trails, and then promoting them for inbound tourism.


If you would prefer to explore the island at your own pace, after all Taiwan was formerly called Formosa, which in Portuguese means beautiful island, and you don’t particularly feel like undertaking a cycling tour (the rugged Taiwanese interior is far from easy-going), then you might still find a hire car would be useful, although we would generally would suggest looking at Taipei car hire deals for part of your trip, rather than all of it. Typical itineraries might involve heading east out of Taipei, and then along the coastline down towards the famous Sansiantai Bridge. You could also head inland to Yushan National Park. The train will take you as far as Taitung, whereas buses ply slowly along the coast, but it’s still going to be easier in a car. Rural Taiwan is very different to the better known urban areas.

Taipei car hire summary – a hire car isn’t really needed here, public transport is excellent, and we suggest looking at some of the cycling trails first.

Is it worth hiring a car in Taipei? If you are going to hire a car, you’ll probably only need one for a short period. Even this is unlikely. Verdict – no.


Our slider ratings range from 0 (it isn't even possible to hire a car, e.g. Hong Kong) through to 10 (you really must rent a car here, e.g. Phoenix, Tampa). However, most places are somewhere inbetween these extremes, and this is where it gets more interesting! Further ratings breakdowns, including a much more detailed public transport rating, are currently being added. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

Would you hire a car in Taipei?

Have you driven in Taipei? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Taipei?

Do you need a car in Taipei? For some or all of the time? 

Tell us what you think using the comments section below:

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