About Vietnam (VN)
Vietnam (VN) is a long, narrow country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Laos and Cambodia to the west, and China to the north. Previously considered a low quality destination for tourism, Vietnam has risen to the top of the Asian food chain, with Hanoi and Halong Bay among the most popular attractions in the region.
The country can be sectioned into four main regions, each with its own character, terrain, and climate. Northern Vietnam is home to Hanoi and picturesque national parks, and experiences all four seasons. The more temperate Central Coast is known for the Cham Islands and the ancient city of Hue. The Central Highlands are marked by dense forests inhabited by indigenous tribes and exotic wildlife, with considerably cooler and wetter weather. And finally, hot and steamy Southern Vietnam is the economic capital of the country, with Ho Chi Min City and the Mekong Delta region among its top draws.
Between its natural wonders and man-made attractions, Vietnam is poised to stay at the top of every Asian traveler’s wish list, and bound to compel additional visits for those who’ve already been there.
The most convenient and safe way for visitors to explore is to rent a car in Vietnam from one of the major international car hire companies. With the exception of outlying islands, all the top destinations are accessible via national highways, roads, and rural routes.
Most roads are in passable condition, but Vietnamese drivers are among the most selfish and inconsiderate motorists on the planet. Just do a Google search on the subject and you’ll see plenty of testimony. Therefore, only expert drivers should attempt to hit the roads in Vietnam behind the wheel of a car hire, despite the earlier assertion that a car hire in Vietnam is a good way to see everything.
Additionally, motorcycles and scooters outnumber other vehicles by a large margin, so you should have experience driving among the two-wheeled locals of the road. Otherwise, renting a car is the only way to avoid one of myriad scams that define the public transportation and taxi systems in Vietnam. Here on this site you may find options that include a driver with your rental car.
Choosing your car
Cheap car rentals in Vietnam are provided by Budget, Avis, Alamo, Dollar, Enterprise, and National. Select from minicars, compact sedans, economy hatchbacks, fullsize 4-door sedans, SUVs, estate wagons, and 7-12 seater minivans which are ideal for groups and large families.
Tips and advice
Do not attempt to cross international borders in your Vietnam car rental without first consulting your car hire provider.
Do a thorough inspection of your Vietnam car rental for pre-existing damage, and to make sure everything is in working order.
Unfortunately, some Vietnamese have earned a reputation for ripping off tourists. Be advised that scams and cheats are found in nearly all walks of Vietnamese life, just as they are everywhere — it’s just a little more intense here.
Traveling in remote areas after dark is strongly discouraged.
If your Vietnam car rental includes the Collision/Loss Damage Waiver, make sure to pay for the Excess Reduction, and don’t even think about driving in Vietnam without third-party liability insurance.
The north-south backbone of Vietnamese transportation is Highway 1, which is accessible to just about anything that moves. Keep in mind that travel times may greatly exceed expectations. Just be patient and use common sense.