Driving in Malaysia

Old Oct 9th 2012, 11:51 am
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Default Driving in Malaysia

Hi all
We are moving to KL in December. I would like to know how dangerous/safe it is to drive in malaysia. We are from UK and I am interested to know how easy it will be adjusting to driving in malaysia.
I have driven in other countries eg. greece, spain, italy where it is meant to be harder but found it was straightforward.
And I have seen the roads in other places like Mumbai in India and would never think of driving there.
Where does malaysia fit compared to other places.
Do people give way or do you have to barge in?
Does everyone follow the rules ? Do people stick to their lane ? Are there clear lane markings ?
Are signs easy to follow? in english ?
etc. etc. ?
Thanks in advance for any replies.
Cheers.
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Old Oct 9th 2012, 12:21 pm
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Default Re: Driving in Malaysia

You'll be OK in Malaysia.

But take some time to get to know the roads and driving culture, maybe a fortnight of taxis etc.

Much easier in Malaysia than Singapore where it's getting more and more like a cowboy town.
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Old Oct 9th 2012, 12:40 pm
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Default Re: Driving in Malaysia

That's good to know. I have not driven in Singapore but have been there and thought I would be fine driving there so hopefully Malaysia will be easier.
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Old Oct 9th 2012, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: Driving in Malaysia

I arrived in KL 7 days ago and have been driving ever since.
My observations...
Lane markings are clear on most roads but most cars drift all over, cut corners etc. And squeezing 3-4 cars into a 2 lane width at an intersection is common.
Scooters/motorbikes are the worst, they are forever ducking and weaving through the traffic. Be careful to watch for them when you turn or change lanes.
Drivers will mostly let you merge into the lane of traffic. Or cross the lane to get to an exit when you've just realized that's where you were sposed to be.
Some traffic signs are in English, some are not. Doesn't seem to hinder anyone.
The road network is confusing. IMO a GPS is a necessity. I would be totally stuck without it.

You'll be fine, just take it slowly.
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Old Oct 9th 2012, 3:50 pm
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Default Re: Driving in Malaysia

Thanks for that DeeDeee. I will have GPS. And i always drive slowly :-) so hopefully I will be ok.
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Old Oct 9th 2012, 7:57 pm
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Default Re: Driving in Malaysia

I'm also coming to live in Malaysia around Nov/Dec time.

Just a small point re. motoring..remember to bring your proof of no-claims discount for insurance purposes with you (if you have no claims of course)

Ken
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Old Oct 10th 2012, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: Driving in Malaysia

Driving is ok in Malaysia but as has already been stated a GPS is a must.

Also, an international driving licence is required.
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Old Oct 10th 2012, 3:32 pm
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Default Re: Driving in Malaysia

Personally have found driving in Singapore a doddle compared with Malaysia. Malaysia just needs some time to watch and adjust your mind. That's all.

In Penang, Indians on motorbikes are in a little world of their own. They take no notice of traffic lights. They come down dual carriageway on outside lane in wrong direction and look at you like you are in the wrong. Car drivers ...dont know where to start really.'But you get used to it
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Old Oct 10th 2012, 9:16 pm
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Default Re: Driving in Malaysia

Ah you'll be fine... just remember that all those lines, arrows, stripes and stuff on the road are only there 'cos they thought that 'black looks boring' and wanted to spice it up with some street art.

But seriously compared to a lot of places it is OK. If you're used to the UK just remember that people will not be polite on the road as you were used to and traffic can be a nightmare during rush our... a few other bits and pieces to but you'll adapt fast enough. Other than that make sure you get your UK license converted, you can probably wing it for some time though.

I personally don't drive that much as I find public transport more convenient (no jams and trying to find a high priced parking space if you want to go into KL for example) but you'll probably want to drive so you can visit places.

Enjoy Malaysia and let me know if you need a hand!

Oh and anyone know how much coffee money is for the traffic cops these days? Hasn't happened to me for a long time but one cop once thought he could shake down this mat salleh for 200RM! My torrent of Malay about how I knew the law disarmed him and he decided that I wasn't actually speeding after all (and I wasn't BTW). Seems to be less common now?
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Old Oct 11th 2012, 12:52 am
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Default Re: Driving in Malaysia

Originally Posted by Cpt_Jack View Post



Oh and anyone know how much coffee money is for the traffic cops these days? Hasn't happened to me for a long time but one cop once thought he could shake down this mat salleh for 200RM! My torrent of Malay about how I knew the law disarmed him and he decided that I wasn't actually speeding after all (and I wasn't BTW). Seems to be less common now?
Its been clamped down on by the TP to some extent and if you offer first then there is a possibility you will get done for it.
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Old Oct 11th 2012, 10:56 am
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Default Re: Driving in Malaysia

standard coffee money rate is approx RM 50 + mat salleh tax 200%

so you're looking at roughly RM 75-80 to 100 after negotiation

usually they only expect half of what they offer, if they say its going to cost you 400, they probably want 200

add a few 'lahs' and localised your language, might knock off a few ringgit

also, u should not take the initiative and offer, wait till they ask for your license, and accidentally 'drop' it back into your car, at which point, you're suppose to clip it to the bottom of ur license and hand it back

Last edited by lamlha; Oct 11th 2012 at 11:00 am.
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Old Oct 11th 2012, 11:01 am
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Default Re: Driving in Malaysia

Thanks for all the info.
Another question is how much is the insurance approx. We will have 2 cars. We dont have any no-claims unfortunately and will probably look to buy a Myvi (?) so nothing expensive.
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Old Oct 11th 2012, 11:04 am
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Default Re: Driving in Malaysia

So this coffee money.
Some more details would be helpful :-)
Is it very regular ?
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Old Oct 11th 2012, 11:08 am
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Default Re: Driving in Malaysia

no not really, blind side them with aggression but risk being done for something a bit bigger, or luck it out with a 100 ringgit tip, its not so regular anymore
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Old Oct 11th 2012, 5:10 pm
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Default Re: Driving in Malaysia

Thanks lamlha. Anyone got info. on insurance. I got a quore of approx. 2500RM on a website. Does this sound right ? Looks expensive.
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