Cambodia Driving Advice and Car Hire Info

Driving In Cambodia

Officially, a Cambodian driver’s licence is required for driving abroad in Cambodia, including for the use of motorcycles over 125CC. Holders of International Driving Permits can apply for one at a cost of US $32. Some local travel agencies can arrange a licence for an additional administrative fee. If you decide to apply for a Cambodian licence yourself you need to visit –

Driver’s License Service Center (Apparently only open to Cambodian nationals at present)
Aeon Mall 2, Sen Sok City, 2nd Floor, next to Post Office
Street 1003, Phum Bayab, Tuol Kork, Phnom Penh

The General Department of Public Works and Transport
Street 598, Phnom Penh
Tel : 023 427 845: 023 427 862

You’ll need your licence and IDP, Passport and Visa and two photos. You’re also likely to be required to take an eye test.

In my experience though, when renting a motorcycle the rental company often don’t even mention a licence, though it may leave you open to a fine if stopped by police if you don’t have one. If driving a car I’d make sure you ask whether a Cambodian licence is needed and ask them to arrange this prior to your arrival if so. Also check carefully with the rental company what insurance is included in the hire.As stated in my ‘Planning a trip’ section, try and find a company where someone speaks passable English and use them for local knowledge. You may be asked to leave your passport as security for a vehicle – try to avoid this. You should have your passport with you when travelling and in the event of any dispute your bargaining power is much reduced without your passport.

Main roads and highways are much improved in recent years but many rural roads are in a poor condition, especially after rain. Heavy storms in the rainy season from June to October can cause disruption and damage including flooding and landslides, which can close roads and cut off some areas. In Phnom Penh the drains sometimes struiggle to cope with heavy rain, leading to flooding and disruption resulting in major traffic jams. Travel after dark significantly increases the risk of accidents and should be avoided. Hazards include overloaded vehicles, erratic driving, vehicles without lights and stray livestock. Cambodia has one of the highest rates of road traffic accidents in the world, resulting in high numbers of fatalities and serious injuries.

You may be told that it isn’t allowed to rent a vehicle in certain areas at different times-rules seem to change frequently and it’s difficult to establish the true situation. You should go on what the rental company tell you-they will know if there is a genuine ban in place and they’ll be in more trouble than you if they ignore any ban. So you may need to be prepared to get an email just before you depart telling you rules have changed and your rental has been cancelled! Self drive is a great experience around the temples of Angkor Wat- worth wading through the bureaucracy to experience in my opinion.

Although I try and keep the information in the site updated as much as possible, in a rapidly moving world, situations can change daily. Therefore please use the site as an approximate guide, and in conjunction with other resources in order to form your view on driving conditions, roads, safety etc.

Cambodia Car Rental–

Avis, Europcar and Hertz all have branches in Phnom Penh and all seem to offer self drive.

We currently have no local car rental partners in Cambodia. If you are a local car rental company who would like to feature on please check details on our Partnering page or contact us on



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