Renting a car is relatively easy, as there are numerous car rental companies in Korea. The largest car rental services are Lotte Rent-a-Car and AJ Rent-a-Car. Both companies have branches throughout Korea and the services are clustered around the major traffic points such as Incheon International Airport, Gimpo International Airport, Jeju International Airport, provincial airports, KTX train stations, major railway stations and express bus terminals. Branch information can be found on each car rental company's website.
Requirements for Renting a Car
1. Driver's license, passport and credit card
In order to rent a car in Korea, you must have a valid International Driving Permit (IDP) or a valid driver's license issued in Korea. An International Driving Permit (IDP) allows citizens of a foreign country with a valid driver's license to drive while in Korea. You must obtain your IDP in the same country that issued your driver's license. Some car rental companies require both the IDP and the local driver's license (i.e., driver's license issued by the country of residence), so it is advised to check the rental requirements of the relevant companies in advance. Those with a Type 2 (2종) driver's license issued in Korea can drive a car carrying up to up to ten passengers, while those with a Type 1 (1종) driver's license issued in Korea can drive larger vehicles accommodating eleven to fifteen passengers. For IDP holders, the type of vehicle you are permitted to drive will depend on the classification stamped on your IDP.
* An International Driving License will NOT be accepted. Driver must either have a valid International Driving Permit or a license issued in Korea.
* Major categories of driver's license: Type A allows you to drive two-wheeled vehicles / Type B allows you to drive vehicles with 9 seats or less, that weight 3.5 tons or less / Type C allows you to drive freight trucks that carry more than 3.5 tons / Type D allows you to drive vehicles that can have more than 10 passengers.
A passport is necessary for identification purposes; a copy of your passport may also be needed to complete your request. Vehicle rental fees must be paid with your own credit card.
- 1. The full name listed on your International Driving Permit (IDP) and your passport must be identical. If the names differ, your driving permit will not be accepted.
- 2. International Driving Permits (IDP) recognized in Korea are only those issued by a member state of the Geneva Convention or the Vienna Convention. Your IDP can be used for up to one year after entering Korea (the IDP itself is valid for one year from the date of issue).
- China is not a member state of the Geneva Convention and the Vienna Convention, but an IDP issued in Hong Kong or Macau is accepted in Korea. IDPs issued anywhere else in China do not have validity in Korea.
- Click here to check the member states of the Geneva Convention (English)
- Click here to check the member states of the Vienna Convention (English)
2. Driver Qualifications
The following are based on AJ Rental Car's rental requirements (most Korean car rental companies have more or less similar requirements).
- For small or medium cars: must be 21 years or older with driving experience of at least one year.
- For large or premium cars and mini buses: must be 26 years or older with driving experience of at least three years.
- Large and premium car rental availability and requirements vary by company. It is recommended to check in advance if you plan to rent such vehicles.
- For those not paying with a credit card, cash or debit card payments must be accompanied by a third-party guarantor in possession of a credit card.
3. Additional Driver
If a renter wishes to add an additional driver to their rental, the additional driver has to register with the rental company as well for insurance purposes. The number of additional drivers is limited to one only, and this person is required to visit one of the service branches available and proceed with the confirmation process, which is free of charge.
Baseline rates for car rentals nearly always include the basic general insurance. However, the risk of damage to or theft of the car is not included in the coverage. Instead, renters can arrange for this independently or purchase an optional insurance or protection plan from the rental company, including coverage for an additional driver. Any damages to the vehicle will be covered by the insurance policy, but the renter will still be contractually liable to compensate the rental company for the loss of use (unavailability of a rental car and consequent loss of revenue by the rental company due to damage or theft). A per-day loss-of-use charge will be 50% of the car's daily rental fee. For instance, if a damaged vehicle with a daily rental rate of 50,000 won took three days to repair (50,000 x 3 = 150,000), the renter has to pay a 75,000 won (50% of 150,000) loss-of-use fee.
5. Rental Procedure
- 1) Make an inquiry and consultation at the rental car company
- 2) Together with the rental company's staff, inspect the car's condition and the amount of fuel before signing the car rental agreement (please check carefully for any pre-damage to the car before rental)
- 3) Use the rental car
- 4) Together with the rental company's staff, inspect the car's condition and the amount of fuel at the end of your rental period
Information on Major Car Rental Companies
- Phone inquiries and reservations: +82-2-1544-1600 (Korean, English) / Press 7 for English service
- Online inquiries and reservations: www.ajrentacar.co.kr (Korean, English)
- Locations: Most major cities in Korea
- Phone inquiries and reservations: +82-1588-1230 (Korean, English) / Press 8 for English service
- Online inquiries and reservations: www.lotterentacar.net (Korean, English)
- Locations: Most major cities in Korea
- Phone inquiries and reservations: +82-64-746-1101 (Korean, English)
- Online inquiries and reservations: www.sixt.com (Korean, English)
- Locations: Jeju International Airport and Jeju downtown
Jeju-do Car Rental Business Association
- Phone inquiries and reservations: +82-64-746-2294 (Korean only)
- Location: Jeju-do
- Phone reservations are available in Korean only. International tourists can rent a car after going through certain rental procedures at the designated desk located at Jeju International Airport.
This page was last updated on April 24, 2019, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here.