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Renting a car is relatively easy, as there are numerous car rental companies in Korea, including Lotte Rent-a-Car and SK Rent-a-Car. There are many rental company 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.
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 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. In Korea, vehicles carrying up to ten passengers require a Type 2 driver’s license, while larger vehicles accommodating eleven to fifteen passengers require Type 1. 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 IDP: Type A - two-wheeled vehicles / Type B - vehicles with 8 seats or fewer that weigh 3.5 tons or less / Type C - freight trucks that weigh more than 3.5 tons / Type D - vehicles with 9 seats or more
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.
The following are based on SK Rent-a-Car and Lotte Rent-a-Car's rental requirements. However, most Korean car rental companies have more or less similar requirements. The necessary qualifications for large and premium vehicles will vary by company so we recommend contacting the rental companies directly for details.
One additional driver is allowed to be added to the rental. Both drivers must visit the rental company in person in order to register for insurance purposes. There is no fee for adding an additional driver to the contract.
Baseline rates for car rentals 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). The per-day loss-of-use charge is calculated as 50% of the car's daily rental fee. For instance, if a damaged vehicle with a daily rental rate of 50,000 won takes three days to repair (50,000 x 3 = 150,000), the renter must pay a 75,000 won (50% of 150,000) loss-of-use fee.
This page was last updated on September 23, 2021, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here.