The Kota Kinabalu International Airport (abbreviated as KKIA, Airport Code IATA: BKI, ICAO: WBKK) is the main gateway to the city of Kota Kinabalu, the state capital of Sabah, Malaysia. It is a major touchpoint for visitors wanting to visit East Malaysia, making it the second busiest airport in the country. Located just a mere 8 kilometres away from the city centre, getting a Hawk car rental in Kota Kinabalu International Airport is a great way to start your journey into the very heart of Borneo. The city is a perfect landing pad for international travellers seeking modern comforts while having the wilderness just within arm’s reach.

car rental in kota kinabalu

Credit: CK Wong.

Driving a Car Rental in Kota Kinabalu

Unlike Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu does not have a robust public transportation infrastructure in place. Driving is the most common and reliable means of getting around. Here’s a fun fact: did you know citizens of Brunei love driving to Kota Kinabalu for a quick weekend getaway? It is only a 2 hours drive on a direct highway, and many opt to drive in rather than fly in, knowing the fact that they will eventually need to get a car to get around.

kk city


The good news is that Kota Kinabalu is an easy city to drive around. The city is structured in a grid format and the extended road networks heading out of town are relatively straightforward. Getting a Hawk car rental in Kota Kinabalu gives you the ease of stopping wherever you want to take in the sights. In fact, a lot of places are accessible only if you have a car arranged, such as the Crocker Range National Park and the Kinabalu National Park. Lesser known towns such as Kundasang and attractions like White Rocks Bay and various other homegrown parks dotting the state are also worthy destinations of visit – provided if you get your hands on a car.


Desa Dairy Farm, Kundasang. Credit:

As you drive further away from the city, be prepared to drive on mountainous roads with gravel surfaces. Most rural places like villages, agricultural areas and tourism spots are connected by gravel roads. Although basic, they are by all means perfectly functional and reasonably safe to drive. Taking the wheel on your own will reward you greatly with breathtaking views of the unspoilt nature of the countryside.

If you want to do a bit of everything in Kota Kinabalu, from accessing hiking sites, wildlife watching and even town-hopping to take in the local culture, start your adventure by renting with Hawk now!