Driving a car rental in Penang island is one of the best driving experiences you can find in Southeast Asia as you will be driving in one of the region’s best cities. The size of the island makes it possible for any traveller to explore the width and breadth of the city and take in all its sights and sounds to the fullest.
Despite the state government’s hard work at improving the public transport infrastructure in the city, driving around the island remains the favourite mode of transportation due to a decent road system, ease of navigation, manageable traffic load and overall comfort of sitting in an air-conditioned car amidst the tropical heat.
Car Rental in Penang International Airport
You will most probably be flying in from Penang International Airport (Airport Code IATA: PEN, ICAO: WMKP), located in Bayan Lepas, which is 20 minutes away from George Town. The state of Penang also comprises of the Mainland (Seberang Perai) that adjoins with the rest of Peninsular Malaysia. The Mainland is accessible by the Penang Bridge and Penang Second Bridge, both the longest bridges in Southeast Asia. Once you are done touring the island, you can carry on your onward journey to the Mainland and to visit the rest of Peninsular Malaysia.
Car Rental in Penang City (George Town)
George Town, the capital city of Penang has been voted as the top liveable city in Malaysia for two consecutive years. It is also Asia’s 8th most liveable city, making it a must-visit destination for travellers wanting to experience the best of what Southeast Asian urban living can offer.
Foodies will be delighted to know that Penang is a gastronomic heaven and you can find virtually any fare in George Town. Experience the unique charm of old Malaysia as you dine in any of the many hawker centres located throughout the city. For art lovers, embark on a street art hunt and admire the beautiful murals emblazoned on the faces of British colonial buildings. For a special coastal experience, check out the traditional Chinese clan jetty villages by the harbourside.
The George Town Heritage Site is the best place for a medley of local and night culture. Unique experiences are mushrooming around the area, beckoning travellers to come have a look. Cafes, art museums and an emerging indie scene are blossoming within the colonial buildings itself. This is an exclusive culture that can be only be found in Penang and the other Malaysian city, Malacca, a former Portuguese settlement.
Driving a Car Rental in Penang – Tips and Tricks
The roads in George Town are predominantly one-way as a means by the state government to control the traffic. Hawk recommends renting a GPS device to help navigate the city to maximize your journey and reduce unnecessary downtime by figuring out the navigation of the city. Nonetheless, any attentive traveller can navigate the city without much issue as all signs clearly indicate key destinations and major tourist hotspots.
Due to the minuscule size of the island city, plus the long-standing convention of bicycles, trishaws and motorcycles as the de facto mode of transportation long before the island underwent rapid development, it is an unspoken rule that the left side of the road is reserved for cyclists and motorcycles – and even for cars who are making a pit stop to pick up their favourite hawker food. Make sure you look out for the folks of Penang when you drive in this charming city!
Picking Up Your Car Rental in Penang International Airport
Once you exit from the Arrival Hall, turn right and walk to the end and you will see the Hawk Rent A Car counter.
Picking Up Your Car Rental in Penang City (George Town)
You can also pick up your Hawk car rental from Menara Zurich, located at 170, Jalan Argyll, 10050, Penang, Pulau Pinang, 10050, Malaysia.
Dropping Off Your Car Rental
Penang International Airport – When you drive towards the Terminal, follow the signs and you should see a designated spot to drop off your car right in front of the airport entrance. The car keys can be dropped off at the respective car rental counter.