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Scooters: The car of Taiwan!

  • Do you need a license?


  • Different types of scooters


  • A few scooter driving rules

If you’ve been anywhere in Southeast Asia, you already know that scooters are the main form of transportation for locals. While it might seem weird to a foreigner, it makes perfect sense here: they help with traffic congestion and since many cities grew naturally and are unplanned, streets can be narrow and there are just some places that cars cannot go. 


To legally drive a scooter you will need to have an ARC and get a scooter license, so if you are just visiting or are here for 6 months or less, unfortunately the answer is *no. If you ARE here for more than 6 months, have an ARC, and are interested in getting a scooter/license, we have classes and can provide more information here. We really recommend this option, since scooters are a huge part of Taiwanese culture and you can explore so many more places and parts of our beautiful island!


*If you are a tourist or are here for 6 months or less, don’t worry – you still have options! As long as you have a passport, you can find a scooter rental shop (usually located around train/HSR/MRT stations) and ask to rent an electric scooter. These look like normal scooters, except they only run on a battery and max out at a speed of 25-50kmh.You WILL be passed on the roads by locals speeding by and annoyingly, you will need to change the battery every 30-40 minutes or so of riding. But Taiwan makes it fairly convenient and offers a few options: you can exchange batteries at the place you rent the scooter, charge your scooter at a public charging station or walk into most 7-11s and exchange your old battery for a new one. Exchanging the battery where you rent the scooter is usually free, as is charging them at a public station. 7-11 will charge you about $20-$25NTD for a fresh battery. The rental place usually has a map of charging stations and 7-11s that reliably have the batteries in stock.



While not needed in Taipei or a few other bigger cities with ample public transportation, electric scooters for tourists are more than fine for beach towns, vacation spots, and smaller cities. Taxi rides can stack up quickly since a lot of tourists spots are outside main city centers and not easily accessible by public transportation. There is also much more parking available for scooters rather than cars due to a lack of space in most places. Lastly, you won’t need much Chinese using a scooter vs. a taxi or other forms of transportation. If you are here for more than 6 months, we recommend getting the license even if you live in Taipei, since you’ll be able to rent normal scooters when you travel around the island and can access SO MANY MORE beautiful and cool places!


ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET. Drive defensively, since Taiwanese drivers tend to drift between lanes and don’t always signal or pull out into traffic quickly. If you can fit it on the scooter, you can drive it (you’ll see children, animals, boxes, ladders and all manner of crazy objects tied down or held by someone on a scooter). There is no ‘right on red’ in Taiwan, you have to wait at the light like everyone else. Other traffic rules are common sense and generally the same, EXCEPT THERE ARE ALSO LIMITED LEFT TURNS on scooters – instead of taking a left turn at an intersection, drive straight and there will be a big box to your right in the intersection that you need to park in and wait for the light to turn. Then you will drive straight once the light turns and you can carry on (this cuts down on scooter accidents). It’s a little weird, but once you see it, it is easy and convenient to follow the rules!