Driving in Vietnam

Vietnamese driving licences are mandatory for all drivers of motor vehicles as well as for riders of motorcycles with a capacity of over 50cc. Non-Vietnamese citizens are only permitted to drive in Vietnam if they hold a temporary Vietnamese driver's licence.


  • Road accidents are a major cause of injury. Be alert at all times on the roads. 

  • Petty theft, including bag slashing, is common in tourist areas and crowded places, especially at holiday times. Snatch-and-grab theft by thieves on motorcycles is also common. Hold bags and backpacks in front of you to make them harder to steal. Be aware of motorbikes approaching as you walk.

  • Aggravated theft, sexual assault and assault happen. Travellers have been assaulted after having their food or drinks spiked. Pay attention when your drinks are being mixed. Get urgent medical help if you suspect drink spiking.

  • Personal or commercial disputes sometimes lead to threats of physical violence or death. Have a clear agreement on the expected level of service. Report any threats to police.

  • Travellers have been robbed withdrawing money from ATMs. Credit and debit card fraud and card skimming happen across Vietnam. Taxi and gambling scams are also common. Only use ATMs in banks and shopping centres. Always keep your credit card in sight. Use official or prearranged taxis, especially at airports. Report gambling scams to police.

  • During the rainy season (June to November), floods, typhoons and severe weather can disrupt essential services. Follow the advice of local officials.

Image by Florian Wehde


On most highways the speed limit will be 100 KMH, however you will come across frequent times when the speed limit changes to a slower speed – whether it be 80 KMH, 60 KMH etc. In cities and smaller towns, it may be even lower. One thing to note is that there will be many times when you are on the highway going 100 KMH and all of a sudden you will be entering a small town situated on the highway itself. When this happens the speed limit usually drops considerably. Be aware in these situations as you might not even realize it.


Here are the compulsory documents and equipment to carry:

  • Warning triangle or hazard warning lights must be used in case of an accident or breakdown (recommended that warning triangle always be carried).

  • A driving licence

  • Car registration papers

  • Insurance documents

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