Car Hire in Phnom Penh
This information is correct as of July 2015.
Known as the Pearl of Asia in the 1920s for being one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina, Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s capital city and is also one of its prides when it comes to global and domestic tourism. Phnom Penh is explored for its remarkable historical architecture and attractions, including French colonial buildings on the city’s grand boulevards. See and learn more of Phnom Penh on your own pace through car rentals available in the city.
Where to hire a car in Phnom Penh
As of writing, the only major global car rental company that serves Phnom Penh, as well as Siem Reap, in Cambodia is Avis. Its car rental offices within Phnom Penh are located at the airport and in the downtown area. However, there are also a number of local car rental agencies in the city that offer high quality, friendly, and reliable car rental services. These include A1 Car Rental, Landa Car Rental, Lyna Car Rental, AVR, and Nisay Car Rental Services, among others. You can choose from different types of car makes and models, from standard sedans, vans, and SUVs, to 4WDs, pick-ups, and even limousines. Renting a car with a driver is also popular in Cambodia, and most of the car rental providers here offer the option, with the rental fee already including an English-speaking driver, the driver’s accommodation, fuel, and unlimited mileage.
What to expect when hiring a car from Phnom Penh
Take note that all drivers in Cambodia, local and foreign, must possess a valid Cambodian Driver’s Licence to be allowed to drive within the country. This can be obtained by getting a Certificate of Current Address, which should be signed and stamped by the Chief of Section where you are currently staying. The Cambodian Driver’s Licence is valid for five years for Cambodian nationals, and is valid for one year (renewable) for foreign drivers. The licence will be ready in three weeks, although there are some car rental offices that will issue you a provisional licence that will allow you to start driving right away. To obtain a provisional licence, you must present a copy of your passport, copy of your entry business visa, passport size photos, your National Driver’s Licence, Certificate of Current Address, and a medical certificate if you are over 60 years old.
Within Phnom Penh, National Highways 1-7 link the city with different parts of Cambodia. National Highways 1 and 2 to the Vietnamese Border, National Highway 3 to Veal Renh, National Highway 4 to Sihanoukville, National Highway 5 to the Thai Border, National Highway 6 to Banteay Meanchey, and National Highway 7 from Skun (Cheung Prey District) to the Lao Border. As the capital and a commercial centre of Cambodia, Phnom Penh experiences massive traffic jams. When travelling to or within the central business district, it is best to avoid peak times during the morning and late afternoon where people are commuting to and from work.
Getting to your destination
Also known as Riverside, Sisowath Quay is an attractive boulevard along Mekong and Tonle Sap riverbanks. The street is lined with cafes, shops, and bars, and is known among tourists. There is also an esplanade along the river which offers a vibrant atmosphere. The best time to visit Sisowath Quay is during the evening, or at dawn, where the sunrise over the river is breathtaking to watch.
The boulevard of Sisowath Quay is approximately 25 minutes from the city centre of Phnom Penh. Get here via Monireth Blvd and Charles de Gaulle Blvd, via Monireth Blvd only, or via Preah Sihanouk Blvd.
This small like is a popular weekend destination, where fishing activities can be done. Located nearby is the Ta Prohm of Bati, which houses Jayabuddhamahanatha statues. The Phnom Chisor temple is also located on a mountain top, 20 minutes south of Tonle Bati.
Located 30 kilometres south of Phnom Penh, reach Tonle Bati via Street 217 and NR2, via NR2, or via NH 3.
The seaside town of Sihanoukville boasts some of the best beaches in Cambodia. The beaches here are not as crowded as many of the other beaches in Southeast Asia, ideal for a nice quiet vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the city, although it can be cramped during the weekends and holidays.
Sihanoukville is approximately three hours away from Phnom Penh. Drive along Trung Morn St and Veng Sreng Blvd to reach ផ្លូវជាតិលេខ ៤, which leads to Preah Sihanouk.