What is the difference between an International Driving Permit (IDP) and an International Driver’s License (IDL)?
An International Driving Permit is a small grey booklet marginally larger than a passport containing a translation of your original driving license in 10 languages, including English, French, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, and Spanish. It is recognized by 141 countries worldwide and is valid for one year.
In comparison, an International Driving License is not a legal document and cannot be used to drive in foreign countries or instead of an IDP.
How do International Driving Permits work in Brunei?
An International Driver’s Permit is legally required for all tourists visiting Brunei and wishing to drive during their trip. Any tourist who arrives in Brunei without a valid IDP will not be permitted to drive here.
An International Driver’s License is not an accepted form of translation document in Brunei; only an IDP is.
Applying for an IDP
An International Driving Permit is an easy application process, and it can be applied online through our website- “insert website link.” As long as the applicant has a valid full driving license from their home country and the required documents in order, it is a fast and easy process. The following documents are mandatory when applying for an IDP:
- Domestic driver’s license
- Completed application form
- Debit/credit card
How much does an IDP cost?
How long does it take to get an IDP?
When an IDP arrives primarily depends on where it is ordered from and the chosen method. Our website offers customers two options when ordering:
The standard method with standard delivery: Choosing a standard delivery option will have a digital IDP in your email after 2 hours, followed by a physical IDP arriving by mail in 2 to 30 days.
The express method with express delivery: A popular choice for those short on time. For an extra fee, customers can expect to have their digital IDP arrive by email in just 20 minutes. Paying the additional cost for express shipping will reduce shipping time to 2 to 14 days instead!
United Nationals road traffic agreement
The United Nations Road Traffic Agreement is an agreement that was made between UN countries to authorize and implement the use of IDPs throughout the agreed countries. This agreement ensures that all IDPs issued are legally accepted. It also allows countries to authorize other automotive organizations to give IDPs to residents of the country on the government’s behalf.
These agreements were made over a series of 3 automotive conventions, which is also when each of the 150 countries signed up to permit IDP usage there. The three automotive conventions which have happened so far occurred in 1926 in Paris, followed by one in 1949 in Geneva, and the last convention was in 1968 in Vienna.
Benefits Of Carrying An IDP In Brunei
The most obvious reasoning for carrying an IDP while visiting Brunei is its legal requirement to do so if any tourist wishes to drive there.
international form of Identification
Since an IDP contains essential information such as a driver’s name, picture, and driver information translated into 12 different languages, many people will use an IDP in Foreign countries like Brunei as a form of international Identification.
Car rental companies
When collecting the car, car rental agencies frequently request that a person who wishes to obtain a rental car has a valid IDP. This rule also applies to car rental agencies in Brunei, so tourists must ensure their IDP is valid if they wish to rent a car during their trip.
Driving Requirements For Non-citizens’
Short-term visitors vs. long-term visitors
Short-term visitors are permitted to drive in Brunei for 12 months while using an IDP. Any person who wishes to stay longer or become a resident in Brunei will need to obtain a Brunei driver’s license instead of continuing legally driving here.
When Do I Need To Get A Driver’s License In Brunei
Any person who has stayed in Brunei longer than the validity period of their IDP (12 months) and wishes to continue driving during their stay will need to obtain a local license. Tourists can swap their domestic driver’s licenses for local Brunei ones. To convert a driver’s license, a tourist needs to:
- Gather all the required documents such as the trained driver’s license, passport, passport-sized photos, visa, and residency permit or work permit.
- All foreigners must undergo the Highway code test and practice driving examination, regardless of their current driving status.
- Tourists are only permitted to do this once. If they fail, they will be required to apply for a full license by attending a Highway Code code class and a certain amount of driving lessons before they can repeat the examinations.
Renewing Your IDP Or Driver’s License In Brunei
An IDP can only be used in Brunei for 12 months, and anyone wishing to drive here longer than that must get a Brunei driving license. However, a tourist may need to renew their IDP in Brunei to continue driving for up to 12 months or to use it in a different country. Contact your IDP issuer to get a renewed IDP sent to your address.
Suppose a driver needs to renew their driving license in Brunei to change to a local license. In that case, they are advised to contact their home country’s licensing office in advance of the expiration and arrange for a renewal to be sent. They may be required to send back the expired license and may have to stop driving for a while until a renewal arrives.
Vehicle Rental In Brunei
Although Brunei is not particularly huge, it is still a big enough country to take quite a bit of time to travel around. This is part of why being able to rent a car while in Brunei is a huge factor in making a trip more comfortable and convenient. Public transport is available in the form of type of bus, and it only services six lines throughout the country. Therefore, if a tourist wants to be able to explore all of Brunei, a car is highly recommended.
Tourists need not worry if they do not have a private car in Brunei, as the country has plenty of car rental agencies to choose from! Often, rental cars can be picked up and dropped off in the major cities or even directly from the airport!
The minimum driving age in Brunei is 18, but most car rental companies will not rent to a driver under 25, and if they do, a young driver’s fee will be implemented.
Renting vehicles in Brunei
Brunei has an abundance of car rental agencies to choose from, ensuring an easy and convenient process. Some well-known car rental agencies such as Hertz, Avis, and Kayak are set up here. The best way to guarantee a reasonable car rental price is by shopping around online before your trip and reserving in advance.
Car rental is generally considered quite affordable in Brunei, with standard cars costing around $40 per day and working up to about $110 per day. International drivers need to have all the required documents before renting a car.
The cost of renting a car can vary depending on several factors. Car rental companies will consider the size and type of car requested, the driver’s age (young driver’s fee), any add-ons required such as GPS, wifi, or car seats, and any insurance costs.
A young driver’s fee is an additional fee that car rental companies charge young international drivers to drive vehicles in a foreign country. It applies to drivers aged between 21 and 25 with at least a year of driving experience. This fee is added mainly due to the increased insurance risk associated with inexperienced drivers on new roads. These fees can be expensive, too, so if a more experienced driver is present, it’s usually more affordable to let them take the wheel.
Like most countries, driving in Brunei requires all drivers to have adequate car insurance if they wish to drive vehicles here. The minimum insurance policy of third party fire and theft applies, which ensures the third parties vehicle is insured in the case of an accident and your own in the case of fire and theft.
Often, insurance companies will require Brunei foreign visitors to purchase additional insurance, and it is usually recommended to do so, so a tourist is not left paying hefty fee’s on the rental car damages if any accidents occur. Some policies like LDW and CDW will cover the rental car in the case of an accident and also cover personal claims.
It is important that the driver checks with the insurance company that insurance is included in the price and add on any additional insurance they require. If insurance is not present in the rental price, the driver must have the car adequately insured before driving.
All car rental companies will require customers to have their documents present when renting a car. The following documents will be requested and must be current and valid:
- Domestic driver’s license
- International Driving Permit
- A valid form of id, such as a passport
- Debit/credit card
Hire car driving tips
Renting a car for the first time can be daunting, so below are a few tips to keep in mind when renting a car!
- Make sure to get a car that is fit for the purpose you intend on using it. A small city car may be easier and more convenient for a tourist staying within urban areas. In comparison, for someone driving outside the main cities, a larger car may be better for poor roads.
- Ensure all components are in good working order, such as lights, tires, and seatbelts. Make sure to check and notify the rental company of any previous damages on the interior and exterior of the car to avoid paying damages fees you didn’t incur.
- Request information about the rental car policies in the case of an accident or breakdown. Will a new car be given immediately? It is also a good idea to get a phone number for the company in the case of any issues.
Driving And Safety In Brunei
The road quality in Brunei is considered very good, with extensive road networks best compared to the Western World. Although road quality is quite good, local drivers are often seen breaking a red light and speeding, so road accidents are common.
Driving in Brunei can be a stress-free and easy experience if tourists familiarize themselves with local road rules and traffic laws. Local authorities will not take tourists flaunting road rules lightly, and breaking these rules can land tourists in trouble, facing fines, driving bans, or even imprisonment.
Crime rates in general in Brunei are meager, and it is considered a safe country for most tourists to visit. With that said, tourists should exercise the same caution as any foreign country by not carrying large amounts of cash or valuables around and keeping cars and home doors locked.
Driving is done on the left side in Brunei, so anyone unfamiliar with driving on this side should practice on quiet roads before taking off on a road trip.
- The speed limit permitted in residential areas is a max of 30km/h; in urban areas, it is 60 km/h, and motorways have a higher speed limit of 80km/h
- Driving under the influence of alcohol is strictly prohibited
- Police legally enforce seat belts in Brunei, and all passengers in a car must wear a seat belt
- Carry your passport, IDP, license, and insurance information with you at all times
Top 3 Places to Visit in Brunei
Brunei Darussalam is a small country located on the island of Borneo, surrounded by Malaysia and the South China Sea. It is well-known thanks to its stunning beach and protected biodiverse tropical rainforests.
Brunei has a tropical climate, consisting of generally hot and humid weather accompanied by plenty of rain throughout most of the year. Malay and English are the most widely spoken languages here, although there are plenty more spoken in Brunei.
Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque
This Mosque is one of Brunei’s top tourist attractions and sits right in the heart of Brunei’s capital. This Mosque is vast and breathtakingly beautiful, and a tourist does not need to be muslin to appreciate all the beauty this Mosque has to offer.
Bandar Seri Begawan
Brunei’s capital city lies along the Brunei River and offers stunning landscapes for its viewers. Bandar Seri Begawan is home to many famous tourist attractions in Brunei, such as Istana Nurul Iman (the royal palace) and the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.
Bandar Seri Begawan has everything you could need in a city, with plenty of restaurants, tourist attractions, stunning views, and culture for any tourist to immerse themselves in the Brunei lifestyle.
For any tourists looking to escape the busy life of the central city and take advantage of Brunei’s sunny weather, Muara beach is a beautiful seaside resort. This beach is located in the North of Brunei and is only a 30-minute drive from the city center. Fantastic sandy beaches and crystal clear waters make this beach a huge hotspot.
What do I do if I lose my IDP in Brunei?
Anyone who loses their IDP in Brunei must contact their IDP issuer immediately to have a replacement sent as soon as possible. You will not be permitted to continue driving until you have your IDP, so it is important to sort it out as quickly as possible.
Can I drive in the rain in Brunei?
Thanks to its well-maintained and extensive network of roads, driving in the rain shouldn’t pose too much of a hazard for most drivers. Stick to well-lit main streets during rainfall and always keep an emergency kit in the car.
Are police checkpoints joint in Brunei?
Police presence on the roads is as familiar as in other countries. Checkpoints will be present, so all tourists must carry their documents. Police will request identification information such as a passport, driver’s license, IDP, visa, registration documents, and proof of insurance. Never drive without having all your documents available and ensuring they are valid.