Best way to practice driving in Taiwan?

Hello people,

So, here’s my situation. I have a driver license from my home country, that I got 5+ years ago (seems like an eternity ago) and haven’t sat behind a wheel since then…

Fast forward to now, I’m living in Taipei/New Taipei area and I’m at a point where I need to be able to move around more independently. But the thought of just driving in the streets without some round of practice scares me, to be honest.

The driving culture seems so hectic here, and completely different than what I’ve learned, so I’d love to find a good way to practice. I hear driving lessons here are pretty much useless - since they are designed to pass the driving test. Bear in mind I already have a license that I can convert into a local license, so I don’t care about the test.

My question is: do you know where I can find REAL and useful driving lessons in ACTUAL streets (not a circuit), with a teacher? Something that would help me get my chops back?

Alternative question: am I overthinking this? should I just rent a car and figure it out while driving? Seems a bit crazy to me, since it’s been so long since I drove.

Would appreciate any input,
Have a great weekend everyone

J.

The best way is to get your licence exchanged and hit the road directly! F everyone else, you are only responsible for what’s in front of you.

I’m kidding. But a teacher is not necessarily going to teach you all the bad habits people pick up here. You likely are going to have to observe and copy. For being responsible of what’s in front of you, that is largely true.

Though, for someone in the GTA, why even bother with driving when parking is such a hassle and the public transport is good?

In my own experience, I just hit the road directly with an International permit and it wasn’t that bad to get used to.

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Just keep using public transport. Rent a bike.

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Yeah , just take it easy , however be careful with the scooters , bus , taxis , trucks , bicycles pedestrian …

I remember my first drive in Taiwan was from Gongguang to Tamsui with I-rent on a Saturday morning , not a good idea because there was a lot of traffic and many red lights

You will soon figure out that “driving” is not that difficult here , however there are other “things” that could take more time , like for example plan ahead your trips , choose which route is better in Google Maps , find parking space , music playlists , podcasts and so on…

More tips:

My first drive was in Zhongli. And then i took the highway to Dasi and Hsinchu.

Good times.

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Driving here is the same as most other places with pavement. The difference is the psychology of drivers (people). Study hard how taiwanese think and rationalize things.

You cant drive safe without knowing the culture, objective fact. In every region, always.

Pay VERY close attention to how people tend to act. And practice somewhere less busy in the beginning. If you assume every person is a lawsuite looking for victims, you will do well. Just remember, it’s not actually paranoia if its true :wink:

If you are still learning to operate different machinery, just find private lands that are open. Or public lands that are closed. River beds on sundays without trucks are great places to test yor vehicle for emergency measures. Empty parking lots for general steering at low speeds etc.

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Are you eligible to rent a car?

Go find quiet areas with friends that know local laws and rules and oddities and can generally understand the signage. Avoid rice fields and small lanes but find a little small general quiet town area. Off Rush Hour.

Maybe take the train to small town within an hour or so of Taipei and rent a car at the local train station.

Finding a quiet area Northern Taiwan is not so easy.