Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Renting a Car in Jeju Island - Experience with KT Kumho @ Korea

Even though i had a car accident in Jeju Island, i would still strongly recommend visitors to plan their own itinerary and self-drive if they have the opportunity to do so! 

The island might not be big but it can still take hours to travel from one end to another and taking public transportation is just going to shorten the time you can spend on the attractions. Furthermore, the rates to rent a car were pretty reasonable; book in advance and you could even be given a hefty discount.


Step 1 - Preparation

First and foremost, however, is to secure an "international driving permit" back in your home country! For those with a Singapore license (which is recognised internationally), it is a requirement in Korea to get the permit! Get yours (S$25, valid for a year) from Automobile Association of Singapore! 

Check out the details here.

Once you have gotten the permit, the next thing to do is to visit the car rental website to make your reservation! 

Most Singaporeans seem to go with KT Kumho and reviews were generally positive (my friend actually recommended it)! Register as a member for member discount before you select the rental dates / time, choose the car brand / model and most importantly, tick the option for "zero excess" under "car damage waiver".

Without the "zero access", i believe i would be liable for a huge damage claim as a result of the accident! As driving in Korea is on the left side (while Singapore is on the right), the ₩26,000 (around S$32) is a small price to pay in event of any unforeseen circumstances. 

Once you are done, print a copy of the reservation, keep it together with your Singapore driving license and international driving permit, and bring it to the airport! Note: your Singapore driving license must be taken along


Step 2 - Arrival

Upon exiting the departure gate of Jeju International Airport, walk to gate 2 where there would be a row of car rental booths! Check in using your reservation printout and the lady would inform you to proceed to the rental car shuttle bus stop upon verifying your details. 

It didn't take us long to find the bus stop which was about one to two hundred meters away. Please DO NOT board any shuttle bus that stops there! Make sure they belong to the car rental company you have registered for! 

Darn shuttle bus has such a large television screen!! Don't be worried about your numerous luggages; like a normal tour coach, there was a compartment precisely for their placement. 


Step 3 - Collection

After a short ride of fifteen minutes, we arrived at KT Kumho Jeju Auto House! 

Enter through the main entrance and you may approach any of the counter staff to complete your registration! Unless you are proficient in Korean, do inform them at this point you need an English GPS.

For those who need clean washrooms, the ones in the auto house should meet your expectation. Put it this way, i was extremely pleased to find an electronic bidet with an option to dry my ass!!! 

To name this as a cafeteria is a bit pushing the definition of what it really is; nevertheless, you can still get some hot / cold water to soothe your parched throat. 

Next to the "cafeteria" was a counter where you can rent a WIFI router (known as an egg)! Although there were free WIFI in many places, i would suggest renting one for convenience. 

Exit from the back entrance to collect your car! As some of you might have noted, cheapo me opted for the cheapest Hyundai Morning since there were only three of us! Have money to splurge? Go for the top range that cost ₩140,000 a day! 

Whatever the case, i am really happy with my selection as it's my dream to drive a hatchback! Parking would definitely be a breeze, even for parallel! 

Only complaint? The boot was so bloody tiny; it could not hold our luggage!!! To think we only brought along one piece yet we could not even squeeze it into the car boot! 

Do check the car thoroughly to ensure that any existing damage is indicated in the sheet as above. Keep in mind the contact number of the check-in, check out office (751-8000) as you would need to input it in GPS to return the car.

Happy Driving! 

Oh, one last thing, the fuel tank would be full when you take over the car; just ensure the tank is filled to the brim when you hand it back to the company. Check the GPS for nearby gas station! 

=====

Contact numbers are essential for you to get to your destination in Jeju! Check out the numbers from brochures or information guides from tourist information counters! 

No License?
As the above suggests, not everyone has a license and not everyone wants to drive when they are overseas. You may consider taking public transportation or save time by chartering taxis instead! Click the above picture for more information on hiring a Mandarin / English speaking taxi driver. 

For the summary of my inaugural South Korea trip 
(Seoul and Jeju Island), click HERE.

64 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:42 PM

    Thank you to share this, is very helpful for me. i travel to korea and jeju in may and juneand i want to rent a car and thats makes me very easy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to hear you found the information helpful. Please feel free to share with your friends upon your return. Have a great trip in Korea! :)

      Delete
  2. Anonymous6:28 PM

    hi cavin! i chance upon your blog while doing research for my family trip and i m truely grateful that you share all these info so generously :)
    i hv a question though: do you hv to make payment (credit card) for the car rental during reservation online? or is the payment at collection point in KRW?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallo! You are most welcome! If i remember correctly, payment was made at the collection point when i was in Jeju. :) Hope you have a great trip!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:13 AM

      thanks so much for your reply! :)

      Delete
    3. You are most welcome! :)

      Delete
  3. Anonymous10:07 PM

    Hi Calvin, very nice info about renting car in jeju.
    I am planning a korea trip end year, and happened to pop by your blog.
    However i was wondering if KT kumho is the same as lotte-rent-a-car, because when i search KT, it gave me lotte. so i was wondering if are they affiliated, and im afraid i might go to the wrong one.
    And also, i've read about singing up as membership to get discounts, my concern here is do we need to pay any membership fees? cos its little like too good to be true for free discounts.

    Thanks Matthew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Matthew,

      Nice to hear you are travelling to Korea! I checked the link that i previously used to book the rental car and it automatically linked to the lotte-rent-a-car website; guess it is the same as KT Kumho was serviced by Hertz too.

      Do sign up for the membership as it is free and you would see hefty discounts after you log in to select the dates and the car you have in mind. By the way, if you are going to bring along large luggage, choose a car with a good size boot. Don't bother with a hatchback!!

      Best,
      Cavin

      Delete
  4. Anonymous10:06 PM

    HI Calvin. where to return the rental car? jeju auto house? they wil provide shuttle bus service to airport?

    thanks.Ashley

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ashley,

      Yes, you return them back to Jeju Auto House.There would be a shuttle service that would bring you to the airport.

      Best,
      Cavin

      Delete
  5. Hi Cavin, noticed that your GPS is in Korean. Is it difficult to use?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallo!

      You can request for English GPS; mine was changed to a Korean one after my accident (guess the company forgot). The Korean one wasn't hard to use so long i can get to the page to key in the telephone number of the attraction. Other that that, e ability to read maps helps. :P

      Delete
  6. Hi Cavin, thks for post. Very helpful indeed. How do i know if my reservation is confirmed? Do they send us an email ? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! As i registered as a member, the confirmation is on the web portal when i log in. For ease of reference, i printed a copy before i embarked the trip. :)

      Delete
  7. Anonymous8:07 PM

    Hi Cavin,
    I would like to ask how did u make your payment, did u pay by credit card or cash?

    Thanks
    Matthew.
    Anyway I am the same person that asked about the car rental 2 mths back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Matthew! It was by credit card.

      Best,
      Cavin

      Delete
  8. Hi Cavin,
    This is very useful. I managed to make my booking. Just wanna check, do we pay at the counter or we can pay online. I cant seem to find to 'pay' button/link

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I paid at the counter when i arrived to pick up the car. :)

      Delete
  9. Anonymous1:23 AM

    Hi Cavin
    Is the GPS hard to use?? do we need to key in one by one attaraction??Isit easy to find the parking space in Hotel/Apartment and the attaction area ?How about the parking fee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallo!

      It's not hard to use so long you have the contact number of the attraction. The issue i faced then was that the contact numbers can differ from information to information and that can be frustrating! Some of the attractions are also listed on the GPS. i would recommend you check through the map for the places you want to go before you go to Korea!

      For the parking spaces, it's not hard to find lots most of the times and the parking fees can vary from about S$1 an hour to even more; private car parks charged a lot more and due to the language barrier, i am not even sure if it is legitimate! To cite an example at Oedolgae Rock, i read that parking was free but was charged S$1 by a store owner at the entrance.

      Delete
  10. thank you for the great info...helps alots

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem and have an enjoyable trip! Do drive safety; if you are tired, just rest for about 10-20 minutes before going on your way. :)

      Delete
  11. Hello. Very good info you got here. Do you remember the operation hours? I plan on taking evening flight around 5 pm to jeju and return the car around 8.30 in the morning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HallO! According to the car rental company's website, the place operates from 8am till 10pm. :)

      Delete
  12. Stella1:07 PM

    Hi, Cavin,

    I'm from the US and plan to rent a car when I visit Jeju in March. In general, was it easy to drive there in terms of road and traffic conditions? Were there a lot of bikers, pedestrians, or motorcyclists? Do hotels allow guests to park for free? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Stella!

      It was easy to drive in Jeju and traffic condition could hardly be terms as congested given that i come from a dense city. Haha. For me, i face an additional challenge of having to drive on the other side of the road.

      I don't see a lot of bikers / motorcyclists but pedestrians, yes to a certain extent although the roads are wide in most cases.

      For hotel parking, you may wish to check with the hotel directly as it can differ from hotel to hotel.

      Hope you have a great trip in March!

      Best,
      Cavin

      Delete
  13. Hi Cavin!

    I was wondering about the left hand side drive... any tips haha? And Ive heard the traffic lights are a bit confusing? Am going there in June but kinda worried about the opposite hand drive. As such still uncertain if I wanna rent a car...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Cavin,

    Any tips for driving on the opposite side? And I've heard that the traffic lights are confusing.. wanna find out more and decide on whether I should rent a car there in June. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallo!

      Just drive carefully and don't drive if you are too tired!

      The traffic lights were okay in my opinion and aside from Jeju-city, roads were actually spacious! I strongly recommend self drive in Jeju! You can see the things you want at a pace you are comfortable with. :)

      Enjoy Jeju!


      Delete
  15. Hi Cavin,
    I have some confusing issue here.
    I am 21 years old by YEAR, but have not reach my birthday yet.
    I do own a IDP license. So can I still rent a car?
    They do mention it has age limit minimum 21 to rent a car. Do they go by DoB or will they just follow the year (e.g. 1995)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallo! From my understanding, most places go with DOB rather than year to be on the safe side. You may wish to check directly with the rental company about this.

      Delete
    2. ok, thank you for your reply!

      Delete
    3. no problem! Have a good trip!

      Delete
  16. Anonymous3:27 PM

    HI Calvin
    I came across your blog and it is so useful as I plan to drive in Jeju soon. However is it true I can only pickup the rental cars at the airport? Am a little nervous about driving from airport to seogwipo city as it is a long drive and it goes across the mountain. How long and how was the drive across on this route to seogwipo? Relatively easy or challenging? Also, would you happen to know if I able to rent a car with English GPS in Seogwipo city where I will be staying? Sorry to trouble you but will really appreciate your advice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallo!

      Most of the rental car company surround the airport as a point of convenience. The drive i made from Jeju city to Seogwipo was about 1.5hrs and it's after 7pm when night had fallen.

      It was a harrowing experience but i was super slow and often have to stop by the roadside to get my bearing as street lights were quite minimal. On my way back, i took the highway and it was so much easier! Way back was daytime though.

      You may wish to check with the car rental company if they can send the car with English GPS to your hotel. They might have such arrangement but their grasp of English can be limited and there could be miscommunication; hence, i would still suggest getting the rented car from the airport.

      Have a good trip!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous3:09 PM

      thanks much for your reply! I managed to find a way to solve this by booking with car rental companies like AJ Rentacar (avis) which have reps in big hotels in Jungmon Resort. AJ has rep at Hyatt while Jejurentacar have reps at Shilla and Lotte hotels. I can take a bus to Seogwipo and take a short cab ride to Jungmon resort hotel to collect my car the next day! I can also return the car to the hotel and take the bus to the airport. Isn't that great! no need for the long drive to the airport.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous3:13 PM

      oh one more tip - AJ rentacar has English speaking reps which was such a boon! and they actually reply emails haha. This is the website. http://ajrentacar.co.kr/
      Also, join as a member for free to get about 35% discount which was awesomely cheap for my 5 day rental. About $150 for the smallest Kia Morning for 5 full days inclusive of the Super CDW insurance cover. They have cheaper CDW but I opted for the best after reading about your accident!

      Delete
    4. I am going to save your comment as the price was just too good to be true! Frankly, i would prefer to take the car immediately from the airport (or near it) and start my journey driving around! Haha

      Delete
    5. Anonymous4:41 PM

      Hi Calvin I have just returned from Korea and thoroughly enjoyed driving in Jeju. It was really dirt cheap renting as a member from AJ Rental. Only hassle is our GPS maps and instructions were all in Korean (only the voice part was English) and thankfully I had a korean friend to do the inputing as the GPs sometimes hung. I will like to ask if the GPS you got in Jeju was completely in English as I see korean words in the screen set up. Just want to be sure I can get an English GPS next time I go there and rent from KT.

      Delete
    6. Hallo! Mine was completely in English but after i crashed the car, the replacement they got was in Korean only! Luckily i can roughly work out the buttons! haha.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous2:50 PM

      hi Calvin sorry for late reply. Am going again to jeju as I love it haha. Will try to get English GPS with Lotte aka KT this time. Only thing is AJrental is really super cheap. Oh well I can't have everything

      Delete
    8. Anonymous4:06 PM

      i just emailed Lotte (former KT Kumho)and they replied saying there is no GPS with everything in English. Only voice instruction is in English. :(

      Delete
    9. It's nice right!? I miss Jeju a lot more than Seoul and would love to revisit with my loved ones someday.

      On the GPS, i wonder if it is easier to rely on data plan and the google map instead since the app is now much better than a few years ago.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous1:04 PM

    Hi Cavin
    Your blog is really informative. I will be travelling to Jeju end Apr and have already rented a car to drive around. Can you give me more info on the Highway you took from Seogwipo back to Jeju city? Can this Highway be found on the GPS?

    Was the first route you took from Jeju city to Seogwipo along coastal area?
    Thanks so much!
    Yvonne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Yvonne!

      Glad you find the content informative! :)

      With regards to the highway i took from Seogwipo back to Jeju City, it's definitely on the GPS although i have to admit that i keyed in the wrong telephone extension!

      The first route i took cut through the mountain and it was at night with minimal lighting. Not exactly an experience i want to relive though... haha

      Delete
  18. Hi Calvin, I am glad to read all the review and find it useful especially the time to collect the car since we will be arriving late bout 9.30pm.

    I would like to ask how much you spend per day for the fuel? Estimated will do.

    We have 7 adults with 2 big luggage, 3 medium luggage and 6 cabin siZe luggage. Guess I will have to take starex or kia carnival type at which can fit 9 ppl. So my luggage can fit all

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sally,

      I only pumped once throughout the rental and i think it's about S$50.

      By the way, you are travelling directly to Jeju from the airport? Bringing the luggage can be a hassle and they definitely eat into the car space.

      I actually stayed a night in Seoul so that i can store my excess luggage in the same hotel that i would be returning to.

      Best,
      Cavin

      Delete
  19. Joshua3:40 PM

    Hi Cavin

    Your post is very helpful. I willbe travellong to seoul/jeju during feb. I may be renting a car. Abit worried about driving there especially after reading about your accident there. Glad that you are fine.
    So do you have to pay for anything since you selected the zero access?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joshua!

      Thanks for your kind regards! I didn't pay a single cent and the car rental company arranged for a car to be sent to the hospital.

      I thought i would be asked to pay for insurance since i am technically driving a new car but nothing at all. Just wondering what will happen if i smash the car again.

      Oh well, don't wish to be involved in another car accident anyway; it was such a scary experience and a total time waster!

      Take care and enjoy your trip!

      Delete
  20. Hi, thanks for all the useful tips! I have been trying to register at KT Kumho ( now known as Lotte Rent-a-car) many times, and after haaving put in the important info like passport number, IDP number, email address etc etc ... and then after waiting several minutes - nothing happens. So I start again and input, and the same thing happens ( repeatedly) which is kind of weird.
    I am wondering if the discount at KT is genuine or about similar to other car rentals ( which doesn't have the discount)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem! i am not too sure if it is comparable but my criteria then was that it must be a company that fellow Singaporeans have tried before and if they are comfortable with it, i should be fine, i guess. Haha.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous11:48 PM

    Hi. Is the 65% discount applied for new member only? As i just booked as guest, 65% discount was still applied. Just wanna double confirm that the booking is okay or i will need to top up during car collection?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallo, i understand there are some changes to the platforms; hence, the discount structure might be different. May want to contact the service centre. :)

      Delete
  22. Anonymous11:33 PM

    Hi Cavin,

    Thank you for the informative sharing! Could you share if there are lot of parallel parking lots in Jeju as I'm not very good at parallel parking :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi!

      You are most welcome! Picking my memory on the parallel parking lots; most parking lots are reverse parking. However, at Jeju city, you would encounter more parallel parking given the narrower roads. It wasn't as bad though since there are not too many cars to speak off and most of the times, i just turned and drove into the lot.

      Delete
  23. Hi Cavin,
    Really like your post for Jeju Self drive as it is super informative. However, will you be able to share about the driving terrain of Jeju Road? Is there a lot of upslope / downslope / straight?

    Thanks in advance :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jean,

      Thanks for your kind words!

      The driving terrain in Jeju is mostly flat except when you need to cut across the mountain road in the middle. Otherwise, the roads are spacious and easier to drive along compared to Singapore.

      Just a note of advice; do ensure plenty of rest for the drivers and always ensure an awake vehicle commander. :)

      Delete
  24. Anonymous2:53 PM

    HI Calvin
    I am going to drive in Jeju soon and am trying to decide if I wanna rent the Kia Morning which is only 1000cc. It will be just me and my friend (who is rather big size but not tall). wondering if the Kia Morning is a comfortable ride and not too sluggish to drive. appreciate your feedback! thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! For two persons, i thought it would be fine. The Kia Morning is pint sized and good enough for three of us. The only issue i faced was the lack of boot space for our luggage! Enjoy the trip!

      Delete
  25. Anonymous6:00 AM

    Ok thank you!☺

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous2:52 PM

    Hi Calvin,

    Do you think the Kia Morning can accommodate 4 pax with 4 cabin luggage (20") for purpose of to and for airport?

    Thanks! Janet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Janet!

      It's a bit of a squeeze for me but if the passengers can have the cabin luggage on their laps, it might be doable.

      Have a great trip!

      Best,
      Cavin

      Delete
  27. Hi Cavin. Your blog is so informative. I'm planning to rent a car too for my trip with my 2 sisters next February. Just wanted to know about the parking fees at tourist site like Seopjikoji etc. What's the average parking fee?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Zarina! It depends on whether you are parking on private carpark or not. Some carparks that were supposedly free; i remember paying a S$1 or S$2. In places like jeju-do (the main city), parking is even more expensive (₩3,500 for two hours)!

      Delete

Share This Post

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...