Although foreigners are now permitted to drive in Vietnam (as long as they have an International Driving Permit and local insurance), you’ll have an easier time going around the country if you hire a private driver (chauffeur), especially in Ho Chi Minh City.
If you’re visiting Vietnam, having a driver gives you the freedom to travel as you wish.
If you hire a private driver in Ho Chi Minh City, you get rid of the need to adjust to local traffic or road rules, ask for directions, and various road conditions and hazards. Now the question is, how?
How can you hire a chauffeur or private driver in Ho Chi Minh City?
If you need a long-term driver, we recommend searching online, reading forums, and even going on social media before your trip to Vietnam. You can also check for reviews and packages online to see which ones have a lot of recommendations as well as which companies will fit your budget. Another thing to consider asking around and inside your company as soon as you arrive because word of mouth will definitely serve you well in this area.
Where can you find professional local drivers in Ho Chi Minh City?
The first website below is a reliable English-speaking source of professional local drivers with a number of vehicle types.
Con Đường Việt
Saigon Budget Car rental
A range of vehicle types from 4 up to 50 seats with professional drivers is also available for short or long-term hire.
If you’re only looking for shorter-term rentals with drivers provided, we recommend contacting the following companies in Ho Chi Minh City:
Rental Car in District 1
CHAOcom is one of the leading car rental companies offering 4, 7, and 16-seater vehicles.
Rental Car in Thu Duc City
Green World Car Rental
Providing a wide variety of vehicles from luxury sedan five-seaters such as the Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3 series, and BMW 5 series, SUVs like the Toyota Fortuner (seven seats), Toyota Sienna (seven seats), and larger vehicles such as the 16-seater Ford Transit.
A recent addition to the rental industry in Ho Chi Minh City, Avis offers daily and long-term rentals. They also accept AWD (Avis Worldwide Discount) for reduced rates and special offers.
Rental Car in Other Districts
If you don’t mind the hassle of going through customs at the airport, they also offer a pickup service on the tarmac.
TG Car Rental & Tours Services
Where can you find a private driver for hire in Ho Chi Minh City?
In order to find drivers, the Vietnamese rely on word of mouth, their friends, or on Trungtâm giới thiệu việc làm(agency or job center). Websites such as timviecnhanh.com, vieclam.tuoitre.vn, vieclam.24h.com.vn, rongbay.com, 5giay.vn; and so on are also reliable sources for employees and potential drivers. Just ask for a friend’s help as the websites are most likely in Vietnamese.
Some English-speaking drivers will also post their services in Vietnam ex-pat groups on Facebook, so check these groups if you don’t want to go through a middleman.
How much does it cost to hire a private driver in Ho Chi Minh City?
The amount depends on how long you’re hiring the driver and where you’re going, especially for short-term hiring. If you have a company vehicle, the agreement with the car rental firm will usually specify your driver’s working hours and salary.
Generally, the rental fee does not include insurance, maintenance, and cleaning but if you choose to rent independently, a package of car and driver can cost around VND19M-33.7M per month for a new car and less for an older car on a sliding scale, depending on the model.
Currently, the average salary offered by a local to a driver varies from VND6M-10M/month. It is imperative that the terms and conditions are clear to both parties.
Note that in the current economic climate in which some taxi companies are having difficulties, many taxi drivers are looking for more secure jobs with families or for enterprises. Some will also post their services in ex-pat groups on Facebook, so check there if you don’t want to go through a middleman.
What should you check to employ a good driver in Ho Chi Minh City?
Meet up with your driver and see if he will be a good match for the job and for your personality. Aside from the technical qualifications, of course, you need to be able to connect or at least have good communication or feel like you’ll be able to have a good relationship with the driver.
Employers would not be out of line to ask for a health certificate, proof of (at least) two years of driving experience, photocopies of the ID card and driving license, and references from past employers – but surely the best way to evaluate anyone’s driving skills is to be in their car.
Check the odometer to make sure the driver is not using the car for personal use (assuming that you don’t allow this in the agreement).
What should be clarified in the contract when hiring a private driver in Ho Chi Minh City?
If you are considering hiring a private driver to take you around safely and conveniently in Vietnam, there are some important points to cover when making this kind of arrangement.
››Dos and Don’ts – it is best to specify these things right from the start. Can the car be used for personal errands? How long can the motor be left running on idle?
››Monthly salary – in VND
››Working hours – does this include weekends, evenings, holiday periods, etc?
››Lunch breaks need to be flexible as often the car is in use for this period
››Overtime rates – remember to give your driver some notice
››Safety – make it clear that this is a priority
››Be clear if speeding is an issue
››Be clear if you expect your driver to be on standby when needed
››Drivers should not use phones when driving
Click Here to learn more about transportation in Ho Chi Minh City
Click Here to read Competition Drives Tensions Between Local Taxis And Grab