Ho Chi Minh City - Post Report Question and Answers

What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Bring something small, that you don't mind getting dinged up. The roads are narrow and PACKED with motor scooters, and road rules are not followed, except for the occasional traffic light...maybe. Grab is really the easiest way to go - both for convenience and your stress level. - Sep 2021

Traffic in the city is bad, but moves slowly. A big car might feel safer, but parking will be a challenge and you don’t need the protection and security. Japanese cars are popular. Many people have CRV or RAV-4 cars. - Jul 2019

No need to bring a car but buying one locally is pretty expensive. No carjackings here - but people drive pretty badly - and you just have to learn not to look. Any car is fine in the city, and even on the highway. They have a real expressway heading north and to the coast - it's amazing. - Mar 2016

Most locals and expats drive motorbikes here. Some U.S. Consulate families have brought cars --- mostly medium-sized SUVs, and either have a driver or drive themselves. We have a Honda CRV, and it is the perfect size. You can find what you need in the way of service for your car. - Aug 2015

Lots of expats here seem to drive Toyotas. We have a Honda and it has been easy to service. Parts can be expensive though. Bring a few spares of things you know you will need. I also wouldn't bring a big SUV although there are certainly people here who drive them. - May 2014

I suppose in town a small cheap car would be best. Most people do without if you live in town. It's a hassle to drive around. Be ready, many hire drivers. - Jul 2011

You can't bring a car if it is more than 6 years old, you need to check the regulations, I am sure they change, we had to leave ours behind. I would say, if you have young children bring a nice big car to create a safe boundary for your family on your travels. If you are a couple or single, hire a car and driver if you want to go traveling, otherwise a taxi cab far is never more than $6 on the meter anywhere in the city even to the airport. Walk or Xe Om, bike taxi is fine. - Sep 2010

You need something with high clearance to get through the flooded streets and also with good suspension to navigate the torn-up main roads into the city. There are no carjackings, as traffic is so slow they would just sit there after throwing you out of the car. - Nov 2009

People who live in the compound (about 45 mins away from the consulate by shuttle) had cars. Anything from SUV to smaller sedan would be suitable. You really don't need a car in Saigon, though...roads outside the city are rough and crowded...metered cabs from reputable companies in the city are safe and affordable. - Dec 2008

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