Driving in Taiwan – Hsinchu


 Transportation in Hsinchu is a little more difficult than in other big cities like Taipei, there is no MRT, buses are not available all of time, train station shuts down after 11:00 p.m.,and taxis are expensive.   Therefore, scooters solve a big problem in Hsinchu, they save time and money, and they are really useful when we need to move late at night.

  To drive a scooter in Hsinchu there are some important things that you need to know before driving, here we try to mention most of them, hopefully you find this information useful.

     First thing you need to know is how to get scooter driving license; to apply for driving license, you should have a valid ARC. Having the ARC you can give a visit to the nearest DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) and apply for scooter driving license. This driving license should be renewed after you renew your ARC; it expires with your ARC. The procedure to apply is easy; take personal photos, filled application, your stamp, and some cash money. first they will ask you to have eyes test, then you will go to the written test, as I remember there were 40 multiple choice questions, you need to get more than  85% of them right. If you are applying for a 50 cc scooter driving license, then this is all you need, no need for driving test. If you are applying for more than 50 cc scooter, 125 cc or more, then you need to go through the driving test. Driving test should be easy, you need to drive your scooter in a circle between two white lines watching the traffic lights. Drive as slowly as you can, it all will take you less than 2 minutes. If you pass then you can get your driving license immediately. If you don’t pass you need to wait for two weeks to test again.

      After getting you driving license its time to find a suitable scooter to buy, 50 cc scooters are good inside the city, and easy to drive and maintain, they don’t go fast so they are safe, they are the best choice for those who are new to driving scooters especially girls. 125 cc and more are good choices for those who have experience in driving, by the way driving in Hsinchu isn’t easy, drivers usually don’t follow the low and often break driving rules, so you have to be careful, these scooters are faster and consume more gas, but they are good if you travel a lot.  If you are staying in Taiwan for a long time and have enough money, you can buy a brand new scooter, price range is between 45K to 100K for normal scooters, some scooters are much more expensive than that. If you don’t have enough money or not staying for long in Taiwan, you can buy a second hand scooter. Second hand scooters can be found easily in almost all scooter maintenance shops, just go and ask, prices are between 4K to 25 K depending on scooter’s size, year, and mechanical status. You can also search the net for scooters; tealit.com and forumosa.com are good websites to find scooters on. But it’s better to ask your friends first if someone is going home and leaving his scooter, you can get it for free or for a very reasonable price.

     You found your scooter, what should you ask the owner? First question: do you have its documents? (Ownership and insurance), second: can I try it? Third: does it have any problems?

      If the scooter you’re buying has no documents then it’s not yours actually, it’s still in its owner’s name, it’s not easy to  sell after, and almost impossible to get back if police took it. Anyway, if the scooter is cheap then it’s fine, but still risky. Take the scooter try it, listen to its engine, should not be so noisy, try the breaks, and check the electrical system (lights, horn and speed counter), tubes, and exhaust. Check its documents, ownership expiry date, insurance expiry date. You need to know that it’s not cheap to renew and extend the ownership and the insurance. After all, it’s still better to take it to the mechanic to check it for you. Also you need to make a regular environmental test, it’s free, but if there is a problem with the exhaust then you must fix it.

Everything is fine? you need to go to the DMV to transfer the scooter to your name, documents needed are two ID cards, health insurance and ARC are fine, your stamp, and some cash money.

Some tips:

  • Always park in a legal parking lot, otherwise police may take your scooter.
  • Always check for oil and break system.
  • Make sure that you tires are good and in good condition especially when it’s rainy.
  • Cover your scooter or park it indoor when it’s rainy, water damages your scooters electrical system.
  • Mirrors are not optional accessories, they are very important.
  • Engine belt should be changed every 100,000 kilometers at most.
  • When you find a good mechanic stick to him.
  • If you’re driving with kid onboard, don’t ever leave the scooter on while stopping and kid is still onboard, and if you shut it down pull the keys out of the switch.
  • Helmets are for your safety.


Some scooter parts prices:


  • Breaks $NT 350-$NT 400.
  • Tires $NT 600 – $NT 1000 each.
  • Engine belt is $NT 900-$NT1000.
  • Oil change is $NT 150, $NT 200, or $NT 250.
  • Battery depends on scooter brand, but usually $NT 1000.
Drive safe and have a driving license before you drive.
Cultrual and Education Committee – MSC

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