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Phnom Penh



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?

Anything with AWD. But traffic is very, very bad in Phnom Penh so I wouldn't want to own a car here. - May 2, 2017
Anything Toyota; especially Land Cruisers, Highlanders, Camry. Kia Vistos. Just think like you're the most obnoxious, Type-A driver in the USA and buy the biggest/showiest SUV with tinted windows. You will fit in perfectly. Import duty is 85% of the government's estimated car cost according to engine size. Haven't heard of carjackings as much as moto jackings. (Maybe coz the locals have off-duty cops riding shotgun as body guards and supposedly a lot of people have a gun in their car.) - May 18, 2015
We had a Honda CRV, which was a great car for us, and we never had issues getting parts/service. In the city, you can get by quite well with tuk-tuks and motos without needing a car at all. But we liked having the car for weekend trips or late nights out when tuk-tuks might be harder to come by. A smaller car is probably better for maneuvering the busy streets, but bigger vehicles do rule the roads. Any car would probably do; I'm not aware of any import restrictions. Security while in a car is not a problem, except you need to be alert not to run over the motos darting in front of you. - Feb 13, 2015
I would recommend not bringing a very long car as parking could be tricky, most places have pretty limited parking. If you plan on doing a lot of driving outside of Phnom Penh then an SUV might be best for the dirt roads. Otherwise, any car works here. - Aug 13, 2013
The Toyota Camry is still the king of the road here, though occasionally they seem outnumbered by Lexuses. Various 4WD models are also popular and quite useful. A 4WD isn't strictly necessary for day-to-day driving, but higher clearance can be very convenient due to the bumpy/pot-holed roads. Also good for road trips -- plenty of waterfalls, caves, and tourist sites that require heading 10-15 km down dirt roads.

Lots of people make do with a small scooter for getting around town. That's what most Cambodians use. Not the safest option, of course, but it's quick and economical. Rules of the road are a chaotic, but have a certain logic which you'll pick up on after driving a bit. It's not as scary as it looks at first. Car garages are a hassle. Repairs are usually cheap, but the quality of work and parts are poor, and it's not uncommon to have parts stripped (or disconnected, so that you have to come in for more repairs). Part of the fun, I guess ... having your own transport is still worth it. - Jan 16, 2012
Definately bring a 4x4 truck or SUV.Rainy season brings heavy floods and most small cars gets flooded inside. - Aug 9, 2011
SUV Toyota, good for rainy season and local repair shops are used to fixing those. Driving is frustrating, traffic is slow and there are no rules. Lot of people get drivers for around $250/month. - Aug 6, 2011
You can survive with a sedan, but you may find it more practical to have an SUV during monsoon season. Carjackings are non-existent in Cambodia (so far). - Oct 9, 2010
You can purchase locally a good and cheap used Japanese vehicle. These are may be simply imported used cars but can be ex U.S. wrecks that have been repaired. Everything from micro cars to Hummers is available. It's a good place to buy used motorcycles also (see Vay's Motorcycles).You only need a sedan to go to 90% of the provinces. If you are adventurous, and want to go everywhere, get a 4 wheel drive. Driving can be anarchic, so bring or buy a larger vehicle if you want more safety. Note also that locally available vehicles may have safety and pollution devices disconnected. It's more expensive to repair U.S. vehicles and there are delays for parts. All parts are readily available for common Japanise, Korean and German vehicles. - Feb 27, 2008