Initially, we wanted to get a guide to take us around Jeju Island for our trip there but there was none available so after much consideration, we decided to go with renting a car to self-drive on Jeju Island.
We worked out the Math, it was way cheaper. We rented the Kia Morning, the smallest and cheapest car (like most typical cheapo Singaporeans), from KT Kumho (ENG site).
TIP: You need to have an international driving licence number at the time you make the rental car booking. Otherwise your reservation will fail/be rejected.
TIP: You should register as a member on the KT Kumho website before you make your car rental booking. The price discounts they give to members is ridiculous, we got more than 60% off the rack rate. I’m not kidding. I can’t remember exactly how much discount we got but I remember that when I saw the final figure of 80,800 won with full damage waiver insurance for about 46~48 hours of rental. I thought there was a mistake and I actually re-did the reservation to make sure I didn’t choose something wrongly. LOL.
Note: You will need to take a free shuttle bus from the airport to the car rental office and when you return the car, you’ll need to return the car to the rental office and take the shuttle bus back to the airport.
TIP: Try to find the telephone number of the places you want to visit as the English GPS does kinda require you to enter the address of your destination by selecting the area and it is quite hard coz you don’t which “dong” the place is in. You can’t type the address in manually as well. It is the easiest to set the destination by searching via the telephone number. Also, look at recent destinations and favourites which other people have set so it would save you the hassle of finding and keying in the address of the place. Especially for popular tourist spots.
This is the first time I’m driving on the other side of the road since I got my driver’s licence. Interestingly, it wasn’t as bad or disorienting as I thought it would be. I have no problems adjusting actually; though I must add that I don’t know if sitting at the front passenger seat for the first say helped.
Regardless, driving on the other side of the road was a breeze… when there are other cars around. The hard part is actually when you are driving on the rural roads with no other cars around. LOL. That is when you end up driving on the wrong lane and turning into the wrong lane because there are no cars at the junction to tell you that you shouldn’t turn into that lane. Like the awkward moment when you drive into a lane to see oncoming traffic and you have to reverse as the cars start forming a queue while waiting for you to get out of the way. LOL. True story.
Now comes the big drama:
Yeah, we got into an accident. First accident in my life and for the record, I wasn’t the one driving at that point in time.
We’re fine and the impact was like a bump during a bumper car ride. Needless to say, we were stunned for a bit and then we’re like, “OH SHIT!” We had rear ended into a Hyundai family wagon and guess what? The Hyundai only got a couple of scratches on the bumper.
This was only the beginning of the drama.
We had to call up the car insurers/renters to settle the insurance and since I was the one with the better command of Korean, that meant that I was supposed to call up the hotline and talk to them about car insurance damage claim IN KOREAN.
I believe that I didn’t cover that topic during my lessons. Double SHIT.
By some miracle, a guy showed up and identified himself as an off-duty employee of KT Kumho who was passing by. He then proceeded to settle everything for us as we waited by the pavement. He even asked us to tail his car back to the rental office.
What. A. Hero.
I didn’t ask for his name in all the daze and confusion but yeah, totally grateful and thankful to him for showing up and doing everything for us.
정말 정말 감사합니다. ㅠㅠ
[28 October 2014 | Update] Since Robin asked in the comments section, when you use the English version of the KT Kumho Rental website to register for an account, the local address and phone number they are asking for in the profile registration is actually referring to your address and phone number in your home country.