9 Unavoidable Things You Need to Know Before You Rent a Vehicle in Thailand

Renting a vehicle is a fantastic way to explore Thailand. Whether you want to rent a car in Phuket, a scooter in Bangkok, or a touring bike in Chiang Mai, you can do so easily with proper documentation. Renting a vehicle offers many benefits, none of which can compare to it’s number one advantage; It gives you the freedom to roam around at your conveyance. However, there are things that you have to take control of before renting a car in Thailand. So it’s better to know everything before moving forward to any decision. However, things that you have to take control of before Rent a Vehicle in Thailand.

An important thing to mention is that even if you fulfill the list below there’s still one thing that will make the process of renting a car and driving easier while you are in Thailand and that thing is speaking Thai. Even if you are just visiting for a short period of time, learning Thai online before you visit the country will allow you to travel easier, especially if you are renting a car and exploring less touristy places. 

Rent a Vehicle in Thailand

Let me walk you through all the mandatory things you should be knowing for renting your vehicle so that you abide by their rule:

Things You Need to Know Before You Rent a Vehicle in Thailand

  1. Rent Cost

The cost of renting a car depends on the location in Thailand and the car rental company. However, car rental companies like Avis and Budget tend to offer standardized prices. The other major factor that affects rental costs is the size and style of the car.

The cost for renting a small, standard budget car starts at 700 baht per day and runs up to 3000 baht per day for a luxury model. You could pay as much as 5,000 baht per day for a large, luxury car with a few added extras.

Check out Thailand Nomads for all the necessary information regarding rental cars.

  1. International Driver’s License

Doesn’t matter if you are going to hire a driver or decide to self-drive. In both cases, you have to get a driving license that can run on international grounds. Drivers from your own country might work as well but there should be no risk taken as they do not provide any type of insurance, so it is advisable to take an international driver’s permit.

Rent a Vehicle in Thailand

One must always carry a driver’s license or international driver’s permit along with a copy of the passport’s photo and visa page. Anything going missing or failure to provide these documents will cost a heavy fine from Thailand police. Sometimes, it is also recommended to go for additional drivers.

  1. Age Barrier

Age restrictions in Thailand vary from car to car. For instance, if you are renting a car with Hertz and Budget, the age should be 21. And when you are renting a car with Avis and Sixt, it should be 23. Young drivers who are under the age of 26 have to pay between 100 baht to 250 baht per day.

However, if you are an adult driver crossing the age above 65, you are expected to pay a senior driver fee. The more expensive and powerful pact the model, the higher the driver’s age will be applied.

  1. Documentation

There are a few mandatory documents that you have to take care of:

  1. Valid passport with a non-immigrant visa.
  2. Passport size photos
  3. Driving license from your home country
  4. International driver permit
  5. If you are a citizen of ASIAN Countries, you can use your national driving license as valid identity proof.
  6. For your convenience, you can carry along a credit card as most local rental cars in Thailand accept only credit cards (Visa, Maestro) and not any other method or cash.
Rent a Vehicle in Thailand
  1. Insurance Policy

While every car rental outlet has its own set of rules that one needs to abide by to claim the insurance, the rules don’t vary on a large scale. A few car companies also ensure premium Insurance, which includes full protection in case of any misfortunate accident or theft, under Personal Accident Insurance, Compulsory third party liability Insurance, and Theft Protection. Before paying for a Rent a Vehicle in Thailand, make sure that the insurance policy you are paying for is satisfactory. If not, you can get travel insurance from a company you find reliable.

Third-Party Liability

Third-party liability Insurance has been made compulsory by the Government of Thailand for the protection of tourists. With every car you hire, you get a minimum Third party Insurance, but it is recommended to upgrade it to ensure your safety.


In case of one violates any of the traffic rules or intentionally drives oneself into danger, he/she will be held responsible, and the rental company might charge a hefty amount despite being covered under Super Collision damage waiver Insurance.

  1. Pick and Drop Services

Most car rental companies in Thailand offer pickup and drop facilities if booked in advance. The service is usually free of cost if you are located within ten miles of the nearest rental office. Else, car companies charge a collection fee for such services.

Car on the road
  1. Expenses

The cost of the Rent a Vehicle in Thailand depends on the car model. And the rental period and rental rates are set by the agencies. You can rent a five-door, economy car for approximately 1,200 baht per day. Honda Jazz and Suzuki Ciaz are models that have automatic gearboxes and space for four to five passengers. The rent of an SUV is 2,000 baht per day. Models include Toyota Fortuner and Isuzu Mu-X.

The rental price includes VAT but excludes gas, insurance costs, and any additional requirements.

  1. Traffic Rules

Speed limits and overtaking vehicles on the right and left, all these actions are against traffic rules of Thailand. But citizens do not pay attention to these basic norms. Thailand follows many unwritten road rules. Like the large cars have to move to the right, while motorbikes and slow vehicles have to be on the left lane. The few traffic rules include:

  • Road users overtake from the right and the left.
  • Turning left at a red traffic light is permitted as long as it’s done safely.
  • You can honk while overtaking
  • You must honk before a blind turn.
  • Use the left indicator before you are willing to overtake.
  • Drivers on the left have right of way.
  • Drivers on the main road have right of way.
Trafic light
  1. Safety and measures

Finally, one of the most crucial things that you have to look into before Rent a Vehicle in Thailand is to prepare yourself beforehand for all the damages, theft, accident, car breakdown, etc. Here are some misshapen that you may encounter and you should be very mindful of:

  • Cars overtaking from both sides.
  • Vehicles overtaking at a curve or blind turn.
  • Cars halting a brake and taking a U-turn
  • Pedestrians on the open road.
  • Cars going the wrong way in the emergency lane.
  • Dog or any other animal crossing in the middle of the road.

Take away

As we conclude this, we may also mention that the rules keep changing so you might see some changes in the future, and not necessarily everything that is mentioned is accurate here. This is just to give you a brief outlook about the things you need to learn before you plan to Rent a Vehicle in Thailand.

Last Updated on June 18, 2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.