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Car Rental

Thailand - Car Rental

Renting a car in Thailand is not too different from renting anywhere else. You must be in possession of either a Thai driver’s licence or an International driver’s permit. Some companies will stipulate that you must have had the licence for at least a year. Some car rental companies will expect you to leave your passport with them or a substantial deposit as a guarantee, but this varies according to the company.

It should be noted that rental cars in Thailand may not be available in the same type of condition that you would get in western countries, however, this is usually reflected in the cost of the hire. Most car hire companies in Thailand have English speaking staff and cars can usually be booked in advance online.

Most car hire companies in Thailand will insist on you having Loss Damage Waiver. This is not standard driving insurance but helps to cover the driver in the event that there is damage or loss to the car while it is in their possession. There are restrictions on the policy that need to be adhered to in order to ensure full cover. Without this policy you may be liable for all charges if there is an accident or theft.

The minimum age for renting a car in Thailand varies according to the company that you hire from. For example, Budget sets a minimum age of 21 while Avis has a minimum age of 23. There may also be restrictions on the type of car that a young or fairly new driver can hire. It is common to restrict the hire of ‘luxury’ cars to older drivers with more experience. If you want to have more than one driver while the car is in your possession you may not have to pay extra as long as the hire company is aware of this in advance, but this policy differs from company to company. You should ensure that the additional driver meets the company’s regulations on driver’s licences and age. When you pay for the car you will be asked to use a credit card. Car hire companies in Thailand do not yet accept debit cards.

You should also make yourself aware of the company’s policy on fuelling the vehicle. Some may allow you to pick the car up with very little petrol in it and return with a low tank, others will give you the car with a full tank of petrol and expect it returned with a full tank. Some may give you a choice of which you prefer but others will specify which system applies.

Rental periods are normally based on a 24 hour cycle, so even if you have the car for only part of one day then you will normally be charged for a full day. Child seats are not compulsory in Thailand but they are available and these are usually considered to be an extra by the rental companies so you may be charged for them. If you need child seats you should inform the company in advance as they are not always readily available.

Care should be taken not to overrun the original rental agreement as this means that you will be driving without insurance, which is illegal in Thailand. Your pick up and drop off points for the car will be specified before you rent the vehicle. Changing your drop off point can mean an extra charge. There are very few rental companies that will allow you to cross one of the borders with a rental vehicle and if this is your intention you should speak to the company as you may need to leave the Thai car on the Thai side of the border and pick up another rental car when you cross to the other side. If the hire company is international they can normally arrange this on your behalf.

Most car hire agreements now include unlimited mileage but this should be checked on your rental agreement as some companies do have a limit and anything over that amount can be charged for.

Useful Resources


Budget Car Hire Thailand
Tel: + 66 2203 9222

Avis Car Hire Thailand
Tel: + 66 2251 1131-2
Email: rev@avisthailand.com

Read more about this country

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