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Thailand - Car Tax and Insurance

In Thailand there is a basic insurance policy which is compulsory for all vehicles. This is referred to as CMI (Compulsory Motor Insurance). This is a set premium and the cover is the same for all cars. In order to purchase this policy you need to go to the local office of the Department of Land Transport or organize a policy through an insurance company. It can then be renewed each year through the DLT local office. In order to obtain the policy you must have the car registration document known as the Blue Book. As an expat you should also take along your visa and work permit documentation and your passport as a form of ID. You may not be asked for this but it will depend on the official processing your insurance and it can save a return trip if they decide to be very thorough.

This policy only covers third parties and any passengers that are in the car. It does not cover any damage to the car itself. Additional cover can be purchased separately. There are three levels of additional cover that are available. First class cover is the equivalent of the fully comprehensive insurance policy that is available in the UK. This covers damage to the vehicle, injuries and fatalities for all those in the car and damage to other cars and people. Second class cover is collision coverage which will ensure that repairs can be carried out to cars that have been involved in an accident. Third class insurance is injuries and life cover for people in the car and third party damage although some third class policies may offer a small amount of cover for your own car.

As in the UK and US, bonuses can be claimed for no claims which will make the policy cheaper and claims can be made for certain things which will not affect the no claims, although this varies throughout the different insurance companies. Each company has a different procedure for making a claim and it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with this at an early stage as it could be that your insurance company will want to attend the scene of any accident and if you do not inform them straight away you could have problems with the claim later.

A foreign car can only be covered in Thailand with a third party insurance policy or with a policy issued in the home country. Comprehensive policies cannot be purchased for a car with a foreign registration. When you drive across the border for the first time you can normally purchase the compulsory insurance at an outlet close to the border crossing.

Car tax is issued in the form of a sticker which is displayed in the window of the car. This proves that the tax has been paid and shows when it needs to be renewed. If you sell the car the tax sticker remains valid until the expiry date shown on the sticker. The tax needs to be paid each year at the local office of the department of Land Transport. In order to make the payment for the car tax you will need to take along proof that you have at least the minimum compulsory insurance and the Blue Book car registration documentation.

The rate of car tax is calculated on a number of factors. These include the make and model of the vehicle, the age of the car and the engine size. Large and new cars will attract the higher rates. When the car is five years old the tax rate drops by 10% and this continues for another five years, when the tax rate levels out and remains fairly constant, although the rates are reviewed each year and increases are known.

As all documentation and transactions at the Department of Land Transport are carried out in Thai it is recommended to take a Thai speaker along with you when you go in order to help the process to go smoothly. There are forms to be completed and you may find yourself having to go from one department to another but if you have all the paperwork ready then it should be a fairly straightforward process.

Useful Resources

Department of Land Transport
Tel: + 66 2271 8888 (Extension 4712-4 for an English speaker)

Read more about this country

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