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Thailand – Buying or Importing a Car

If you’re a foreign national planning to buy or import a vehicle in Thailand, it’s essential to understand the legal procedures involved. In this article, we’ll cover the steps involved in buying or importing a car in Thailand, along with the necessary paperwork and contact details of relevant government departments.

Buying a New or Used Car in Thailand

Buying a new or used car in Thailand follows a similar process to most other countries. The first step is to find a reputable dealership or private seller. You can browse local classifieds websites or visit authorized car dealerships.

Required Documents for Buying a Car in Thailand

Foreign nationals need to provide the following documents to buy a car in Thailand:

  • Passport
  • Valid Non-Immigrant Visa or Work Permit
  • Driver’s license
  • Vehicle Registration Book (for used cars)
  • Proof of Insurance

Registering the Vehicle

Once you’ve purchased the car, you need to register it with the Department of Land Transport (DLT). The registration process involves providing the following documents:


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  • Vehicle Registration Book (for used cars)
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Passport
  • Work Permit or Residence Certificate
  • Tax Certificate

After submitting the necessary documents, the DLT will issue you with Thailand registration plates and a vehicle registration book.

Importing a Vehicle in Thailand

If you’re planning to import a vehicle to Thailand, there are specific procedures and requirements to follow.

Required Documents for Importing a Vehicle

Foreign nationals need to provide the following documents to import a car to Thailand:

  • Passport
  • Work Permit or Residence Certificate
  • Bill of Lading
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Import Declaration Form
  • Original Purchase Invoice
  • Proof of Insurance

Step-by-Step Guide to Importing a Vehicle

  1. Obtain a Certificate of Origin from the manufacturer.

  2. Obtain a Bill of Lading from the shipping company.

  3. Complete an Import Declaration Form with the Thai Customs Department.

  4. Obtain an Original Purchase Invoice from the seller.

  5. Obtain a Technical Inspection Certificate from a licensed inspection center.

  6. Pay any applicable taxes and customs fees at the Customs Department.

  7. Register the Vehicle with the Department of Land Transport (DLT). Provide all the necessary documents, including the Vehicle Purchase Invoice, Certificate of Origin, Bill of Lading, Import Declaration Form, Proof of Insurance, Technical Inspection Certificate, and proof of payment of taxes and customs fees.

  8. The DLT will issue Thailand registration plates and a Vehicle Registration Book.

Contact Details of Relevant Government Departments

If you need assistance with the import process, you can contact the following Thai government departments:

Selling a Car in Thailand

If you’re planning to sell a car in Thailand, there are specific procedures and paperwork to follow.

Required Documents for Selling a Car in Thailand

When selling a car in Thailand, you need to provide the following documents:

  • Vehicle Registration Book
  • Sales Contract
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Transfer Document

Step-by-Step Guide to Selling a Car

  1. Obtain a Sales Contract with the buyer.

  2. Provide the buyer with the Vehicle Registration Book and Proof of Insurance.

  3. Complete a Transfer Document with the buyer.

  4. The buyer needs to register the vehicle with the Department of Land Transport (DLT) and obtain Thailand registration plates.

  5. Submit a Notice of Transfer of Ownership to the DLT within seven days of the sale.

Tips for Selling a Car in Thailand

Here are some useful tips to keep in mind when selling a car in Thailand:

  • Ensure the Vehicle Registration Book and Proof of Insurance are up to date and valid.

    • Be honest about the condition of the car and disclose any defects or accidents.

    • Set a fair price based on the car’s condition, age, and mileage.

    • Meet the buyer in a public place and bring a friend or family member for safety.

    • Only accept cash or bank transfer as payment.

    • Once the sale is complete, submit a Notice of Transfer of Ownership to the DLT within seven days.

    Buying or importing a vehicle in Thailand involves following specific procedures and providing the necessary paperwork. As a foreign national, it’s essential to have a valid visa or work permit and understand the local regulations. Contacting the relevant government departments can help with any queries or issues during the process. Selling a car in Thailand also involves specific paperwork, and being honest and transparent can ensure a smooth transaction.


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