You can easily travel between the usual tourist places by plane , train and bus , but if you rent a car, you can visit places that are not teeming with tourists, and you are also more flexible if you want to visit sights because you can come before the coaches arrive.
Alternatively you can rent a scooter or motorcycle, read more about it in the article Thailand on two wheels . In any case, you should read this article if you want to rent a car in Thailand, because there you will find information on international driving licenses, insurance, trip planning and what to pay attention to in Thai traffic. In this article I deal exclusively with the more practical things if you want to rent a car. And about the things that are different from driving on two wheels.
Do you need a car at all?
You must first decide if it is an advantage at all to rent a car. For example, if you just want a car to be able to get around your destination more easily, then a car is not necessarily an advantage. bow cabs
In Bangkok, it would typically be better to use Metro and Skytrain or to take a cheap taxi if the rails do not lead your way. The traffic in Bangkok is rampant and it can be nerve-wracking to drive here if you are not used to the conditions. And then there are the everlasting traffic queues where it can be faster to get out of the car and walk.
Traffic in Bangkok
Taxis are not exactly cheap at Phuket, but if you have to be in Patong, for example, it is definitely not an advantage to drive a car in the city. You risk spending more time finding a parking space than it takes to walk around the city. Here a car is only an advantage if you have to go back and forth to other places on the island or to other places in Thailand.
With or without driver
If you want to rent a car, you have to decide whether you want to rent a car with or without a driver. It is relatively cheap to rent a car with driver in Thailand. And with a driver, you don’t have to worry about driving and insurance issues, and you don’t have to worry about traffic slipping in Thailand. It’s not quite like driving home in Denmark – and here I’m not just thinking that Thailand has left-hand traffic.
If you are going on a multi-day trip, accommodation and food for the driver must of course also be arranged, which makes it a bit more expensive with a driver.
Here’s what to do if you want to rent a car and drive yourself:
You may be able to rent a car without a valid driver’s license, but not with the established companies. You must either have a newer driver’s license, which also has text in English, or you must have your municipality’s citizen service and have an international driver’s license. If you rent a car without a valid driver’s license, the insurance does not cover.
You almost can’t get insurance enough! Check out what your travel insurance covers, and then make sure you take out insurance that covers everything else, from minor scratches to major car damage, personal injury to yourself and third party damage. Be aware if there is excess risk on the insurance.
Use a trustworthy rental company
You can probably rent a car much cheaper from an unknown, local landlord, but you run the risk of problems with the car and old damage. And with insurance. If you rent from an international company with branches in Denmark, you can even order from home and be protected in accordance with the Danish Purchase Act.
Check the car for any existing visible damage before leaving the landlord and notify the landlord of any damage. Have the damage documented, eg with pictures with a timestamp, and get the damage approved by the landlord in advance.
Keep your passport
Some landlords – especially the cheap local landlords – will demand to have your passport as security. Never hand in your passport !
If you rent from one of the established companies, they will reserve an amount on your credit card as security. The amount may vary between the different landlords, so check the terms of the landlord.
If you want to drop off the car somewhere else than you picked it up, check if the landlord has a branch there. Some have many departments, others have only a few. In some, a fee is charged to deliver elsewhere, the fee may depend on the rental period.
Get a quote from the landlord instead of accepting the daily rental rate. If you rent for a month or more, you will typically come down to between half and a third of the price of the daily rent.
Familiarize yourself with how to drive in Thailand. If you have not already read the advice in the article Thailand on two wheels , read them now.
More on the contract
If you are several who can drive the car, then you should all be listed on the lease. In some places this may result in an additional charge.
If you want to rent a car with a driver:
Performance and price
Make sure there is a fixed agreement on performance and price before the tour starts, preferably in writing. The agreement must clarify what is included in the price, for example the maximum number of hours of driving per day, fuel, toll roads, accommodation and food and drink.
If you hire a car and driver to drive you to a certain place and be transported back after a certain number of days, then be aware of how long the road is. For example, if you hire a driver in Bangkok and have to drive to Nong Khai , be aware that the driver on the return trip will usually drive from Bangkok, pick you up and drive back to Bangkok in one go. A drive of up to 20 hours in a row. In such a case it would be better to find a local driver for the return trip.
If you rent a car with a driver, you do not need the extra security offered by the international companies in terms of insurance and business ethics, so you can instead find a local and much cheaper solution, for example in the form of a taxi that you rent a fixed price.