About Thailand (TH)
Thailand (TH) is the one of the cornerstones of Asian tourism, and one of the Top 10 leisure travel destinations in the world. Its attractions offer something for nearly all travelers — tropical weather, vibrant culture, beautiful beaches and islands, rugged mountains, dense jungle, and on top of it all, phenomenal Thai cuisine. And few countries in South East Asia are as dependent upon tourism for their livelihood; therefore, Thailand is notably warm and hospitable to travelers of all nationalities. The quintessential vibe of Thailand is exotic but affordable for the common man, but you’ll find no shortage of luxury options. With a massive number and range of attractions, visitors will never be bored in Thailand; in fact, many expats came on vacation and simply decided to stay. The country is a major hub for the growing “digital nomad” economy, thanks to its modern amenities and stable internet infrastructure.
There are two things that you need to know about getting around Thailand straight away. One, it’s far more affordable and convenient to rent a car in Thailand, especially if you want to get out of the congestion in Bangkok — which almost every visitor will do at some point. Two, Thai drivers are statistically among the most challenging in the world. Some travelers describe driving as “bumper cars” in major cities. Now, the good news: Thailand is well connected by an extensive network of expressways, highways, major and minor roads. By renting from one of the international car rental brands, you’ll know that you’re getting a reliable vehicle with comprehensive insurance coverage. Aside from other drivers, you’ll need to be aware of road conditions in rural areas, but that’s nothing new. Be advised that while driving on the popular islands of Phuket and Ko Lanta is totally doable and not much of a problem, the remaining islands are not car-friendly.
Choosing your car
For the best rates on cheap car rentals in Thailand, look no further than Avis, Alamo, Budget, Dollar, Europcar, Sixt, and Thrifty. Choose from a wide range of vehicles from minicars to fullsize 4-door sedans, estate wagons, SUVs, and 7-12 seater minivans for large families and groups.
Tips and advice
Although Thailand is an exceptionally friendly country at surface level, bear in mind that not everywhere in the country is a “tourist destination”. Security and generally safety can be sketchy if you get too far off the beaten path.
There’s one major north-south route from Bangkok to Chang Mai — AH2, which is also known as National Road 1. Although the trip is possible via alternative routes, the main highway is very well marked and appointed with road services (food, fuel, and places to stay).
You’ll need to have a heightened sense of road awareness when driving among the sea of motorbikes throughout the country.
Your Thailand car rental should be insured and it’s recommended to consider collision damage excess waiver that is available for visitors from most residencies here on our site, or contained within your travel insurance. Do check.
Smaller cars are best for city driving, obviously, but perfectly suitable for long-haul driving — as long as you stay on the major roads.
Inform your Thailand car hire provider if you plan to take the vehicle out of the country. Some restrictions may apply. Additional fees are likely to be involved.