For some people, travel means arriving at a destination with a general sense of adventure and no pre-planned itinerary. For maximum trip flexibility, your best bet is to rent a car and see where the road takes you–but it’s important to make sure you’re fully covered.

Insurance Coverage in the Rose of the North

Renting a car in Chiang Mai, like anywhere, requires you to sign rental agreements and adhere to various rules and regulations. Thailand, like most countries, requires that vehicles are protected by a minimum amount of insurance. The minimum insurance from the government only amounts to around £775 GBP of coverage, however, and the driver may be responsible for any damages that occur while the vehicle is in their care. 

Because of this, obtaining adequate insurance coverage is a critical part of making sure your vacation goes smoothly. When it comes to insurance, it is far better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Additionally, even though the law requires drivers be insured, not everyone is able to afford insurance. If you are involved in an accident with a driver who has no insurance, it is your insurance that will be forced to pick up the bill. 

When renting a car in Thailand, it’s recommended that you obtain full, comprehensive coverage rather than only liability coverage. This ensures that you won’t be on the hook for any damages, regardless if they are your fault or not. 

Lastly, while a home-country licence is technically valid in Thailand, some municipalities may require you to pay a small fine if you are caught driving without an International Driver’s Permit (IDP). To cover all their bases, foreigners renting cars in Thailand should plan to obtain an IDP.

Is Driving in Thailand Safe?

Generally speaking–yes, Thailand is a safe place to drive. Outside of highways, you’ll seldom see someone in a major hurry to get anywhere, and traffic often trundles along at a leisurely pace. 

The number one thing to be aware of when driving in Thailand is the number of motorbikes; tght streets may be packed with both cars and motorbikes. As long as you go slow and use your indicator lights, everything should go smoothly, just be sure to check your surroundings and change lanes slowly so everyone around you has time to move out of the way. 

Always keep an eye out for motorbikes and cars entering the road. You won’t see very many stop signs in Thailand, and many four-way intersections are completely unregulated. In some countries, this would lead to chaos, but in Thailand, it is perfectly normal. Simply approach the intersection with caution and look both ways before crossing. 

Recommended Sights

There are so many sights and tours available throughout Thailand that you could live there for years and still not see it all. We know you’ve probably read all of the top-ten lists, so here are a few must-sees that are lesser known to tourists but loved by locals:

Samoeng Loop

A one-hundred-kilometre mountain loop road that stretches around the circumference of Doi Suthep National Park is known for its stunning views and fun, twisty roads. The Samoeng Loop is a must-do for those looking to get away from the city. 

Be sure to stop at the Mae Sa Waterfall on the north side of the loop and have lunch at one of the many river cafes where you can eat lunch while sitting in the river. 

Mae Kampong

Mae Kampong is a picturesque wooden village in the mountains to the west of Chiang Mai. Popular amongst Thai tourists, you’ll scarcely see a foreign face here, which makes it all the more authentic. 

Because the Samoeng Loop and Mae Kampong are primarily in the mountains, use caution and rent a vehicle appropriate for climbing hills, especially if you’re travelling with companions. 

Plan Ahead

It’s easy to relax when you plan ahead, and at no time is this more true than when renting a car with DriveCarRental. Once you know you have the insurance you need, you can feel completely free to explore one of the most beautiful countries in the world!