Maybe you already have tickets booked for your trip to Thailand, or perhaps you’re just considering Thailand as a possible destination. Regardless, if you’re the sort of person who doesn’t want to rely on public transit and pricy taxi-cab rides to get around, renting a car is an important part of travelling.
Having your own vehicle allows you to see a side of a country that most tourists never have the chance to enjoy. This is especially true in northern Thailand, where jungle mountains and waterfalls are just a twenty minute drive in almost any direction when renting a car in Chiang Mai.
Steps to Rent a Car in Thailand
Renting a car in Thailand is as simple as renting a car anywhere, and you just have to follow a few simple steps.
Make Your Reservation
It should be noted that, especially during the high season months of November to March, many of the best hotels and amenities in Thailand will be fully booked. Similarly, the most sought-after rental cars will also be reserved. For this reason, it’s recommended you book your rental car as far in advance as possible.
Be sure and book your car according to the dates of your arrival and departure. This means if you have a morning flight out of Thailand, you should expect to return your car the day before, rather than attempting to return it the morning of your departure. Paying a small taxi fare to the airport the morning of your departure is better than missing your flight and buying an entirely new plane ticket.
Choose Your Car Accordingly
If you’ll be driving around the flatter areas of Thailand, such as in the south, a smaller car with a small engine will work just fine. If you plan on travelling to the more mountainous areas of Thailand and exploring all that nature has to offer, you may wish to upgrade to a larger vehicle with a bigger engine.
The number of travellers with you will also have an impact on your vehicle choice. Five people in a small compact car may be okay for a one-day excursion, but for a multi-day trip on some of Thailand’s most picturesque roads, you may want something a bit roomier. Also, remember to save room in your car for your luggage, depending on your plans.
Make Sure Your Passport and Licence Are Valid
While bringing a valid passport and licence may sound obvious, many people forget to renew their driver’s licences and passports and only find out when they attempt to board a plane or rent a car. A valid licence is required for foreigners to rent a car in Thailand.
Under UN law, your home driver’s licence is valid as a tourist driving anywhere in the world. However, some municipalities in Thailand may require you to carry an International Driver’s Permit (IDP). You can apply online for one, and a simple google search will turn up many reputable options for obtaining an IDP.
The best thing about renting a car with DriveCarRental is that you won’t be limited in your ability to see the real Thailand. Most people visit cities like Chiang Mai and Bangkok and only see the touristy areas of the city, completely unaware of the magic lurking just outside most cities. Take a little drive on a winding mountain road and see what you find!
A little-known fact about Thailand is how well-constructed the roads are, even in remote areas. Western visitors are consistently amazed at how some rural roads are better maintained than roads back home. This means you’ll be able to visit even the most far-flung areas of Thailand, where you can experience the true culture and magic of village life.
The Thai people, long known as some of the friendliest in the world, will greet you with a smile if you decide to stop at one of the many roadside eateries and coffee shops that dot the small towns and villages throughout rural Thailand. Above all, remember to relax and enjoy your trip to one of the most beautiful places in the world!