Driving in Thailand
Driving in Thailand
If you intend on living in Thailand for any length of time then you’d be well advised to get a Thai driving licence. Although international drivers´ licenses are legally accepted, the police will respond a lot better if you hold a Thai drivers licence.
Another advantage of having a Thai licence is it will enable you to avoid the farang prices (higher prices for foreigners) in many instances.
To obtain the Thai drivers licence you will need to provide:
- a valid passport with a valid non-immigration visa and signed copies
- a local medical certificate
- 2 passport photos
- a valid international driving licence
- a residential rental agreement or documents showing you are purchasing a property.
What Mode of Transport Will You Require
This will depend on whether or not you are single and feeling like tackling the scooter scene or if you’re here with your family. While you’ll see Thai families of up to five or sometimes six people all on one scooter, you probably won’t want to emulate this trick.
If you are only here for a short time then renting either a scooter or a car will be your best option. The cost of a scooter will be around 6 – 8,000 baht / month and a car will be around 20,000 baht / month. Be sure to check you have comprehensive insurance as it can be a little wild on the roads, especially until you get used to the way things work.
On the subject of getting used to how things work, it’s a good idea to leave any agro and or frustration at home and take things as they come. People here are very relaxed and the only road rule is that there isn’t one; so get used to it. Funny enough it seems to work.
Once you’re here permanently, we would recommend that you rent a car or scooter for a few months before deciding to purchase a vehicle. Because things are so different here than in your home country, this will give you an opportunity to try before you buy so to speak. You don’t want to find that you’ve purchased a small sedan when you would prefer to have a utility.