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Driving Tips - Thailand Cars Rental

The well- planned network of roads in Thailand with majority of the roads marked effectively makes driving here a great experience for all travelers.

Parking Rules in Thailand

Finding a parking in Thailand is easy and rules are also very simple.

Thailand is known for offering ample parking across all the cities, malls, restaurants, hotels as well as shops here, with provision for both free as well as paid parking. All drivers are required to leave their cars in neutral across all the crowded places in Thailand so that they can be pushed and moved in case of any emergency, such as the Siam Square in Thailand. Pristine bumpers may often be difficult to maintain under these circumstances.

All the parking rules and fines are usually mentioned on the parking signs and curbside markings. While the instructions are generally posted in Thai language, there is English translation available across all tourist destinations. Your car is bound to be fined if it is parked in the wrong place or for too long. Fines are not mentioned on the curbside markings and these vary across different locations. It usually ranges from 5- 10 Baht and once the payment is made, a small ticket will be placed under your car’s windshield.

There are special markings made on the curbsides, roads as well as lampposts to indicate whether or not you can park your cars there.

  • Red and white markings:This is a No Parking zone.
  • Yellow and white markings:Short term parking is allowed here for not more than 5 minutes. It also indicates a bus stop and it is advised not to park your cars here.
  • Multiple white diagonal lines: This space is reserved for the parking of motorbikes only.
  • White rectangle on the road:This is a proper, designated zone for car parking.

Filling up Fuel in your Rental Car

Petrol stations can be found easily in large cities and major tourist spots.

It is very convenient to find fuel stations in Thailand. All roads in the city as well as the countryside are well- equipped with fuel stations. Majority of the rental cars in Thailand run on Gasohol (gasoline mixed with ethanol) or unleaded petrol. On the other hand, minivans generally run on diesel. While diesel is priced at 30 Baht per litre, Gasohol as well as unleaded petrol is priced at 35- 40 Baht per litre here. All drivers must carry loose cash while driving in the countryside because fuel stations here do not accept credit and debit cards. In the meanwhile, debit cards and credit cards are acceptable at bigger fuel stations in the cities, such as Caltex, Shell and Esso among others. It is not required for the driver to get out of their car once they have reached the fuel pump. Their car will be refueled by the attendant and they will also collect the cash. If the windshield of your car is dirty, they will also wipe it off for you. Gas stations in Thailand are a great place to take rest while driving across different cities here. These stations provide all travelers with ample parking, eateries and toilets, all at one place.

General Tips for Driving on Thai roads

The best advice for driving in Thailand is to follow UK's driving rules.

Roads in Thailand are mostly well- maintained across cities, towns as well as principle routes. While driving a rental car in Thailand, all travelers need to be particularly cautious about the speeding motorbikes which can appear from anywhere on the roads. In city and across roads in the countryside, stray dogs can be seen wandering or sleeping on the road and this poses great threat for drivers, especially if you are driving here for the very first time. People who are new in Thailand must avoid driving on the highways during night. During night time, the highways are majorly used by heavy- goods vehicles and trucks and their driving can be reckless without any regard for other vehicles on the road.

Drivers in Thailand come across as calm and there is hardly any sound of honking horns on the roads. Harsh hand gestures and foul language is to be avoided while driving in both the city as well as countryside roads. Make sure not to flash the lights of your car unnecessarily. In Thailand, the flashing of lights mean “I am not going to stop/ Get out of my way.”

It is mandatory for all drivers to follow the traffic signals and drivers are stopped by the police if they are seen running through a red light. In order to avoid on- the- spot fines, drivers must pay attention to the traffic lights and they also must adhere to all the traffic rules and regulations.

Road Rules and Regulations in Thailand

Driving in Thailand is nothing less than an adventure. So, drive carefully.

Road rules and regulations in Thailand may seem to be a little awkward for people who are coming from the United States or any other country. All travelers must pay attention to the road signs as well as driving rules in order to experience a safe and comfortable journey throughout the country.

  • In Thailand, all vehicles are driven on the left side of the road and the driver’s seat is always on the right.
  • The speed limit of the vehicle is set based on the type of the road. In lanes and suburban areas, the speed limit is set as 50- 60 km/hr while it is 90- 120 km/hr on the expressways.
  • All drivers of rental cars in Thailand are required to have third- party insurances but it is also advised to have comprehensive insurances along with it. Before hiring any car in the country, make sure that the car rental company has included comprehensive insurance in the rental voucher/ agreement.
  • Tailgating is very common on Thailand roads and is commonly acceptable as well.
  • Drivers here are sometimes seen cutting into lines of cars and cutting off each other as well. However, this behavior is considered to be fine with drivers in Thailand and is completely acceptable.

What type of license do you need?

Domestic as well as an international driving license are required.

In Thailand, in order to be able to drive a rental car on your own, you need to be in possession of a driving license belonging to your native country. This must be a full license and probationary licenses are not acceptable here. In some cases, the car rental company may also ask you to show an international driving permit, which you can obtain from your native country before embarking on your journey in Thailand. For procuring hired cars, you will also be asked to provide the car hire company with a translated copy of your driving license in case it is in your native language which is not English.

While driving through all destinations in Thailand, make it a point to keep both your driving license as well as passport in your possession. With the minimum age limit set as 21 years, few car rental companies may allow younger drivers to drive a rental car, provided that extra fees is paid by the driver before taking the car into possession.