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Everything You Need to Know About Renting a Car in Thailand

Renting-a-Car-in-Thailand-Guide Posted on: 9th December 2023

Thailand being one of the world’s most sought-after tourist destinations, pulls visitors from different parts of the globe. Being in a foreign land, with no idea about how to get around and what places to visit while on a holiday can be a bit daunting. Of all the transportation methods available in the country, renting a car makes the most sense, considering you will buy yourself the freedom and flexibility to explore Thailand at your leisurely pace. Whether visiting solo or with your friends/family, you can easily plan a short trip or a long vacation and make your travel experience a lot more comfortable and convenient by renting a suitable car type for your trip.

Don’t know how and where to start? Fret not, we’re here to help you with everything you need to know about renting a car in Thailand.

Self-drive Car Rental in Thailand

Self-drive car rentals are incredibly popular among visitors and locals alike in Thailand. Given the presence of several international and domestic car rental companies in the country, there’s an extensive selection of car types that are available to be booked in different parts of the nation at the lowest prices.

Can Foreigners Rent a Car in Thailand?

Foreigners are allowed to rent a car in Thailand as long as they meet the rental terms and conditions. Non-residents need to carry an International Driving Permit (IDP) along with a domestic driving license, a passport, and an ID card of their country of residence, as the representative might ask to produce them at the rental desk during pick-up. Additionally, the renter must be at least 21 years old to become eligible for a Thailand car rental as specified by most car rental companies.

How to Choose the Best Car Rental Company in Thailand?

Thailand is home to an array of car rental providers, with their branches dotted at the most convenient places in the country. The list includes global brands, such as Thrifty, Europcar, Budget, Hertz, Keddy by Europcar, Dollar, and Yesaway, and local companies like Chic Car Rent and Thai Rent a Car. However, when it comes to selecting a supplier, customers are often left in a dilemma; let us help you with that. You can choose a company based on the following parameters:

Customer Reviews/Ratings

An easy way to get an opinion regarding a supplier is to check its ratings and reviews shared by the customers online. Look for what people have to share regarding their experiences with the company and customer services.


With rental cost being one of the deciding factors, you ought to make a thorough comparison among the deals offered by different suppliers to determine which company is offering the best value for money and make sure to check whether any hidden charges are involved.

Car Categories

Your rental experience majorly depends on the kind of vehicle you rent. Therefore, browse through all the options being offered by the suppliers and choose the best car type based on your needs.

How to Select the Best Car Rental Type in Thailand?

  • The suppliers based in Thailand keep a diverse range of rental cars in their inventory, varying in sizes, specifications, budgets, manufacturers, etc. Considering every renter has different needs and is looking for a specific type of rental vehicle, suppliers keeping their car fleet extensive makes complete sense.
  • To keep it simple, the segment involving mini/economy/compact cars makes for a suitable choice for solo and budget travelers, standard and full-size cars, on the other hand, are a good pick for small groups. When it comes to SUV rentals, they are perfect for long trips or expeditions involving mountainous terrains. Vans/Minivans are an excellent option for big groups as they can conveniently accommodate 7-15 people. As far as luxury and convertible cars are concerned, they add the perfect amount of luxe touch to your journey, allowing you to travel in style.

What Documents Do I Need to Rent a Car in Thailand?

When picking up the rental vehicle in Thailand, the renters must be in possession of the following documents:

  • Full & Valid Driving License
  • Valid ID Card (preferably a Passport)
  • Rental Confirmation Voucher
  • International Driving Permit (IDP)

Before renting a car with any supplier, always make sure to read their rental terms and conditions to determine if you need to carry any other additional documents in addition to the aforementioned ones. Also, if you have a long road trip in mind, we suggest adding an additional driver to your deal while booking a car to keep yourself from getting exhausted with all that driving. Make sure to register the additional driver while making a reservation or at the desk to avoid any inconvenience when driving in Thailand. Besides additional drivers, you can also add extras like child booster seats, GPS, and more to the deal at a nominal price to ensure a hassle-free journey.

How to Book the Cheapest Car Rental in Thailand?

Finding and reserving cheap car rentals in Thailand involves no rocket science. You just need to bear certain things in mind mentioned below when looking for a low-priced Thailand car rental.

  • Book Through the Right Platform

    The first and foremost thing to do is to find a credible and trusted platform where you can compare car rental deals from top suppliers under one roof and at the same time, be able to secure a better but cheaper deal. Thailand Cars Rentals is one such platform that offers exciting car hire deals and enables you to make an easy comparison among the offers, allowing you to reserve the best car rental for yourself.

  • Reserve a Car in Advance

    Making an early reservation for a Thailand rental car will enable you to save more. The car hire prices tend to increase as the pick-up date approaches, and therefore, booking the car in advance will help you score a better and cheaper deal. Attempt to reserve the car at least a week in advance.

  • Look for Budget-friendly options

    Suppliers offer a host of budget-friendly mobility solutions to renters, including mini, economy, and compact cars. They don’t burn a hole in the pocket and enable you to cover longer distances without making you worry about refueling your car every couple of hours, thereby helping you cut costs.

  • Opt for Full-to-Full Fuel Policy

    Dodge extra charges and book yourself a car deal with a full-to-full fuel policy. By choosing this deal, you will receive your rented car with a full tank, and at the time of drop-off, you will have to return it with its tank full.

What Kinds of Car Rental Deals Can be Booked in Thailand?

Car rental companies provide flexibility to customers, allowing them to book a deal based on their needs. From choosing different durations to locations, the deals can be customized according to the renters’ requirements. To get access to discounted deals and live prices of long-term/monthly, short-term/one-day, and one-way car rentals, conduct a quick and easy search here.

Listed below are some of the popular rental deal types offered in Thailand.

  • Long-term/Monthly Car Rental

    Monthly car rentals are a part of the deals offered by car rental suppliers in Thailand. From a few weeks and a month to 2 months, 3 months, 6 months, and more, the rental duration is flexible and can be decided as per your needs. Additionally, long-term deals are comparatively cheaper, and the final rental price is designed based on the supplier, car type, location, etc.

  • Short-term/Daily/One-day Car Rental

    Those looking to rent a car just for a day or brief duration find their best solution in short-term car rentals. This deal type enables renters to reserve a car for a day, weekend, week, or 2 weeks. Short-term car rentals are best suited for multiple occasions and purposes, including temporary vehicle replacement, day trips, road trips, etc. The cost to reserve this deal type depends on the trip details you provide.

  • One-way Car Rental

    Returning the rental car to the original pick-up location is not essential as long as the supplier is providing you with the option to drop it off somewhere else within the country. Based on preference and convenience, renters can choose among the available pick-up and drop-off locations. The company charges a nominal daily fee for one-way rental deals. Also, mind that no supplier allows the renters to book a cross-border rental.

What is the Age Requirement to Rent a Car in Thailand?

Most car rental companies require drivers to be at least 21 years old to rent a car in Thailand, however, the guidelines are different for each supplier, and some companies may also have age restrictions on certain car types. Additionally, drivers under 25 might need to pay an additional Young Driver Fee.

Make it a point to check out the supplier Rental Terms of the company you’re considering renting a car with for a better understanding of their requirements.

Is an International Driving License (IDP) Required to Rent a Car in Thailand?

The car rental requirements can be different for suppliers and renters, but if you are renting a car as a foreigner or tourist with a driver’s license from the US, UK, Malaysian, India, or any other country, you are advised to carry an International Driving Permit (IDP) along with your original national driver’s license. An IDP is a translation of the domestic driver’s license that enables the license holder to drive a motor vehicle in other countries. The suppliers might refuse to accept domestic driver’s licenses in other languages besides the ones printed in Thai or Roman.

To be on the safer side and for no last-minute hassles, you must consider carrying an IDP even if your domestic driver’s license is in the Roman alphabet. Make sure to peruse the Rental Terms of your preferred supplier for more clarity regarding their requirements.

What are the Things to Remember Before Picking Up the Car Rental?

  • It’s a good idea to inspect the car for any kind of damage. If you notice anything unusual, click pictures so that you can show that as proof to the representative when needed. This will save you from being unnecessarily charged.
  • Besides checking the interior and exterior of your car rental, you must also check whether you’ve received the vehicle according to the fuel policy mentioned in your Rental Confirmation Voucher. If your deal comes with a Full-to-Full fuel policy, you will receive the car with a full tank and you’re also supposed to return it with a full tank. As for the Same-to-Same fuel policy, the car will come with a fixed amount of fuel in the tank and it should also be returned with the same amount of fuel. If you return the car with less fuel in the tank, you may have to pay additional charges.

Is It Allowed to Rent a Car in Thailand Without a Credit Card?

A majority of car providers in Thailand require the main driver’s credit card to collect a refundable security deposit before renting the car to the driver. The supplier might refuse to rent the car to you in case you are unable to produce a credit card with sufficient limit. The details regarding the security deposit amount will be specified in your Rental Confirmation Voucher. Note that the credit card presented at the rental desk should match the name with which the car has been booked.

The refund of the security amount held by the company is initiated as soon as the rental car is returned.


Top Car Rental City Locations Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Krabi, Koh Samui, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Khao Lak
Top Car Rental Airport Locations Suvarnabhumi Airport, Phuket Airport, Don Mueang Airport, Krabi Airport, Koh Samui Airport, Chiang Mai Airport
Popular Car Rental Categories Luxury, Economy

Renting a car in Thailand is as easy as it gets, and with this guide covering all the things that are vital for you to know, you can rest assured. Additionally, with a medium like Thailand Cars Rentals having your back in terms of comparison, prices, and quality cars, you will be able to secure the best and cheapest Thailand car rental deal for yourself in a matter of minutes right from your home.

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