What you should know before you rent a car
Where can you rent a car in Thailand?
Located in Southeast Asia, Thailand is home to a number of large cities in which to rent a car. Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, is the main point of arrival for visitors to the country; Chiang Mai is another major city in Thailand, while the country is also known for its beautiful islands. From Koh Tao, Koh Samui and Koh Pha-ngan, to Koh Phi Phi and Koh Chang, there are plenty of beaches to discover! The best way to reach Thailand is by plane: some of the main points of arrival are Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok; Chiang Mai International Airport; and Phuket International Airport. Car rental is available from all of these airports, as well as city centers. Car rental companies in Thailand include Avis, Hertz, Europcar, Sixt and Thai Rent a Car – to name just a few!
Thailand is filled with beautiful roads just waiting to be explored. Public transport in Thailand is available across the country and while many choose to take a cheap flight from city to city, renting a car allows visitors to see the country's stunning natural landscapes at their own pace. Just be careful when driving in Thailand, as the country is known for its slightly chaotic roads!
What are the driving rules in Thailand?
On first glance, it may seem as if there are few driving rules in Thailand: in cities, drivers are impatient and taking to the road will provide quite the adventure! However, as with any country, there are rules and regulations to be followed. Drivers from the US will need to hold a valid US driver's license, or an International Driver's License; you'll need to be at least 21 years of age to rent a car in Thailand. Do not drink and drive: the maximum blood alcohol level allowed in Thailand is 0.5 mg. In Thailand, drivers drive on the left side of the road. Pay attention to the road when driving, particularly in cities, as driving in Bangkok is not the safest and you'll need to keep your wits about you.
Awesome road trips to take in Thailand
Sure, you can travel across Thailand by bus, train or even plane – but what better way to check out the country's stunning scenery than by rental car?! There are so many great places to explore in Thailand, and traveling by car is the best way to create your own itinerary. Take a look at these great road trips in Thailand for some inspiration to get you started.
Road trips around Bangkok
Located in the center of Thailand, Bangkok is a destination bursting with brilliant attractions for visitors, as well as some of the country's primary transport hubs – such as Suvarnabhumi Airport. However for those wishing to take a trip outside of the capital, renting a car and hitting the road is an excellent option. From Bangkok, there is a number of destinations to travel to by car depending on your travel style. For a long weekend, why not drive to Koh Samet, a nearby island. Drive the 114 miles to Rayong, before hopping on a ferry to reach the island. Alternatively, take a road trip to the beautiful town of Kanchanaburi: located around two hours from Bangkok by car, the town boasts attractions such as the Death Railway Bridge, the Thailand-Burma Railway Center, the JEATH War Museum, and the Erawan National Park – home to the Erawan Falls.
Road trips around Chiang Mai
If Chiang Mai is your point of arrival, you're in luck: the surrounding landscape is simply breathtaking and there is plenty to explore by rental car! You could even drive down to Bangkok, by way of the stunning city of Ayutthaya. Once the capital of the Kingdom of Siam, the Ayutthaya Historical Park is now a popular attraction filled with the beautiful ruins of palaces and ancient temples. Alternatively, rent a car in Chiang Mai and head out to one of the elephant sanctuaries near to the city: they're a great way to visit these beautiful creatures while helping them at the same time. Chiang Rai, around a four-hour drive from Chiang Mai, is another great place to visit: it's a relatively small city known for its temples and charm.
Road trips to the beach
The best starting point for a road trip to the beach is Bangkok. While some of the country's most famous islands are located further south (such as Koh Samui, Koh Tao, Koh Pha-Ngan, and Koh Phi-Phi), these are best explored by boat, as there is little benefit to having a car once there! However, renting a car from Bangkok will allow you to reach a number of beautiful beach resorts in hours. One such destination is the seaside resort of Hua Hin. Popular and well equipped with bars, hotels, shops and restaurants, it overlooks the Gulf of Thailand and can be reached in around 2h 40m by car from Bangkok.