Car hire in Thailand

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Renting a car in Thailand is a great opportunity to mix up your leisurely beach vacation with action-packed and comfortable trips around the kingdom. Travelling by car you can visit the most authentic Thai villages, explore the most beautiful national parks, and see majestic palaces. And you won't have to adjust to public transport schedules or travel with the crowds of tourists by tour buses. Just enter your places of interest into the navigation system and go on your journey.

Required documents to rent a car

You’ll need the following documents: 

  • International Driving Permit (IDP)
  • The passport you used to enter the country
  • Bank card.

Make sure you have an IDP together with your regular national driving license. Otherwise, you will pay a fine of 1,000 baht ($30) for driving without your IDP in Thailand.

Your passport is only needed for the rental agreement. You will not have to leave any of your personal documents as a deposit.

Age and driving experience requirements are different for different cars. They are listed on each car’s booking page. You can use filters to find the car that suit you best.

The most popular cities for car hire in Thailand

Road traffic

The most important feature of traffic regulations in Thailand is the left-hand traffic. Usually, it’s not difficult to get used to it. Just be careful when taking turns and take your time. It usually takes a few hours to adjust to the local traffic.

If this is your first time driving a right-hand drive car, we recommend renting a car with an automatic transmission (AT).

The locals often ignore the traffic rules but it doesn’t you should follow suit. The police issue fines for traffic offences rather eagerly.

Parking in Thailand

In major cities, the police strictly enforce proper parking, so don’t park your car in the wrong places.

No parking is allowed:

  • along the kerb with red and white markings
  • along the kerb with yellow and white markings

Even you can’t even stop on yellow boxes with criss-cross yellow lines.


In Thailand, petrol stations offer petrol and diesel. You can also fill up with gasohol — a mixture of petrol and ethanol. It is cheaper than “regular” petrol by 15% but the distance you can drive on it is also shorter.

Some tourists save money by refuelling their rental cars at small private shops where locals are happy to sell petrol in plastic bottles. Such petrol is cheaper that at a petrol station but the quality leaves much to be desired. And the volume of those plastic bottles is unknown. The potential savings are not worth the risk of stalling somewhere in a deserted area at night.

In Thailand, like everywhere else, you can save money on fuel quality but it’s not worth it.

Mobile service

If you are coming to Thailand for a week or two and plan to make a lot of phone calls, it will be more cost-effective to buy a local SIM card.

Three major providers operate in the country: Dtac, AIS, and TrueMove H. They all have roughly the same coverage area, good call quality, and convenient plans for tourists.

02.10.2023 12:44

Hello! Can I rent a car with 2 child safety seats?

Iryna (Localrent)
02.10.2023 15:03

Hello! No problem, you can select the necessary number of child safety seats on the car page. You will see the cost of the equipment for the entire rental period near this option. Make sure to indicate the age and weight of your kids in the comment to your booking.

03.06.2023 16:33

Hi! Are there any mileage limits?

Iryna (Localrent)
03.06.2023 18:01

Hello! It’s different for each car, there are cars with mileage limits and with unlimited mileage. You will see this information when you open the car’s booking page. If your car has a mileage limit, it is the total for the entire rental period, i.e. you can drive more on some days and less on others. Just don’t exceed the total limit.

28.03.2023 12:23

Can I rent a car for 7 people?

Iryna (Localrent)
28.03.2023 15:39

Hello! Of course, you can choose the one you need in the “Minivans” section. To rent a 7-seater, you will need a category B driving licence.

Kim McCoy
06.12.2022 21:02

Can I pay for rent with a card?

Iryna (Localrent)
07.12.2022 10:46

Hello! In the profile of each car, you will find the information on how you can pay the deposit and the remaining amount. When you arrive, you can choose a car with a suitable payment method.