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Thailand forum

Car rentals in Thailand

Posted by maxdelius on 15/7/2022 at 21:17

Hi all,

In August, we would like to travel through Southern Thailand by car.

However, when I search for a rental car, I always end up with the big companies (Avis, Budget,...), and the prices are correspondingly high for 20 days. We plan to rent the car at Bangkok airport and drop it off at Surat Thani airport.

Is there a possibility of renting locally? Is this cheaper? 

Do I wait until after landing to rent a car at the airport?

Thanks for your advice.


#1 maxdelius has been a member since 18/2/2018. Posts: 1

Posted by exacto on 16/7/2022 at 07:22

Hi Max,

I'm afraid that despite all my travels in Thailand, I've never rented a car here, so can't help necessarily help with the specifics of your questions. However, I would like to learn more about your planned trip, how many people are in your group, etc., in case there are alternatives which might better fit you besides renting a car. I mention this because Thailand has excellent public transportation options, some of which are super fun and make for an adventure in themselves, like the overnight sleeper trains.

If you will be spending most of your time in the south (and I'd love to learn exactly which Thai provinces you expect to visit), you might be better off taking the train or flying south and renting at the destination rather than driving all the way from Bangkok. Depending on the destinations, you might also choose to hire private transportation with a driver to get from place to place. This would particularly work if you plan to hang out in locations for several days and won't need a car.

Anyway, tell us more about your plans so we can see what choice we can identify for you. Cheers.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,848

Posted by somtam2000 on 17/7/2022 at 04:12 admin

There are local agents at the airport, but no idea on rates sorry. You’ll be probably able to hire a slightly cheaper car downtown, but being able to drop it in Surat Thani may limit your options as I think the cheapest ones will be to return to Bangkok. A quick look at the main international agents looks to have deals for under 1,000 baht a day (with Sixt) for a month-long hire in August—I’m not sure that you’d get a car much cheaper to be honest—at least not with the flexibility of dropping elsewhere

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,099

Posted by sparky on 24/7/2022 at 08:52

Hey Max,

I’ve been renting cars on my thai travels for +10 years.

for the last 6 years, I have used Rentalcars.com

It’s part of booking .com group.

Their rates are substantially less then any individual company.

For my peace of mind, I only select, budget, hertz or avis.

As I have heard too many horror stories of charges for scratches etc from friends who have used 2nd tier rental companies around the globe…

Hope this helps.

Cheers mark 

#4 sparky has been a member since 19/3/2006. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 7

Posted by khunwilco on 6/8/2022 at 20:56

I Thailand you are best to deal with th intentional brands. (Sixt is my favourite)

There are now more reputable native companies in Thailand but you need to research them.

When renting make sure you have


Your home licence

and check EXACTLY how much insurance cover you have - both for third party and your own hospital fees etc etc.

You also could do with bail bond cover.

If you have an accident/incident make sure you have your insurance number handy - ring them IMMEDIATELY - they will send an agent to the science - usually in less than half an hour. The agent will act as intermediary between you, other parties and the police -they are VERY helpful.

It's a good idea to photo any car from all angles before driving off - just in case they find damage on its return they hadn't seen before.

I hope you are a competent driver who has experience of adapting to very different road environment to that at home.

#5 khunwilco has been a member since 30/4/2014. Posts: 14

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