Buying a used car in Thailand can be confusing. It’s not like in the West where you hand over some cash and drive away in the car. You have to take further steps.
And the process becomes more complicated if the owner of the car is still financing it.
In this guide, you’ll find out how to buy a used car in the five possible scenarios you’re likely to run into in Thailand.
You’ll also find out how to tell if a used car is stolen or not.
Before Buying a Used Car
Before buying a used car, check the car’s Blue Book or its copy (if the car is financed) in addition to checking the car.
The engine number should be the same number listed in the blue book. If it’s the same number, you can be 99% sure the car belongs to the person selling it.
If the number doesn’t match, don’t take any chances. Walk away from the deal.
Also, if the seller can’t show you the blue book, it’s better to take your money elsewhere.
Five Possible Buying Scenarios
Here are the five possible scenarios you’re likely to face:
The first scenario is to buy the car from a used car dealer like a car tent.
Prices tend to be higher than buying from a private seller but car tents have all the details related to the car transfer and can even take care of the financial loan.
The second scenario is to buy from a private seller, assuming you have enough cash.
You handle all the paperwork yourself. The seller gives you a signed copy of his or her ID, house registration, Blue Book, power of attorney, and transfer of ownership.
Then you complete the process once you pay for the car. Or you and the seller can go to the Department of Land Transport together to transfer ownership.
The third scenario is where you have enough cash to pay for the car but the owner is still financing the car.
In this case, you should go to the bank with the seller to complete the purchase contract and transaction.
The bank does the paperwork and sends you an updated Blue Book with your name within two weeks.
If you need to finance the car you have to pay a deposit in advance, normally 5,000 baht. Make sure to sign the deposit contract.
The seller should give you a few weeks to get a loan. Once your loan is approved, the bank will give you a check made out to the seller.
Then, the seller should provide you with the necessary documents for transferring ownership of the car.
You can handle the rest yourself or the seller can go to the Department of Land Transport with you.
If you can’t get a loan in time, the seller has right to take the deposit unless you negotiate beforehand that he or she must return it.
If a car is still under finance and you need to get a loan to purchase the car, the easiest way is to go to the bank and have them transfer the loan into your name.
But you may still have to pay a percentage to the seller and a processing fee to the bank.