Renting a Car in Thailand: What You Need to Know

Read this guide to score the best deals the next time you need to rent a car in Thailand.
A man holding out a set of car keys.

Renting a car is a great way to explore the Kingdom of Thailand, especially if you’re not staying in Bangkok.

Having a car in Thailand lets you visit the country at your own pace and venture off the beaten path.

You can discover Thailand’s quaint villages, natural parks, and secluded sandy beaches that aren’t part of usual tourist itineraries.

This guide shows you how to find and rent a car of your liking, the cost of renting car, and important things to consider.

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Summary of this Post

If you want to skip all the details and get right to renting a car in Thailand, check out HappyCar.

HappyCar is one of the most comprehensive comparison websites that offers deals and discounts on rental cars.

If you want to get into the nitty-gritty of renting a car, continue reading.

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Preparing to Rent a Car

Before you rent a car in Thailand you should know about a few things, like if you’re eligible, what you need, and what you’re up against.

Who Can Rent a Car in Thailand?

The minimum age is set by car rental companies. Some companies set the minimum age at 21, while other car rental companies ask the driver to be at least 23.

Car rental companies in Thailand require the driver to have a driver’s license for a minimum of a year. Luxury cars are reserved for more experienced drivers.

Required Driving License

If you plan to drive in Thailand, you should either have a Thai driver’s license or an international driver’s permit.

The driver’s license from your home country might work in some cases, but you risk not being covered by insurance.

You should always carry your driver’s license or international driver’s permit along with a copy of your passport’s photo and visa page.

Failure to carry these documents can result in a hefty fine if stopped by the Thai police.

If you need help getting a Thai driver’s license, reach out to us and we’ll put you in touch with an agency that can help.

Road Conditions

The roads in Thailand are usually maintained. But it’s not out of the ordinary to find some rough patches of road with lots of potholes.

Thailand recently was labeled with the highest road accident death rate in the world.

The main hazard comes from drunk drivers and motorbikes. Traffic laws here are not well enforced, which results in reckless and speedy driving everywhere.

Accidents can happen so be sure to have reliable travel insurance like ACS in the event you need coverage.

Minor roads, especially those in the countryside, are not always well lit.

If you’re driving on these roads for the first time avoid driving at night to reduce the risk of accidents.

Danger also comes from stray animals like street dogs that lie in the middle of the road or dart across moving cars.

Street dogs can be particularly difficult to spot at dusk and motorists should keep a lookout for them at all times.

You shouldn’t run into any problems while driving in Thailand if you stay aware at all times.

You can find out more about travel insurance in Thailand here.

Cost of Renting a Car

The cost of renting a car varies depending on the location in Thailand and the car rental company.

But car rental companies like Avis and Budget tend to offer standardized prices.

The other major factor that affects rental costs is the size and style of the car.

The cost for renting a small, standard budget car starts at 700 baht per day and runs all the way up to 3000 baht per day for a luxury model.

You could pay as much as 5,000 baht per day for a large, luxury car with a few added extras.

Below is an average daily price for popular models.

ModelDaily Price (THB)Daily Price (USD)
Toyota Yaris 1.21,400 THB$42 USD
Toyota Vios1,500 THB$45 USD
Toyota Altis1,800 THB$55 USD
Toyota Camry2,200 THB$67 USD
Mitsubishi Pajero2,500 THB$76 USD
BMW 3 Series10,000 THB$303 USD
BMW 520D10,000 THB$303 USD

You can get discounts by making a reservation in advance.

It’s always a good idea to use a comparison site and book online at least a month in advance to get the best deal.

There is also a standard VAT charge of 7%, which is usually included in the rental charge.

There is a 24-hour minimum rental charge as well. If you return the car late, you should expect to pay extra charges or a full day’s rate.

Some rental companies like Sixt don’t charge for a few additional hours.

If you want to extend your rental period beyond the agreed length of time you usually need to let the rental company know at least two days in advance.

Rental companies then charge you the regular daily rate. Added features, like baby seats and GPS, increase daily rates.

After selecting the type of car you want to rent, you need to leave your credit card details with the rental company and pay a deposit.

You can pay the remaining balance upon returning the vehicle.

Although most car rental companies prefer drivers to pay using a credit card, some companies take cash or wire transfer.

Two major credit cards, Visa and MasterCard, are accepted throughout Thailand, while American Express and Divers Club can be used sparingly.

But some car rental companies only accept credit cards issued by banks.

If you rent a car for several weeks or even months you may get a discount.

Rental prices tend to drop slightly in the low season and rise in the high season.

Many of the larger car rental companies offer special deals and promotions throughout the year.

The remaining number of cars the rental company has for your date also affects your rental costs.

If there are a lot of rental cars left, the cost is lower. If there are only a few left, the price goes up.

But some rental companies have a fixed price, no matter what time of year or how many cars they have left.

These are usually small companies aiming at longterm rentals.

Car Rental Procedure

When renting a car in Thailand, the procedure is usually the same with every company. Here’s what to expect.

Signing Car Rental Contract

To rent a car in Thailand you must sign a car rental contract, which is a legally binding document designed to protect you and the rental company.

Before signing, however, you should ask certain questions such as:

  • what am I expected to do if the car breaks down?
  • what happens if I lose the car key?
  • what phone numbers can I call if the car is stolen, breaks down, or is damaged?

Car rental contracts vary between companies, but generally you get a few pages of A4 sized paper full of terms and conditions written in fine print.

You might be tempted to skim through contracts and sign them as quickly as possible.

If you don’t read and understand all of the terms and conditions it could lead to problems later on.

International companies usually post a copy of their car rental contract online, which allows you to read it in advance so you understand and agree with everything.

Here’s what a typical car rental contract looks like.

There are three things to be aware of before signing the contract.

First, you must return the rental car with a full tank of gas or pay extra for the car rental company to fill up the tank, usually at a much higher price of gas.

Second, if there is a clause in the contract that limits the amount of miles that can be covered, stay within the limits. The excess mileage fee can be very high.

Third, you may be charged for returning the rental car late or early. It’s important to check this carefully before signing the contract.

Inspecting the Rental Car

You should fully inspect the rental car along with a member of the rental car company before signing the rental car contract.

There are several things to pay attention to while walking around the car and checking for obvious signs of damage.

If you happen to notice scratches, dents, or other signs or damage, point them out to the member of staff and make sure the staff notes it.

You and the company should keep a signed record to prevent being charged for this damage when you return the vehicle.

Make sure that the license plates on the rental car are current and that the tires are fully inflated and have even tread wear.

The interior of the vehicle should be clean and tidy with the owner’s manual in the glove box.

Check under the hood and trunk, and look for a spare tire, lug wrench, and jack.

Picking Up and Dropping Off the Car

If you plan to use a rental car to explore Thailand you may find that you have to leave the country at a different airport or land border from which you arrived in.

In this case, you can specify your preferred drop off location when renting the car.

Many of the larger car rental companies have several offices throughout the country so selecting a different drop off location isn’t usually a problem.

For example, you can fly to Bangkok, rent a car there, take a roadtrip to Chiang Mai, and then return the car there. In some cases rental car companies may charge a small fee.

Some companies also charge a fee for dropping off the rental car outside of office hours.

Most car rental companies in Thailand offer a delivery and pickup service but you should book them in advance.

The service is usually free if your located within ten miles of the nearest rental office, otherwise car rental companies charge a collection fee.

Inspecting the Car During Drop Off

When you return your rental car, a member of staff inspects it carefully.

In addition to checking for damage, staff checks the trunk, glove box, storage compartments, underneath the back and front seats, and the mileage and gas gauge.

If they find any dents or scratches, you are expected to pay for them.

Check out this website for a full car rental checklist.

Car Rental Companies in Thailand

You can choose to rent a car from many different Thai and international car rental companies in Thailand.

But because the rates, insurance coverage, and types of vehicles differ between each company, you should use the comparison site HappyCar to get the best deal.

Local Thai car rental companies generally offer better prices, both in terms of the rental price and other related costs like insurance, delivery services, and extras.

In addition, they tend to be flexible and less strict with policies and regulations, making communication easier when encountering unexpected problems.

On the other hand, when renting a car from an international company you get international standards and service.

International companies generally have better selections of vehicles with more branches throughout Thailand.

If you’re an Avis, Hertz, or other international car rental company customer, you can collect membership points for discounts on future car rentals.

Local Companies

When it comes to local rental car companies, Thailand has a lot of options. Below are some of the more popular choices.

Thai Rent a Car

thai rent a car logo
Minimum Age Requirement21
Estimated Price Per Day990 – 2,550 THB
Minimum Rental Period1
Deposit10,000 – 20,000 THB
Cash AcceptanceNo
Debit Card AcceptancePossibly accepted
Weekly Rent Estimated Discount
Monthly Rent Estimated Discount
Contact Number1647, +66894567890
Office LocationsMost parts of Thailand
LDW/CDW Excess Amounts4,280 – 10,700 THB
Super Collision Damage Waiver200 – 500 THB a day
Personal Accident InsuranceNot provided
Theft ProtectionIncluded in LDW/CDW
Excess for Total Loss4,280 – 10,700 THB
GPS200 THB a day
Child Seat100 THB a day
Out of Hours ChargeNo
Additional Driver ChargeNo
Delivery Pickup/ReturnPrice based on duration
Grace Period59 minutes

Thai Rent a Car is the biggest and one of the most well-known car rental companies in Thailand.

They’ve been in the industry for over 30 years and have 32 branches and counting all over Thailand.

Thai Rent a Car has similar standards and policies as international companies but at cheaper prices. Walk-in prices are also good and they have short wait times.

Thai Rent a Car fleet offers 20 available models in total.

Toyota, Nissan, and Mitsubishi are the main vehicles in their standard fleet.

The luxury fleet includes vehicles from Mercedes Benz, but with nine different models to choose from.

But Thai Rent a Car uses the standard car models for their luxury fleet, so you might not get basic features such as a remote key.

Thai Rent a Car may offer a free delivery and pickup service if your located near their one of their offices.

Although Thai Rent a Car offers promotions that decrease your cost by as much as 50% from weekday rates, the information is mostly available in Thai.

If you don’t speak Thai or know someone who does it can be difficult to reap their rewards.

Chic Car Rent

chic car rent
Minimum Age Requirement21
Estimated Price Per Day800 – 2,000 THB
Minimum Rental Period1
Deposit20,000 THB
Cash AcceptanceNo
Debit Card AcceptanceNo
Weekly Rent Estimated Discount15%
Monthly Rent Estimated Discount25%
Contact Number+6622866799
Office LocationsA few major tourism provinces
LDW/CDW Excess Amounts2,000 – 10,000 THB
Super Collision Damage Waiver100 THB a day
Personal Accident InsuranceNot provided
Theft Protection100 THB a day
Excess for Total Loss10,000 THB
GPS100 THB a day
Child Seat100 THB a day
Out of Hours Charge535 – 1070 THB
Additional Driver ChargeNo
Delivery Pickup/Return15km within Bangkok, only for renting at least 3 days
Grace Period4 hours

Chic Car Rent is a prominent Thai car rental company that was established in 2004.

The company has branches in at airports in Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, and Phuket.

Chic Car Rent is supported by the leading Honda dealer in Thailand. And they supply customers with a full range of Hondas, from economy models to the full-size SUVs.

Chic Car Rent is among the cheapest car rental companies in Thailand, with the average starting price at only 800 baht per day.

The price can be even lower with their regular promotions and vouchers.

In addition, other extras from the Super Collision Damage Waiver to GPS are also cheaper than other companies.

But the deposit is surprisingly high at 20,000 baht for all vehicles.

Similar to Thai Rent a Car, rental cars from Chic Car Rent are usually standard models in the series.

Chic Car Rent has offices and kiosks only at airports.

Bizcar Rental

bizcar rental logo
Minimum Age Requirement23
Estimated Price Per Day900 – 6,500 THB
Minimum Rental Period1
Deposit5,000 – 50,000 THB
Cash AcceptancePossibly Accepted
Debit Card AcceptancePossibly Accepted
Weekly Rent Estimated Discount
Monthly Rent Estimated Discount
Contact Number+6626968250
Office LocationsMost major tourism provinces
LDW/CDW Excess AmountsFree of Charge
Super Collision Damage Waiver200 – 300 THB
Personal Accident InsuranceNot provided
Theft ProtectionIncluded in LDW/CDW
Excess for Total LossN/A
GPSFree of Charge
Child SeatFree of Charge
Out of Hours ChargeN/A
Additional Driver ChargeNo
Delivery Pickup/ReturnFree within 15km
Grace Period59 minutes

Bizcar Rental is another well known Thai car rental company that was established more than 15 years ago in Bangkok.

Bizcar Rental stands out because they offer a range of economy and luxury cars, SUVs, and vans from Toyota, Honda, and Mercedes Benz.

Bizcar Rental offers competitive prices and regularly appears as one of the cheapest options on comparison portals, especially during holiday seasons.

Customers are offered free cancellation on bookings with regular promotions.

While the company headquarters is in Bangkok, you can find branches Ayutthaya, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai and Hat Yai.

Ezy Rent a Car

ezy rent a car logo
Minimum Age Requirement23
Estimated Price Per Day1,000 – 3,000 THB
Minimum Rental Period3 days
Deposit30,000
Cash AcceptancePossibly accepted
Debit Card AcceptancePossibly accepted
Weekly Rent Estimated Discount15%
Monthly Rent Estimated Discount55%
Contact Number+66819852311, +66860577197
Office LocationsBangkok
LDW/CDW Excess Amounts5,000 THB
Super Collision Damage Waiver300 THB a Day
Personal Accident InsuranceIncluded in LDW/CDW
Theft ProtectionIncluded in SCDW
Excess for Total Loss30,000 THB, waived with SCDW
GPS200 THB a day
Child Seat150 THB a day
Out of Hours Charge500 – 1,500 THB
Additional Driver ChargeNo
Delivery Pickup/Return500 THB within Bangkok
Grace PeriodAn hour rate for the first 6 hours. Then, a daily rate applied

If you plan to rent a car from Bangkok for at least a month, Ezy Rent a Car is a good option.

This company has been operating in Bangkok for nearly two decades and specializes in long-term rentals.

Despite having a single office in Bangkok, Ezy Rent a Car has more than 400 vehicles, from economy to family-sized.

Ezy Rent a Car rents cars in good condition and with an average age of two-and-a-half years to six years old.

Ezy Rent a Car daily and weekly rates are not that different than other car rental companies.

But the real deal comes from their monthly rates that reduce prices by 55%.

They also have a premium Super Collision Damage Wavier, covering accidents, theft, windows, tires, and keys, which isn’t covered by other companies.

However, Ezy Rent a Car might not be suitable for tourists because they have a minimum three day rental and airport delivery charge.

Sawasdee Rent a Car

Sawasdee Logo
Minimum Age Requirement25
Estimated Price Per Day6,000 – 13,000 THB (per week)
Minimum Rental Period7 and 30 days
Deposit25% of the car rental booking
Cash AcceptanceYes
Debit Card AcceptanceYes
Weekly Rent Estimated Discount
Monthly Rent Estimated Discount33%
Contact Number+66813466888
Office LocationsBangkok
LDW/CDW Excess AmountsFree of Charge
Super Collision Damage WaiverFree of Charge
Personal Accident InsuranceNot provided
Theft ProtectionIncluded in LDW/CDW
Excess for Total LossIncluded in LDW/CDW
GPS200 THB a day
Child SeatNot provided
Out of Hours ChargeFree of charge
Additional Driver ChargeNo
Delivery Pickup/ReturnFree within Bangkok
Grace Period3 hours

Open since 2006, Sawasdee Rent a Car is recommended for those who want to rent a car in Bangkok for at least a week.

They are known for good deals on weekly and monthly rentals.

You’re sure to find each rental car in good condition with all the necessary features, excluding GPS.

Sawasdee offers free delivery within Bangkok and ’round-the-clock roadside assistance at no extra cost.

One of the best things about Sawasdee Rent a Car is the full coverage insurance they offer, which brings you peace of mind.

The only thing that isn’t covered in the insurance is the total loss of the car. In this case you’d need to pay an excess of 5,000 baht.

Sawasdee Rent a Car offers fixed prices for both weekly and monthly rentals without hidden costs.

In addition, they have the lowest deposit requirements so far, at only 25% of the total rental price. But they don’t give refunds on deposits.

If you would like to rent a car from Sawasdee Rent a Car you need to rent for at least a week from Bangkok or a month from Suvarnabhumi Airport.

North Wheels Rent A Car

North Wheels Rent a Car Logo
Minimum Age Requirement20
Estimated Price Per Day1,200 – 2,500 THB
Minimum Rental Period1 day
Deposit5,000 – 20,000 THB
Cash AcceptanceYes
Debit Card AcceptanceYes
Weekly Rent Estimated Discount
Monthly Rent Estimated Discount33% – 44% off
Contact Number+6653874478
Office LocationsChiang Mai, Chaing Rai, and Pai
LDW/CDW Excess Amounts5,000 THB
Super Collision Damage Waiver214 THB a day
Personal Accident InsuranceNot provided
Theft ProtectionIncluded in LDW/CDW
Excess for Total Loss5,000 THB
GPS150 THB a day
Child SeatFree of charge
Out of Hours Charge100 THB per hour
Additional Driver ChargeNo
Delivery Pickup/ReturnFree of charge within downtown area
Grace Period1 hour, then 1/5 of the daily rate applied per hour

Established back in 1988, North Wheels Rent A Car is one of Thailand’s longest running car rental companies in the North.

The main branch is located in Chiang Mai and, as the name suggests, is the perfect option for people who are planning to rent a car to explore northern Thailand.

In addition to supplying quality rental cars at reasonable rates, the company offers first class accident insurance and 24-hour emergency service.

North Wheels Rent a Car fleets consist of vehicles from Toyota and a few popular models from other car companies.

Although the daily rate is slightly higher than their competitors, they compensate with other features, such as:

  • free delivery and pickup service from downtown
  • free child seats
  • single excess rate of only 5,000 baht for total loss and theft

You should reserve a car through their website 72 hours in advance. Otherwise, calling is the only other option.

International Companies

Local companies aren’t you only choice when renting a car in Thailand. You can also use an international car rental company.

Sixt

Sixt logo
Minimum Age Requirement23
Estimated Price Per Day1,200 – 7,500 THB
Minimum Rental Period1
Deposit20,000 THB
Cash AcceptanceNo
Debit Card AcceptanceNo
Weekly Rent Estimated DiscountN/A
Monthly Rent Estimated DiscountN/A
Contact Number1798
Office LocationsMost major tourism provinces
LDW/CDW Excess Amounts8,000 – 15,000 THB
Super Collision Damage Waiver200 THB a day
Personal Accident Insurance100 THB a day
Theft ProtectionIncluded in LDW/CDW
Excess for Total Loss50,000 THB
GPS300 THB a day
Child Seat400 THB a day
Out of Hours Charge321 THB per hour
Additional Driver ChargeNo
Delivery Pickup/ReturnNot provided
Grace Period3 hours

Sixt is the fifth largest company in the world and boasts several locations scattered throughout Thailand.

Their Thailand branches are run by Master Car Rental, which runs under Master Group Corporation Asia, Thailand’s leading automotive retail and service sector.

Sixt Thailand has a range of cars for rent. Their fleet consist of Honda and Toyota, and luxury and premium cars from BWM, Mercedes Benz, and Mini Cooper S.

They offer the lowest excess rate among international companies, starting at 8,000 baht, which is 2,000 baht lower than other companies.

In addition, the theft protection insurance is also included in their LDW, but it comes with the most expensive excess at 50,000 baht.

Extras provided by Sixt such as GPS and a child seat are generally 100 THB higher than other international service providers.

Despite not having delivery service, Sixt Thailand airport offices make it easier to pick-up and return a car if you travel by plane.

Their prices are higher than average, but they come with a grace period of three hours—six times longer than the grace period offered by other companies.

Hertz

hertz logo
Minimum Age Requirement21
Estimated Price Per Day1,200 – 2,500 THB
Minimum Rental Period1 day
Deposit10,000 THB
Cash AcceptanceYes, with a Cash Deposit ID Card
Debit Card AcceptancePossibly Accepted
Weekly Rent Estimated Discount16%
Monthly Rent Estimated Discount35%
Contact Number+6622664666
Office LocationsMost parts of Thailand
LDW/CDW Excess Amounts2,000 – 10,000 THB
Super Collision Damage Waiver200 – 500 THB a day
Personal Accident Insurance150 THB a day
Theft ProtectionIncluded in SCDW
Excess for Total Loss30,000 THB
GPS200 THB a day
Child Seat300 THB a day
Out of Hours ChargeFixed cost at 1000 THB
Additional Driver ChargeNo
Delivery Pickup/ReturnFree within 15 km
Grace Period1/4 of daily rate applied per hour

Hertz has one of the largest selections of vehicles in Thailand.

Drivers looking for a specific make and model of rental car from Honda and Toyota can be certain that Hertz carries them.

This is one of the most popular and experienced car rental companies in the world. Expect to get similar standards as Hertz locations in other countries.

Similar to Sixt, Toyota and Honda are the two main car companies provided by Hertz.

The number of Hertz locations in Thailand remains the highest of all car rental companies.

Also, the 10,000 baht deposit is around two times lower than their international competitors.

Average daily prices are higher than average, but Hertz has deals for long-term renters, providing a 15% discount for weekly rentals and 35% for month rentals.

Hertz also offers free delivery service within a 15 kilometers radius from all of its Thailand offices.

Hertz charges a quarter of their daily rates for every hour you return the car late.

Hertz is also a partner of Thai Airways, Thai Smile, and Bangkok Airways. They offer discount and loyalty points when using its service while flying with these airlines.

National

national logo
Minimum Age Requirement21
Estimated Price Per Day800 – 3,000 THB
Minimum Rental Period1
Deposit10,000 – 20,000 THB
Cash AcceptancePossibly accepted
Debit Card AcceptanceNo
Weekly Rent Estimated Discount15%
Monthly Rent Estimated Discount25%
Contact Number+6627228487
Office LocationsMost parts of Thailand
LDW/CDW Excess Amounts8,560 – 12,840 THB
Super Collision Damage Waiver200 – 400 THB a day
Personal Accident Insurance120 THB a day
Theft Protection60 THB a day
Excess for Total Loss8,560 – 12,840 THB
GPS200 THB a day
Child Seat250 THB a day
Out of Hours ChargeN/A
Additional Driver ChargeNo
Delivery Pickup/ReturnN/A
Grace Period1 hour, then 1/4 of the daily rate applied per hour

National is a popular international car rental company from America.

At present, National covers Bangkok and other major locations and offers models from Toyota, Honda, and Nissan.

One of the company’s main selling points is that they’re cheaper than other car rental companies for both short and long-term rentals.

If price is your first priority, National is a good choice. They are cheap but come without the basics, like ABS, airbags, remote control, and USB port.

If you want to rent from National for more than a month, be aware of their extras and insurance options with larger maximum period caps than other companies.

This should make the total rental cost similar to its competitors.

If you would like to rent a car from National, sign up to their royalty program for additional benefits, including free rental days.

Avis

avis logo
Minimum Age Requirement23
Estimated Price Per Day1,500 – 2,800 THB
Minimum Rental Period1
Deposit20,000 THB
Cash AcceptanceNo
Debit Card AcceptancePossibly accepted
Weekly Rent Estimated Discount
Monthly Rent Estimated Discount40%
Contact Number+662255300-4
Office LocationsMost parts of Thailand
LDW/CDW Excess Amounts8,000 – 15,000 THB
Super Collision Damage Waiver200 – 500 THB a day
Personal Accident Insurance150 THB a day
Theft Protection200 – 500 THB a day
Excess for Total Loss8,000 – 15,000 THB
GPS200 THB a day
Child Seat200 THB a day
Out of Hours Charge300 THB per hour
Additional Driver Charge200 THB a day
Delivery Pickup/ReturnFree within 30 km, only for renting at least 5 days
Grace Period4 hours

Avis is another leading international car rental company that has offices in Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Samui, Krabi, and Hat Yai.

The company offers a full range of vehicles for customers to choose from.

If you want to rent a car for the day, you pay rates that are slightly higher than other companies.

Avis hires a lot of staff to ensure speedy service in every area.

However, some rental cars might be in poor condition. Inspect the rental car before signing the contract.

The long-term rental option is a good deal for expats who plan on spending at least a month or even years in Thailand, but don’t want to buy a car.

The monthly price to rent a Toyota Yaris or Toyota Vios starts at 9,999 baht a month.

The company also offers limousine and other first rate services. And their car rental contract is very clear and straightforward.

Avis fleets consist of vehicles from Honda and Toyota, ranging from economy to mid-size cars and from trucks to vans.

Although Avis charges for extras such as an additional driver, theft protection insurance, and DVD player, they offer a free grace period of four hours.

In addition, a long-term renter can enjoy their free delivery and pickup service within 30 kilometers of one of their offices when you rent for at least five days.

If you rent for over seven days you can return the car to any Avis office in Thailand free of charge.

Europcar

europ car logo
Minimum Age Requirement21
Estimated Price Per Day900 – 2,200 THB
Minimum Rental Period1 day
Deposit15,000 THB
Cash AcceptancePossibly accepted
Debit Card AcceptancePossibly accepted
Weekly Rent Estimated Discount
Monthly Rent Estimated Discount
Contact Number+6622060373
Office LocationsBangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket
LDW/CDW Excess Amounts15,000 THB
Super Collision Damage Waiver300 THB a day
Personal Accident Insurance150 THB a day
Theft ProtectionIncluded in SCDW
Excess for Total Loss15,000 THB
GPS200 THB a day
Child Seat300 THB a day
Out of Hours ChargeN/A
Additional Driver Charge200 THB a day
Delivery Pickup/ReturnNo
Grace Period30 minutes

Europcar has been in business for more than 60 years and expanded into Thailand in 2015.

With more than 3,700 different locations around the world, Europcar is now the largest car rental company on the planet.

Average prices are normally higher than average, but they offer several extras, including an additional driver, child seats, navigation system, and insurance.

The company has offices in Bangkok, Phuket, and several other prominent locations.

Europcar carries cars from Nissan and Mitsubishi, with choices of family cars and trucks.

Europcar has the most expensive car insurance cost of all. They have the highest excess at 15,000 baht per accident unless you buy SCDW for 300 baht a day.

Being new to the Thailand market, Europcar doesn’t have co-promotions with local partners.

Currently only a KTC credit card member can save an additional 20% when booking a car from Europcar 48 hours in advance.

Other promotions tend to focus more on tourists who are flying to Thailand through its airline partners.

Budget

budget logo
Minimum Age Requirement21
Estimated Price Per Day1,000 – 2,000 THB
Minimum Rental Period1
Deposit20,000 THB
Cash AcceptanceYes
Debit Card AcceptancePossibly accepted
Weekly Rent Estimated Discount
Monthly Rent Estimated Discount20%
Contact Number+6622039222
Office LocationsMost parts of Thailand
LDW/CDW Excess Amounts10,000 – 20,000 THB
Super Collision Damage Waiver200 – 220 THB a day
Personal Accident Insurance150 THB a day
Theft Protection69 – 99 THB a day
Excess for Total Loss10,000 – 20,000 THB
GPS200 THB a day
Child Seat200 THB a day
Out of Hours ChargeNo
Additional Driver Charge200 THB a day
Delivery Pickup/ReturnFree within 3 km
Grace Period30 minutes before the hourly rate applied. The daily rate applies after 90 minutes.

As the name suggests, Budget specializes in providing low cost rental vehicles and boasts several different branches in Thailand.

The company has 27 locations throughout Thailand and they’ve established a strong reputation for quality service and well-maintained cars.

Budget also updates their range of cars, SUVs, mini vans, and trucks, while delivering friendly service.

Honda and Toyota are the two main fleets of Budget.

Budget has ten models starting from economic cars like Toyota Yaris to high-end models like Toyota Altis, Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, trucks, and vans.

Budget vehicles are usually in good condition since they promise to use only the latest models and replace their fleet every two years.

Budget also offers a free delivery service within three kilometers of their offices.

Budget doesn’t charge for out-of-hour operations, making it a good choice for those who fly at night or early in the morning.

ATA Car Rental

Minimum Age Requirement21
Estimated Price Per Day1,000 THB
Minimum Rental Period7
Deposit5,000 – 10,000 THB
Cash AcceptanceYes
Debit Card AcceptanceNo
Weekly Rent Estimated Discount
Monthly Rent Estimated Discount35%
Contact Number+6627443180
Office LocationsBangkok
LDW/CDW Excess AmountsFree of Charge
Super Collision Damage WaiverFree of Charge
Personal Accident InsuranceNot provided
Theft ProtectionIncluded in LDW/CDW
Excess for Total LossFree of Charge
GPSFree of Charge
Child SeatFree of Charge
Out of Hours ChargeNegotiable
Additional Driver ChargeNo
Delivery Pickup/ReturnFree within Bangkok area
Grace PeriodNegotiable

Unlike other international car rental companies, ATA Car Rental is a small company with family-minded service.

They aim to serve only long-term clients who plan to rent a car for months or years.

Prices start at 1,000 baht per day with a minimum seven days rental.

Renting for at least a month decreases the rental price by 40%.

The best part of ATA Car Rental is the rental price includes insurance, GPS, and other free features. You don’t have to pay more in addition to the rental price.

Despite having one office in Bangna, ATA Rental offers free delivery and pickup service in Bangkok as well as airport transfers.

They provide additional limousine and driver services for those who don’t want to drive.

ATA Car Rental only accepts cash or wire transfer.

Comparison Portals

If you’re looking for the best possible deal on car rentals in Thailand you should weigh your options.

Comparison portals provide a fast and effective way to offer side-by-side comparisons of the costs of rental cars, the vehicles offered, and other important factors.

Comparison portals are industry professionals who secure the best deals.

These portals pass on the savings to visitors of their sites.

The deals available to industry connections are much better than those that can be secured by individuals.

In addition, comparison portals provide a one-stop service to prospective renters.

On the other hand, individual car rental companies often offer special limited time offers as well as deals and discounts that you can’t find elsewhere.

Like airlines and hotels, many international car rental companies offer rewards for frequent customers, which are designed to entice repeat business and loyalty.

Using a car rental comparison portal is a good way to get an idea of the best and most affordable options.

Comparison portals display user ratings and let visitors to these sites gain insight into the kind of service they’re likely to get.

This differs from the mostly positive reviews that you find on the sites of individual car rental companies.

Here are some of the recommended comparison portals that can be used for renting a car in Thailand.

Here are some of the recommended comparison portals that can be used for renting a car in Thailand.

Happycar

happycar logo

If you want to hire a car as soon as you touch down in Thailand, check out Happycar.

Visitors to the site can search for any location they wish to rent a car in.

After you select your pick up and drop off dates and times, they Happycar gives you a comprehensive table of the various car hire options.

The great part about Happycar is that it does not only compare prices from different car rental companies but also other comparison portals.

You can regularly find the best deal possible from using this site.

Another good thing about booking with Happycar is that their customer service team is always available.

Rentalcars

rentalcars

RentalCars covers local and international car rental companies in Thailand like Thai Rent a Car, Chic Car Rent, Avis, Hertz, Budget, and Sixt.

This ensures that you have everything you need to find the cheapest option.

Select the dates and location for your car rental and the website lists cars from the cheapest to most expensive, along with average prices for car rental companies.

Listings offer details on the make and model of the available car, customer reviews, insurance, fuel policy, and other special offers.

RentalCars also provides their own full protection service for an additional 300 baht a day.

This covers you in full for damage to windows, mirrors, wheels and tires, administration and breakdown charges, and theft.

But it’s usually not necessary and comes at 100 baht more than the Super Collision Damage Waiver insurance that rental companies provide.

Expedia

Expedia provides a dedicated car rental page, and allows visitors of the site to see many options at a single glance.

In addition to international car rental companies, Expedia makes it easy for visitors to book their car with local car rental companies like BizCar and Chic Car Rent.

A listing of the various cities in Thailand where car rentals are available is provided at the top of the site.

Simply click on the city of your choice to be taken to the relevant page, where you can submit your pick up and drop off dates, receive a quote, and book your rental.

Expedia presents a very comprehensive table of what each car rental company in the specified location offers, like:

  • the specific address of the office
  • whether delivery to another address is possible
  • whether or not tax is included
  • the types of insurance included

RentalCarGroup

rentalcargroup

RentalCarGroup provides details of international car rental companies in Thailand like Hertz, Europcar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Avis, Sixt, and Budget.

The site also comes with reviews and ratings from customers as well as important facts for driving in Thailand.

Visitors to the site can choose to rent a car from one of Thailand’s international or domestic airports or any major city.

After the desired city is selected, the car rental dates and the type of vehicle, a comprehensive list of options are presented suitable to all styles and budgets.

Skyscanner

skyscanner logo

Skyscanner is famous for price comparison services when it comes to flights. But they also offer car rental comparisons.

Skyscanner also compares car rental company prices to comparison portals like Argus Car Hire and Rental Car Group so you get the best option.

This makes Skyscanner a good option for people focused on price, not location.

Skyscanner offers a number of different ways to search and filter your preferences, such as by reservation sites, car types and classes, and pickup policy.

But renting a car from Skyscanner requires additional steps since the reservation needs to be completed on external sites.

Car Insurance

When renting a car in Thailand, insurance is something you shouldn’t overlook. Here are a few ways to get coverage for your rental car in Thailand.

Car Rental Companies

Before signing a car rental contract and driving away from the car rental office, make sure that you and the vehicle are insured in case of an emergency.

Things could go wrong while renting a car in Thailand. Potential hazards include accidents, theft, or breakdown.

If you rent from local car rental companies, cars tend to come with basic insurance.

Only a few car rental companies provide premium insurance, giving you full protection in case of accidents and theft.

If car rental companies only offer basic insurance you might want to take out additional insurance to fully cover you, the car, and your passengers.

There are many different types of insurance to choose from. Here are the main types.

Compulsory Third-Party Liability Insurance

This type of insurance, known as Por Ror Bor in Thai, is always included in car rental contracts as it comes under the Road Protection Act.

This provides special limited injury and death coverage to anyone who is injured or killed in an accident.

This insurance is free and covers you for 80,000 baht for medical expenses and 300,000 baht for loss of life.

Personal Accident Insurance

This type of insurance is usually an add-on that covers you and your passengers in case of:

  • accidental death
  • dismemberment
  • permanent disability
  • loss of sight
  • medical expenses incurred while in the rental vehicle

You can also opt for the personal accident and effects policy, which covers your belongings if they’re damaged or broken in an accident.

Personal accident insurance usually isn’t provided by local rental companies in Thailand since they tend to rely on the compulsory third-party liability insurance.

Collision Damage Waiver

This insurance is usually included in the rental rates offered by car rental companies and reduces your financial responsibility if the car is damaged.

However, the amount of coverage and excess can vary dramatically, so it’s important to check the amount of coverage offered before renting a car.

Super Collision Damage Waiver

This type of insurance is useful and lets you waive an excess in case you have an accident.

You can buy Super Collision Damage Waiver when renting a car. This reduces the amount you need to pay if the rental car is damaged or totaled.

Theft Protection

This type of insurance covers you in full if the rental car is stolen, making it a good option if you need to leave the car in a dangerous area.

Collision Damage Waiver or Super Collision Damage Waiver usually comes with theft protection.

But you may need to pay an excess of 30,000 baht to 50,000 baht if the car is stolen.

As of 2014, the car-theft rate in Thailand is 16.4 per 100,000 cars.

Vehicle Loss and Damage

Drivers with this type of insurance aren’t held responsible for loss of the rental car or damage caused by acts of God, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, or fire.

However, very few rental car companies offer this insurance in Thailand.

Travel Insurance

Anyone planning on traveling in Thailand should get travel insurance before leaving home. This protects you in case of an emergency.

World Nomads, a reputable international travel insurance company that covers car rentals.

There are lots of different types of travel insurance policies to choose from. And policies can be tailored to suit your needs.

While there are many insurance companies out there, we recommend WorldNomads.

WorldNomads is a reputable travel insurance company that Thailand Starter Kit founder Karsten Aichholz uses.

Their Explorer Plan comes with car rental coverage. And prices start at $10 per days.

Many other travel insurance companies like Travelex, TravelSafe, TravelGuard, and RoamRight cover car rental too.

It’s a good idea to check if rental car coverage is included when getting travel insurance. And if it isn’t, ask for it.

Scrutinize the fine print to make sure you’re covered for what you need and there are no loopholes insurance companies can use to avoid paying in an emergency.

Credit Card Companies

Some credit card companies offer rental coverage if you pay for the rental using their credit card.

This can save you the cost and hassle of opting for insurance from the car rental company.

The terms and deals available can vary between credit cards. It’s a good idea to do a little research in advance to make sure that you’re under coverage.

Most credit cards that provide car rental coverage offer Collision Damage Waiver.

These are the most important aspects of car rental insurance policies as they cover you if a rental is damaged in an accident or stolen.

In some cases, higher premium credit cards offer a few extra types of car insurance, although this is quite rare.

The credit card car rental insurance doesn’t cover third-party drivers or medical expenses from an accident.

And anyone who is discovered to have been driving under the influence when the rental car is damaged can’t make a claim.

Restrictions and Usual Policies

If you want to take advantage of the car rental coverage offered by your credit card, you need to follow certain provisions.

First, you must use your credit card to pay in full for the car rental.

Second, you must be the actual person who is renting and driving the car, and your name must be on the car rental contract.

Third, for the credit card’s car rental insurance to apply, you must decline the Collision Damage Waiver or Loss Damage Waiver offered by the rental company.

Many insurers refuse coverage in Northern Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, New Zealand, and Australia.

Some of the credit cards that don’t come with country restrictions include Citi, Discover, Diners Club, MasterCard World, and Chase.

Only standard cars are usually covered by credit card companies.

Some credit card companies only offer car rental coverage for periods of 15 consecutive days or less. Others offer consecutive car rental for up to 31 days.

Discover and MasterCard both offer 31 days of car rental coverage, while Visa offers 31 days of consecutive coverage if you rent a vehicle outside of your country.

If you rent a car for a long time you may find that American Express is a good choice. They offer standard 30-day car rental coverage.

You can also get 42 days of coverage if you have American Express’ premium program. But not all car rental companies in Thailand take American Express.

How to Make a Claim

If you need to make an insurance claim with your credit card company you can do so either by phone or in writing.

Your claim needs to be verified by a member of the car rental team as well as Thailand’s local police.

Depending on the terms and conditions specific to your credit card company, you usually have to pay for damages to the rental car first.

Then you get either partial or full reimbursement within 30 days of making the claim.

Using the car rental coverage offered by a credit card company or taking out extra insurance from car rental companies depends on your needs.

Read all of the small print on insurance documents and confirm there are no limitations that would prevent you from making a claim in the case of an accident.

Opting for the Collision Damage Waiver or Loss Damage Waiver coverage offered by car rental companies offers extra peace of mind and makes filing a claim easier.

The only downside is that this peace of mind comes at a price that some motorists may prefer not to pay.

Do I Need to Purchase Extra Rental Insurance?

Check in advance the amount of insurance, including excess fee, that your credit card company gives you to make sure that you’re fully covered.

In many cases, credit cards offer full coverage, which means that no extra insurance is needed.

But if your credit card company offers partial coverage, you need to pay the balance for damages or theft and may be stuck with a hefty fee if things go wrong.

Check the fine print carefully and determine if you’re fully protected by your credit card’s car rental coverage.

Complying with Insurance Terms and Conditions

If you must make a claim for damages, injury, theft, or break down, make sure that you have complied with the terms and conditions and provide proof if necessary.

Anyone making a claim with car insurance companies must be the authorized driver and must not let more passengers ride in the car than there are seat belts.

You must also stick to well-maintained roads at all times.

If the vehicle is lost or stolen, the doors and windows must’ve been locked and the car must’ve been in a safe place in order to be covered.

Now, on to You

If you’re still not sure where to start, head over to the car rental comparison site Happycar.

Happycar helps you narrow down your searches for car rentals, making it easier to find the perfect car for your needs at the best rate available.

8 comments
  1. Thanks! I fell into the “no debit card” policy before. Ended up renting from a local Thai company and it was great…. except I didn’t get the $300 deposit back… The rates were cheaper than the international companies though. New vehicles also.

  2. Hi, Can you please provide few companies who provide “Hiring a Car with a Driver” at 1000 THB per day extra cost.

  3. Rented a car and had a problem with a flat tire. No spare tire was provided and the car rental company wants us to pay Bath 2,300/-. Is this acceptable?

  4. Overall a good article, but the issue of credit cards needs to be updated and made more clear – I would suggest it should be placed up front in the first paragraph.

    There are no car rental companies in Thailand that will let you rent a car without using a credit card for the ‘security deposit’ when you are picking up the car.

    All of the International companies (Avis, Hetrz, etc.) and all the locals including ThaiRental, Chic, ASAP, KPN, will not let you take the car, without you giving them a credit card for the ‘security deposit’.

    You can pay the rental and insurance fees in advance with Amex, Diners or a Debit Card or whatever, but you must provide a credit card when picking up the car. And it must be a credit card from a bank.

    I know this because instead of using taxis or our own car, for our next trip (every 6 mths or so) I decided we will rent a car and pick it up at Swampy airport. I do not have a credit card – Amex and Debit Cards only – so this issue has become a serious problem. I have either called or emailed all the car rental companies that operate out of Bangkok airport – not one will accept Amex or Cash for the security deposit.

    Yep – “This is Thailand”. Please set your watch back 30 years 🙂

    1. Update – I have found a car rental company at Bangkok Airport that claims that they will accept American Express Credit Card for the security deposit.
      National Car Rentals Thailand – https://www.nationalcarthailand.com/

      I have had this confirmed by reading their Ts&Cs, by a text message from them, and from an email, and my Thai wife spoke to someone in their Bangkok office who confirmed.
      They will accept credit cards from Amex, Visa and Mastercard – but not Diners.

      It will be in July we rent – but it all seems to be OK so I thought I should update.

      National Car Rental Thailand
      727 Srinakarin Road, Suanluang,
      Bangkok 10250
      Tel: (66)2722 8487
      Fax: (66)2722 8492
      Email: [email protected]
      http://www.nationalcarthailand.com

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