The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Thailand

Thailand is a country with a rich culture and a wealth of things for travelers to see and do when they arrive. Some of the interesting sites and attractions that you may want to visit include the Khao Yai National Park, the Baachang Elephant Park Conservation, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Sukhothai Historical Park, and Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum and Walking Trail.

Renting a vehicle in Thailand

Renting a vehicle when you are in Thailand is a fantastic way to get around to all of the various sites you may want to see. Those who will be in the country traveling for less than six months can drive with the license from their home country. The minimum age to drive in Thailand is 18 years old. When you rent your vehicle, make sure that you get insurance coverage, and that you have the emergency phone number of the rental agency in case there is trouble.

Road conditions and safety

The roads in Thailand, even those considered good by local standards, leave a lot to be desired. They may have potholes and cracks in them, and in some cases, they will not have any markings. This can make it difficult to know where you are going unless you have a GPS unit with you.

It is illegal to talk on the phone while driving in Thailand unless you have a headset. However, you will find that many of the people in Thailand ignore this rule entirely, and that can make driving there very dangerous. You should never try to emulate the locals and do as they do. Pay attention to the other drivers on the road and what they are doing, and always drive as defensively as possible.

One of the interesting things to note is that in some areas that have a lot of traffic and people, it is common for drivers to leave their vehicle in neutral. This allows others to push it out of the way if needed.

You will find that many of the drivers in Thailand do not pay attention to the traffic laws at all, and this can make driving dangerous. They may be driving on the wrong side of the road, for example. This often happens when they do not want to travel further down the road or highway to make a legal U-turn. If a car starts to flash their lights at you, it does not mean they are letting you go first. It means that they are going to go first, and they are just giving you a warning. Sometimes, they will not even give you a warning, so you always need to drive defensively.

The speed limits

Even though the locals may drive without paying attention to the traffic laws, you need to pay close attention to them. Some of the larger roads will have speed cameras in place.

  • In Towns – Between 80 and 90 km/h, so look at the local signs.

  • Single Carriageway – Between 80 and 90 km/h, and again you need to look at the road signs.

  • Expressways and Motorways – On Intercity Highway, it is 90 km/h, and on Motorways is 120 km/h.

When you have a rental vehicle, pay attention to the traffic laws and the other drivers, and you should have a great time.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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