How to sell your car in Thailand

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Considering letting go of your reliable car in Thailand? Maybe you’ve got your eyes on a newer model, or perhaps you’re seeking a quick way to boost your cash flow. Or, just maybe, it’s nearing time for you to bid goodbye to the exquisite sandy shores and bustling city streets of Thailand. Whatever the reason that has you mulling over a sale, let us walk you through the ins and outs of selling your car in Thailand.

Getting your car ready for sale

How to sell your car in Thailand
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Start by giving your car a neat clean-up. It makes practical sense to present your vehicle in its best attire – clean and properly maintained. Keep in mind a visually pleasing vehicle can help in getting better offers. Let’s be honest; no one wishes to buy a car that looks like it has been through some tough times.

Follow this up with a thorough mechanical check-up. It’s crucial your car works as good as it looks. Potential buyers may not be experts under the hood, but no one wants to invest in a car that may break down halfway on the road. So getting a full service, no matter how your vehicle feels, is a wise move.

If you want to increase the value of your car, consider enhancing your car with additional features or accessories. Whether it’s adding on a sunroof, switching to new wheels, or upgrading to a new sound system, these improvements could catch the eye of potential buyers and allow you to command a higher price for your vehicle.

Making sure you have a car valuation report

How to sell your car in Thailand | News by Thaiger
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Speaking about value, it’s crucial to consider your car’s worth and how to best convey this to potential buyers. First off, acquire a car valuation report. This crucial document throws a spotlight on details such as your car’s make, model, age, mileage, and condition. Additionally, it provides an estimated market value of your car, laying down the groundwork for a fair negotiation.

However, don’t just stop at the valuation report. To sweeten the deal further, compile all necessary documents relating to your car’s history and recent maintenance records. This step speaks volumes about your meticulous care for the vehicle, encouraging potential buyers to pitch a higher offer for a car that has clearly been lovingly maintained. The combination of well-documented car history and a comprehensive valuation report could be the winning ticket in your car-selling venture.

Preparing the paperwork

How to sell your car in Thailand | News by Thaiger
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After you’ve made sure your car is in tip-top condition, it’s time to focus on an equally important aspect: paperwork. It might sound tedious, and the details might make you feel a bit lost, but it’s an essential step in the process.

If you’ve experienced the thrill of buying a used car in Thailand, you’re already ahead of the curve. Selling is similar. Let’s get you familiar with a couple of essentials to ensure a smooth transition.

Every used car should be accompanied by its ‘Blue Book’ (‘Lem Tabian’), showcasing the owner’s name, address, information on previous owners, and tax records for the vehicle. If you’re still in the process of paying off your car, it’s likely your finance company is safeguarding the Blue Book. If that’s the case, you’ll need to fully pay any money owed on the car before it can change hands.

Now, the actual process of transferring ownership of a used vehicle is pretty identical to buying a new vehicle. Both the purchaser and seller must complete this at the local Department of Land Transport (DLT) office. However, if you prefer, you can delegate this task to a trusted third party via power of attorney. The DLT will verify the engine and chassis serial number to ensure the car hasn’t been stolen.

As for the documents you need to provide to transfer the ownership of your car, there’s a bit of a difference depending on whether you’re an expat or a Thai national. If you’re an expat, you must provide signed copies of your passport, visa, and work permit or official confirmation of residency from either the Thai Immigration Bureau or your embassy. If you’re Thai, you’ll need an ID card and House Registration Document (Tabien Ban).

In either case, you’ll need to present the vehicle’s Blue Book. The absence of a Blue Book could complicate administrative matters and resale, potentially indicating that the vehicle was stolen. And remember, if the car is over seven years old, it must have passed a roadworthiness test. An up-to-date tax sticker will prove that it has.

By understanding the paperwork involved, you’re one step closer to successfully selling your car in Thailand.

Cars under a company or foundation name

If you’re selling a car under a company name, it’s important to note that every document you provide should be signed by the head chairman of committee members and should have the company or foundation stamp, including the transfer form.

You will need the following:

  1. The registration papers of the company or foundation.
  2. A formal letter expressing the intention to sell the vehicle.
  3. Personal documents from the committee member(s) (as mentioned in the previous sections for foreigners and Thai citizens.)

Remember, all expenses related to the transfer, registration, and road taxes for the car are doubled if it’s registered under a company name.

The best way to sell your car in Thailand

How to sell your car in Thailand | News by Thaiger
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Thailand offers lots of ways to sell your car. The best choice for you depends on what you’re looking for— an easy sale, a great price, or less paperwork. Let’s look at your options.

Going the private route

Count yourself lucky if you know somebody considering buying a car. It could be your friend, a coworker, or even a neighbour. Your opportunity to sell your car might be right next door. To reach a wider network, your social circles or social media platforms, like Facebook, could also come in handy. Thailand also has several car marketplaces where you can list your car. But remember, a quick sale could be more pressuring, especially if you’re working against time.

As for the paperwork, while it’s not too much of a headache, you’ll be the one to make sure everything is in order. You’ll need to get to the Department of Land Transport (DLT) with the necessary documents and, don’t forget, the all-important ‘Blue Book’. Another option is to pass all the documents to your buyer and let them do the heavy lifting. Regardless of who does it, remember to have photocopies of your visa, passport, and proof of address ready.

A word of caution, though: if, for some reason, the car isn’t transferred fully and still remains attached to your name, you may have to take responsibility for any future problems with the car.

Putting it up for auction

If your car is something special or rare, you might want to consider an auction. This works well if you’re not happy with the prices dealers are offering. A well-publicised auction can attract a lot of interested people and possibly give you a better price.

Trading with a car dealer or car tent

If you’d like a new car and are okay to trade your current one, a car dealer might just be a good fit. Dealers often give a better price when you’re trading in rather than just selling. Car tents also draw a lot of people who want to sell quickly and get their money fast. You might not get the best price, but you’ll be done quickly.

If you want to sell your car online, check out our guide to selling cars online in Thailand for some handy tips.

Selling your car in Thailand can seem like an arduous task. However, with proper preparation and correct documentation, the process can be simplified significantly. Whether you opt for a private sale, auction, or trade with a dealer, your choices depend on your specific goals and timeline. Keep in mind that a well-maintained vehicle with thorough records can fetch you a better price. So, if you’re saying goodbye to your car in the Land of Smiles, follow these steps to ensure a smooth and profitable sale. After all, the journey of selling your vehicle can be as exciting as driving it.


Cita Catellya

Cita Catellya is a journalist and writer who covers a range of topics from medical and property to leisure and tourism. Her career began as a copywriter 5 years ago, where she worked with several brands in Indonesia to help them increase their online presence. Cita writes in both English and her native Bahasa Indonesia

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