Jump to content

Renting a car for a trip to Khao Yai


Recommended Posts

Wondering what the policy is for renting. I'm looking at renting from Europcar (https://www.europcar.co.th/reservation).

Only 4000 THB for 5 days for a little Yaris.

Main question is, I have a driver's license from my home country (US), but no Thai license. Will they rent to me? Do I need to go get a Thai license?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your home license is in English they will rent to you. (Although under current conditions they might be willing to look the other way if you tell them what it says in English). Otherwise you're supposed to have an International Driving Permit which has all your info in English.

I've always found the best deals through Avis Thailand (use their booking site and not Avis Global) although I have gotten good deals at SIXT as well. My preference is to bypass the aggregators like Europcar and deal direct. Fewer chances for surprises when you get to the checkout counter.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, analog said:

Wondering what the policy is for renting. I'm looking at renting from Europcar (https://www.europcar.co.th/reservation).

Only 4000 THB for 5 days for a little Yaris.

Main question is, I have a driver's license from my home country (US), but no Thai license. Will they rent to me? Do I need to go get a Thai license?

Their website does indicate that an International Driving Permit is required and even provides details on how to get one,  depending on your Visa status. (If you are in Thailand).  If you are not in Thailand yet,  I would recommend getting one before you travel.  Like JamesE says, it may not actually be required to  rent the car, depending on who you are dealing with.  There is also the possibility of having to provide your license to the police at some point during the trip.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, analog said:

Wondering what the policy is for renting. I'm looking at renting from Europcar (https://www.europcar.co.th/reservation).

Only 4000 THB for 5 days for a little Yaris.

Main question is, I have a driver's license from my home country (US), but no Thai license. Will they rent to me? Do I need to go get a Thai license?

Legally and properly insured, NO.

You may be able to rent a car, but you WON'T be legal and you WON'T be insured.

To be legal and insured you need an IDP as well as your driving licence - the US embassy spell this out very clearly on their website.

You can get an IDP by post from the US (in some countries it has to be done in person), but technically you should have had it before you came to Thailand.

The IDP is valid for a year, but it's only valid for the first 90 days you're in the country - if you go out and come back in again it's then valid for another 90 days, etc, as long as it's within the year.

If you're not on a tourist visa of some type but on any type of non-immigrant visa you can't drive on an IDP but must have a Thai driving licence.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, thanks for the background. Apparently this isn't something that is common to get away with here, and the risks seem to outweigh the benefits. I'll see about going to acquire a Thai DL or the international license and hold off on the rental.

Edited by analog
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/8/2021 at 12:15 AM, analog said:

Well, thanks for the background. Apparently this isn't something that is common to get away with here, and the risks seem to outweigh the benefits. I'll see about going to acquire a Thai DL or the international license and hold off on the rental.

Another option would be to hire a driver with their own vehicle.  I have never done this in Thailand, but it worked quite well in Cambodia.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/7/2021 at 2:27 PM, Stonker said:

Legally and properly insured, NO.

You may be able to rent a car, but you WON'T be legal and you WON'T be insured.

To be legal and insured you need an IDP as well as your driving licence - the US embassy spell this out very clearly on their website.

You can get an IDP by post from the US (in some countries it has to be done in person), but technically you should have had it before you came to Thailand.

The IDP is valid for a year, but it's only valid for the first 90 days you're in the country - if you go out and come back in again it's then valid for another 90 days, etc, as long as it's within the year.

If you're not on a tourist visa of some type but on any type of non-immigrant visa you can't drive on an IDP but must have a Thai driving licence.

My American Express Platinum covers the car rental insurance in any country using a US license. Even Thailand.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, TukTuk said:

My American Express Platinum covers the car rental insurance in any country using a US license. Even Thailand.

Now who do I believe?

You, or the US Embassy in Bangkok who very clearly state that: "An international driving license is accepted as long as it is valid, but a foreign license is not accepted in Thailand." ?

If you are driving just on a US licence in Thailand you will be driving illegally as you don't have a valid licence.

NO insurance will cover you if you are driving without a valid licence. Period.

Yours is incredibly bad and dangerous advice, and that's putting it very mildly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, bushav8r said:

Another option would be to hire a driver with their own vehicle.  I have never done this in Thailand, but it worked quite well in Cambodia.

Very easy to do in Thailand - particularly at the moment when minibuses are under-employed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Stonker said:

Now who do I believe?

You, or the US Embassy in Bangkok who very clearly state that: "An international driving license is accepted as long as it is valid, but a foreign license is not accepted in Thailand." ?

If you are driving just on a US licence in Thailand you will be driving illegally as you don't have a valid licence.

NO insurance will cover you if you are driving without a valid licence. Period.

Yours is incredibly bad and dangerous advice, and that's putting it very mildly.

Okay, you just pegged my B.S. meter so I looked it up:

To drive or lease a car in Thailand as a tourist or visitor it is necessary to have either a Thai driving license or a valid qualifying foreign driving license. Motor Vehicle Act – B.E. 2522, Section 42. The foreign license must either be in English, or be accompanied by an official translation into English or Thai. (English and Thai being the "official" languages of Thailand.) The license needs to have been issued by a country that has a treaty with the Thai government allowing the mutual acceptance of driving licenses. Most countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA have this agreement with Thailand under the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic or the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.

Any country issuing a license in English and a member of the treaty can drive a rental or personal vehicle legally in Thailand. My US auto insurance covers me, my credit card supplemental insurance covers me.

Start getting the facts instead of slinging nonsense.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/7/2021 at 11:27 AM, Stonker said:

Legally and properly insured, NO.

You may be able to rent a car, but you WON'T be legal and you WON'T be insured.

To be legal and insured you need an IDP as well as your driving licence - the US embassy spell this out very clearly on their website.

You can get an IDP by post from the US (in some countries it has to be done in person), but technically you should have had it before you came to Thailand.

The IDP is valid for a year, but it's only valid for the first 90 days you're in the country - if you go out and come back in again it's then valid for another 90 days, etc, as long as it's within the year.

If you're not on a tourist visa of some type but on any type of non-immigrant visa you can't drive on an IDP but must have a Thai driving licence.

I have rented cars in Thailand with my Canadian DL and no IDP

I rented with full insurance with zero deductible (I always take the zero deductible in foreign countries)

Had 2 accidents, one with fairly decent damage.

I didn't have to pay a dime.

They even sent out an insurance adjustor and he took care of everything, telling the car I hit that they would be cared for by the insurance, because they were trying to get cash from me............

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thailand does meet and is a member of the 1949 and later 1968 agreements. English and Thai are the languages allowed on a license in Thailand. If you do not have a license in English, then an IDP is required. Of course there may be some restrictions like length of time one can drive in Thailand without getting a Thai license. However, generally, An IDP is not required if the driver's domestic license meets the requirements (is able to be read in the country of driving) of the 1949 or 1968 convention; the domestic license can be used directly in a foreign jurisdiction that is a party to that convention. That would also mean that insurance would remain valid and applicable. 

Edited by Freeduhdumb
Grammar correction additional content.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Freeduhdumb said:

Thailand does meet and is a member of the 1949 and later 1968 agreements. English and Thai are the languages allowed on a license in Thailand. If you do not have a license in English, then an IDP is required. Of course there may be some restrictions like length of time one can drive in Thailand without getting a Thai license. However, generally, An IDP is not required if the driver's domestic license meets the requirements (is able to be read in the country of driving) of the 1949 or 1968 convention; the domestic license can be used directly in a foreign jurisdiction that is a party to that convention. That would also mean that insurance would remain valid and applicable. 

The rules of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, which superceded and replaced the 1948 Geneva Agreement for those who signed up to it, are very clear,  including on the language a licence must be in to be valid: any domestic driver’s licence drawn up in their national language or in one of their national languages, or, if not drawn up in such a language, accompanied by a certified translation.”

English is NOT Thailand's "national language".

"able to be read" is very clearly NOT the same as "drawn up in their national language", however much some people may imagine it to be, and while Thailand signed up to the 1968 Convention many other countries including Canada, Australia, NZ, and the US didn't.

6 hours ago, Marc26 said:

I have rented cars in Thailand with my Canadian DL and no IDP

I rented with full insurance with zero deductible (I always take the zero deductible in foreign countries)

Had 2 accidents, one with fairly decent damage.

I didn't have to pay a dime.

They even sent out an insurance adjustor and he took care of everything, telling the car I hit that they would be cared for by the insurance, because they were trying to get cash from me............

The rules are very clearly spelt out by the DLT and Embassies in Thailand, as well as by the 1949 and 1968 Conventions.

If anyone wants to ignore those rules and what the DLT and the Embassies tell them and to drive illegally and without insurance based on someone here telling them that they got away with it or that the DLT, the Embassies and the Vienna / Geneva Conventions are all wrong, then good luck to them, as I can't be bothered with spelling it out any more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

3 hours ago, JamesE said:

Good.

 

Sorry, I'll have to go back on that as I'd missed this part of your previous comment:

14 hours ago, JamesE said:

Start getting the facts instead of slinging nonsense.

 

You'd previously said that:

14 hours ago, JamesE said:

The foreign license must either be in English, or be accompanied by an official translation into English or Thai. (English and Thai being the "official" languages of Thailand.)

I'm tempted to say "unbelievable" but that doesn't even go near this piece of absolute, utter "nonsense".

English is NOT one of Thailand's official languages, alongside Thai. It really doesn't get much more uninformed and absurd than this and it would be funny if it wasn't so desperately sad.

Thailand's national and official language is Thai / Central Thai ( ภาษาไทย ), as I'm sure most people here are very well aware.

http://www.rlpd.go.th/rlpdnew/images/rlpd_1/HRC/CERD 1_3.pdf

http://academic.obec.go.th/images/document/1525235513_d_1.pdf

14 hours ago, JamesE said:

Any country issuing a license in English and a member of the treaty can drive a rental or personal vehicle legally in Thailand. My US auto insurance covers me, my credit card supplemental insurance covers me.

Only in your dreams, and @Freeduhdumb's. 

Apart from the restrictions of the Conventions, that you must be a tourist so in the first 90 days of your entry and not on any version of a Non-Immigrant visa, etc, the Conventions very clearly state that the only acceptable licences are any domestic driver’s licence drawn up in their national language or in one of their national languages, or, if not drawn up in such a language, accompanied by a certified translation.”

https://unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/conventn/Conv_road_traffic_EN.pdf

https://unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/conventn/Convention_on_Road_Traffic_of_1949.pdf

English, despite your bizarrely amusing and asinine idea that it is, is NOT one of Thailand's national languages.

I'm just stunned by this level of ignorance, even here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, Stonker said:

Now who do I believe?

You, or the US Embassy in Bangkok who very clearly state that: "An international driving license is accepted as long as it is valid, but a foreign license is not accepted in Thailand." ?

If you are driving just on a US licence in Thailand you will be driving illegally as you don't have a valid licence.

NO insurance will cover you if you are driving without a valid licence. Period.

Yours is incredibly bad and dangerous advice, and that's putting it very mildly.

Not bad advice it is trueful advice. I have rented cars from Avis numerous times at Suvarnabhumi Airport, sometimes racking up thousands a miles per trip. American Express tells you DO NOT sign for Avis insurance. 

In the event of an accident American Express will cover ALL damage.

Now it seems too bad you cannot quality for an American Express Platinum Card or you would already know this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Stonker said:

The rules orules are very clearly spelt out by the DLT and Embassies in Thailand, as well as by the 1949 and 1968 Conventions.

If anyone wants to ignore those rules and what the DLT and the Embassies tell them and to drive illegally and without insurance based on someone here telling them that they got away with it or that the DLT, the Embassies and the Vienna / Geneva Conventions are all wrong, then good luck to them, as I can't be bothered with spelling it out any more.

I actually don't disagree with you 

Just relaying my experiences when I have had accidents and the insurance covered them, no questions asked

 

But your advice on getting an IDP is prudent.

I got one so I could drive a motorbike on Phuket because the police there check for them.

And it was extremely simple to get here in Canada. 

So I would tell everyone to follow your advice and get and IDP

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Stonker said:

English, despite your bizarrely amusing and asinine idea that it is, is NOT one of Thailand's national languages.

I'm just stunned by this level of ignorance, even here.

Dude. This is your interpretation of reality. You can spout off all you want but it does not change the fact that I can get a residence certificate in English, I can use my passport - printed in English - as my official id in Thailand, I can fill out Thai official forms in English, my health insurance policy - from a Spanish company - is in English and is accepted by the Thai government, and I can rent or borrow a car or motorcycle and legally drive it with a driver's license in English.

If this were not the case Thailand forums would be filled with tales of woe about how my insurance didn't cover me when I was on vacation in Thailand and got in a wreck or how the cops frog-marched me to jail because I was driving illegally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Legally you need an international drivers permit. I have always known this to be that way. It is kind of BS as like in the USA you can drive on a Thai license as I always do when back as I don’t have a California DL anymore. 


The UK Royal Thai Embassy link down below says you need an IDP. So I think legally no you cannot on your normal countries drivers license but there will be many who will still rent to you. The only thing with your countries drivers license is you don’t have to take a driving test to get a Thai license. But with no Thai license you need to have the IDP and your regular license on you to show the cop which is the law. And maybe a few hundred baht to have a smile and say bye bye and back on your way.
 

If I am not mistaken, Thai insurance will still pay even if you are not licensed. The vehicle is insured and seems those 2 have nothing relevant to really do with each other. Sounds weird but seen how that worked once. 
 

Look at al  the links below. Only one says no problem. And that one I don’t believe.


https://london.thaiembassy.org/en/publicservice/84710-driving-in-thailand?page=5d6636ce15e39c3bd000734d&menu=5d6636cd15e39c3bd00072e2

https://www.angloinfo.com/how-to/thailand/transport/driving-licences

https://thailandtravelessentials.com/do-you-need-an-international-driving-permit-in-thailand/

https://www.centarahotelsresorts.com/centra/journal/motorcycles-scooters-and-driving-in-thailand

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, JamesE said:

Dude. This is your interpretation of reality.

No, it's what's called a fact.

If you genuinely think that English is one of Thailand's official languages alongside Thai for the reasons you've outlined then I don't really see much point in continuing this as I've literally never come across that sort of level of ignorance anywhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, HolyCowCm said:

Legally you need an international drivers permit. I have always known this to be that way. It is kind of BS as like in the USA you can drive on a Thai license as I always do when back as I don’t have a California DL anymore. 


The UK Royal Thai Embassy link down below says you need an IDP. So I think legally no you cannot on your normal countries drivers license but there will be many who will still rent to you. The only thing with your countries drivers license is you don’t have to take a driving test to get a Thai license. But with no Thai license you need to have the IDP and your regular license on you to show the cop which is the law. And maybe a few hundred baht to have a smile and say bye bye and back on your way.
 

If I am not mistaken, Thai insurance will still pay even if you are not licensed. The vehicle is insured and seems those 2 have nothing relevant to really do with each other. Sounds weird but seen how that worked once. 
 

Look at al  the links below. Only one says no problem. And that one I don’t believe.


https://london.thaiembassy.org/en/publicservice/84710-driving-in-thailand?page=5d6636ce15e39c3bd000734d&menu=5d6636cd15e39c3bd00072e2

https://www.angloinfo.com/how-to/thailand/transport/driving-licences

https://thailandtravelessentials.com/do-you-need-an-international-driving-permit-in-thailand/

https://www.centarahotelsresorts.com/centra/journal/motorcycles-scooters-and-driving-in-thailand

Correct, @HCC, but there's probably not much point in trying to explain anything to someone who thinks that English is one of the two official languages in Thailand.

You just can't make up that sort of ignorance.

An insurance company may pay out if you're not licenced as they may not check if you're driving legally or not, but I think you'd be very foolish to take that sort of risk unnecessarily, and the rules are very clear with no room for any interpretation.

Edit:

It may be worth adding that the problem isn't the penalty for driving without a valid licence or insurance since the penalties are so absurdly low (IIRC, officially only 500 baht) but the potential cost of an accident if uninsured.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Go to your local Department of Land Transport office (if they're currently open). Getting a Thai Driving License takes a few hours if you already have a U.S. license. You only need to fill in a form, do a reaction test, depth perception test and colour test and watch a short video. Cost is a couple hundred Baht. You get your license there and then.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, TukTuk said:

Not bad advice it is trueful advice. I have rented cars from Avis numerous times at Suvarnabhumi Airport, sometimes racking up thousands a miles per trip. American Express tells you DO NOT sign for Avis insurance. 

In the event of an accident American Express will cover ALL damage.

Now it seems too bad you cannot quality for an American Express Platinum Card or you would already know this.

Your assumptions are, inevitably, not correct. Thailand's laws are very clear, and they don't make exceptions for those holding certain debit cards however uninformed they may be.

This really is getting way beyond stupid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/7/2021 at 1:36 PM, analog said:

Main question is, I have a driver's license from my home country (US), but no Thai license. Will they rent to me? Do I need to go get a Thai license?

did not read the comments, but how experienced are you at driving in Thailand? 

I am from the USA and the muscle memory of a lifetime of driving on the other side of the street takes time to overcome. you will be looking the wrong way for days. 

and this is the number one most dangerous country in the world to drive in. navigating Bangkok with a GPS is a challenge. So many levels of highways now and so much concreate and tall buildings you will lose GPS lock right when you need it most. one missed turn and it can take 30 minutes to get back to where you need to be.   

i would follow the letter of the law because Thai police love it when you foul up. 

good luck. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would tend to agree with Stonker on this and many other issues.  He has the time, resources and intelligence to research and back up his claims.  There are always ways to to get things  done that may not be entirely legal, and discussing these options may contribute to the discussion.  No need for name calling or insulting each others intelligence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By posting on Thaiger Talk you agree to the Terms of Use