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What you should know before driving in ThailandHeading to Thailand? If so—and if you ever go—make sure you’re aware of the laws around driving there. As the U.K.’s travel advisory service alerted me this month, “You must have an International Driving Permit or Thai driving licence to drive a car or ride a motorcycle in Thailand. If you use a motor vehicle without the correct licence, your travel insurance may be invalidated in the event of an injury arising from an accident.”

As with roads anywhere, Thailand’s roads have their own unique rules and risks. Here’s more on driving in Thailand from the same Thailand page:

  • “The World Health Organisation (WHO) rates Thailand as the world’s deadliest country for fatalities on motorcycles, citing an average of 5,500 motorcyclist deaths annually. If you’re riding a motorcycle take extra care and make sure you have appropriate insurance and the correct licence. According to the law, safety helmets must be worn.”
  • “There have been a number of accidents involving overnight coach travel. Seek local advice if you are in any doubt about the safety of your transport provider.”
  • “Motorcycles or scooters for hire in beach resorts are often unregistered and can’t be used legally on a public road. Before you hire a vehicle, make sure you’re covered by your travel insurance and check the small print of the lease agreement.”
  • “Don’t hand over your passport as a guarantee against returning a motorcycle or scooter. Unscrupulous owners regularly hold on to passports against payment for claimed damage to the motorcycle or scooter.”
  • “Riding ‘Quad-bikes’ can also be dangerous. It is illegal to drive these on the roads in Thailand even though they’re available to hire on the roadside. If you do ride one, make sure you’re insured.”

Have you driven in Thailand? Share your experience in the comments below!




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1 Comment On "What You Should Know Before Driving in Thailand"
  1. Bettina Salter|

    And, Thais drive on the “wrong” side of the road, adding an extra fillip of excitement to the motoring experience….

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