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Driving Tips In Thailand That You Should Know

 When you visit the ‘Land of Smiles,’ renting a set of wheels like a car or bike can be the best thing you do. It allows tourists to explore the land freely, which enhances your travel experience. However, driving in Thailand is no easy task, as there are laws and unspoken rules you need to understand before you hit the road. 

First, you must be eligible to drive a vehicle, meaning you must be 18 or above and have an international driving permit. Most likely, your current license will work in the country, but you also need a passport. If you plan to reside in Thailand for more than six months, you will need a Thai driving license. 

The good news is that according to carhirethailand.co.uk the car rental excess is much less than you will find in other parts of the world. The excess is important as this is the amount you will be maybe be held liable for in the event of an accident.

Now that you are planning to drive in Thailand, you need to know where and what to do. These guides are perfect for tourists and digital nomads to have the best of the best everywhere; check them out here: https://www.thailandnomads.com/.

In any case, we know drivers need to adapt to new surroundings, and these tips below will ensure that you have a pleasant driving experience in the country. 

Drive on the Left 

For most tourists and people from western countries, you may be accustomed to driving on the right side of the road. However, in Thailand, you need to drive on the left side of the road at all times. 

At first, it may get confusing, but as you drive and adjust to the people around you should be just fine. The extreme left of your lane is for slow speeds, whereas the right is for the fast passing lane. Be sure of it before moving your vehicle on the road to avoid accidents. 

Intersection Confusion 

The Road discipline in Thailand can be quite different from your country, mainly concerning intersection etiquette. People in Thailand do not necessarily stop at intersections unless there is a signal opposing them. 

Smaller lanes within the city do not even have a stop sign, so you will hardly ever see people slowing down at these junctions. Beware of motorcycles popping out from intersections without warning or even making illegal U-turns. Even if they don’t have the right of way, you will see them pass through at high speed, so be alert at all times. 

Always Wear a Helmet 

When riding a motorcycle, you must wear a helmet. And knowing how rash the vehicles may drive around you is absolutely important. Even though you may notice many locals driving without helmets, you shouldn't follow them. 

You never know when you will come across a police officer who will fine you if you are not wearing a helmet. If you have a passenger along with you, a second helmet is not mandatory, but it is necessary for both of you on unknown roads. 

Be Patient 

Driving in Thailand may be challenging even if you are a stickler for driving laws. During your trip, you will encounter several offensive drivers who blatantly do not follow driving etiquette. Be patient and calm at all times, as the locals may seem aggressive in their driving, but it is normal in the country. 

In any case, ensure you follow all the rules and drive safely by following rules and traffic lanes to the letter. You may even find vehicles driving on the opposite side of the lanes, so stay away from them or slow down so they can pass through. 

Beware Animals on the Road

While you are already surrounded by traffic, locals, and other vehicles around. Another important tip is that you will often find many rural animals on the roads. Please don’t be afraid or panic as it is normal to see them except in big cities. 

Some of the animals that you might come across are chickens, dogs, and buffaloes. Make sure you avoid them and drive safely if you ever encounter them. Thai law states that these animals have the right way, which means you must let them pass. They also have a saying about the water buffalo that they are considered the owner of the road. 

Notify Others of your Presence 

In most places, honking is considered an aggressive act, but in Thailand, it can save your life or someone else’s. Your horn can be polite, alerting other vehicles around your presence. It is a signal you can use when approaching intersections or even passing through narrow roads. 

As you know, adapting to the driving style in Thailand can be challenging, so if you ever need to make others know of your presence, all you need to do is politely honk. And if anyone honks at you, don’t worry; they are probably doing the same thing as you. 

Get Insurance 

Getting insurance is one of the best ways to secure yourself while driving in Thailand. After reading the above tips, I'm sure you might be concerned about your driving. So before you head out on your adventure, make sure that you have full coverage insurance for your vehicle. 

Most rental parties offer car or bike insurance along with the vehicle so that you will be protected if you happen to get into an accident. Make sure you drive safely and have fun while exploring the land. 


Now that you are aware of these essential driving tips, you can enjoy the country's beautiful roads. No matter where you go, make sure you have enough fuel and use a map so you will always be able to find your way back to the hotel. To further enhance your trip, use these tips to have a unique experience no matter where you go. 

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