Hiring Vehicles in Phuket

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What you need to know before renting a car or motorbike in Phuket

Hire Cars in Phuket

Hiring a Jeep in PhuketThere are many reputable car hire companies in Phuket, with counters at Phuket International Airport and at a few hotels around town. You can also hire cars from the many local car hire companies. The local companies are cheaper but you might prefer to go with a name you know. Car hire rates can usually be bargained, but ensure that adequate insurance cover is included in the rental agreement.
The cheapest option for renting a car are the small Suzuki jeeps that are found parked along the side of the road in busy areas such as Patong. Prices for these start at about 800 baht per day, slightly less if its low season. You should also get discounts for longer rental periods. Again make sure insurance is included.

Seatbelts

These are required to be worn by law. You may be stopped and fined for failing to do so. The police set up checkpoints on major roads around the island to specifically check for this as well as drink driving. You have been warned. (See our section on road safety).

Accidents

Should you be involved in an accident, do not take responsibility but refer everything to the insurance company, otherwise you may be personally liable for damages. It is also important not to move your car if you have been in an accident. Contact the insurance company and wait for the insurance agent or police to arrive. As odd as this may seem, and despite the fact that you may be blocking two lanes of traffic, by moving your vehicle after an accident you forfeit your insurance cover. Happily, insurance agents turn up pretty swiftly. And if you are blocking two lanes of traffic, the police should be hurrying to the scene anyway.

Hire Cars in Phuket

Although driving in Phuket is easy, you must ensure that you follow these guidelines:

  • In Thailand driving is on the left side of the road, as in Australia, the UK, Singapore and numerous other countries.
  • A valid International Driver’s Permit (IDP) or Thai Driving License is essential.  This is often not asked for by hire companies but without one you are likely to not be covered by your vehicle or travel insurance in case of an accident.
  • Seat belt wearing and drink driving laws apply, and are occasionally enforced.  It is not uncommon to be stopped at a road block for such checks.
  • Full Comprehensive Insurance is a must. Beware of roadside “hire companies” with signs saying ‘With Insurance’ – usually the level of insurance coverage is very basic and may not cover damage to your car.


Hiring Motorbikes in Phuket

Phuket Motorbike Hire

Always check you bike for damage before hiring it. We suggest you take a few photos of any prior damage.

Always check you bike for damage before hiring it.  We suggest you take a few photos of any prior damage. Motorbikes ranging from 125cc scooters to 1000cc superbikes can be found for hire in most busy beach areas. Prices start at about 150 baht per day for a 90cc Honda or Suzuki scooter.

A valid International Driver’s Permit (IDP) or Thai Driving License is essential when hiring a bike.  This is often not asked for by hire companies but without one you are likely to not be covered by your or travel insurance in case of an accident.

Helmets must be worn by the rider, despite the number of Thais you will see riding without one. It is not uncommon to be stopped at a road block for checks and as a foreigner you stand a much greater chance of being stopped and fined.

Insurance is often non-existent or of minimal value. In fact, there is no such thing as first-class insurance on motorbikes in Thailand, no matter what the rental shop may tell you. If you have an accident you will almost certainly be responsible for all bike repairs, all medical bills for yourself and any other involved parties.  This is regardless of who was at fault. Theft is common, however most renters will supply a lock and chain if asked for one and is a wise move.

NOTE: The roads in Phuket are safe and well kept but the island does have a high accident rate so take it slowly on the hills and watch out when it rains as it gets quite slippery.


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Updated: July 9, 2011 by admin

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