Driving Rules & Regulations in Thailand

Driving in Thailand is truly an adventure, but make sure the excitement is caused by the exotic scenery and not by any complications on the roads! Read our guide to driving in Thailand for a smoother car hire experience:

  • thailand1You must be at least 18 to drive in Thailand, but car rental companies stipulate different age limits, so check before you book.
  • The legal blood/alcohol limit is 0.5 mg per litre of alcohol
  • Drive on the left-hand side of the road
  • Only drivers and front-seat passengers are obliged to wear seatbelts. Child car seats are optional.
  • The speed limit is 50 – 60 km/h in suburban streets and 90 – 120 km/h on highways, but the high volume of traffic on Thai streets means that your speed will be determined by the general flow of traffic.
  • You should keep your vehicle registration and driver’s licence in the car at all times.

thailand2You will discover that most drivers in Thailand are well mannered, with road rage almost unheard of. Nonetheless, you will need to keep your wits about you in Bangkok, where the traffic can be hectic.

On many rural roads or even on Bangkok’s narrow streets, you will find everything from motorcycles to 12-wheel trucks maneuvering against (one way) traffic. Furthermore, many of Bangkok’s roads change their one-way direction during specific times of the day, and every new governor of Bangkok seems to implement a new traffic plan that complicates matters. All in all, you are better off restricting your car hire in Thailand to the areas outside Bangkok and other built-up areas.