Written by Administrator
Monday, 22 March 2010 15:48
Renting a self-drive car (or motorcycle) on Phuket
If you have a few days on this island, this is the
best thing you can do - once you have had enough of the beach.
Every visitor to Phuket gets an idea of the large size of the island when
driving from the airport to his hotel. This size, and the many beaches and
attractions scattered widely around the island, make personal transport almost
a ‘must’ for anyone who wishes to see the real Phuket.
If you’re accommodated in Patong it becomes almost essential – if you
wish to see what Phuket is all about – to rent your own car, then drive.
A lot of younger people rent motorcycles and travel the breezy way. While this
is a very pleasant way to get around, the first-time visitor should beware, and
remember that the number of motorcycle accidents here is exceptionally high,
especially on the winding mountain roads that cross the maintain range at the
back of Patong and Kata.
Here comes the major warning. Rent a car with full insurance, or you risk
getting into serious trouble. The surest way is to go to a well-known car
rental company, all of which have comprehensive insurance for car and driver.
Ask about it.
If you rent a car from the side of the street be exceptionally careful. Some
who put up signs saying ‘Insurance’ might offer nothing but the compulsory 3rd
party coverage. Visitors bringing one of these vehicles back with any kind of
bump or scratch risks being charged exorbitant prices, and may sometimes face
violent threats for this payment.
Be warned. But if you do take the cheapest price and rent from the side of the
street, or from a small operator, ask about insurance, check the car condition
before leaving, and generally show caution.
We recommend using well-known rental companies, and offer a list of operators
The divier’s licences from most all developed countries - including European
nations, North American and Australasia – are legally acceptable in Thailand.
You will need to present this when renting a vehicle. Ask the renting company
to be sure your licence is valid in Thailand. A credit card will be
required by most major rental ccompanies, while many of the smaller ones want
to hold your passport as long as you have their vehicle.
road system is remarkably good, especially in the provincial areas where many
good roads are to be found with little traffic. It is thus easy to drive all
around Phuket island, and off into the neighbouring provinces of Phang Nga and
If a foreigner has trouble along the way and requires assistance, he will
usually find the Thai people both helpful and gracious.
Finding your way:
Find one of the many free maps available through hotels on Phuket, or get a copy
of PHUKET Magazine (free in some resort rooms, or available for 100 Baht
in most gift shops). Some of the pertrol stations sell good road maps of all Thailand, with
SHELL having one of the the best. Also, NATIONAL CAR RENT provide a good
Phuket and regional road map with every car taken out.
Driving OFF PhuketIsland
Getting off Phuket is simple, for the island is connected to the mainland by a
long bridge at the far north end. Once on the mainland one finds that there is
just one major highway - Route 4 - heading directly north along the Andaman
coastline to Khao Lak and Ranong, or east to Phang Nga town and on to Krabi.
There are many interesting side roads, for which one needs a map. The roads are
all well sign-posted in both Thai and English, and there are white kilometre
posts along every major road.
We strongly recommend driving off Phuket island into the adjoining provinces,
which offer good driving conditions in spectacular scenery.
Look up our page on Driving Tours Off Phuket Island.
International standard car rental companies with fleets on Phuket: