Frequent Asked Question


Question : Is driving in Thailand safe ?

Answer : It is safe to drive to Thailand, I have been driving to Thailand since 2006 and I do not encounter any problem there.  Make sure your car is in good condition, obey the law and pay full attention while driving. It is recommended to drive during day time and have enough rest before your journey.  There are a lot of petrol kiosk cum rest area along the highway, please stop and rest at least every 2 hours of your journey.

Question : How is the road condition in Thailand ?

Answer :  The road condition is very good in Thailand. The major highway are usually dual carriage highway like Malaysia north south highway. However there is no structure divider in the middle of two lane, beware of illegal crossing and u-turn in some places.

Others country side road similar to Malaysia trunk road.

There is no toll collection for highway from south to north except elevated highway in Bangkok city.

Question : What car is suitable to drive to Thailand ? Do I need a 4WD ?

Answer :  You can drive any car to Thailand as the road condition there suitable for any types of car.  You do not need a 4WD. We use 4WD is because it is hardy and it can carry heavy load especially after our shopping trip. Most noticeable is the tire is thick and less prone to puncture.

Question : Do I need International driving license to drive to Thailand ?

Answer :  If you are Malaysian, all you need is Malaysia Driving license.

Question : What is the maximum days can I and my car stay in Thailand ?

Answer :  For Malaysian passport holder, you and your car can stay up to 30 days per entry.  If you need to extend you stay, please contact the nearest Thailand Custom office.  Following is the official reply from Thailand Tourism Board Malaysia Office.

Extension of the Temporary Permit

The Temporary Import Permit obtained at the Thailand Border should be valid for 30 days from the date of entry into the country. The Temporary Import Permit can be renewed if you have a visa that is valid up to the date that is required. The permit can be extended up to the date on your Visa but not exceeding 6 months from the date of entry appearing on the Simplified Customs Declaration Form. Write out a letter addressing to

The Director of Customs Department, Customs House, (Address of the Customs House).

Provide the following information :

* The permit cannot be extended beyond the date of your Visa. Mention the reason for your extension. Provide the following documents.

* The original Permit (Simplified Customs Declaration Form).

* A photocopy of the Simplified Customs Declaration Form, your personal details, The Visa used to enter Thailand, The date stamp of entry into Thailand. The original copy of the SIMPLIFIED CUSTOMS DECLARATION FORM will be retained by the customs. It may take about several days to weeks to process the application but not later than the date requested to be extended to. You will receive back the original with a date of extension, stamp and signature. The following are the locations of the Customs House.

+ Legal Affairs Bureau, Klong Thoei, Bangkok.

+ Regional Customs Bureau I, 11th Floor, Klong Thoei, Bangkok. Tel : 2494076

+ Regional Customs Bureau II, Nongkai Province.

+ Regional Customs Bureau III, Chiangmai Province.

+ Regional Customs Bureau IV, Songkla Province.

+ Regional Customs Bureau V, Phuket Province.

Things to do before the trip

Question : What do I need to prepare before driving to Thailand.

Answer :

1) Valid Driving License ( For Malaysian and Singaporean, International driving license is not required )

2) Make sure your car is in tip top condition.  In order not to spoil your holiday, change your battery if it is more then 18 months old, replace belt and hose if necessary. Both running tyre and spare type are in good condition.  If you are driving a japanese make car, you will not have much problem finding parts in Thailand.

3) Bring 2 sets of key and alarm controller just in case you misplace it along the way, a spare key is always handy.

4) Bring necessary tools ( car jack, wrench, spanner, screw driver, pliers, torch light) and spare parts ( fuse, bulb, battery jumper cable)

5) A raincoat can put into good use during raining season.

6) Electrical Adapter for power socket conversion ( just get a universal power adapter from electrical shop). Thailand is using 220AC which is similar to Malaysia and Singapore. Only the power outlet socket is different. Bring a multiple plug if you have more then 1 device to charge.

7) A good Thailand map, road guide and travel information from Thailand Tourism Board Malaysia.

8) GPS and Thailand Map will be very very helpful.

9) Detail emergency contact number and blood type or any medical information in black and white. ( For emergency used only due to language barrier )

10) Insurance Coverage – There are 2 insurance here. The first one is the Insurance that you purchase at the border. That  insurance cover 3rd party in Thailand but not your own vehicle. The insurance cost about RM15 for about a week coverage. This is compulsory.

Additional Note:  September 2012

I was offered a new insurance policy (Optional ) from the border insurance agent to cover the 3rd party vehicle at Thailand, apparently the cheap RM15 3rd party insurance is only COVER people BUT not their vehicle ( I was wondering all this while but no insurance coverage available at that time )

The new insurance ( Optional ) only available for a year now which cover 3rd party VEHICLE in Thailand. It cost about RM50 for 5 days. In short, for hassle free you need to buy both 3rd party insurance to cover people and vehicle before entering Thailand.

I also understand from the insurance agent from border that Thailand Insurance company is working out another policy to cover 1st party foreign vehicle, please update me if anyone of you can confirm this.

In order to cover your own vehicle, you need to purchase from your local insurance company to cover your stay at Thailand.

However, this is optional if you do not think it is necessary.

You can purchase an extension from your existing insurance company. That means if you car is currently insured under MSIG, then you can only buy the extension from MSIG, not from any other insurance company.

Note : Last update November 2011

For Kurnia Insurance, the insurance premium is 20% of the 1st party insurance that you pay in Malaysia for 30 days coverage. For example, if your car 1st party premium is RM1,000.00, then you need to pay additional RM200.oo for 30days coverage in Thailand. You need to inform the insurance company before you go and when you return. Multiple entry is permitted.

For MSIG insurance, coverage for less then a week is 20% of your existing premium x 1/8. Less then 1 month is 20% of your existing premium x 1/4.  That means if your premium is RM1,000.00, the coverage for less then 1 week is RM25.00, less then 1 month is RM50.00

Please call your insurance company to find out more.

Border Crossing

Detail border crossing procedure at Bukit Kayu Hitam click HERE.

Fuel – Petrol and Diesel in Thailand

Most common petrol station is PTT. Shell and Caltex are available as well.

Diesel – “Solar” in Thai. It is Euro 3/4 so it is better quality then Malaysia’s diesel. Try to avoid using Bio Diesel called B5 if you are not sure.

Gasoline – Generally they do offer RON91 and RON95.  Malaysia and Singapore car can use RON95 without problem. But it is more expensive. About 40Baht per liter depending on world oil price.

Gasohol- It is a mixture of gasoline and 10% of bio oil. It is cheaper then gasoline by about 10Baht per liter. You may use it if there is no gasoline. I have try using Gasohol without any problem with a Pajero petrol 2400 for short period of time. Not too sure if it is long term as we do not have this kind of petrol in Malaysia and Singapore.

You can check out the latest fuel price in Thailand HERE.

Types of Fuel In Thailand as at November 2010.

MOGAS Motor Gasoline = ULG, UGR
ULG 95 RON Unleaded Premium Gasoline, with Research Octane Number = 95
น้ำมันเบนซินพิเศษไร้สารตะกั่ว ออกเทน 95
UGR 91 RON Unleaded Regular Gasoline, with Research Octane Number = 91
น้ำมันเบนซินธรรมดาไร้สารตะกั่ว ออกเทน 91
Gasohol E10 Gasoline with Ethanol 10% by volume
น้ำมันเบนซิน ผสมเอทานอล 10% โดยปริมาตร
Gasohol E20 Gasoline with Ethanol 20% by volume
น้ำมันเบนซิน ผสมเอทานอล 20% โดยปริมาตร (เริ่มจำหน่ายใน กทม. 1 มค. 51 ที่ ปตท. และ บางจาก)
HSD 0.05%S High Speed Diesel with 0.05% Sulphur content
น้ำมันดีเซล (โซล่า) มีกำมะถันไม่เกิน 0.05%
Biodiesel B5 HSD with bio-oil 5% by volume
น้ำมันดีเซลหมุนเร็ว ผสมน้ำมันจากพืข 5% โดยปริมาตร

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159 Responses
  1. Los says:


    I have recently heard that Thailand is tightening the rules for foreign visitors so you need to apply for permission 10 days prior to entering Thailand. Please see the article from the website below.


    Can you verify this information? How would you obtain permission? I am planning on driving from Cambodia later this year with an IDP.

    Many thanks,

  2. admin says:

    Hi Los,

    I just back from Koh Lipe last week. No such rule in place.

  3. admin says:

    Hi Chan, your Singapore license can be used.

    If you are not the car owner then you need some authorization letter to drive the car.

  4. superlim says:

    Hi,i am planning to bring my family and together with my indonesia maid for a holiday trips to Betong.May i know do i require special document for my maid to enter Betong or using
    her working passport will do.TQ

  5. Lim says:


    Enquiry that, can i rent car and driving at krabi and phuket with malaysia driving license?

    confuse due to too many acticle that some say yes and some say can not?


  6. admin says:

    Malaysia driving license recognize in all Asean country.

    However, car rental company may have different rules which may require you to have international license.

    I have never rent a car in Thailand so I am not able to confirm.

  7. admin says:

    Just her password will do, Indonesia is part of Asean country, its visa free for 30 days.

  8. Adnon says:

    Hi, I had been driving using enter/exit Wang Kelian port for many times but I am just wondering can we enter using Wang Kelian port and exit at Bukit Kayu Hitam port? As we travelling to Pak Bara Pier and our last two night will been spending at Hadyai. It will be easier for us to use the BKH exit.

  9. admin says:

    Dear Adnon

    Yes. You can do that. I have done it before. Entering at Padang Besar and exit at Bukit Kayu Hitam. The system is online.

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