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  1. #1
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Essex boys's Avatar
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    Default Car hire from suvarnabhumi airport and ubon Ratchathani airport

    Hi all, I'm going to Thailand in June and it's my first visit there,I want to go from Bkk airport to kanchanaburi to visit the river Kwai bridge and hellfire pass, I will then be flying from Bkk airport to ubon ratchathani where I will be staying for two weeks so I just wondered what advice you can offer, or experience you may have of car hire from both or either of these airports, also do I need an international drivers license?
    many thanks for all and any advice given.
    essex boys.

  2. #2
    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์
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    You can take a train from Bangkok to and over the bridge and around the rocks to the waterfalls

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    You do need an international drivers license.

    If I remember I got mine from a Post Office but you need to check which branches do them.

    The last couple of times I have used Avis. Being Thailand it is pretty cheap to rent car but renting from smaller places severely limited my choice of car. The first time in Udon Thani they only had a single Toyota Carina available but it was over Songkran last year. It was fine. The smaller companies can be quite a bit cheaper on bigger vehicles from my Internet trawling.

    I always go around a hire car taking shots of every panel to dispel any spurious damage claims and where possible I make sure they see me doing it.

  4. #4
    Premium Member ash's Avatar
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    You do need an international drivers license.
    I have used car hire in Thailand for 20 years never been asked for one nor produced one when stopped by the boys in brown

    To drive or lease a car in Thailand as a tourist or visitor it is necessary to have either a Thai driving licence or a valid foreign driving licence with a photograph. The foreign licence must either be in English, or be accompanied by an official translation into English or Thai. The licence needs to have been issued by a country that has a treaty with the Thai government allowing the mutual acceptance of driving licences. Most countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA have this agreement with Thailand under the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic or the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. Those in doubt should contact their embassy for advice: [ailink]citizenguides.asp=Click here|/moving/residency/consular-services/=Click here[/ailink] - See more at: https://www.angloinfo.com/thailand/h....PcX1BZTi.dpuf
    According to the UN Traffic Act of 1949 and the Thai Traffic Act of 1979, an IDP is not required if you are a tourist/visitor in Thailand as long as your license is in English, has a photo, and your country is a contracting state of the 1949 treaty, which most are. (See motoring law below) If you are a resident, however, you require a Thai drivers license. As a tourist, rental car companies, insurance companies and police will all accept your home license. Still, it not a bad idea to obtain a legitimately issued INTERNATIONAL DRIVING PERMIT (IDP) before you leave your home country.
    Generally in Udon call and book ahead and they will get the car of your choice but turning up on the day choices are limited. So far I have had Honda CRV, Toyota Vigo Pickups Mini bus several other saloons a prius etc from Udon usually through Budget
    Last edited by ash; 24th Mar 2016 at 18:39.
    Human beings are seventy percent water, and with some the rest is collagen

  5. #5

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    Interesting. According to the places I checked you do need an international driving license in Thailand. On the license itself it says that you need one. It's an easy thing to get and it was worth it for my piece of mind.

    Great Britain:Can be purchased through the AA or RAC. or at principal Post Offices. Cost £5.50 plus processing fee

    In Udon Thani airport I booked a week in advance with Avis. It still wasn't enough time to have the car of my choice over Songkran. I tried three other companies that had no cars available at all.

  6. #6
    Premium Member ash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rasg View Post
    Interesting. According to the places I checked you do need an international driving license in Thailand. On the license itself it says that you need one.
    It says its valid maybe but you definitely do not need one

    According to the UN Traffic Act of 1949 and the Thai Traffic Act of 1979, an IDP is not required if you are a tourist/visitor in Thailand as long as your license is in English, has a photo, and your country is a contracting state of the 1949 treaty, which most are. (See motoring law below) If you are a resident, however, you require a Thai drivers license. As a tourist, rental car companies, insurance companies and police will all accept your home license. Still, it not a bad idea to obtain a legitimately issued INTERNATIONAL DRIVING PERMIT (IDP) before you leave your home country.

    Human beings are seventy percent water, and with some the rest is collagen

  7. #7
    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Linne's Avatar
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    Hell fire pass is a fair way away from Kanchanaburi and in my opinion a day in itself. The museum near the pass is truly awesome. A suggestion if I may, rather than drive yourself rent a car with a driver. Get the driver to drop you off at the museum. You look around the museum see the film show and walk down the stairs to the pass and keep going. Get the driver to pick you up at the other end. Take plenty of water and good footwear. Trust me it works and recommended. It is remote up round those parts.
    Many folk get the train it is a bit tedious but cheap and you get to ride over the bridge itself. Ash is right about the grey licence. Save your money for the brown shirts .

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    Its a long time ago now but I hired from a company based in Ubon and don't remember any problems. I do remember it was a local company and they met us at the airport with the car. It was arranged through a Bangkok travel agency. Sorry for lack of details but it was about 10 years ago.

    I believe the usual major players are in operation at Ubon these days but I believe in helping out the local economy - especially when its Isaan so I went for a local hire company.

    Just done a search and I think this was possibly the company I used:

    Cho Watthana, Tel: +66 45 241 906

  9. #9
    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์
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    Always enjoy this discussion about licenses and hiring/ driving rental cars in Thailand and many there have been.
    I agree Ash is correct in his statement (Sorry Gary need to repeat his quote for continuity)

    "To drive or lease a car in Thailand as a tourist or visitor it is necessary to have either a Thai driving licence or a valid foreign driving licence with a photograph. The foreign licence must either be in English, or be accompanied by an official tran
    slation into English or Thai. The licence needs to have been issued by a country that has a treaty with the Thai government allowing the mutual acceptance of driving licences. Most countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA have this agreement with Thailand under the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic or the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic"

    Yet Thailand's Motor Vehicles Act 1979 Section 42-2 Says

    "In case there’s a treaty between the Thai government and a foreign government regarding mutual acceptance of driver’s license, an alien who doesn’t have an immigrant visa may drive a motor vehicle with a driver’s license issued by such a foreign government, or an automobile association authorized by such a foreign government."

    However

    "Section 42 says. If the driver is an alien who doesn’t have an immigrant visa, he may drive a motor vehicle with a driver’s license specified in the Section 42-2. In such a case, he must carry documents specified by the treaty between the Thai government and the government which issued such driver’s license, and show them to competent officers upon request."

    Maybe an IDP is proof of a treaty, that every police officer knows exists.

  10. #10

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    Maybe an IDP is proof of a treaty, that every police officer knows exists.

    For me the idp was peace of mind that I would be insured should I have an accident. At £5.50 and an hour getting one I would rather be safe than sorry.

  11. #11
    Premium Member ash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rasg View Post
    For me the idp was peace of mind that I would be insured should I have an accident. At £5.50 and an hour getting one I would rather be safe than sorry.
    But the point is that it is not required by Thai law and you are insured without one but feel free to ignore the facts. If I was to need one its much more than an hour as there are no local offices nearby that issue them and given that for several years after returning to the UK because I had a French licence they would not issue an IDP in the UK anyway was not an option.
    Human beings are seventy percent water, and with some the rest is collagen

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    hows it going essex boys
    In the following link this guy Geoff Carter has loads of useful tips



    Ok he on a moped,but he shows you how to get the international drivers licence
    He has loads of vids on you tube, its worth browsing them

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    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ prikphet's Avatar
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    Dude - if you've never driven in Asia, then my advise to you is to keep it that way.
    Transport via Buses, Trains, Planes or Taxi's is cheap as chips.
    Whereas a foreigner with no knowledge of Thailand driving a Hire car is a very easy way to loose £££

  14. #14
    Premium Member ash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prikphet View Post
    Dude - if you've never driven in Asia, then my advise to you is to keep it that way.
    Transport via Buses, Trains, Planes or Taxi's is cheap as chips.
    Whereas a foreigner with no knowledge of Thailand driving a Hire car is a very easy way to loose £££
    I rented cars from my first trip in 2001 never had a problem. Driving ones self is a a darn sight safer than travelling with a taxi driver high on Yaabaa
    Human beings are seventy percent water, and with some the rest is collagen

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    Quote Originally Posted by ash View Post
    I rented cars from my first trip in 2001 never had a problem. Driving ones self is a a darn sight safer than travelling with a taxi driver high on Yaabaa
    Absolutely agree. I feel much safer over there when I'm in control of the vehicle I'm in.

    Take extreme care until you are used to the way Thai's drive - if there's a chance of doing something unbelievable, take it they will. Although we should anyway, get into the habit of checking both door mirrors - especially as your exiting a highway - you'll soon find out why . I could go on and on but basically - use extreme caution and expect the unexpected - your still much safer in my opinion.

    If you're going to be visiting regularly, save all the uncertainty over which licence the boys in brown want you to produce and get a Thai licence - very easy.

  16. #16
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Essex boys's Avatar
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    Gentlemen thankyou all for your advise and help, thanks also for the tips regarding the train ride.....very useful and I didn't know you take a train over the bridge. Just a quick update, the gf's brother in law is in the army and I think he is based in Bangkok, he has offered to drive us from Bkk airport to kanchanaburi, I will have to put the fuel in the car, and pay for his night in a hotel, but I'm considering taking him up on his offer, he will also drop us back to Bkk airport to catch the internal flight to ubon ratachani, so his hotel room for two nights will cost me about £50.00 I don't know how much petrol money to give him ( maybe someone who has done the journey could help me out here with an idea of fuel costs) it's a bit awkward as I find it difficult to refuse his offer as he is trying to help out.

    looks like I will still hire a car in ubon ratachani though, been loking at prices, and for 10 days I'm looking at about £200 to £300 these are internet company's from a Google search.

    i will get the international drivers license as a precaution, for what it costs I may as well have one , needed or not.
    anyway, again gents thanks for the help.
    P.S. Holty was it you who had the girlfriend arriving a few weeks ago? If so how's it going, I believe it was her first visit here.....

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    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ
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    yes essex boys its her first visit
    Its going great.She is very happy,she has not got to used to being cold.lol
    Dont help after waiting for almost 2 years to do the external wall insulation they decide to do it while she is here.lol
    Nok goes back to Thailand in mid may,and i fly with her for a holiday,so we will have spent 3 months together
    She has been in uk for just over a week so far

  18. #18

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    ( maybe someone who has done the journey could help me out here with an idea of fuel costs) it's a bit awkward as I find it difficult to refuse his offer as he is trying to help out.

    I have no doubt he will let you fill his car up with juice. It's pretty cheap in Thailand in comparison to the UK. That's all I did back in October when the GF's cousin and his wife took us to Cha Am for the day.

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    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ prikphet's Avatar
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    .......
    Last edited by prikphet; 25th Mar 2016 at 22:46.

  20. #20

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    As they drive on the same side of the road as we do here in the UK I am far more comfortable driving myself. Probably drove over a thousand miles last year within Thailand without a problem with the GF.

    If they drove on the other side I would be far more worried because they seem to drive so erratically.

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