An insurance policy simply requires a driver to have a valid driving license issued by the country declared on the proposal/hire agreement. An IDP is not a driving license and does not authorise the holder to drive, essentially an IDP is an official, multi-language translation of a driving licence and not a license in itself.
I would encourage those intending to hire a car in Thailand to buy their insurance from the UK.
Tobias - โทเบียส
A car hire company can refuse to hire out the vehicle without sight of an IDP. The IDP isn’t valid unless a valid driving license is presented with it. A country can insist foreign nationals hold an IDP to drive in that country, this is purely to translate the driving license to local law enforcement and the hire company. Failing to possess an IDP will not invalidate insurance even where it is a legal requirement to to possess one.
Tobias - โทเบียส
I'm asking because I know someone who's claim was rejected recently because he didn't hold an IDP. The Thai insurers pointed out that his rental contract required him to hold an IDP which he didn't. My comment to him so far is that surely, if this was a condition, the rental company should have asked to see his IDP.
They are pulling a fast one. No license, of course they can avoid the claim. An IDP is only a translation of a foreign driving licence. There is no basis in contact to reject the claim.
Depends on how good the insurance company is but you don't know till you need them.
£5.50 irrelevant of what an IDP actually means or whether its needed or not at least gives me some peace of mind.
Get busy living or get busy dying
I agree that you do not require a IDP to drive in Thailand. However, remember that legally, you should always have your passport at hand (or at least a copy). We have to remember that some Thai police, however sharp, do not read English and your DL is useless unless you can prove who you are by ways of ID (other than a DL).
One has to remember that forged documents such as DL's are almost on every street corner.
As for insurance. I know of two international hire companies in Thailand that ask for IDP and DL in their small print but hire out if you dont have one.
They might be pulling a fast one, but at the end of the day I would get full cover, 5* and comply to whatever conditions they set out. God forbid, you dont want yourself stuck at a busy intersection with two smashed up cars and the agent appears and asks for your IDP
Remember thats how it works in Thailand. Accident, call agent, they send representative to the location to negotiate and sort it out there and then.
I travel frequently around SE Asia and for the paltry sum, carry the IDP
Judging others before you have met isn't a wise option.