Rent a car in Phuket. Features of renting a car in Phuket

Car brands and models available for rent in Phuket

The lineup of cars available for rent in Phuket starts with the standard class. These are compact sedans and hatchbacks of Toyota and Honda brands, and less frequently rental companies offer Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Ford and Nissan. The standard class includes such car models as Toyota Vios, Toyota Yaris, Toyota Ativ, Nissan Almera, Honda Jazz, Honda City, Nissan March, Mazda 2, Suzuki Swift and many others. All these cars have approximately the same dimensions, are equipped with automatic transmission and differ only in appearance. Usually, entry-level cars are equipped with engines from 1 liter to 1.5 liters. 

Economy class cars are designed for 5 people, including the driver, luggage compartments in different models are also different. In the offers, which you get through the service Sabai Motors, the volume of the trunk is indicated and there is even a calculator of the volume of luggage, so you can calculate the capacity of a particular car. For large companies or families, and if you have a large volume of luggage, we recommend you to pay attention to the Minivan class cars. These cars have engines from 1.5 liters and above, automatic transmissions and interior with 3 rows of seats. Such cars are designed for the movement of up to 7 people, including the driver, while leaving quite a lot of space for luggage. These models include Honda Mobilio, Toyota Avanza, Toyota Innova, Mitsubishi Xpander, Toyota Veloz. Driving such a car does not require a special driver's license, an ordinary class B driver's license is enough. 

Tourists demanding comfort and power, we recommend renting a Premium or SUV class car. Powerful engines from 1.6 liters, spacious salons with good soundproofing and many options, all-wheel drive, automatic transmission - all this will make your vacation even more pleasant. Maximum comfort on the road can be obtained with a business and premium class car, such as Toyota Camry, and maximum power and capacity with an SUV Toyota Fortuner or Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. Mazda CX3, Mazda CX5, Mazda 3, Toyota Altis can also be referred to the entry level of the premium segment. 

How much does it cost to rent a car in Phuket?

There is no fixed cost of renting a car in Phuket, each company offers its own conditions, different models of cars, and of course, each company has its own cost. The cost of rent depends on many factors: the distance of the company's office from the place of delivery, season, model and make of the car, the term of the lease.

The more days of rental, the lower the daily rate. Often the cost of renting a car for a period of 3 weeks is the same as the monthly cost, as the daily cost decreases as the number of days increases. Maximum discounts are made when renting a car for several months with one hundred percent prepayment of the entire rental period. 

Most companies have a deposit. This is a certain amount that the renter pays together with the total amount of the rental. At the end of the rental, the deposit is either fully or partially refunded depending on the condition of the car. If any new damage is found that was not there on the day of delivery, its cost is assessed and deducted from the deposit. The deposit is a guarantee of careful driving, as drivers often do not care about the rented car: it is not mine, so it is not terrible to damage it. And knowing that every scratch will be paid for, the driver becomes more responsible. The amount of deposit is different for all companies and should be specified in the rental agreement. 

Cost of delivery 

Many companies offer their customers free delivery and pickup service to any point of the island, but there are some with paid delivery, and here the cost of delivery/pickup will directly depend on where the office is located. Suppose you are staying on Nai Ton beach, in the north of the island, and the office of the rental company is located on Rawai, in the southernmost point, in this case one-way delivery will cost you at least 500 baht, but if the office of the company is located at the airport, in the north, delivery is likely to be free. The price of delivery and return also directly depends on the duration of the rental car. 

Some rental companies set a minimum time frame for delivery to be free, for example from 10 days. In this article we will describe the nuances inherent in renting a car in Phuket. If you are interested in general questions about renting a car in Thailand, traffic rules, and a full description of the booking process, we recommend you to read the article: 

How to avoid mistakes when renting a car in Thailand

Driving outside Phuket

In most cases, the lessor tries not to rent a car with the conditions of leaving the island, but if the rental period is more than five days, and the trip is planned not very far, some make concessions and allow travel outside Phuket. Before booking, check with the rental company before you book. The most important thing you need to understand when going to a neighboring province, in case something happens on the way, you will have to solve the problems yourself. Support will only be available by phone. Everything else, including dealing with the police and locals in the event of an accident, a flat tire or engine failure, is entirely on your shoulders, as the companies do not have offices outside of Phuket and will not travel to another province to provide assistance.

All trips outside of Phuket must be individually agreed with the manager. Do not try to deceive the manager by telling a false itinerary. All cars for rent in Phuket are connected to a GPS tracking system and the rental companies are always aware of where their car is.

Gas stations in Phuket

Most cars equipped with a gasoline engine fill up with 91, 95 or E20 grade gasoline. Stickers on the car body on the back of the gas tank hatch or on a sticker behind the driver's door usually spell out the recommended type of fuel. The delivery person will also tell you what to fill up when they bring the car. Gas stations in Phuket are mostly located on major roads, very rare in beach areas. Check out the location of stations on Google maps in advance. A 24-hour gas station is a rare phenomenon, try to fill up your car in advance during the daytime, as there is a chance that in the evening and even more so at night, all nearby gas stations will be closed. If it happens that there is no gas station nearby and you run out of gasoline, use automatic refueling machines. They are designed for motorcycles, and gasoline in them costs an order of magnitude more, but in an emergency you can fill up a couple of liters. You don't need to get out of your car to fill it up. Drive up to a free column, a gas station attendant will approach you. Tell him what kind of gasoline, how many liters or for how much and he will do everything himself. Then just pay the same person.

Where you can't park in Phuket

Ignorance of the rules is not exempt from responsibility, a mistake when parking in the wrong place can cost a whole day of vacation, unload your wallet and spoil your mood. The most important rule is that if you see a colored curb, move on. Never leave your car at curbs painted yellow or red. Always pay attention to signs prohibiting parking, even if the curb is black and white or not colored at all. Also, do not park in cab zones. They are immediately visible, as there are many tuk-tuks and various private and official Taxi-meter cabs. 

As a rule, cab drivers are on duty next to these cars, they do not like it very much when their place is occupied by ordinary mortals, they will probably make a remark and ask you not to leave your car. Don't argue. It is better to look for another place, as it is not uncommon for cab drivers to damage your car. They can scratch your vehicle or puncture a tire. It's better to stand farther away, but keep your nerves and your car (as well as your deposit) safe and sound.

Trouble on the road, breakdowns, service

Unfortunately, troubles and breakdowns on the road happen, there is no escaping them. In case of an accident or car breakdown, first of all inform your manager about it. That's why we recommend renting a car from a company that has 24/7 support. Save your phone number in advance to contact a company representative and be prepared to give your location. If you are out of the service area, having left the island of Phuket, then you will have to solve the problems on your own, having previously coordinated your actions with the manager. The company's employees do not have the ability to travel long distances for on-site assistance. If the breakdown of the car was not caused by your actions, keep the receipt and the cost of repair will be reimbursed on the day of returning the car.

You might be interested in this article Road traffic accident in Thailand when rent a car, what to do

Phuket roads

The length of Phuket from north to south is about 60 kilometers. The only connection with the mainland is the Sarasin Bridge (Sarasin Bridge) in the northernmost point of the island, behind which stretches the picturesque province of Phang Nga and the beaches of Khao Lak province. There are two main roads on the island to get from beach to beach, to the airport or to get off the island. The main road runs through the center of the island - Thep Krassatri. It is a wide expressway with 2-3 lanes in each direction. This road is preferred on the way to the airport, to the northern beaches of the island and to neighboring provinces. To the south of the island Thepkrasattri begins to branch off and before entering the city area goes towards the east coast, well, to the west coast leads Bypass road. The second main road is a scenic mountain serpentine winding along the west coast. This road can take you all over the island, to the airport and Sarasin Bridge, but if you choose this route, be aware that the road to the airport may take much longer. For traveling from beach to beach it is better to use this road. Though Phuket is an island, but the distances here are not small. If you have chosen a northern beach, such as Maikao, then be aware that the road to the southern beaches and the Central Festival shopping center will take you more than an hour. Phuket is on the path of rapid development, construction does not stop for a day. Because of this, there are some difficulties with road capacity. This is especially true in the southern part of the island, where most roads are still single lane. Congestion usually occurs during peak hours when locals are traveling to work in the morning or returning from work in the evening. Keep this in mind when heading to the airport, as you can easily miss your flight. 

Phuket has a lot of mountainous roads with high rises, so there is a myth that you need a car with a powerful engine, because even a car with a 1.5 liter engine can barely drive uphill. Indeed, the more powerful the car, the easier it is for it to lift more passengers and cargo uphill, with greater speed and less power, but this does not mean that a car with a 1.2 engine and 4 passengers will not go uphill at all. Most gearboxes have L mode, a lower gear, on which, for example, Nissan March with 1,2 engine, quietly climbs uphill to the monument of Big Buddha without any labor, having on board 4 oversized passengers with luggage. It all depends on the skills and experience of the driver.