What documents will be required to rent a car on Samui
Passport first of all, you will need a passport/id card.
According to the laws of the Kingdom of Thailand, car rental companies are not allowed to take your original passport as deposit, the passport is only needed to confirm your identity at the conclusion of the contract, and the manager making the deal will make a copy. It is not necessary to make a copy in advance, this procedure is usually done using a phone camera at the place of the rental agreement.
You will need an international driver's license to get around Thailand. This is a book, which is made in addition to the card of the main driver's license of your country. According to the law and international convention you can move around the territory of the kingdom without an additional international license during the first month of stay in the country, but in fact, the police officer may not know about it and require an international license, in this case you will be fined 500-1000 baht for driving without a license. You can only get such a fine once a day, and if you get it, you can drive safely for the rest of the time.
A driver's license is necessary for insurance to be valid in case of an accident, which is why most companies will refuse to provide car rental services if you do not have at least a basic driver's license.
The car must have a road tax payment certificate. This is a blue paper square with a hologram and the year to which the tax has been paid. The document must be sticked on the windshield of the car and the year on it must be no less than the current one.
Important. Thailand has a different chronology, 543 years should be added to the current year according to the Gregorian calendar.
Car documents and insurance paper aren’t usually provided to renters but you can ask to show them of course to be sure everything is legal.
Terms of car rental in Samui
The terms of car rental on Samui do not differ from the basic terms of car rental in Thailand. You enter into a contract with the lessor company or a private person - the owner of the vehicle. Both are equally acceptable and do not violate the laws of the Kingdom of Thailand. The contract is drawn up in English and preferably Thai languages, the priority is always the Thai copy, if it is not available, then legally works and the English version.
The car must be fully serviceable and in accordance with the rules of the road in the kingdom to have all body parts. At the conclusion of the contract you must inspect the vehicle for damage to the paintwork and internal damage to the interior trim and seats. All damages should be recorded in the appropriate scheme in the contract, if available. It is also necessary to make a photo and video recording, which clearly shows the damage, if possible send these photos to the manager by email or messenger. This procedure will first of all protect you from losing money, because if the damages were not fixed when signing the contract, but were found at the time of delivery of the car, they will be your financial responsibility, even if you did not cause them. In most cases, no deposit is required to rent a car on Samui. You leave a copy of your passport as a deposit. But there are companies in which cash deposit is a must. In case of an accident, a part equivalent to the amount of repair or the entire deposit amount may be deducted from the deposit at the discretion of the rental company. Some companies give the renter the choice of leaving a deposit: money or the original passport. We do not recommend leaving original documents as a deposit. These conditions should be spelled out in the rental agreement.
All cars in Thailand are insured with basic insurance. Rental companies, in order to reduce the risks and costs in case of an accident, make additional insurance. First of all, insurance is in the interest of the rental company and in most cases it is available. When renting a car through the Sabai motors website, you can be sure that absolutely all cars are insured. The insurance form is not given to the renter when renting a vehicle, it is kept by the owner of the car. In case of an accident, you should contact the company where you rented the car or the owner of the vehicle.
Most companies deliver the car to any place convenient for you, and the cost of delivery can be included in the rental price or paid separately. It depends on the conditions of the company. Rental periods are always considered as full days, but there are exceptions to the rules with payment by the hour if you go beyond the main rental period. The cost of additional hours is always specified in the rental agreement. If you have any questions, you can ask your manager in the chat.
If you are interested in the terms of renting a car in Phuket, we recommend you to read them in the article - renting a car in Phuket.
Roads of Samui
Samui is a small island, there is one main circle road, it encircles the entire island along the coastline. For almost its entire length, the road is two-lane, one lane in each direction, not separated by jackhammers. Samui's roads can be extremely dangerous. No one follows the rules of the road, overtaking on the oncoming lane is allowed everywhere, be careful and vigilant, always be ready to go to the side of the road, as on your lane may be rushing to you in the forehead of the car driven by a Thai driver.
You might be interested in this article Road traffic accident in Thailand when rent a car, what to do
The speed limit is also not limited. Officially all over the island there are signs limiting the speed to 40-50 kilometers per hour, but in fact no one observes these rules. In spite of this, it is recommended to stick to the speed limit, so that you always have the opportunity to avoid collision, and in case of an accident you will be right, as you did not break the rules. Numerous motorcycles constantly have accidents, trying to overtake the car, moving in the blind zone for the driver, can suddenly start to rebuild or leave the secondary road without looking on the sides. Most motorcycle drivers do not wear a helmet, so in most cases even a minor collision ends in serious injuries for the driver and passengers of the two-wheeled vehicle. Be careful and always be mindful of motorcycles during any maneuver.
Parking on Koh Samui
Compared to Phuket, Samui island is half the size, there are no wide highways, most roads are designed for the passage of one car and no more, so it is often difficult to find parking on Samui so as not to interfere with anyone. The most important rule is not to park at the colored red-white and yellow-white curbs, as well as watch out for the presence of prohibiting signs. If you come to the beach, it is best to park in the parking lot of any hotel, of course, unless its staff expresses dissatisfaction and does not ask to re-park. If there is no parking lot at the beach, it is better to stand farther away, but be sure that the car is safe and sound and does not interfere with the passage.
Taxi drivers' parking lots deserve special attention. By parking in their gathering places, which are usually located opposite the exit from hotels, clubs, restaurants, you risk getting a punctured wheel or a scratch. The fine for parking in the wrong place is 500 baht. In case a policeman notices the violation, he will block one of the wheels with a chain with a lock and leave a receipt for payment under the windshield wipers. It must be paid at the police station, and only then the wheel of your car will be unlocked. This procedure usually takes no more than 15 minutes.
Gas stations in koh Samui
Distances on Samui are small, gasoline consumption is minimal, but you still have to refuel. There are no 24-hour gas stations, so take care of the amount of gasoline in advance if you plan an overnight trip. Gasoline-powered vehicles are fueled with e20, 91 or 95 grade fuel. The fuel grade recommended for refueling is usually indicated on body stickers on the arches next to the driver or passenger door lock, or on the gas tank hatch on the inside.
It is not superfluous to clarify the brand of fuel with the manager of the company where you rent the car. It is often written in the contract. You do not need to get out of the car at the gas station. The whole procedure of communication takes place through the window. You must tell the gas station attendant the brand of gasoline and the amount you want to fill up (for how much money), open the gas tank hatch, the gas station attendant will do the rest. Payment is often made in cash. Very few gas stations accept plastic cards. We do not recommend using cards at unverified places, as card copying is not uncommon in Thailand. All gas stations in Thailand have a free toilet, most also have a small grocery store where you can buy everything you need for your trip. Large gas stations have cafes and stores with souvenirs.
Traveling outside the island
The island is not connected to the mainland by a bridge, this is perhaps the most important feature of this destination, which should be considered when renting a car on Samui. Compared to Phuket, which is connected to the mainland by a bridge, the only connection between Samui and the mainland is the ferry or airport. Most companies do not allow trips off the island to neighboring provinces, but still there are exceptions, so it is important to coordinate the trip off the island with the manager before booking or making a prepayment.
If departure is agreed, to get to the mainland, use one of Samui's ferry transportation companies, Raja Ferry and Seatran Ferry.
You can pre-book your ticket on their websites, as well as check their schedules and ferry fares. The cost of car ferrying includes a ticket for the driver.
Can you drink alcohol while driving on Samui
Thailand has a legal blood alcohol limit for a driver, which is 0.5 ppm. It means that legally you can drive while slightly intoxicated. About one or two cans of beer. But it doesn't mean at all that you can drink directly behind the steering wheel. Even if the amount of alcohol in the blood is acceptable, neither the driver nor the passenger can drink alcoholic beverages while driving. The fine for breaking the rule is 10,000 baht. If the driver is apprehended and a police officer establishes an excessive amount through an exhalation test, the driver is taken to the nearest police station for an impairment examination and blood test. If the blood test is confirmed, the driver is confined to a cell until trial and sentencing. For the first time, the sentence is a 2000 baht fine. On each subsequent time, the sentence will be more severe, up to and including confiscation of the vehicle and imprisonment.
A very important point - even if the amount of alcohol in the blood within the permissible norm of 0.5 ppm, in case of an accident, insurance will not be valid and you will lose the deposit. These were all the features of renting a car on Samui. If you still have any questions, feel free to ask your manager in the chat.