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Thailand

Bangkok

Asia > Thailand > Bangkok

See: Why hire a car in Bangkok ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Bangkok car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Bangkok is in car rental price band: 4/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Bangkok? 

Sometimes. Car rental is slightly cheaper than global averages.

Volatility:

Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Bangkok between the peak and the off peak season?

3/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 1/10

Non car score:4/10

Balance: 3

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -

 

Why? Visiting Bangkok using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Bangkok ?


Getting a hire car in Bangkok might make sense if you want to start exploring further inland, and especially if you want to visit some of the national parks heading towards Chiang Mai. However, on balance, Bangkok is the sort of place where the great majority of visitors will be better off without one.

Why not? Visiting Bangkok without a car

Why don't you need a car in Bangkok ?


Our Bangkok car hire guide will start by stating the obvious – Bangkok is a huge congested metropolis which has also recently invested heavily in rail-based mass transport, yet all of the most popular attractions are a relatively short distance from each other.

To give an idea of its size, it’s worth noting that Bangkok also holds the distinction of being the world’s most populous city when considered as a multiple of the next largest city in that country (in this case, Chang Mai), yet most of this size is based on endless development beyond the central core where the main tourist sites are located.

Anyone planning a visit to Thailand which starts with a long haul flight into Bangkok is almost certainly going to be looking at where else to visit outside the capital. This then begs the obvious question – even if you might well want to avoid driving in Bangkok like the plague, is it worth getting a rental car and then driving down to some of the more famous coastal resorts such as Krabi, Phuket or Koh Samui.  All of these destinations are essentially a good day’s driving from Bangkok, so you might prefer just to take a bus and let someone else do the driving. Alternatively, they are both just a short flight away from Bangkok. Please see our Phuket and Koh Samui car advice pages the further suggestions about whether or not it’s worth driving in these destinations when you get there.

Another popular excursion from Bangkok is to visit the Burma railway and to see the infamous Bridge on the River Kwai at Kanchanaburi. Naturally, this is an excursion that is most appropriate to do by train, but in reality, many people do by tour bus. Yet there is still little point in hiring a car to go in this direction, as the main points of interest are all easily reached on foot.

If you’ve only got a few days in Bangkok and just want to take a short coastal break away from the city, then the best place to do this Pattaya, which can easily be reached by bus or train.

Ratings: How does Bangkok compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Bangkok? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Bangkok, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Bangkok? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Bangkok (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Bangkok? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Bangkok airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Bangkok car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 3

2019 - 3

2021 - 3

Average score - 3

Notes:

 

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Bangkok ?

Categories
Thailand

Chiang Mai

Asia > Thailand > Chiang Mai

See: Why hire a car in Chiang Mai ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Why? Visiting Chiang Mai using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Chiang Mai ?



Generally, car hire in Thailand doesn’t make a great deal of sense, because visitors are most likely to spend time in frenetic Bangkok, where driving is a nightmare, or in any one of the country’s famous coastal resorts, such as Phuket or Koh Samui, where the emphasis is always going to be on the beaches and the water.
Yet Chiang Mai is quite different, firstly because it is very deep inland, and secondly because it is surrounded by so many natural parks and other scenic forested areas.

    • There are also no rail services in Chiang Mai, and although local scheduled bus services are readily available within the city.
    • Buses to any other scenic areas around the city are much less widely available.
    • Buses are mainly focused on intercity service, rather than at stopping at the parks in between.

Why not? Visiting Chiang Mai without a car

Why don't you need a car in Chiang Mai ?


This doesn’t mean that the only way to visit Chiang Mai is to do so with a rental car – as with any scenic area, a car is only going to get you so far, and this is really the sort of destination that lends itself to long walking excursions. You may well prefer to hire a local guide, who might also provide transport, rather than renting your own car, and this might well work out as better value anyway.

Ratings: How does Chiang Mai compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Chiang Mai? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Chiang Mai, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?

 

 

Do you need to hire a car in Chiang Mai? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Chiang Mai (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Chiang Mai? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel

 

Car hire basics:

 

Public transportation basics:

 

Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):

 

As you start ....

Does Chiang Mai airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No

 

 

 

 


Changelog

Has our advice for Chiang Mai car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 4

2019 - 4

2021 - 6

Average score - 5

Notes:

r

 

Summary

Do you or don't you need a car in Chiang Mai ?