Bangkok Transport | Should you Rent a Car in Bangkok
Many local and major international companies offer affordable car rental services in Bangkok. They typically offer both chauffeur driven and self-drive vehicles. Big name car rental names like Avis, National and Hertz are well represented in Bangkok. They will give you the option of picking up your car rental at the airport or at a location in downtown Bangkok.
The most important question you need to ask is whether or not you should brave the roads of Bangkok and drive yourself, or if paying a little extra for a chauffeur is the way you should go.
For first time visitors to Bangkok, it is recommended that you get a chauffeur driven car rental. It will cost you a bit more, but will be well worth your money. For chauffeur driven car rentals local car hire companies are cheaper and just as reliable as the international car rental companies. However, for self-drive rentals, you may be better of choosing a reputable international company.
If you do decide to drive yourself, you should brush up on your defensive driving skills. Drivers in Bangkok can be pretty aggressive, particularly drivers of commercial vehicles. Cars, buses and tuk tuks can be unforgiving as they jockey for position in Bangkok's nasty traffic jams. Your biggest risk, however, is hitting one of the motorcyclists, who typically drive very recklessly. Regardless of fault, the motorcyclist will demand some monetary compensation. Driving in Bangkok is an adventure in itself.
You do have alternatives to renting a car, including the Skytrain and the BTS Metro, which will get you to your destination much faster than you would possibly get there by car. Buses, taxis and tuk tuks are also a readily available option. However, a car rental is sometimes a preferred option, especially if you would like to explore areas outside the city, if you are playing golf, or driving into the countryside where traffic jams are non-existent.
To get a car rental, you will need your passport, a valid Thai or international driver's license and a credit card. You will likely have to hand over your passport or other form of collateral before they let you drive off.
It is important to verify exactly what insurance coverage you will have in the rental vehicle in the event of an accident. Your insurance from your home country will usually not cover you in Thailand. You should also ensure that the rental price includes unlimited mileage; paying by the mile will cost you a bundle. Be sure to check the car before you drive off - engine oil, tire pressure, and just as importantly, any visible damage.