An Exclusive Guide on Renting a Car in Chiang Mai

Contouring around Ping River, Chiang Mai was awarded the title of creative city by UNESCO in 2015.  Being one of the emerging cities of Thailand, it offers a variety of attractions and has something in store for every kind of tourist. But it is impossible to enjoy the whole of Chiang Mai especially if you’re on a time crunch. Cabs can turn out to be an expensive option. Here is why you need to know all about renting a car in Chiang Mai.

View of Chiang Mai

Why Car Rental is the Best Option in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai can be explored either on your own or through tourist guides or group tours. But the best way to experience the vibe and get the true essence of any destination is by exploring it on your own. For that, you have to be prepared and look for cheap modes of transportation. Renting a car in Chiang Mai is one of the most viable options if you wish to tour a place at your own convenience.

Streets of Chiang Mai
You can visit magnificent temples, the ruins of the old walled city, Night Bazaars for a quirky shopping spree and do treks to nearby mountains along with sanctuaries, all at your own time and schedule. Renting a car does not only save time but also your precious money.

Cost of Renting a Car in Chiang Mai

Thailand Currency Baht
Car rental is one of the cheapest modes of travel in Chiang Mai. Prices vary depending upon the type of the car and luxury. There might be a price hike during the peak tourist season such as summers of July and August. You might have to submit a security deposit which varies from company to company and is fully refundable. 
Price ranges: THB 315 to THB 1500 
The average price for a day: THB 520   

Required Documents 


You need a passport and you need to keep it with you at all times while driving the car. You need to be above 18 years of age and have a Driver’s License. It is very important to have an International Driver’s Permit in order to drive outside your own country.

Insurance Policy for Renting a Car in Chiang Mai

While renting a car in Chiang Mai, do not overlook the insurance policy. Almost all rental companies provide basic insurance that covers accidents and theft. Some companies offer collision coverage and only a few provide coverage of an accident where a third party is not involved like hitting a wall, etc. Even if the car is insured, you may have to pay a partial amount known as damage excesses.
In case of a breakdown of your rented car, please ensure to inform the company and they will send a mechanic for repairs. If you get it repaired on your own then you may not receive repair damages cost.

Recovery Policy for Car Rentals

The recovery policy deals with returning the car within a prescribed time and the condition in which it is returned. You usually have to return it back where you picked it from. After it is returned, the company checks for any damage done to the car’s exterior or interior.

Inclusions While Renting a Car

Car Rentals in Chiang Mai
The cars usually come with insurance. Do ensure that there is at least a basic insurance scheme. Most rental agreements include airbags and a GPS system. The one thing that is not included in the rental cost is fuel charge. You will have to bear the full cost of fuel as it varies according to the kilometres driven. There is no limit to the number of kilometres you can drive.

Types of Cars Available

There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to picking the right car for your journey. Almost all companies have similar variations like Economy car that is the cheapest for a couple or a family of three and the best option to explore Chiang Mai. The rates are as low as THB 550 which is relatively very cheap for a full day car rental. Then other options are Compact cars like Chevrolet and Standard Cars like Altis which are best for families or a group of 4. There is an option for booking SUVs like Toyota Fortuner depending upon your budget and size of the group.

Car Renting Companies in Chiang Mai  

Car renting in Chiang Mai

Here is a list of some registered companies that help you in renting a car in Chiang Mai. You can either book a car online or get in touch with them at their headquarters as mentioned.

1. Chiangmai Wheels


Location: 183/15 Changklan Road, A. MuangChiang Mai – Thailand

2. Kayak


3. Avis Rent A Car


Location: 60/27 Chiang Mai Airport

4. National Car Thailand


Location: S.M.T Rent A Car Co., Ltd. 727 Srinakarin Rd, Suanlang, Bangkok 10250

5. Happy Car

[email protected]

Car Renting Tips

• There is a left-hand side driving pattern followed in Thailand.

• The speed limits range is as follows:

             50 – 60 km/h - suburban streets

             90 – 120 km/h - highways

• Try to book a car at least 1 week before your trip to get it at cheaper rates. Sometimes booking it on the stop may lead to a price hike.

• The Economy car is one of the most famous ones among rental cars and also the cheapest. Chevrolet Spark or similar hatchbacks come under economy.

• A lot of car rental companies have their pick up and drop off at the airport only. The international section of the airport provides all the basic facilities to tourists from cab bookings to hotels. Here, you may find a window of car rental operators as well. The two major companies operating from the airport are Chic Car Rent and National.

• The type of car you choose should not only depend upon the number of people in your group but on the accommodation of your luggage. Economy and Compact do not have space to fit in more than two luggage bags, so if you’re travelling heavy then book a bigger car.

• In case more than one person will be driving, then all the people driving will have to provide proper documents like license and passport.

• You are not allowed to take the car outside the boundaries of Thailand in any case.

• Cancellation policy varies from company to company. Familiarize yourself well with all the rules, terms and conditions regarding the car rental so you don’t have refund issues later on.

• Most rental companies accept payment through credit card if not cash. The cards accepted are American Express, Visa, Mastercard and Union Play. You can always call the service provider and confirm the mode of payment in case of any doubt.

Renting a car in Chiang Mai
Renting a car in Chiang Mai may seem like a tedious task but it is actually quite easy and cheap. Just get your right documents and the car is all yours! Move around the Chiang Mai City and experience it like never before.

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