How to avoid trouble on the road in Thailand
Welcome to the most picturesque island in Thailand.
Phuket traffic is quite intense and at first glance seems chaotic, it also has a few specifics. Therefore, we wrote down a few tips for you that will, we are certain, help you avoid trouble on the road.
1. Motorcycles (motorbikes)
Any maneuvers should be taken slowly and gradually with advance warning of the turn signal. Note, that it is not customary in Thailand to abruptly change lanes and brake hard on the side of the road. You should give enough time to motorcyclists to react to your planned maneuvers.
There is no need to speed, drive cautiously at 60-80 km/hour.
While in Thai traffic regulations right-of-way is specified, in reality, no one follows the rule. At uncontrolled intersections yield the right-of-way to all other motorists. Allow others to run, you are not in a hurry.
Parking is not permitted next to red and white striped curbs as well as on parts of the road marked with yellow paint for taxis and public transport and on the roadway itself. If parking is taken by taxis there is no need to engage in arguments with taxi drivers.
Many shopping centers have underground parking that is free of charge for a couple of hours.
5. Left turn on red
It is permitted to turn left on the red light at certain intersections. These intersections are marked with the sign “Turn left with safety” on a blue background which means that you should yield to traffic on your right first and then turn left.
6. Continuous dividing line
According to the traffic rules in Thailand, it is not permitted to cross a continuous dividing line. However, this rule is broken all the time as it is often difficult to find a place to turn. You can cross it if you can proceed safely. But remember in case of an accident you will be found at fault.
7. Driving while under the influence of alcohol
Contrarily to the common believe that police in Thailand does not enforce this rule, from time to time the police organizes checkpoints on the roads to test blood alcohol level of drivers. In case if you are caught driving and your blood alcohol level exceeds the legal limit you will be subject to arrest, court proceeding and a fine in the amount of 5000 – 10000 baht. It might be possible to make a special arrangement with police to avoid your case from going to court but that is very costly. Therefore, we recommend you don’t drink and drive.
8. Distance and dimensions
It is most likely that the automobile you are renting is smaller than the one you drive at home. However, please, park, turn and maneuver with caution allowing plenty of room around.
Automobiles of class S, M, and ML (Mitsubishi Mirage, Honda Brio Amaze, Toyota Vios, Honda Jazz, Chevrolet Aveo, Toyota Avanza) use 91 octane gasoline. Some gas station in Thailand offer gasohol that contains ethanol and others offer regular gasoline. Your automobile engine can work on either but we recommend you fill your tank with regular gasoline.
Automobiles of class LA and LC (Toyota Fortuner, Toyota Hilux Vigo) require diesel to run.
There are many gas stations along the main road running in the center of the island. Most of them are open untill 21.00.
In case of an accident, please, first of all call us at 087 477 55 44. Do not move the automobile until either the police or the insurance company arrives at the scene. If your automobile impedes traffic, ask a police officer for permission to move it. Make a video or pictures of the scene of the accident prior to moving your automobile.
! Please, take a taxi if you wish to go to night clubs or bars. It takes 2-3 times longer to process an accident at night. Your insurance will become void if you are found under the influence of alcohol.
, updated 2019