Where to rent a car in Phuket?
- Where to rent a car in Phuket?
- 4 Ways to Rent a Car in Phuket
- 1. Book with an international brand
- 2. Renting a car at Phuket Airport with international brands
- Price comparison for major companies
- NATIONAL CAR RENTAL
- 3. Rent a car With a local company
- Orange Car Phuket
- Braun Car Rental Phuket
- Thai Rent a Car
- Nina Car Rent
- 4. Rent a car with a driver
- 5. Renting cars on the streets
- More reading
- How to Drive a Bike or a Car in Phuket?
- Renting a car with driver in Phuket (minivans and taxis for a day)
- 14 Lifesaving Tips to Drive in Phuket
Renting a car in Phuket is a great way to explore the island and its surroundings. Finding a car rental company is easy and hassle-free if you follow some basic rules. We recommend booking in advance with a reputable international brand to avoid any bad surprises. You can see the list below.
Driving in Phuket is known to be hectic and unpredictable, but if you focus on the road and the vehicles around you, it’s not that difficult. Just read this page before you go, and you will be a little more prepared. Traffic in the southern part of Phuket can be hectic because underpasses and overpass constructions add to the usual rush hour.
This page is not sponsored and is to help by giving you hints, often based on our experience. You still need to do your homework and read the fine print online; it is usually pretty straightforward.
4 Ways to Rent a Car in Phuket
1. Book with an international brand
Our advice to avoid any bad surprises is to always book in advance with an international brand. And this is for several good reasons:
- Booking in advance makes sure the car type you prefer is available. If you arrive during the low season, this will not be much of a problem, but you might have to rent a model more expensive than you originally had in mind during the high season.
- You could also contact several companies before getting a car for the planned dates. This is particularly true if you plan to book for a relatively long period.
You only find out how good or bad insurance is when something has happened and it is too late to change your mind. Most international brands have long proof of record, and you can expect the promised insurance to kick in when needed. Usually, there is a margin that will not be covered, but you can buy an extra cover. We always take that additional coverage for peace of mind, but it is not compulsory.
Most companies have a booth at both terminals, domestic and international. We tried most of them with more or less satisfaction. Everyone’s experience will be slightly different, especially during the high season.
Thai Rent a Car, a Thai company, had good prices, but cars were older than they looked as they seemed to be painted often, and the first models often lacked power. Other international companies were more or less equal in service provided, but we were mostly pleased by Europcar for service and car condition. No bad smell, often brand new cars, occasional upgrades and friendly staff. (not a sponsored story!)
2. Renting a car at Phuket Airport with international brands
Ideally, you booked your car in advance, as advised above, and all you will have to do is pick it up upon arrival. The time it takes to collect the vehicle varies a lot, even if all the documents are in order. Just be patient; it never speeds up the process if you get angry 😉
If you didn’t book, most companies would probably have a car for you, but your choice might be limited; the vehicle could be old or worse if you arrive at peak season: no more cars available!
Staff at car rental airport counters can appear moody, but you have to understand they often have to deal with grumpy people landing after a long uncomfortable trip and queuing at immigration for a long time.
(You can probably rent a car at your hotel, but you will probably end up with one of those international brands, and you will have to pay the hotel commission on top.)
Below are some of the companies you will find at the terminal; they are easy to find, and all are next to each other.
Price comparison for major companies
We search for cars for the same dates, ‘Pay at Booking’, pick up and return at Phuket Airport, and all automatic vehicles. Here is what we found (prices change all the time, and these are rather for you to compare the range of each company)
- Mini (Toyota Yaris or similar ): 981 B
- Economy (Toyota Vios or similar): 1,188 B
- Standard (Toyota Altis 1.8 or equivalent): 1,402 B
- Full-Size Van (Toyota Innova or equivalent): 1,916 B
- Premium (Toyota Camry or similar): 2,056 B
- Mini (Toyota Yaris or equivalent ): 735.95 B
- Economy (Toyota Vios or similar): 864.03 B
- Compact (Honda Jazz or similar): 864.03 B
- Intermediate (Honda Civic or Similar): 1,082.57 B
- SUV (Honda CR – V or Similar): 1,691.46 B
- Economy (Honda City or similar): 1,196 B
- Compact (Toyota Altis or similar): 1,392 B
- Intermediate: Honda Civic Lxi or similar: 1,467 B
- Premium: (Toyota Camry Sedan or similar): 2,102 B
- Mini (Nissan March 1.2): 841 B
- Economy (Toyota Vios or similar): 894 B
- Compact (Honda Jazz JAZZ 1.5): 912 B
- Intermediate (Nissan Sylphy 1.6): 1,089 B
- SUV (Nissan X-TRAIL V 2.0): 1,627 B
- Mini (Nissan Almera 1.2): 1,215 B
- Economy (Toyota Yaris or similar): 1,215 B
- Compact (Toyota Vios or similar): 1,374 B
- Standard (Nissan Sylphy 1.8 or equivalent): 1,470 B
- Intermediate (Toyota Altis 1.6): 1,470 B
- Economy (Toyota Yaris 1200 cc or similar): 746 B
- Compact (Honda City or similar): 770 B
- Standard (Toyota Yaris 1600 cc or similar): 1,306 B
- Intermediate (Honda Civic 1800 cc): 1,090 B
3. Rent a car With a local company
All cars come with an automatic gearbox and 1st class insurance. They will deliver your vehicle to your hotel.
- Toyota YARIS 2018: 700 THB per day
- Toyota Sienta 2018: 1000 THB per day
- Toyota Fortuner 2018: 1500 THB per day
A long-established and locally run car rental with a good history of quality and service.
- Economy (Honda Jazz – Compact hatchback): 1,200 B
- Economy (Honda City – Sedan Saloon): 1,200 B
- Premium: (Toyota Avanza 7 seaters MPV): 1,400 B
- Economy (Toyota Yaris or 1,200 Cc): 1,080 B
- Economy (Toyota Yaris or 1,500 Cc): 1,360 B
- Premium: (Toyota Camry Sedan or similar): 2,120 B
Nina Car Rent is a French company based in Rawai that also renting all kinds of motorbikes with insurance.
- Mini (Mitsubishi Mirage or similar ): 750 B
- Economy (Toyota Vios or similar): 840 B
- Compact (Honda Jazz or similar): 840 B
- 7-Seater Sedan: (Toyota Sienta or similar): 1,650 B
Renting a van with a driver is an easy way to discover Phuket without the stress or to pick you or your family up from the airport to your hotel for a good price. Usually, drivers speak decent to good English and can recommend or customize a day around the island.
5. Renting cars on the streets
You also can rent cars or bikes on the roadsides. They usually always have cars available. The demanded price may sound attractive at booking time, and things could go fine in case of an accident, but there is no consistency or way to tell which is reliable and which is not. It’s a lucky draw, and you are on your own. Apparently, you don’t need an international driving license to rent from them, just your national license. It sounds a little dodgy, and we’ll do further research about this. Having good travel insurance and an international driving licence is legally necessary.