Rental companies may charge extra for drivers aged under 25, normally payable when you pick up your car. Age restrictions may apply in certain locations. Check the rental company's website before booking.

Car Hire in Chiang Mai


Car Hire in Chiang Mai

This information is correct as of August 2015.

Thailand houses Chiang Mai within its northern mountainous areas. The city is known for numerous attractions and sights that include Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Umong, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, and Elephant Nature Park. Get to these destinations and other stops within and around the immediate Chiang Mai area through the car hire companies that serve the city.

Where to hire a car in Chiang Mai

As the most culturally significant city within Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai can be explored with services from local and international car hire companies that operate from within the city centre and within Chiang Mai International Airport. It is possible to set the pick-up and drop-off by the airport, or other stops with rental cars from Sixt, North Wheels, Sunnycars, Budget, National, Chiang Mai Alpha Car Rental, Hertz Rent a Car, Avis, Thai rent a car, among others. The cars that can be rented include Toyota Vios, Honda Jazz, Honda Civic, Toyota Fortuner, and more. Car hire providers in Chiang Mai offer car hire services with or without drivers. Newer models of car are usually 900-2,000 baht per day (38.93-86.50 NZD), depending on the season and the model. Renting a car in a weekly basis is typically discounted.

What to expect when hiring a car from Chiang Mai

Driving in Thailand is on the left side of the road. When renting a car in Chiang Mai, it is best to have an International Driver’s Permit along with your own national licence, especially if your licence is not in English or in Thai language. When staying for a long period in Chiang Mai, it might be required to have a Thai licence, which can be obtained from the Department of Transportation on Hang Dong Road, south of Chiang Mai. You may also be asked of your passport, but do not leave your passport as security for rental. Rather, bring with you a photocopy that you can present when required.

Checkpoints are common when en-route to the North. Your documents may not always be asked for, but always bring them with you just in case.

Getting to your destination

The capital and most populous city of Thailand, Bangkok houses some of the country’s most well-known destinations and attractions like Wat Pho, Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Wat Ratchanatdaram, Safari World, Erawan Shrine, Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, to name a few.

The drive to Bangkok from Chiang Mai can be long and gruelling with approximately eight hours and 35 minutes or 696 kilometres on the road. The roads to be taken en-route to Bangkok from Chiang Mai include Route 1, Route 11, AH2, Route 9, Route 32, exit 2-09, among others.

Located towards the lower area of northern Thailand, Phitsanulok is a significant and historic city, also among the oldest cities in Thailand. It is known for the Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat, along with other temples like Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Aranyik, Wat Chedi Yod Thong, and more.

When going to Phitsanulok from Chiang Mai, expect a drive that will last around four hours and 37 minutes for 334 kilometres. The route includes Route 1030, Route 11, and Route 12, among others.

Lampang offers Wat Phra That Lampang Luang as well as the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, Chae Son National Park, in addition to others. Also referred to as Nakhon Lampang, the city is the third largest in all of northern Thailand and is a good stop before heading to other destinations in Thailand.

Travel for approximately an hour and 31 minutes or 94.5 kilometres to reach Lampang from Chiang Mai. Drive down Route 1030, Route 11, and Route 106.

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