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   For foreigners you can buy a car on a non immigrant or retirement visa OK but normally not on a Tourist visamin yourn name. You can pout into your Thai partner's name but just realize you have no ownership if you do. You do have to present a TM30 & the normal procedures of buying a car need to be adhered to. Firstly what you should buy is a popular model eg. Look around and you will find the economical cars to buy would be firstly Toyota Vios or Nissan Almera then the Honda City, Mitsubishi Attrage or Civic which is normally a little dearer like the Camry etc. Keep to Toyota, Mazda and Honda which are the popular cars as easy for parts and also can be serviced anywhere. Older Honda Jazz are still pricey but best keep to later model cars if you can afford to buy. Shop around--many cars do not have prices on them so get a feeling of what the car you want will cost & you have a ball point figure to run with. The best & most popular car is the Toyota Vios--- many parts available including motors. Stay away from Suzuki swift as June 2019 Thai media saying the metal is thinner than the Japanese models & not good?

Pickups are also Ok and Isuzu & again Toyota are a good pickup with plenty of parts. Stick to the popular models and not the old cars as cars are expensive in Thailand due to the tax. Not only that but its important when you takle to a garage to get fixed. Some garages are hopeless, some will swap your parts while others are good. Its not easy but best to ask around before you buy and be prepared when you do to make life easy for you.


When choosing a car in Chiangmai there is Bahtnsold who advertises plus Facebook 2nd hand vehicles as well as Thai Visa. With Euroexpatcars they will even do the paperwork for you so you will need to sign a power of attorney & cost for them is 900 baht & 1000 baht for changing the blue book [Ownership Book ] in your name. Can take about 3 days to complete or if buying off a Thai suggest take a Thai friend with you to complete the process. They will take the car to the Transport dept for checking and changing for you. If buying off a Thai take a Thai with you and make sure you check the Blue ownership book that all is well. Once your name is registered in the book then sign with your signature in blue pen [not black pen]. Never leave the book in the car but taken a copy of the main ownership page & leave with insurance in your car glove box. Also check the Registration certificate that is hasn't expired and this can be part of the buying process as well when you are looking to buy. Euroexpatcars will also provide insurance and good rates as well.

If planning on coming to Thailand for say 3-4 months a year then you can run the insurance for that time provided your car is safe. Eg in a condo with security. Do not give any money over until you are sure the car is changed into your name if doing yourself with a Thai. The TM30 you must get off Thai Immigration first and foremost and you will need copies of your passport and visa page as well.

The Chiang Mai Provincial Land Transport Office (License Bureau) is located on the Hongdong Road

Address: 192 หมู่ที่ 7 ถนน เชียงใหม่-หางดง Mae Hia, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100


Chiangmai has many places that will install radios; rear backing cameras; internal TVs and have your windows tinted. The cost for 3m tinted windows costs 3500 baht except front windows of a sedan or 5500 for all windows. Normally 60% sides and rear windows and 40% on the windscreen is sufficient and what most Thais get. Too dark then you have a problem at night. You can get a dearer ceramic type of tint but the cost is around 11,000 baht & really you don't need it unless you have money to spend.

Buy your cover for your car at Tesco Lotus or Big C. They cast around 1345 baht for a medium size for a Vios.

Many cars in 2011 were in the Bangkok floods so it is important to check properly any car. Sometimes with manual cars speedos are wound back which is hard to detact when buying. Also be careful and note your mileage & gasoline levels when you give cars to anyone as your gas could get siphoned?? This also means a garage whether foreign owned or not as the person who drives the car has time to part empty your gas tank? Do not leave valuables in your car. It does happen & we have heard of cases.

Always watch when your tank is being filled as if someone doesn’t like you they could put yabba in the tank then call the Police?? It has happened.

Leaving your car if having to depart make sure you disconnect the battery & do not pull your hand brake up as if you are away for a long time the brake shoes can lock up. With battery take the black terminal off first which is negative then the red terminal being positive & pout back some way. If away for more than a month it pays to run a trickle charge every 2 months to keep the battery up to scratch for a day. If batteries have removable tops take off when charging so the gases are released but with sealed batteries this cannot be done.

Need help with cars ask us as we have a foreign liason

that knows cars inside out.

   [ Thai driving license ]

      Check your foreign currency exchange rates against the Thai Baht with Bangkok Bank.


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Last modified: Dec, 2018