Driving in Pattaya
Pattaya Transport | Pattaya transportation
The majority of visitors to Pattaya use public Pattaya transportation. You can rent a car in Pattaya if you want to take on the responsibility of driving in Pattaya. If you want to drive a car there are certain things you want to keep in mind.
Pattaya Car Rental and Safety
Traffic in Thailand can seem quite erratic even for professional Pattaya transportation drivers. Driving in Pattaya is on the left side of the street. Also, motorcycles and even police motorcycles will drive alongside the curb on the oncoming traffic side of the street. It is not uncommon to see motorbikes riding the wrong way on a one-way street as well.
Motorcycle rentals are quite popular, including Harley Davidson rentals. In Pattaya it can be somewhat erratic and even dangerous to get around by motorcycle because of the numbers of inexperienced drivers (visitors) on the road. If you are on a motorcycle be wary of bag snatchers if you are carrying a purse or other type of bag. This adds to concerns visitors have about driving in Pattaya.
Pattaya Car Rental & Motorcycle Rental - Legal Requirements
If you are renting a car you must carry with you at all times a valid driving license and an International Driving Permit. It is essential while you are driving in Pattaya to have this documentation. You can apply for a legal IDP (International Driving Permit) in your home country. If you do not have an IDP and you are stopped the local police may let you go, but if you are in an accident than an IDP is required or your insurance coverage will be invalidated.
The minimum age for driving a motorcycle is 15, and the minimum age for driving a car is 18 regardless of the laws of your home country. Crash helmets are required for drivers and passengers on motorcycles. Headlights must be on at all times.
It is quite common to see police checkpoints for helmets, headlights and proper documentation. The fines are not too high but it can cut into your time for enjoying Pattaya.
Driving in Pattaya - Insurance
Insurance is not possible for motorcycle rentals. If you plan to ride a motorcycle you should check with your car insurance company in your place of residence to see if your insurance will cover you while in Pattaya.
Cars can be rented with or without insurance. You may want to consider using an International franchise like Avis, Budget and Hertz in order to be assured that the insurance you are buying actually has value. Remember that your insurance can be considered invalid if you are not driving legally. Make sure you always have your license and IDP with you. If you rent a car or motorcycle without insurance you will pay the full cost of repair or replacement if it is lost, stolen or damaged.
Unless you must have your own wheels to get around Pattaya you are strongly encouraged to use the inexpensive public transportation including songthaews and taxis.