Car Hire at Phuket
This information is correct as of June 2015.
Where to hire a car in Phuket
Due to it being a major tourism in Thailand, Phuket has many car hire agencies that travellers may use. Within the central business district and scattered across the island, car hire companies flock the streets, and travellers should just simply choose which company they prefer. Several companies, especially the international ones, also serve the Phuket international Airport that is located within the island. Car rental costs are at around 1,000-1,200 Baht (SGD39.32 – 47.90) for the economical Toyota Vios, and may go up depending on the car type. Some of the car hire companies in the area include Avis, Hertz, National, and Sixt, which are located near the airport, along with Pure Car Rent, Phuket Car Rental, Braun Car Rentals, Mobile Car Rentals, Nature Car Rent, Andaman Car Rent, and many others. Local and international tourists who intend to hire cars within the island should prepare their identification documents, driver's license, and international driving permits to present to the car hire agencies upon request. Travellers should also prepare to pay for fees such as down payment, bonds, insurance, and other charges when hiring vehicles here.
What to expect when hiring a car from Phuket
Hiring cars or motorbikes to explore the island on the traveller's own is an economical way of getting off and around the whole of Phuket. However, given the driving habits of most foreigners and locals, it gets dangerous, and travellers, especially first timers should be well aware of that. Driving habits here are typically Thai: fun (not really) and carefree, which basically means ignoring all the rules and pressing on the pedal to speed up and head to the destination on the quickest possible time. Comparable to Naples (Italy), driving here means 'just keep going'. Traffic lights are moot points here - and usually, they just make things worse. Road conditions are pretty much okay, although due to the geography of the island, with its winding hilly roads and poor visibility, roads here are typically dangerous to drive. Travellers are advised to drive carefully and even defensively, and always observe the locals first. Driving is on the left side of the road, which can pose issues for drivers who are used to the right side. Always be careful, since motorcycle riders will drive on the wrong side of the road, and undertaking is a very common occurrence. No toll roads can be found here.
Getting to your destination
Phuket is considered as Thailand's biggest island, located in the southern region of the country, on the west-facing Andaman Sea coastline. It is divided in various districts, surrounded by beautiful beaches and party venues. Come and discover this island that catapulted Thailand up to the tourism maps.
Western Phuket (townships of Bang Thao, Karmala, Karon, Kata, Laem Sing, Mai, Khao, Nai Thon and Nai Yang, Patong, Surin)
Western Phuket is primarily what Phuket is known for the world over - beaches. Western Phuket's beaches are either calm and serene, or vibrant and cosmopolitan - primarily due to the parties. Patong is an honourable mention here, as it is one of the party capitals of Asia.
South-eastern Phuket (Chalong Bay, Cape Panwa, Nai Han, Rawai, Ya Nui)
Want to try out some of the off-beat beaches in the island? Go to the South-eastern region of Phuket. Quiet and calm that is worth the trip, its Chalong Bay area also acts as a harbour for outgoing boats to Phi Phi island and other areas.
Inner Phuket (Bang Rong, Ko Sire, pPhuket Town, Phra Taew National Park, Thalang)
Although mostly unvisited, this region of Phuket can still be enjoyed, due to the fact that it has mangrove forests, fishing villages, Muslim communities, and shrimp farms. The beautiful Phra Taew National Park is also a welcome distraction; a nice and cool day tour destination to complement the warm trips to the beach.