Rent a Car for Travel in Pattaya

Pattaya is a popular beach resort city located on Thailand’s eastern Gulf coast. With its wide range of attractions from lively nightlife to cultural sights, renting a car enables you to conveniently explore all that Pattaya has to offer. Here is a guide to renting a car for travel in Pattaya.

Benefits of Renting a Car in Pattaya

Having your own wheels provides advantages for getting around Pattaya:


A rental car allows you to set your own sightseeing schedule and visit attractions at your own pace without relying on group tours or public transport.


Driving yourself makes it easy to change plans on the fly and add spontaneous stops or side trips to your itinerary.


Some key attractions like Bira International Circuit racetrack, Flight of the Gibbon zipline park and Paradise Island require having your own transport.


Reaching farther flung attractions around Pattaya is much more convenient than navigating multiple public buses or trains.


Driving in an air-conditioned rental car is more comfortable than relying on hot, crowded public transportation.

Types of Rental Cars in Pattaya

Major companies operating in Pattaya include Avis, Budget, Hertz and Europcar. Here are common rental car types:


  • Basic sedans for 1-2 passengers plus luggage
  • Models like Toyota Vios, Honda Jazz


  • Good option for couples or small groups
  • Cars like Toyota Altis, Nissan Almera


  • Midsize or full-size SUVs fitting 4-7 people
  • Toyota Fortuner, Chevrolet Trailblazer

Passenger Van

  • For larger groups or families
  • Toyota Commuter, Nissan Urvan


  • Premium sedans and SUVs with lavish features
  • Mercedes S-Class, Porsche Cayenne


  • Open top sports cars ideal for coastal drives
  • Mazda MX-5, Chevrolet Camaro

Where to Rent a Car in Pattaya

You can rent cars across the city:

  • U-Tapao International Airport – Rental desks right in the arrivals hall
  • Downtown Pattaya – Many providers have city center locations
  • Resort hotels – Major hotels offer car rental services or partnerships
  • Beach Road – Agencies located along this main coastal thoroughfare
  • Online booking – Reserve rental cars online for confirmed availability

Shopping around among rental companies can find you the best rates. Advance online booking also may provide discounts.

Requirements for Renting a Car in Thailand

To rent a car in Thailand as a tourist, you typically need:

  • Valid driver’s license from your home country
  • Minimum age of 21-23 years depending on car type
  • Passport to verify identity
  • Credit card for deposit and payment
  • International Driving Permit is recommended but not compulsory

Meeting minimum age limits with proper documentation helps ensure a smooth rental experience.

Driving Laws and Rules in Thailand

Some key laws and norms to follow when driving in Thailand:

  • Drive on the left side of the road
  • Strict legal limit of 0.05% blood alcohol content
  • Using handheld mobiles while driving is prohibited
  • Mandatory seatbelt wearing for front and back seat occupants
  • Adhere to speed limits – fines for speeding are common
  • Yielding vehicles on roundabouts have right of way
  • Honking is common and not seen as aggressive
  • Watch for passing vehicles on hilly and curvy roads

Observing the driving rules will make your rental experience safer and avoid issues. Keep documents accessible while driving.

Top Destinations Near Pattaya to Visit By Rental Car

Having your own rental car makes visiting popular attractions around Pattaya quick and convenient:

Cultural Sites

  • Ancient City – Outdoor museum displaying Thailand’s architectural history
  • Sanctuary of Truth – Intricately carved wooden temple

National Parks

  • Khao Yai National Park – Lush rainforests, waterfalls and wildlife
  • Khao Khiao Open Zoo – Large zoo within a beautiful natural setting

Popular Beaches

  • Jomtien Beach – Relaxed beach area with resorts and restaurants
  • Koh Larn – Island getaway off Pattaya’s coast with pristine beaches

Other Towns

  • Bang Saen – Popular beach town 17km north of Pattaya
  • Rayong – Coastal city known for seafood and scenic spots

A rental car provides easy access to Pattaya’s surroundings not reachable on public transport.

Tips for Renting a Car in Pattaya

Follow these tips for a smooth rental experience:

  • Reserve early online for best rates, car availability and rental add-ons
  • Inspect vehicle thoroughly and take photos at pick-up
  • Consider additional liability insurance for peace of mind
  • Use GPS and offline maps to navigate – signage may be unclear
  • Be alert for pedestrians, stray animals and motorbikes on roads
  • Park only in approved areas to avoid fines
  • Refuel the tank before returning the vehicle
  • Allow extra travel time during Pattaya’s peak tourism seasons

Renting a Car in Pattaya – FAQ

What documents do I need to rent a car in Pattaya?

Typical requirements are a valid driver’s license, passport, credit card in your name and optional International Driving Permit. Some agencies have minimum age limits.

What side of the road do Thais drive on?

Thailand drives on the left side of the road, as was historically the case in many British colonies.

Are automatic transmission cars common for rentals in Pattaya?

Yes, most rental companies offer automatic transmission options. Reserve early to guarantee availability.

Can I take a rental car from Pattaya across the border to Cambodia?

Most companies prohibit cross-border travel into Cambodia or Laos. Clarify the policy before booking.


Renting a car is an excellent way to fully explore lively Pattaya as well as convenient access attractions in surrounding areas at your own pace. Advance reservations, inspecting vehicles thoroughly and adhering to local driving laws will ensure a smooth rental experience. The freedom and flexibility of driving yourself makes a rental car a great option for visitors aiming to see the best of Pattaya and beyond.


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