May 25, 2024

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Buying A Car In Thailand – Buyer Beware

Police Warn Car Buyers, Beware of Fake Car Documents

In Thailand, the public transportation system is unreliable in most parts, therefore, having a car is necessary for a majority of expats and Thais who live there. Even though Bangkok has the MRT and BTS like many cities and towns have songthaews, van network, and long buses, they don’t serve everyone needs, especially those that have needs of the city. The MRT and BTS are good systems but they are only suitable for those living in the central zone where few expats live. Many people who live outside of Bangkok choose to buy a car because they are afraid of; risking their safety in a public van, the sweating in a bus is a turn-off to many, and having to wait on unscheduled buses will make them late for their agendas. There is a huge difference and freedom that comes with owning a car. 

Where do you find cars for sale in Thailand?

Whether you want a new or used car in Thailand, your needs will be met as there are many different options when it comes to buying a car. 

New Car

Car Events

The most popular place for Thais to buy a new car is the Bangkok International Motor Show. Great promotions and discounts are given there as sales are ever burgeoning. Though it was criticized for being more about pretty models, the recent cabal takeover has toned down things and cars are now taking the center stage again. 

Car dealers

Dealership guarantees you a legal fallback if there will be any problems and better service too. Having little or no preferred brand when buying a car in Thailand will enable you to shop for a car within your budget. When dealers sell car they enable you to discuss pricing options, choose a cheaper brand, and look at their entire range of models. You can also see both new and used cars and compare their conditions and prices. Most official dealerships provide warranties and promotions on both new and used cars, an advantage to use. If you have an international license, a Thai driving license, or a license from your home country, you may enjoy the option to test drive a car.  

Used Cars

If you know how to thoroughly inspect a car, buying a used car can save you a lot of money. 


The atmosphere at car auctions is exciting as you will study the tactics of the bidders who are trying to work out their top price. This is, however, worrying as you will; make quick decisions and have limited opportunities to inspect it or might not get a full description of the vehicle, and end up paying more than you had prepared in the heat of the battle. Therefore, unless you have full car knowledge and you could inspect the car to ensure it’s in good order, it’s not ideal to buy a car from an auction. However, if other people are not interested in the car you want to buy, you can sometimes get a bargain at an auction.


In Thailand, many car tents work in concurrence with a finance company, therefore, a loan can be agreed upon on the spot. If you make a cash payment, the price can be higher than if financing, since most car tents get a commission from giving out loans. 

Private listings

The Auto trader magazine has listed thousands of used cars for sale and you can compare specs and prices to see what was a reasonable price for the different models. In Thailand’s both local and national newspapers, it’s possible to find car listings as there are car sections with private listings. Many cars in the streets have “sale” stickers or posters that are worth a look at if you want to go this route. On the soi you are walking down, fate might bring you to your dream car as there is no exact science to buying a car.


To cater to the desires of internet shoppers, many sites in Thailand have sprung up as buying a car online is becoming more popular nowadays. Social media and many listings on forums can match you with a seller. The online sites are run by car agencies and their prices can be higher than the average market prices. Other sites will help you buy a car directly from sellers, therefore, the car will be in better condition and the price cheaper.