Driving on Koh Samui

28 july 2014

If you are driving in Thailand for the first time things might feel a little intimidating at first, but with the right preparation and a little bit of information you will be able to take on the road safely. We created this article in the shape of a Q&A to bring you the information you will need. Should you have more questions please do not hesitate to contact us at concierge@ivlproperty.com.

What side of the road do they drive on in Thailand?

In Thailand we drive on the left side of the road, same as in England. It means that your wheel will be on the right side of the car and the gearshift on your left. The roads on Koh Samui are reasonably wide allowing you to get used to driving on the other side of the road easily.

Do I have to wear a helmet when riding a motorbike or scooter in Koh Samui?

Yes. All those on motorcycles and scooters are required to wear helmets and that goes for pillion passengers too. Both the rider of the bike and their passenger must wear helmets. Those drivers failing to abide by the law will fined 500 baht for themselves and 1,000 baht for their passengers

Can I rent a car or motorbike from IVL?

Yes, it is easy to rent a car or a motorbike with us. We partner with professional car and motorbike services offering well maintained cars and motorbikes at reasonable prices. Cars can be delivered to your villa in perfect condition for your family to use right away. All our cars and motorbikes are rented with a compulsory insurance. Contact our concierge department through our Concierge page or send them an email at concierge@ivlproperty.com

Do I need a 4x4 to access my villa?

Our reservation team will be let you know in advance if we advise you to have a 4x4 to access your Villa. It you picked a Mountain View Villa then it is not rare that some require a stronger car to access. Our team is here to help you prepare so you don’t have to worry about getting safely.

Is driving safe on Koh Samui?

Driving is safe as long as you respect the rules and pay attention to your surroundings. Here in Thailand it is not rare that someone will try to overtake you from the wrong side, so make sure you check each side of the car before making a turn. Motorbikes in Koh Samui sometimes have their turning signals on even when they are not planning on turning (they simply forget to turn them off), so just be patient and pay attention to what the driver is about to do. Flashing lights or honking is not considered aggressive in Thailand but considered the best way to thank someone or to let them know you are letting them pass. Aggressive driving is not appreciated and you will need to be patient. Roundabouts are scarce on the island, therefore, Thai people do not always know how to use them, check the right side of your car before proceeding.

How about the price of gas?

The price of gas in Koh Samui ranges between 28 and 35THB for one liter of gasoline (or 0.8 to 1USD per liter). We advise you to fill your tank before you reach a critical limit as some gas station run out of gas from time to time and you will have to go a little further to fill up. The Island has many gas stations in the North, if your are going in the South make sure you fill up first. Motorbikes will find gas more easily as small retailers on the side of the road sell it in small quantities.

Is it difficult to find parking?

It is relatively easy to find parking in Koh Samui. Make sure to respect the markings on the sidewalks or you will get a fine. You will also find a lot of non-official parking spots, but when you park on one of them make sure you are not blocking a business or a passageway. We advise you to park as closely to the curb as you can to avoid getting your car damaged by a passing car. Parking is free on Samui.

What are the speed limits on Koh Samui?

Here are the different speed limits in Thailand:

  • Towns = 60 km/h (about 37 mph)
  • Highways = 90 – 100 km/h (about 56 – 62 mph)
  • Motorways = 1230 km/h (about 75 mph)

Even though a lot of people will tell you that those speed limits are not enforced we strongly advise you to respect them for your own safety. The fines can be very high when you do not have a Thai driving License. Also if you get into an accident you might have to pay for all the expenses even if you were not to blame.

For further information please contact our concierge department through our Concierge page or send them an email at concierge@ivlproperty.com