Buying A Car In Thailand

How to buy a car in Thailand and full details of the Toyota Pickup that we bought in Bangkok for our retirement in Thailand.

Why Buy A Car In Thailand

Many people visiting Thailand make do quite nicely without driving a car. There is good public transport and a car is not essential for holiday trips. At the resorts on the coast there are plenty of motorcycles, jeeps and cars for rent and these do give the tourist more freedom.

In the past I have hired cars from Bangkok for weeks or months to tour the country.

For retirement to Thailand, though, car rent would be far too expensive. We considered that in order to give us the ability to go where we like and transport large and heavy items (useful when you are building a retirement house) owning our own car would be a priority from day one.

We wanted a pickup for several reasons:-

  • Able to carry heavy and large objects. (Blocks, furniture, bags of cement, household appliances, crates of beer…)
  • Sturdy and long lasting.
  • Able to travel on rough or even off-road
  • Diesel engine for long life and low fuel consumption.

Should You buy A New or Used Car In Thailand?

In the interests of economy I wanted to buy a good quality used car.

In the UK where I live at the moment you can buy pretty decent motors (cars, pickups etc) for a few thousand pounds. £4,000 (equivalent to 200,000 Baht at 50 Baht/£) ould get you a good second hand car with 25,000 miles on the clock.

Daeng (and my wife) warned me not to expect the same thing in Thailand. they said that that the Thai’s run their vehicles into the ground. The roads are rough and the Thais overload trucks like you wouldn’t believe.

Overloaded Pickup Truck Thailand

Above, overloaded pickup truck.

Rough Road Thailand


Above, some roads in Thailand a really rough going.

Often the mileage on second-hand cars isn’t given in advertisements and if it is who knows how true it is?

I wanted a second hand pickup (preferably Japanese) for about $6,000. (Say 200,000 Baht). I was ready to accept a diesel vehicle with 100,000 miles on the clock.

So many forums warn “buyer beware” when it comes to buying a used car in Thailand.

Examples of second hand cars (Toyota pickups) for sale in Bangkok:-

These are just afew exanples of the prices you’ll pay to get a second hand Toyota pickup in Thailand. My research on the Internet showed that there was not much available below $10,000 (330,000 Baht) and with milages of around 200,000+ km.

When Alex and his Mum in Bangkok found a brand new Toyota Hilux 2.5 l diesel for 550,000 Bhat (£10,000 at 50 Baht/£) I changed my mind and agreed to buy new. That 550,000 Bhat included road tax and one years free insurance.

The price in UK for this model (Toyota Hilux 4WD 2.5 D-4D HL2 Single Cab 2dr) is £17,753 (905,403 Bhat)

What You Need To Buy A Car In Thailand

When I asked Daeng what you need to buy a car in Thailand this is what she told me:-

only for cash (not to pay by instalments)

  • Thai ID card
  • Copy of Thai ID card
  • Copy of house registration book
  • Money

This list is for Thai nationals only, not for farangs. It may be illegal for farangs to buy cars. Perhaps someone can enlighten me on that question?

Full Details Of The Car (Toyota Pickup) We Bought In Bangkok Thailand

This information should be of interest to anyone looking or thinking about buying a new car in Thailand.

Make And Model Of Car Bought

MAKER: Toyota

SERIES : Hilux Vigo


Toyota Hilux Vigo Front View

Included Accessories


  • Car insurance 1 yrs
  • Rust protection 5 yrs
  • Color varnish 2 yrs
  • Sun protection film
  • Spare wheel locker
  • CCTV Camera + screen for parking
  • Back step aluminium board
  • Petrol coupon 200 THB
  • Carpet
  • Side mirror cover
  • Mudguard
  • Break locker
  • Doors rain proof
  • Free wage for 50,000 km
  • Toyota smart card
  • Spareparts discount
  • Fog lamp
  • Liner
  • Bumper

Toyota Hilux Vigo General View

Toyota Hilux Vigo Delivery Mileage

Car Dealer’s Name And Address


318,318/1-3 Ladkrabang Road,


Bangkok 10250

Tel 0-2329-8888 Fax 0-2329-8877

What The Car Cost us to Buy

Cost;-544,000 THB

Depost paid 5,000 THB

Total price paid (basic car) 548,314 THB

- Free car insurance, but we need no specify driver, so we have to pay extra = 2,846 THB

- Act Insurance (for another persons) = 968 THB

- Car license register fee = 2,500 THB

- Temporay car lable = 3,000 THB (we can refund when we got a permanent lable)

- Total 544,000+2846+968+2500+3000 = 550,468-5000 = 548,314 THB

Extra Money Paid And What For

- Car remote security (auto alarm system) = 3,300 THB

- Central locking motors for 2 doors = 600 THB

Toyota Hilux Vigo Central Locking

- Electric windows for 2 doors = 3,000 THB

Toyota Hilux Vigo Electric Windows

TOTAL = 6,900 THB

More Picures Of Our new Toyota Hilux Vigo

Toyota Hilux Vigo Extended Warantee

Toyota Hilux Vigo Pickup Cover

Toyota Hilux Vigo Cab View

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25 Responses to “Buying A Car In Thailand”

  • steve brown:



  • Geordie:

    In response to your ‘Can farangs buy cars in Thailand plea.’

    Yes they can, cash or on credit. It can be registered in their own name too.


    Non Immigration Visa
    Passport + copies
    Proof of residence (Tabian Bahn or letter from Embassy or local immigration office)
    Work Permit + copies (if working)
    Cash obviously

    If you want to buy the car on credit, the showrooms usually have someone dedicated to dealing with finance packages.

    Good website:

    Hope this helps.


    admin Reply:

    Hi Geordie and thanks for the post and for the information which I’m sure many of our visitors will find valuable.

    Do you need a Thai driving license? I expect you do to insure the car… but maybe not?

    If you clarify that point, I would be grateful. (Again)

    Best Regards
    Alan Brown


  • Great site I found it on Google, keep up the great job.


    admin Reply:

    Thanks for your kind comment Kelly.

    I update the Retiring InThailand website frequently and have a lot of material ready to be uploaded. This includes more comments to the Architect about the design of our retirement house and drawings and perspective views of the house design from the Architect.

    You might want to join the Announcement List so that you will receive and email when the site is updated. I always put a link directly to the updates sections of the website in the email so that you will be able to go immediately to the updated section.

    To subscribe to the Announcement List simply enter you name and email address in the Form at the top of the web page.


  • Kath:

    I want to join the annoucement list.


    admin Reply:


    Our records indicate that you are already subscribed to this list, but have not yet verified your subscription.

    To verify your subscription click on the link in the email sent to you with these words in the subject line:-

    RESPONSE REQUIRED Please confirm you asked for information from RetiringInThailand

    Until your subscription is verified, you will not receive any emails from this list.

    If you no longer have an email with verification instructions, you will be able to resubscribe after 11:49 AM EDT on Saturday, August 28 (9 hours and 33 minutes from now). If you continue to have difficulty subscribing after that time, please contact for assistance.

    Hope that helps.

    Alan and Kanyah


  • This article kind of tilts one to buying new rather than a 2 year old vehicle for the same price. Interested in what year this transaction took place


    admin Reply:

    Hi Gordon and thank you for your comment on buying a new car in Thailand.

    We bought our car (The Toyota Hilux Pickup) in February 2010 and my wife collected it on 16th March 2010.

    This has proved to be a very good decision as my wife has reliable and comfortable transport as she goes about her business of finding builders and getting ready to build the house in Pakchong, Thailand.

    Once again, thank you for your comment about buying a car in Thailand.



  • PS I am here now some 4 months on a retirement visa is there some kind of window of opportunity to bring in personal items duty free and how does one go about it.


    admin Reply:


    Firstly thank you for your question on how to go about importing personal items duty free into Thailand on a retirement visa.

    I think you can do that but there are pretty stict limitations on what you can import and when you can do it. Also, I have read that you can’t do it on a reirement visa. I don’t have the details to hand immediately but I will dig them out and post them on the website, perhaps under the Visa section. I will let you know when I have done that.

    Best Regards



  • Rod:

    Thanks very much to Geordie for leaving his comment, the only thing I’d add is that finance rates on used cars here is usually much more expensive when compared with the dealer rates on new cars as the dealer rates are are regulated here.

    After spending many months researching new and used cars in Thailand I can honestly say it’s certainly “not easy” and trying to discuss models and specs with Thai dealers is difficult to say the least!

    However, I’d actually forgotten about the website so finding it again on your blog here was very useful to say the least.

    I’ve contacted Tim at expat motors and it’s obvious he knows his cars and the Thai market extremely well (as everything he told me in 15 minutes verified what it had taken me weeks of time consumimg, tiring and fruststrating research to discover), so I’m hoping we can do some business very soon!

    regards Rod


    admin Reply:


    Many thanks for your information. I actually had nothing to do with buying our car in Bangkok (except for paying for it!) and I was not in Thailand at the time.

    There is a disadvantage in buying a new car in Bankok and that is becoming apparent in the case of our new car now. The issue is that because my wife who uses the car (actually it’s a Toyota Hilux Pickup) lives in Pakchong she would have to drive to Bangkok to have it serviced and she both hates to drive in Bangkok and also can’t remember the location of the car dealer in Bangkok where she bought the car.

    Apparently you can only have the car serviced at the dealer from where you bought it. Another dealer (in our case in Pakchong for example) would not do the service for free and even if she paid for a service it might invalidate any warranty.

    As a result, although she bought the car in March 2010, she has not taken it in for a service yet! Could lead to issues with warranties. On my last visit to Thailand a couple of weeks ago (January 2011) I managed to persuade her to phone the dealers and arrange an appointment to have the car serviced. I’ll post an update when she has done that.


  • Bob:

    Thanks for a great write-up Alan.  Heading to Thailand in the near future  for an extended stay an hope to buy a car.


  • Alec:

    Hi alan This is Alec from UK and now in Udon Thani My Pa in law reckons Isuzu is number one in Thailand and I must say I see many lorriers and pick ups very old and well used but still doing the job so I reckon I will go with his choice when buying a new pick up this year 2011-2012. They say in countryside round here that Hilux certainly look well and go well but in rough roads around here with pot holes 1-2 feet deep we should get Isuzu
    Great information and news on site about retiring here and living here so well done and keep up the great site
    I never intend to retire and still keeping fit and working full time at 70 and my wife now 23 and married 4 years already time flies when your’e having a great time and keeping busy.


  • Terence:

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the great info and valuable suggestions on this topic,

    I’ll be coming very soon on my 1st. year retirement visa to stay alone (no wife/special girlfriend) in the North and certainly need to purchase a pickup (studied and preferably a brand new Toyota Hilux/vigo cos of the 100km/3yrs. warranty guarantee and concerns of being “rip-off or short-change” from second-hand dealers and problematic engines since we are foreigners/farangs) to move around.

    Appreciate any other advice I should be know, ask (like for freebies etc.) or wary of?

    Thanks alot,


    admin Reply:

    Hi Terence and thanks for your question.

    What you have just explained is exactly the reason why we bought a brand new car in Thailand instead of second-hand.

    I notice that you have also chosen the Toyota Hilux Vigo as we did. A great buy and a great car.

    Can’t really say more than is on the website already, really, except that it turned out to one of the best and most useful buys I have ever made.

    One thing you may look to get a discount on is a lockable cover for the rear. And don’t forget to get the locks and electric windows fitted like we did.

    Also please check out the comments by others on the website, this one in particular is useful for farangs buying a car in Thailand:-

    By the way, Terence, I’m intrigued by your statement about getting a retirement visa for Thailand without having a Thai wife. Is that possible? I (and i’m sure many others) would be very interested in how you managed that.

    Chock Dee



  • Terence:

    Hi Alan,

    Thank you and others for the sound advice, I’ll do just that for my coming Hilux new toy as I have actually test-drive it on my friend’s new Hilux 4×4 2.5G and it’s awesome even though I don’t fancy cars much cos I’m more “attached” to big touring-bikes and had made numerous solo-trips to North Thailand.

    Anyway about the retirement visa as you problably know is different from marriage visa where the few main criteria/requirement is, of course having a legal Thai wife (a marriage certificate and a bank letter of reference plus latest bank statement needed to show at least 400,000 baht or more, equivalent in your home country bank) beside other relevant documents before submitting it to your home country’s Thai Consulate/Embassy.

    (Please note: check with your home country’s Thai Consulate the exact requirement as different country’s Thai Consulates requirement varies.) 
    Required documents are:
       1.         A passport valid for no less than one year and half.
                       2.         Three completed and signed copies of Visa Application Form (with 6 recent passport-sized-photographs)
       3.         Three completed Additional Application Forms for Non-Immigrant Visa “O-A”.
       4.         Summary of applicant’s personal data.
       5.         A copy of bank statement showing a deposit at the amount equal to no less than 800,000 Baht, or an income certificate (an original copy) with a monthly salary of no less than 65,000 Baht, or a deposit account plus a monthly income of no less than 800,000 Baht a year.
       6.         In the case of the bank statement, a letter of guarantee from the bank (an original copy is to be shown as well).
       7.         Verification stating that the applicant has no criminal record issued from the country of his/her nationality or residence (the verification shall be valid for no more than 3 months).
        8.        A medical certificate issued from the country where the application is submitted, showing no prohibitive diseases as indicated in the Ministerial Regulation No. 14 (B.E. 2535) (the certificate shall be valid for no more than 3 months).
    Where the retirement O-A visa’s few main criteria is, the applicant’s age must be at least 50 and above (DO NOT need a Thai spouse- too complicated, penniless and ugly when relationship can gone very wrong as I have experienced through), with 800,000 baht or more to prove you can support oneself while in Thailand on this visa stay and not engaged in any form of work or business “AS SAID” prohibited.

    And once you got your O-A visa and travelled over here in Thailand, you need to wire/transfer the said sum over/into a Thai bank of your own preference, at least 4 months before your 1 year visa expires to get your Thai bank to issue a new reference letter/bank statement to get qualified to apply for another (2nd.year) extension and repeat over the subsequent 3rd.year. 

    If not, just too bad to start the whole application over again.

    *Please note you can still use your 800K baht whenever as you want and just need to replenish it back before the last 4 months/visa expires.   

    Hope this info would helps and please don’t hestitate to ask if there’s any doubt or question. I would be glad to furnish whatever I knows.



  • Terence:

    Hi Alan,

    By the way, your new house look great despite that I’m no builder and have no plan yet in building one of my very own design and liking. Many minor hiccups/defects that you pointed out that can give one very high BP and blows your painstaking brain away.

    No offense to anyone or Thai in particular, when you speak to a native local in Thai (first thought have learnt the language after spending quite some time here like what I have been through with my friends and ex-colleagues).
    They replies “krap krap krap-meaning Yes, understood or OK”.

    At the end of the day, it’s not OK cos its chicken and duck communciation and they don’t clarify or ask question even though they don’t understand the message at all.

    That’s how rural typical Thai workmanship and lack of communication understanding ends up. 




  • Tim:

    Hi Alan

    Thanks for posting this very useful information. We are also looking to buy the Vigo Hi-Lux for our upcountry home. I am taking your list of accessories along to the dealers to see if we can get the same sort of deal as you have.

    Since you’ve had your car for a while now, are you as happy with your purchase as when you first bought it? Ever had any problems with it?

    How was the servicing upcountry, professional?

    Best regards



    admin Reply:

    Hi Tim,

    Here are few comments on our purchase of the Toyota Hilux Vigo we bought in Bangkok, Thailand:-

    This Was The Best Strategic Decision We Ever Made

    The Toyota Hilux Vigo has proved itself worth the money a thousand times over.

    You just gotta have transport in Thailand. A pickup is ideal. Especially if you are building a house. The Toyota Hilux Vigo that we bought has been perfect. Zero faults in the two years we have had it.

    It will cruise easily and comfortably at 120 km/hr+ hour after hour and can has carried huge loads (like my lathe from Bangkok weighing 300 kg) without even noticing it. It uses very little fuel.

    Servicing Must Done At The Place You Buy The Car

    This is a big disadvantage for us. Because we bought the car in Bangkok, Thailand, and Kanyah lives in Pakchong (Pak Chong), it’s a real pain to take the car to Bangkok to get it serviced.

    Other Accessories For The Toyota Hilux Vigo

    Sometimes we have a need for a secure place at the back. I wouldn’t get a fully covered back because that prevents carrying unusually high loads. I think the ideal solution would be a large steel toolbox, say 1m X 1m X 0.5m high that can be fixed in place with a chain and lock. then you can put bags and shopping stuff in it and lock it up.

    Summary – What I Think About The Toyota Hilux Vigo We Bought In Bangkok, Thailand After Running It For Two Years

    Excellent vehicle. Great Buy. Worth it’s weight in gold.

    Couldn’t do without it.


    Expect it to last for 20 years.

    Hope that helps.



  • Tom Scherer:

    Regarding buying a new  truck in Thailand: we’re considering either a Hilux Vigo or an Isuzu/Colorado (new).  What kind of discount can we expect off of the window sticker?  We will be paying cash.


  • Petercltharrison:

    Very fine car….Duang will be buying a Toyota pick up too, but Duang would like a white one and probably a Smart Cab, diesel 2.5.


  • Tom Scherer:

    Regarding buying a new  truck in Thailand: we’re considering either a Hilux Vigo or an Isuzu/Colorado (new).  What kind of discount can we expect off of the window sticker?  We will be paying cash.


    retiringinthailand Reply:

    Hi Tom and thanks for the question about buying a Toyota Hilux Vigo pickup truck in Thailand.

    As you know we bought our Toyota Hilux Vigo pickup truck in Bangkok and have been absolutely delighted with it.

    I can’t comment on the merits or otherwise of any other type of pickup truck.

    Unbreakable Hilux BBC Top Gear Jeremy Clarkson Tests Toyota’s Hilux Pickup To Destruction With A Series Of Extraordinary Tasks.
    A couple of years ago before we bought the Toyota pickup there was an episode on the U.K. BBC TV Channel called top Gear presented by Jeremony Clarkson where they put a 13 year old Toyota pickup that had done 100,000 miles (160,000 km) and bought for £1,000 ($1,500) through a series of punishing stunts in an attempt to destroy it.
    These stunts included putting it on the flat roof of a high-rise building which was then levelled by explosive charges set by demolition experts. The Toyota pickup was driven away off the top of the pile of rubble that descended to the ground.
    Another stunt was to tie the Toyota pickup down with ropes on a boat ramp at low tide and then let the sea come in and cover the car at high tide. Again the Toyota was driven away.
    Luckily you can see the entire BBC Top Gear movie about the unbreakable Toyota pickup online here:-
    Go see that movie, Tom, it might just convince you of the strength of the Toyota pick-up.
    How To Get A Good Deal When Buying A Toyota Pickup Truck In Thailand
    Now back to your question:- “What kind of discount can we expect off of the window sticker?”
    Well in my experience of buying a car and buying a metalworking lathe in Thailand it is not easy to get any significant discount at these big showrooms.
    But what they will do is throw in a few extras for free. In the case of the lathe they gave me a free tool box. In the case of buying a Toyota pickup you might want to negotiate getting a few extras for free.
    Just look at the long list Nov extras that we got for free when we bought out Toyota Hilux Vigo pickup in Bangkok, Thailand:-
    Car insurance 1 yrsRust protection 5 yrsColor varnish 2 yrsSun protection filmSpare wheel lockerCCTV Camera + screen for parkingBack step aluminium boardPetrol coupon 200 THBCarpetSide mirror coverMudguardBreak lockerDoors rain proofFree wage for 50,000 kmToyota smart cardSpare parts discountFog lampLinerBumper
    These are some other extras that we had to pay for:-
    - Car remote security (auto alarm system) = 3,300 THB- Central locking motors for 2 doors = 600 THB
    After we bought the car, Kanyah complained that the windows were manual so she took it back and had electric windows fitted. Can’t recall how much that cost, but if it’s important to you I would get it included when you buy the car.
    Hope that helps.
    PS Tom please keep us up to date with your experience of buying a pickup in Thailand.


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