Thailand holds a high number of car dealerships and most major makes are sold. Cars manufactured in Thailand are often good value by comparison to luxury imported vehicles and have a much lower rate of sales tax than imported cars. Familiarize yourself with the following before buying or selling a car in Thailand:
The dealers who sell car should advise the buyers on getting Compulsory Motor Insurance (CMI). This can be bought from the DLT, an insurance company, or the car dealership. It must be renewed annually. Thailand has three additional levels of motor vehicle insurance namely; 1st class, 2nd class, and 3rd class. The 1st class is fully comprehensive.
Importing a used or new vehicle
Importing a used or new vehicle privately in Thailand is expensive. This is because the import taxes and fees on vehicles can add up to around 200 percent of the vehicle’s value in Thailand.
Selling or buying a used car
Thailand has a sizable market for used cars. They are advertised in local and national newspapers both online and print. They provide a point of comparison for pricing, even though most of these are in Thai. When a dealer sells cars, they will offer a relatively low price to the seller. All used cars should have the owner’s name and address written in the Blue Book (Lem Tabian). Transferring ownership of a used car is very similar to buying a new car because the seller and the purchaser have to complete the transfer of ownership at their local DLT office or the seller can give power of attorney to a third party. It’s strongly recommended to exchange the money only after the DLT has checked the chassis serial number and engine to make sure the car hasn’t been stolen. The following documents must be provided:
- The seller must provide the vehicle’s Blue Book
- The seller or buyer if Thai must provide a House Registration Document (Tabien Ban) and ID card
- The vehicle has to have an up-to-date tax sticker if it is over seven years old to show it has passed the roadworthiness test
- If an expatriate, the buyer or seller must provide signed copies of their visa and work permit, official confirmation of residency from either their embassy or the Thai Immigration Bureau, or their passport
The above documents will be in Thai, therefore, have them thoroughly checked by a Thai speaker or solicitor as well as relevant authorities before making payment on the vehicle. The lack of the Blue Book will indicate that the vehicle was stolen, therefore, making administrative matters and resale extremely complicated.
All cars in Thailand need to display a tax sticker on the windscreen as proof that car tax has been paid. Regardless of the car owner, the tax sticker stays on the window and remains valid until it expires, once the car is bought. Car tax should be paid annually at the local DLT office. Therefore, to make a car tax payment, take the proof of CMI coverage and the Blue Book to the local DLT office.