Renting a minibus

A group of 10 friends will visit Phuket in September and we would like to rent an 11-seater minibus to tour around in.

Is it legal for a foreigner to drive a rental minibus? Or must they hire a Thai driver?

I asked a well-known rental company and they said that a foreigner is allowed to drive a rental minibus, but I remember reading a few years ago about a European being fined by police when he tried to drive off Phuket in similar circumstances.

Thanks in advance.

  • Asked on Tuesday, July 24, 2007 | 09:17 AM
    Stuart Hooper, Patong.

Foreigners are allowed to drive rental minibuses in Thailand, but they must have the appropriate driving license, which is different from a normal car license.

The PPTO will not issue a foreigner a Thai bus driving license, but we will issue a permit that will allow them to temporarily drive a rental minibus if they can prove to us that they have been issued a bus driving license in their home country.

Note: To receive the permit the foreigner must bring a current bus-driving license issued in his home country to the PPTO office in Saphan Hin. If no member of the group holds such a license, the group will have to hire a driver.

  • Answered on Tuesday, July 24, 2007 | 09:17 AM
    Chatchawarn Ngarmtup, chief of the Phuket Provincial Transport Office.
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