Tips and recommendations for driving on Thailand's roads

Renting a scooter or a car is often an opportunity to ask yourself a lot of questions.
Avoid scams and ensure a quiet and enjoyable stay often goes through a few unavoidable questions that we tried to answer as best we can.

We invite you to read these few paragraphs.
Do not hesitate to contact us for any further explanation.

WARNING: These pieces of information do not exempt you from inquiring about the current laws and regulations which may change at any time.



Is it a good idea to rent a car or a scooter in Koh Samui?

Thailand, and therefore Koh Samui, is not very suitable for walking, at least out of big cities. In Koh Samui, sidewalks are rare and impractical, often cluttered with electric poles or vehicles parked in a rather anarchic way.

Strollers and wheelchairs will be relatively unwelcome and will usually need driving on the road in the middle of cars. On the other hand, by foot, you will be much less free to visit the island and to access, at any time, the many unmissable places of Koh Samui.

With a vehicle, car or motorbike, you can enjoy the sunsets at your leisure from the Big Buddha Pier, then head to the Fisherman's Village Night Market in Bophut, and finally come back full of memories and delicious dishes in your villa, nestled on the hill overlooking the sea, or cross Chaweng for a glimpse of nightlife, before you stop at the bar or restaurant which will have seemed perfect for a romantic or gourmet meal or to start a crazy night until the early morning.

By motorbike, go everywhere on the island, park almost wherever you want, overlapping this popular mode of transportation, just as the majority premises.

By car, you will often have to look for a parking place, but you will stay safe during tropical downpours, and in the cool air conditioning, while betting on increased security, especially if you are traveling with children.

By renting a vehicle, your budget is better controlled than by multiplying taxis. You will not need to wait or negotiate for a ride, but keep their services for drunken evenings and so you will avoid some hassle.

Some people will say "beware of scams" if you rent a car, it's good for this reason to trust a well-established company like James Rental Samui, that guarantees to you the better conditions and unforgettable holidays, in all serenity and security.

How much does it cost?

How much does a motorbike or car rental cost in Koh Samui?

The short-term rental of a scooter will cost you a minimum of 4 euros per day, for a small model, and count rather 20 Euros per day, for a compact car. Of course, these prices can go up if you choose more powerful or better-equipped models. Most rental companies will give you a reduced price for longer periods.

On top of that, you will have to add the price of the fuel that you will consume during your happy displacements to cross this tropical paradise.

Which is the cheapest agency to rent a car or a motorbike in Koh Samui?

Car or motorcycle rental prices on Koh Samui Island are often competitive, but the services and warranties included in this price sometimes differ a lot, as does the quality of vehicle maintenance.

Compare all the offers in detail. Defective brakes, tires in poor condition, poorly maintained engine or lack of oil, could spoil your ride or your vacation.

At James Rental Samui, we offer serious warranties and perfectly maintained vehicles at the best price.

Which car or motorbike rental agency offers the best value for money to rent a vehicle in Koh Samui, and whom to trust?

The large and growing supply of car or motorbike rental companies on Koh Samui can make your choice difficult, and it is often hard to know which professional to trust, without risking paying a high price.

James Rental Samui exists since 2003, and its large stock of cars and scooters, frequently renewed, and always well maintained, ensures a carefree holiday. We will always find a solution to the rare unforeseen, and we will do everything possible so that nothing comes to disturb your pleasant stay on the island.


Which rental agency can you find at Koh Samui Airport (USM)?

The cost of setting up an agency in the lobby of Koh Samui airport is important, few local companies have chosen to venture there. You will probably see there only the big global brands, and unlikely to meet a staff really involved and speaking your language.

On the other hand, like most independent companies, James Rental Samui is located in another tourist area and easier to reach, but it is quite possible for us to pick you up, on your arrival, directly at the airport, or at any other place on the island, free from 3 days rental of a vehicle.

We will do our best to shorten your transfer or your wait because we know that you do not want to lose the precious minutes of your stay.

Why prefer an independent agency rather than a big international company?

If opting for an international brand agency can seem to you a guarantee of quality and safety, also think that going through a serious local company like James Rental Samui will offer you more flexibility.

If you change your mind and want to change the vehicle type or extend your rental, for example, or for any other adjustment, a simple call or quick visit to the agency will usually do the job.

By choosing to support independents like James Rental Samui rather than multinational companies, you also favor workers who have made the choice to undertake.


Is it easy or difficult to drive in Thailand, Koh Samui?

If you are an experienced driver in your country, you will have no difficulty in driving in Thailand and on the roads of Koh Samui. Just think that Koh Samui, like any tourist area, brings together people of all origins, each bringing its own practices and bad habits. Some are not used to driving, others keep reflexes from right-hand driving, all this without real concern in everyday life.

However, these road behaviors can become problematic when they are associated with excessive speeds or risk-taking. By adopting a responsible driving, anticipating any event that may occur, avoiding risks, such as wheeling and excessive alcohol consumption, you will return your experience in Thailand more enjoyable, and you will most likely stay away from the Thai roads main risks.

Never forget that your logic on the road is not always compatible with that of other users. So, even if you're used to respecting the priorities on the roads of your country, know that here in Thailand, and especially in Koh Samui, many people engage on the road without even looking and think that others will avoid them. Also, do not think that the look of another user seeing you arrive will not prevent him from engaging, on the contrary.

Indicate all your direction changes, and check before in your mirrors, but know that not everyone will, or will not pay attention. Other say, inform others of your intentions, but do not expect as much from other users, and do not think that these will take your signals into account.


What are the scams for renting a scooter or car on Koh Samui?

Many tourists have reported on the internet forums cases of scams, and bad experiences following the rental of scooters, cars or jet skis from unscrupulous landlords.

The most common is the billing of damages that they would not have committed, and sometimes even the reimbursement of vehicles stolen by the lessor himself or his accomplices. The victim of these scams cannot get rid of it because the renter having requisitioned the original passport as collateral, can easily threaten the victim of not being able to leave the island without his precious document.

Although these practices have become rarer, you are not immune to a bad experience on the island.

At James Rental Samui, we always insist that you take photos or videos of the vehicle at pick-up, any scratches or previous deterioration can be highlighted and avoid any dispute.

We will prefer to keep a copy of your passport rather than the original that you must keep throughout your stay in a foreign country, but you must still present it to us for the signing of the lease.

A guarantee deposit in Thai Baht (or the equivalent in Euros) will usually be required. To rent a car, the deposit requested corresponds to the amount of the insurance part. Never leave your passport on deposit with a provider even friendly. We remind you that your passport is generally the property of your country and that you may be required to present it at any time during your stay abroad. Without a passport, lost or confiscated by the lessor to make you pay extra, you can not leave the country and will be outlawed.

Driving license

Do I need a special license to drive a car or scooter in Koh Samui?

To drive in Thailand, and so on the island of Koh Samui, you must be in possession of an international driving license (accompanied by your national license). Ask about the conditions for obtaining this permit, in your country of residence, in anticipation of your trip.

At James Rental Samui, we will require the presentation of your driver's license to take in hand any vehicle, like most rental agencies in Koh Samui, because all are now responsible to require this license to rent you a vehicle.

Anyway, you are the only ones responsible for any police control, and we strongly advise you to hold an international driving license, especially in case of an accident, or for a simple road check.

Remember not having a driving license is, with the consumption of alcohol or narcotics, the perfect opportunity for insurance not to cover your liability.

Know that at James Rental Samui, our cars are insured by the AXA company that covers, at abroad and therefore in Thailand, for 90 days, the drivers holding the driving license in their country, even if they are not in possession of an international license.

The most prudent can even apply on Koh Samui for a Thai driving license, passing the physical examination, the theoretical test and finally the driving test, or more easily having an authorized translator translate their national (not necessarily international) driving license in Thai language, and sacrificing a morning at the dedicated office on the west coast of the island. We can give you more details about these procedures if needed.

Can I drive a motorcycle or scooter with a European car only driving license on Koh Samui?

You must have an international (or Thai) license specifying the 2 wheels vehicles option to be in good standing. However, during a road check by the local police, it is unlikely that the officer makes the difference and he will certainly consider that you are free to drive by car, motorcycle or scooter.

Note that frequently, the translation of your car driver's license, as well as some formalities, will be sufficient to obtain the Thai car license, but also the motorcycle license (2 different documents but issued after a similar procedure).

If you plan to stay for a few weeks or months in Thailand, consider obtaining this local driving licenses, because the international license allows driving in the country only for a limited period after your entry into the territory, and not during the whole validity of the document. Contact us if you want more information about this.

Big bikes

Can I rent a big T-Max scooter or a big motorcycle in Koh Samui as my European license allows me to drive only 125cc maximum?

In Thailand, there is no distinction of engine displacement on the license for 2 wheels. If you are entitled to drive a motorcycle, so no power limit is imposed.

At James Rental Samui we have chosen not to offer more powerful motorbikes but automatic scooters like the 530cc T-Max.

Is it possible to rent motorcycles with 3 wheels like MP-3, or quads in Koh Samui?

Quads are forbidden on Koh Samui's roads, but some operators offer Quad rides off public roads. If you wish, we can help you point to these operators.

James Rental Samui does not offer the rental of 3-wheel scooter type MP3, but we can assist you to rent from a trusted partner company of the island.


How am I insured if I rent a motorbike, scooter or car in Koh Samui?

Rent a car at James Rental Samui with confidence! All our cars are fully insured with AXA. The warranties are therefore in line with the standards of the group, so you are covered for most of the damages that you would be likely to suffer or cause.

Our cars are declared as rental vehicles and not as personal vehicles, as is sometimes the case with some smaller less expensive renters.

In the event of a collision for which you are responsible, you will be liable for the amount of the deductible only, which is why we ask you for this amount as a guarantee when you take charge of your rental car.

For motorcycles and scooters, government insurance, covering your civil liability, is included in all our rentals, whether short or long term, you are always covered. However, no warranty is included for damage to property, as is generally the case for any 2-wheel rental in Thailand, but only for bodyly injuries.

What are the road rules in Thailand? Left or right priority?

Be aware that in Thailand, you drive to the left (the steering wheel is right in the car) and the priority comes from the left... well almost.

As in many Southeast Asian countries, the traffic rules are clearly random, and it is better not to rely on any rules, except the law of the strongest.

Indeed, if you walk, you are NEVER priority, and only a few vehicles will stop if you are on their way.

Following this logic, motorcycles will give priority to larger vehicles such as cars or trucks. The cars will also allow larger vehicles to pass, and any driver will prefer to let go first another vehicle that seems more enterprising or forcibly engage.

Common sense has no place on the roads of Thailand, and therefore Koh Samui. If you do not know, Thailand is generally ranked first among the world's deadliest countries on the roads. Blinding overflow, drunk driving, excessive speed, all of these factors should be kept in mind when you are near a traffic lane, even as a pedestrian.

This important information should not dissuade you from driving, as it is still the best way to discover this tropical paradise freely, and it would be a shame to deprive you of it. And like many in Thailand, entrust your life to Buddha and let yourself be dependent on your Karma ...


Should we wear a helmet on a motorcycle or scooter in Thailand, Koh Samui?

As everywhere in Thailand, the helmet is mandatory on a 2 wheels motorized machine.

Many tourists and locals, however, prefer to travel without, but we strongly advise against doing the same. Even if the feeling of freedom and the general impression of laxity might make you prefer to move hair to the wind, it is really not safe to go without this main, if not the only way to save your life in case of shock.

Random police road checks may occur, mostly during the day, all over Koh Samui, and you will get a ticket of a few hundred baht per person not wearing the helmet.

In addition to the time that this experience will make you lose, we can only greatly advise you to always wear the helmet, knowing the many daily fatal accidents on the roads of Thailand.

Most serious rental companies will provide you with a helmet per person. At James Rental Samui, you will be able to try and choose the one that suits you best, from a vast choice. If you prefer not to wear a helmet that has already been worn, you may have the chance to enjoy a new or recently renewed helmet, otherwise, we advise you to buy one for a few hundred Bahts in the supermarkets of the island (Tesco Lotus, Big C ...).

Helmets sold in Thailand do not generally meet European standards but can still save your life, or keep you safe from some serious injuries. Thailand's roads are often dusty, and we recommend that you wear driving glasses or a mask, or choose a helmet with a visor. For the most demanding or for the sake of hygiene and comfort, it is also common to wear your cap under the helmet.

Is wearing a seatbelt mandatory by car in Thailand?

Throughout Thailand, and, of course, on Koh Samui Island, car seatbelts are mandatory, both front and back. Until this day, police in Koh Samui is not particularly concerned about this regulation, and do not verbalize the offenders for the moment, but we can, of course, only advise you all to fasten your belt.

At James Rental Samui, all our cars are equipped with as many seatbelts as seating for which the vehicle is insured. So you have no other worries than to think about attaching yourself and make sure all your passengers, especially children, do the same.

Drunk driving

What are the limits and regulations regarding drinking and driving in Thailand?

If we do not recommend driving while having consumed alcohol, especially knowing the many daily fatal accidents in Thailand, alcohol tests in Koh Samui are rather rare or nonexistent.

As in many countries in the world, the maximum legal rate in Thailand is 0.5g of alcohol per liter of blood.

It is better not to risk yourself on the roads if you plan to consume alcohol, Opt for a taxi if your evening was more alcoholized than expected. You will avoid many worries and may save lives, including yours, by adopting this reasoning.

Moreover, as already stated, the presence of alcohol in the blood, in the event of an accident, will greatly increase your liability, and most insurance companies will use this argument to not cover you.

Are there many police checks in Koh Samui?

On the island of Koh Samui, each big district has a police station.

Random checks at different places on the island take place regularly, mainly during the day. These controls are mainly aimed at stopping and verbalizing drivers and passengers of motorbikes without helmets. Offenders are sometimes forced to present their driver's license and passport at the same time.

In some operations, police and the army carry out numerous passport and visa checks on roads and in public places, in order to track people in an irregular situation, in particular having exceeded the date of exit from the territory authorized by their visa or their entry stamp (overstay).

Speed controls are currently unavailable on Koh Samui, as are alcohol checks, but of course, this could very quickly change, and controls could intensify, as is already the case, in particular, in Phuket and Pattaya.


Which model of scooter or car to choose for a stay in Koh Samui?

Here are some tips to help you choose the vehicle that best suits your needs.

For motorcycles and scooters, displacement and size are the two main axes of choice. A 110cc scooter, like the Honda Scoopy, will allow you, alone or for 2 people of average weight, to circulate without worry, anywhere on the island, but may be insufficient to reach some places too steep, as some bars perched in hills, some temples or viewpoints, or many villas, unless you are alone and relatively light.

The 125cc scooter, like the Honda Click, is better able to take you everywhere if you're alone, or in pairs, but you'll be more comfortable with a 150cc or 155cc, like the Honda PCX or the Yamaha N-Max, if you intend to climb regularly in the heights of the island.

If you are taller, or more likely to be in the middleweight or heavyweight category than in the featherweight category, a 300cc scooter, like the Honda Forza or Yamaha X-Max will do much better, and its size, generally wider, will also make you feel more comfortable.

Finally, for those requiring more power, James Rental Samui has several powerful models, up to 530cc, like the Yamaha T-Max, with which you can climb effortlessly, even at 2, the largest slopes of Koh Samui.

About cars, the smaller models will struggle to climb some steep slopes, especially if you are many passengers and rather heavily loaded, but even a 1.2L will climb 2 people to the peaks of the island.

If you need to access more remote areas and practice unpaved roads, we advise you to opt for a 4x4 vehicle like our jeeps or the Toyota Fortuner, elevated and more suitable for muddy or irregular paths.

Know that nowadays, manual boxes like automatic are fully able to hoist you anywhere and therefore should be a matter of preference.

Finally, the volume of some vehicles may complicate parking or maneuverability. If you are not comfortable with maneuvers, prefer a small vehicle equipped with power steering.

As a reminder, all cars offered for rent by James Rental Samui, are equipped with power steering and automatic gears, much easier to use in hill starts.

Manual gearbox

Which option to choose, manual or automatic gearbox when renting a car in Thailand?

If you plan to rent a car in Thailand, including Koh Samui, you will have to familiarize yourself (if this is not already the case) with driving on the left of the road, and the steering wheel on the right, the gearshift located to the left of the driver, but the pedals remaining in the same location and order, ie from left to right, clutch, accelerator, then brake.

It is often advisable to opt for an automatic gearbox, much more comfortable because it exempts you from having to shift gears with your left hand. In any case, the habit comes fast and a few moments driving will be enough to make you feel comfortable and confident.

If you do not know the operation mode of the automatic gearbox, it's very simple, just press the brake to start the engine, release the brake will slowly move the car, and pressing the accelerator will move the car faster. Speeds will go up and down automatically depending on your pace.

It's easy, but do not forget that the brake acts as a clutch and that removing your foot from the brake after stopping will let move the vehicle ahead slowly, so you may be surprised and push the car ahead.

At James Rental Samui, we prefer to simplify your life by not offering any manual transmission. Indeed, all our cars are equipped with automatic gearboxes.

High hills

How can I access my villa or a steep hill viewpoint?

If you have set your sights on a villa perched high in Koh Samui, for your dream vacation, you may well be faced with problems to access, especially in case of heavy rain, which would make the roads slippery.

Some bars or public places of the island, also offer a panorama and breathtaking views, and it would be a shame to deprive you, for lack of power of your rental vehicle.

Do not hesitate, when you book with James Rental Samui, to specify your needs, so that we offer you, directly, a perfectly adapted vehicle. If your needs change throughout your stay, we will do our best to satisfy you as well.

I need a baby or child car seat in Thailand. Is it easy to find and can I rent it on site?

It is not always easy to find a baby or child seat, especially when you arrive in Thailand and do not know local businesses.

If you rent a vehicle at James Rental Samui in Koh Samui, the agency offers some on request, but this option will be extra charged for 100 baht per day. Note that as the total price of the rental, the supplement to pay for your child or baby seats is decreasing depending on the total rental period. The number of these seats are limited, we advise you to contact James Rental Samui to specify your needs, and reserve such needed option at the earliest.


Are there traffic jams and heavy traffic in Koh Samui?

For several years, Koh Samui has become a fashionable tourist destination, and its road traffic has therefore grown. Even if we are far from the traffic jams of big cities, some tourist area or strategic points of the island can sometimes be congested, especially at certain peak times.

In 2 wheels, you will rarely be slowed down by road traffic, but be careful, especially if you intend to sneak between vehicles to go up the lines.

There is almost no traffic light on the island, and only a few roundabouts, intersections are sometimes sources of a slowdown.

The main road or ring road, this road that goes around Koh Samui, can be slowed down in the late afternoon and to the night market places, according to the schedule provided here.

Finally, at night and in the evening, traffic is often slowed down on the Chaweng Beach Road (partly one-way and one lane), and in all the very touristy areas, as the pickup of passengers by taxis block vehicles behind.

As everywhere, be patient, and remember that courtesy is in order and that honk will not arrange anything, quite the contrary. By car, always remember to leave room for the many 2 wheels that could try to go up the lines, it will save you some scratches on the bodywork and damaged mirrors.


Which fuel is the most used in Thailand? Gasoline or diesel?

In Thailand, and so in Koh Samui, you will find gasoline or diesel vehicles, and most gas stations offer these two fuels. Gasoline is marked 91, 95 or E10, diesel is identified diesel.

At James Rental Samui, all 4x4 vehicles run on Diesel, while all other cars run on gasoline, preferably chose 95 that is better for injectors, just like all of our fleet of scooters.

What is the price of fuel in Koh Samui? Expensive or cheap?

It is very easy to find fuel in Koh Samui. Indeed you will find several gas stations in most areas of the island, mainly located on the Main Road (Ring Road) this main road that goes around Koh Samui.

Be careful, however, the opening hours of these stations, most opening early in the morning but usually close at 10 pm (22h). Most fuels will cost you less than 30 Thai Bahts per liter, and the staff will serve you before you pay them. Remember to always take a look at the pump meter, and report to staff if they "forgot" to reset the meter to 0, this will save you to pay more than the amount actually added to your tank.

In case of emergency, if you fear the dry out, or if you have exceeded the opening hours of the main stations, you can very easily find refueling points on the roadside. Indeed, many sellers have a shelf in front of their shop, presenting a series of bottles, often of alcohol, recycled and now containing fuel. A sign usually specifies the word GASOLINE. It will usually cost you 40 baht per bottle, a bottle usually containing 70 or 75 centiliters.

You will quickly calculate that the stations are much cheaper, but the bottles will sometimes avoid some detours, or a waste of time, against saving a few baht only.

Finally know that it is not excluded that some sellers cut the fuel bottles with a little water, which in addition to being a simple scam, can seriously affect the engines of the vehicle. Therefore, always prefer refueling at the station, and limit the use of roadside bottles to the only cases of breakdown or emergency.


What is the average fuel consumption of a scooter or a car?

A 110cc to 150cc scooter will typically consume about 2 liters per 100 km in normal use. More, if you use to ride in difficult climbs, or abuse of the brutal accelerations.

A 500cc scooter, like the T-Max, will consume much more, but rarely exceeding 10 liters per 100 km.

A compact car, in an automatic transmission like all those available at James Rental Samui, should not consume more than 4 liters per 100 km, in normal use.

Some 4x4 vehicles are much more greedy, and here too, your driving will greatly impact their consumption.

Do you offer hybrid or electric vehicle rental on Koh Samui?

Nowadays, the infrastructure of the island does not allow us to use, and therefore to offer for rental, partially or fully electric vehicles.

The electric vehicle market in Thailand is growing, but it is, for the moment, quite exceptional, especially on an island like Koh Samui. Yet it is an interesting concept, which deserves to be further developed when we observe the small size of the island and the short distances that result.

At James Rental Samui, we hope for a day, being able to offer you this alternative and contribute to the protection of the environment of our tropical paradise.


Are the roads of Koh Samui in a good or bad condition?

The roads of Koh Samui are generally in pretty good condition, but the road services are not always reactive. You'll find most of the paved roads and curbs (if there's any sidewalk), but be careful, it's common for a hole, sometimes deep, to form on the pavement, and its size may increase quickly before someone one does pay attention to it and repair.

So be always vigilant, and keep a speed adapted allowing you to avoid a sometimes deep pothole, often discovered at the last moment if you follow too closely the car which precedes you.

Keep your distance, and drive carefully, even on the most important axes of the island, some holes may remain weeks before any repair, and repairs are often simple patches, creating an extra thickness of the road, here and there.

Are there poor or difficult paths on Koh Samui Island?

For many years, most of the roads of Koh Samui are paved and generally in very good condition. As we have already said, some degradations are not impossible. Stay alert, even on a road that seems well maintained, to avoid any pothole or junction misaligned.

However, some hotels, bars, restaurants, viewpoints, some villas or residences, are sometimes remote and will force you to take sandy paths, earthy or muddy due to the rainfall of the last days.

So be careful in these trails, and consider using the engine brake of your vehicle, and avoid the use of the front brake (right handle) by two wheels, on steep slopes. Avoid sharp acceleration, and brutal braking when riding on a loose surface such as sand or greasy soil.

These basic technics can be explained to you, if necessary, by the staff of James Rental Samui, when taking your rental vehicle.

Orient yourself

Is it easy to orient yourself on the island of Koh Samui? Do we need a GPS?

It is very easy to navigate around the island, following the main road that goes around. However, your experience will be much more enjoyable if you have a map, a Google Maps-style mobile map app, or a GPS. It is possible to leave this peripheral road and to drive in secondary roads for several kilometers before finding it again.

You will find everywhere places offering maps of Koh Samui, more or less detailed. Ask one while taking your vehicle at James Rental Samui agency.

Are accidents common on the roads of Koh Samui?

If you are rarely unlucky enough to see an accident in Koh Samui, the collisions can be numerous. Know that Thailand is regularly ranked number 1 of the deadly countries on the road, and Koh Samui therefore necessarily enters these statistics.

No need to panic or deprive yourself of the pleasures and freedom of travel on two wheels or by car to discover the many beauties of the island, but do not forget that the risk is everywhere and that only your vigilance and a responsible driving will protect you from road risks.

Note that most fatal accidents on the island are alcohol and speed related, and take place from midnight to 6 am.


What are the main risks and dangers on the roads of Koh Samui?

Do not be worried while traveling on the roads of the island, take full advantage of the landscapes and your means of transport. However, keep in mind the risks and dangers most frequently encountered, on 2 wheels and by car in Koh Samui.

Above all, beware of alcohol and speed on the roads of the island, if not your case it is sometimes that of other reckless and careless users at the controls of their machines.

Then be careful and watch the pavement and its surroundings, on the ground, holes on the road, potholes or "a little too high-level patch" are common, as well as the sand patches coming from the last torrential rains, or puddles and flooded areas which all represent a risk of skidding or slipping. Sometimes several of these events are gathered together like a puddle making invisible a deep pothole.

Some rare cases of slips have also been reported, even at very low speed, rolling on traces of oil or grease, left by a garbage truck passed a few minutes ago.

Since 2018, road works and drainage of rainwater are in progress on the main roads of Koh Samui, being able to leave some heaps of sand or earth or not very regular connections of the roadway.

If you travel on the main road (Ring road) of the island, also pay attention to the many grids allowing evacuation of the water, but sometimes badly aligned with the road, and which can surprise you or destabilize you on 2 wheels, in particular on a section of road between Bophut Fisherman's Village and Mae Nam.

Also, be alert to any animal that may cross the roadway. These are rarely disciplined, and it is very common to see dogs, cats or chickens crossing the path without looking before.

You will also sometimes have the "chance" to see a snake cross the roadway, avoid rolling over it, and prefer to stop and report it to other vehicles. Its presence on the road is usually brief, be patient and watch this spectacle offered by nature.

What to do in case of an accident or collision with a rental car in Koh Samui?

It is unfortunately not impossible that you have to face a small collision, or even a more serious accident, whether or not your liability, probably causing damage to property and sometimes bodily to you or a third party.

The first and main rule is not to panic, and to remain calm and courteous with the people involved and the likely curious who will not fail to come and mingle with the situation.

In order to officially clarify and validate the responsibility of each party in the accident, immediately call the police at 191 or the tourist police at 1155, who can then assist you and secure the premises, but above all serve as a mediator and translator between different third parties involved in the accident.

Even if the other person involved in the accident appears in good faith, things may change once the witnesses have left. Your car rented at James Rental Samui is insured at all risks, call us directly to +66 (0) 84 628 7001 in case of accident, so that we can assist and troubleshoot you in the best conditions, and as soon as possible.

In case of a an accident with a scooter rented from James Rental Samui, go to the nearest garage to estimate repairs. Be aware that in Thailand, for most 2 wheels, the parts are really cheap, and it will cost you a few hundred baht to replace a plastic part with a new one.

Also know that Koh Samui is riddled with surveillance cameras, and it is possible that the video reveals some circumstances of the accident. It is therefore completely inadvisable to flee his responsibilities, the hit and run being also punishable in Thailand.


I punctured a tire on my motorbike or my car in Koh Samui, what to do in case of a flat tire?

The roads of Koh Samui are not always in perfect condition, and a pothole or poorly placed nail, dragging on a parking lot, could cause damage to the tires, ranging from the simple slow loss of pressure to the puncture even the bursting.

For these reasons, you will regularly see garages and shops offering tire repair or change, for scooters and motorcycles, but less frequently equipped for cars.

Replacing an inner tube on a 2 wheel should cost you about 140 baht, but maybe, even more, depending on the size and style of your tire, especially for a T-Max, or any larger motorbike.

For a car, the price will depend on the size of the tires, and the brand and quality of replacement. Count a minimum of 2,000 bahts to change a tire on a Toyota Yaris or Suzuki Swift compact car. If at last, you want to simplify your life and at an additional cost of about 300 baht, we advise you to call a trusted repairman, who travels anywhere on Koh Samui, to repair or replace one or more tires, on cars only, by calling +66 (0) 8-179-73-079.

It is up to you to be careful and avoid any punctures, all the costs of repair or replacement remaining obviously at your expense, as with any rental agency.

At James Rental Samui, we pay particular attention to tires and brakes when preparing our vehicles, because we believe that they play a key role in the safety of our customers.

Deposit and guarantee, should we leave our passport while renting a vehicle in Koh Samui?

For many years in Koh Samui, it was difficult to rent a vehicle without leaving a passport. Many agencies always impose this constraint that we strongly advise against. You should never leave your passport during any stay abroad.

To guarantee your rental at James Rental Samui, you must present your original passport but you will leave us only a copy and a copy of the entry stamp in Thailand affixed to your passport upon arrival.

For the rental of a car, we require a security deposit of approximately 10,000 Thai Bahts (about 250 Euros) in cash, representing the amount of the insurance deductible in the event of an accident. This deposit will be refunded in full upon your return with the vehicle in the same condition as when you take it.

If you do not have a copy of your passport or your entry stamp, we will just take some pictures in the agency on your original passport.

What to do in case of breakdown with a rental car in Koh Samui?

Nowadays, newer vehicles are more and more reliable, even in spite of the extreme heat they can be subjected to in the tropics. However, it is never impossible to meet the unexpected failure of a vehicle even well maintained. Just like for replacing or repairing a tire, it's easy to find roadside stores in Koh Samui that can help you out.

If you rented your vehicle at James Rental Samui, be it a scooter, a motorcycle or a car, any breakdown should not in any way disturb your stay. That is why, in addition to generally maintaining our vehicles ourselves, we renew them regularly and we guarantee you a replacement, as soon as possible, by a vehicle at least equivalent.

By renting with James Rental Samui, in the event of a breakdown, a single call is sufficient to +66 (0) 84 628 7001, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for assistance and possibly the replacement of your vehicle.

Lost keys

What to do in case of loss of keys or rental car in Koh Samui?

If inadvertently, or by unfortunate chance, you come to no longer find the keys of your vehicle rented at James Rental Samui, or even if it can not be found, you can contact at any time the number of the assistance of James Rental Samui at +66 (0) 84 628 7001.

We have double the keys of all our motorbikes and cars, as well as a good knowledge of the island, essential to optimize the search for a lost vehicle. For scooters and motorcycles, as stated in our section on parking, it is common, especially at night, that your 2 wheels be moved to facilitate the parking of a taxi or a delivery truck. Do not hesitate to search your vehicle a little further down the street, or on the sidewalk opposite the place where you left it, especially if for several hours, since your scooter could be moved several times.

What are the terms of your lease?

At James Rental Samui, for any car rental, whether it is a motorcycle or a car, we will establish a standard contract, specifying the responsibilities and duties of both the renter and the client, as well as the financial conditions and legal obligations related to the service.

Thus, for each contract, the customer will have to provide his name (in conformity with that of the presented passport), his nationality, his address on Koh Samui, a telephone number (optional but advised), present the original of his passport and pay the deposit, the amount of which depends on the type of vehicle covered by the contract. On average, count 3000 Thai Baths deposit for a scooter, and about 10,000 Thai Bahts or 250 Euros for a car.

For more details on the terms of the rental agreement, please contact us directly or present yourself in our agency.

All risks

Are all rental cars covered by insurance?

All the cars rented by James Rental Samui are insured for all-risk by AXA, a world-renowned group, offering guarantees comparable to any all-risks insurance anywhere in the world, and declared as rental vehicles.

What are the risks covered by all-risks insurance for cars?

The details of the terms of the contract, as well as the guarantees offered by this insurance, are available upon request, at James Rental Samui agency.

Overall, as in Europe, our insurance covers, among other things, accidents, material and bodily injury, theft, fire, natural disasters, and, of course, the civil liability of the customer.

State of play before and after renting a scooter or car in Thailand.

In order to simplify any dispute with your motorbike or car rental company in Koh Samui, we recommend that you always go around the vehicle before picking it up and take as many photos or videos as you can, especially in areas that already have impacts or scratches, so that the renter does not blame you, wrongly, to be responsible for this damage when you return.

At James Rental Samui, we always insist that you take these shots, as a precaution, because photos can help as a proof in case of scratches or damaged bodywork that have escaped the visual check of the renter.

Do your rental formulas include unlimited mileage?

Yes, at James Rental Samui, with all our rental car or motorcycle, you can do as many kilometers as you want. Take the opportunity to travel the roads of the island, and discover the wonders of Koh Samui.

What is your fuel level policy before and after the lease?

It's very simple, at James Rental Samui, we note on the lease the fuel level when you take control of the vehicle, and you must return it at least at the same level. If you have not observed this requirement, we will be entitled to ask you to pay the missing fuel difference, when returning the vehicle to the agency.


Are you open all year, even on public holidays?

Yes, we are open all year round, 7 days a week, from 8.30 am to 7 pm (8h30 till 19h), including public holidays.

When to book a rental vehicle, how long before we arrive in Koh Samui?

At James Rental Samui, we have a wide choice of vehicles that allows us to always have a solution to offer, even at the last minute. However, if you have special requirements, the sooner the better, to allow us to reserve the one that best suits your needs, as well as some equipment that you consider essential.

My flight or boat arrives late at night or very early in the morning, how to do?

If you want to rent one or more vehicles at James Rental Samui, but your arrival in Koh Samui is scheduled very early in the morning, or late in the evening, and therefore outside the opening hours of the agency, we can find a solution to transfer you from the Koh Samui Airport (USM), or one of the many ports of the island, to your place of residence, or deliver the vehicle to you at these times.

In such circumstances, we advise you to contact James Rental Samui on the contact page to discuss the best options available and thus avoid any unnecessary waiting or taxi charges.


How do you calculate the rental time?

At James Rental Samui, our rental times are calculated per 24 hours. If you start the rental one day at 10 am, you will pay the rate for one day if you return the same day at the same time. If you exceed the duration of 24 hours, for example by not returning a vehicle before closing the agency when you had taken your vehicle just before closing, we will charge you the extra day started the next morning. Do not hesitate to ask for confirmation in case of doubt or special case, we want to remain as transparent as possible to our customers.

Is there a minimum rental duration?

If you want to rent a vehicle at James Rental Samui, we offer a wide choice of scooters and cars, for a minimum duration of 24 hours. There is no maximum duration, and the longer you rent one or more vehicles, the more the price will be revised downwards, to offer you really interesting discounts. In addition, we can deliver and pick up your rental car anywhere on Koh Samui Island for free from 3 days rental.

Which currency can I use to pay for a scooter or a car rental in Koh Samui?

By renting at James Rental Samui, you can pay your rent in Thai Bahts or Euros. Note that our rates are set in Thai Bahts and that if you prefer to pay us in Euros, the equivalent in Euros will be calculated, at the time of the signing of the lease, according to the current exchange rate.


Is it possible to withdraw cash on site or near the agency?

An ATM is located on the sidewalk opposite the James Rental Samui agency.

Like many shops in Thailand, we offer credit card payment but will apply 3% additional charge for this type of payment.

We generally do not recommend using your credit card in Thailand, but rather withdrawing and paying in cash only all your purchases on Koh Samui and the neighboring islands.

Is it possible to bring a scooter or rental car to nearby islands or the mainland to visit Koh Phangan or Koh Tao for example, or to go to the Full Moon Party?

Many tourists would like to be able to go with their rental car on the mainland, or on nearby islands, such as Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, by boarding ferries connecting these different places.

Unfortunately, it is not possible for you to leave Koh Samui with a rented vehicle at James Rental Samui, as with most agencies on the island. We can not allow this practice because of excessive costs in case of problems (breakdown, an accident ...).

Thank you for your understanding and to respect this condition.

If you want to go to the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan, know that to overcome the overhead and extra costs of accommodation, the days before and after this monthly event, we advise you to choose accommodation in Koh Samui, and to return from the party through the many mini-vans and boats, ensuring the journey in both directions, during all night and the next day. You will avoid a bad experience, on dangerous roads leading to the famous beach, and will have no other concern than to have fun for hours.

Do not hesitate to ask us for advice and contact for transportation to Haad Rin in Koh Phangan and its famous Full Moon Party.

What to do in case of dispute with a car rental company or a shopkeeper in Koh Samui?

If the situation is complicated between a car rental company or any other professional on the island, it is probably better to use a third party who will act as a mediator. The tourist police of Koh Samui exists precisely for that. Depending on availability, you could even benefit from an agent speaking your language and from your country, the tourist police employing some voluntary expatriates. Do not overdo it, but contact them in case of trouble by phone by dialing 1155 from Thailand.


Nightlife and parking at night in Koh Samui

In some areas of Koh Samui, such as Chaweng Beach, nightlife starts early. Indeed, the fall of the night taking place all the year between 18h and 19h, it reigns very quickly a party atmosphere, and the bars and restaurants are filled early, and often do not empty before midnight for the restaurants, and much later for bars and clubs.

If you plan to spend the night in the nerve center of Koh Samui's busy nightlife, you will need to park your car or motorbike for a long time unless you choose to go there and walk or taxi to avoid the risks of drunk driving.

When you park along the road, you will quickly notice the tide of motorcycles already parked. We can only recommend that you do not lock the handlebars of your scooter, and note well or photograph your plate number. Indeed it is very common that, during the night, taxis or delivery trucks move your bike to park or unload their goods. Locking your direction will make it much more difficult, and damage may occur by mistake.

Knowing your license plate number will make it easier for you when you walk the street, looking for your vehicle, sometimes moved several tens of meters away.

Is parking paid or free in Koh Samui?

To date, the parking of the 2 wheels and cars is not paying on the road, on all the island of Koh Samui, but projects are underway to make some areas pay. The center of Chaweng is going to be paid at the time of writing.

Ask us when you take control of your vehicle at James Rental Samui for the latest regulations.

Do not park under a coconut tree, coconut falls can cause serious damage to vehicles and people below. Remember to look up when you park, because some often measure several tens of meters high, and can be bent.

Are robberies and incivilities common in Koh Samui?

Thailand is a relatively safe country about thefts and robberies.

On the island of Koh Samui, vehicle theft is extremely rare, and it is common to see bags and helmets, simply left hanging unattended on the handlebars of the two wheels.

However, we recommend you do not tempt anyone, and secure or store away from prying eyes, anything valuable or that you would not want to see disappear.

Remember that if robbery is not common in Thai culture, it is not the same for some tourists or unscrupulous residents.

Heavy rain

What to do in case of heavy rain by scooter in Koh Samui?

The tropics have an exceptional charm, but you might be surprised by the intensity of a tropical downpour. These rains are rarely predictable, and torrents of water can fall on you in seconds, caution is needed to avoid any incident. Stop under the first available shelter and wait for the lull.

For the most impatient, or if the rain persists, you will find raincoats in all Family Mart and 7 Eleven shops, these thin plastic envelopes, generally fragile, but that will do the job a few hours, and keep you dry for twenty baht.

Stay alert on flooded roads after the downpour, puddles that can hide road imperfections, and some roads that can become small torrents, likely to move some sandbanks on the roads.

How to use the horn in Thailand and Koh Samui?

As in many countries and especially in Asia, the horn is part of everyday life, and even becomes a permanent signal, to move in two wheels as in a car. If for some, the use of the horn (or buzzer) is a funny game, especially in the early hours, know that its main use in Thailand is to report your presence to other road users.

Use it in moderation to signal, for example, your passing, to another user who does not seem to have noticed you, or to alert the driver of a seemingly ready vehicle to get on your way, but remember that your warning will not prevent you from being cut off.

Finally, of course, the horn is a great way to get the attention of a friend or a pretty girl on the roadside, but, for pity, do not overdo it. Save the ears and preserve the nerves of the locals and residents who undergo, every day, the ceaseless noise of the road. Taxis are undoubtedly the ones who best master this instrument, which allows them, while insisting, to tell pedestrians that they can also embark on a paid ride if they wish.

We wish you a safe ride and driving in Koh Samui!

Also, read our information guide about the island and discover our tips in Koh Samui!

Tourist info