Retire at Chiang Mai on 550 USD per month only

In Canada it is a requirement to have Auto Insurance if you drive. And the insurance is not cheap trust me.

Here in Thailand third party motor insurance coverage is mandatory for all vehicles except for motorbikes, modified farm trucks and modified samlors.

All owners are requried to obtain insurance for injuries or death caused by their vehicles.
Drivers are required to renew their vehicles registrations once a year and part of this process includes obtaining a new insurance sticker.

As to additional insurance or 1st class insurance it is up to the owner to decide if they want to take it out. My guess is that most do not in Thailand. As to auto rental you should ask if it is included or if it is only the mandatory insurance is included. The larger car rental firms will have 1st class insurance in place. Best to ask and make sure before you rent.

The cost of my insurance policy for my fairly new pick up truck was about $500 U.S. for an excellent policy. After one year with no accidents guess what they wanted to change the rates. Exactly what they kept doing to me in Canada. Raising the rates EVEN with a flawless driving record. HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS...

After one year of driving with no accidents or claims the insurance company here offered me a 20% discount should I decide to renew. WHAT .. Don't they understand that they can stick it to the customers and most will object and complain and still renew with the same company. How dare they LOWER my rates. That sort of thing is just not done in Canada.

From what I can determine many people here drive with just the basic coverage and take their chances.

The good thing is that if something happens like a bump or a scratch the labor cost is so low here that it can be repaired and look like new for a fraction of the cost of what we are accustomed to paying.

There are far more trucks on the road than cars. Why?

Because they are taxed less and cost much less. At first I wondered why almost all the trucks I saw here had a big chrome bumper on the front and back of the vehicle. Reason being is that in case of accident it will not cost as much to repair and the person probably does not have full insurance coverage. The large bumper on the front and back will run about $100 US for both so well worth it especially if you are a new to driving here.

So what is my recommendation as to insurance coverage?

When you buy a motor vehicle check to see if insurance is included. Nissan was offering free full insurance coverage with the purchase of new vehicles last time I visited them and from what I understand the insurance is carried forward. So if you sell your vehicle and you have 6 months of insurance remaining you do not get a refund but rather the insurance coverage is free to the new owner so therefore your vehicle asking price should be set higher.

You have to get the basic coverage which is about 2,000 baht. If you do not do much driving then it may not be necessary to get the full coverage.

So operating a motor vehicle here becomes considerably less costly to own here. Lower gas prices, lower cleaning costs if you do not clean the vehicle yourself, very low insurance cost is an option, lower repair costs, and no rust. Back home cars start to rust because of the extreme temperatures and salt on the roads. You will not see any rusted up cars here.

The Basics of Auto Insurance

An auto insurance policy is actually a package of different coverages. Most places require you to purchase a minimum amount of certain kinds of coverage.

Liability Insurance

Liability coverage is the one of the foundations of any auto insurance policy. If you are at fault in an accident, your liability insurance will pay for the bodily injury and property damage expenses caused to third parties in the accident, including legal bills. Bodily injury expenses include medical bills and lost wages. Property damage expenses pay for the repair or replacement of things you damaeged or wrecked. The third party may also decide to sue you in order to collect "pain and suffering" damages.
"Remember, if you cause a serious accident, minimum insurance may not cover you adequately. That's why it's a good idea to buy more than what your area requires."

A word of caution... If you are in an accident a police officer may side with the other person if they are Thai and even help them get money from you. One lady told us that they asked for 300,000 baht which is a huge sum and she settle with them for 100,000 baht which is a large amount also.

The police officer would have profited handsomely in this case and it is not legal and from what she tells us the accident was not her fault.

Do not pay anyone anything if you have insurance!!!

Call your insurance agent.

That is what the insurance agent will tell you as they get more commission when you buy more insurance coverage. Here in Thailand the rules of the road are not followed and we recommend that people DO NOT drive here or rent vehicles here without some coaching or advice.

Passing is done uphills, downhills, around bends and whereever people want irregardless of whether it is safe or not. Drivers routinely JUMP green traffic lights (perhaps 3-4 cars in a row) and run red lights (3-4 cars in a row).

We have a webpage dedicated to driving in Chiang Mai and we highly recommend anyone considering renting a vehicle here, or buying a vehicle here to read carefully before they decide on driving here.

Click here for Driving in Chiang Mai

Collision And Comprehensive Coverages


If you cause an accident, collision coverage will pay to repair your vehicle. You usually can't collect any more than the actual cash value of your car, which is not the same as the car's replacement cost.

Collision coverage is normally the most expensive component of auto insurance. By choosing a higher deductible, say $250 or even $500, you can keep your premium costs down. However, keep in mind that you must pay the amount of your deductible before the insurance company kicks in any money after an accident. Insurance companies often will write off your car if the repairs the company must pay exceed what the car is worth.


Comprehensive coverage will pay for damages to your car that weren't caused by an auto accident: Damages from theft, fire, vandalism, natural disasters, or hitting an animal all will qualify. Comprehensive coverage also comes with a deductible and your insurer will only pay as much as the car was worth when it got wrecked.
Lawsuits in Thailand are minimal as are awards therefore the levels of insurance required and costs of insurance are comparatively lower in Thailand as compared to North America and most other countries.

Click here for Buying a Vehicle

Click here for Getting Around

We are not promoting any insurance providers or insurance carriers. It is up to you to shop around and get the best coverage at the lowest price.

In Canada I often had to request quotes from at least 6 insurance providers until I received what I thought was a good rate. And I still find it amazing that with the best driving record that is possible and that being of 6 years of no claims, or accidents or tickets that they (the Insurance Companies in Canada ) kept trying to raise rates EACH AND EVERY YEAR. I cannot remember receiving any reductions other than when I hit 50 years of age and that is when a reduction is offered by all auto insurance providers.

So the insurance companies continue to reap nice profits and keep raising auto insurance rates to their best customers and their best customers keep accepting the increases even in a period of low inflation.

Nice business if you can find it.

I am glad that business is not done in the same manner here in Thailand from what I have seen.

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