If you want to buy a car in Thailand, you should make sure that the car will be registered in your name. At least when the money for it is comming from you. Therefore you need the following documents:
A Residence Certificate from the Immigration Office, showing your address. You can get this when you make your address notification at the immigration within 24 hours after entering the country.
Documents you need
Once you have this certificate, make a few copies of it for later use, e.g. telephone, motorbike or bank account. You have to do this anyway, so there is no additional hassle.
Armed with this papers you go to the car or motorbike dealer of your choice and buy a car or motorbike. The shop will usually arrange all the registration stuff for you.
Outside Bangkok it can take up to 6 month before you finally get your plate number and registration papers. But don’t worry you can drive your car in the meantime with a temporary (red) plate number.
Always Register a Car on Your Name
Now, when you bring your Thai partner with you, the dealer will tell you that it would be so much easier to buy the car on the name of your Thai partner. Then, if you deny, your Thai partner will probably be upset and not talk to you for a couple of days or so. It’s best to go on your own when you buy a car or motorbike. So do not, under no circumstances buy or register a car on a Thai name, if you are the one paying for it. No exceptions!
If you are on low budget and you want to buy second hand from a Thai, make sure he paid the taxes for it, otherwise you will be presented with the tax bill for the last 5 years or so.
Prices for Cars
A new small car, like the Toyota Yaris or Mazda M2, you can get for 480,000 Baht in the basic version.
Used vehicles are unusually expensive in Thailand. At least if I compare it with Germany. If you buy a car for let’s say 250,000 Baht and drive it for two years, you can sell it for almost the same price.
For a 15-year-old car, for example, you still have to pay 70,000 – 80,000 Baht.