Car hire in Koh Samui

Moving Around The Island

There is no public transport in Koh Samui. And please DO NOT walk on the sides of the road as it can be dangerous.

So what are the options to move around the island?

Taxis in Koh Samui: Hiring a cheap car is a preferable option than expensive taxis, as it gives you the independence to explore Koh Samui at your own pace. Taxi prices are very high in Samui. If you are planning to visit the island at lenght, choosing a car hire deal can be a more economical. As in many other locations in Southeast Asia, the service is run by mafias. Taxi meters are for decoration. Expect heavy and frustrating haggling with taxi drivers where you will always end up overpaying.

Songthaews: These are the tuk tuk equivalent on the islands and locations outside the larger cities. They are pickup trucks converted with tow rows of seating in the back hence the name “songthaews” which in Thai means “tow rows”. They operate as large tuk tuks if the carry you only or like a type communal transport as they can carry several customers at the same time. You stop them as you spot them like a taxi, discuss destination and price. These are lower priced than taxies but you might have the share the ride and can be slower.

Renting a scooter: Very dangerous if you are not an experience driver and not the best option in case of rain. Scooters are an inexpensive and enjoyable option to move around the island, but extremely dangerous. Koh Samui roads have one of the highest motorbike accident rates in the world. This is not an option for beginner drivers or families. We have seen tourist families of 3 or even 4 on a single scooter which is a disaster waiting to happen.

Koh Samui car hire: Safer, comfortable, and versatile. For any visit for more than 7 days, highly recommended. Driving in Koh Samui is easier than on the mainland. There is a convenient “ring road” that goes around the island to get you anywhere without complications. Just keep an eye on the motorbikes passing on both sides and make sure the sides are clear before turning, overtakign or changing lanes. Book in advance to get a better price and when available, try to rent with a well – known rental company such as Avis, Sixt, National or Europcar most available for pickups from Samui Airport. If you decide to rent from a local supplier, make sure to check the rental agreement and the conditions carefully and walk away if anything looks dubious. NEVER leave your passport or any ID as a deposit.



There are advantages to using a well known global car hire in Ko Samui. It’s less likely for something to go wrong using popular car hire companies. When using our search engine (powered by DiscoverCars) to complete your car rental reservation, there are no risks to end up with an argument at delivery and no hassle. You will find available cars from the biggest brands, offering great deals with the best conditions. Vehicles from established brands also benefit from premium locations across Samui island for pick-up and returns, including Samui International Airport, Chaweng Beach, Bophut or delivery to your resort. We highly recommend to get comprehensive insurance, but check first if your credit card provider provides full cover.

Our partner is one of the largest car rental services out there, with a selection of the best deals available and ranked 4.6 out of 5 with more than 100,000 reviews. You can book instantly with credit card or debit card for your convenience and get their independent insurance packages for peace of mind. We used to work with local suppliers, but we decided to work only with large fleet of car companies. Find the cheapest car hire in Ko Samui for your needs, ranging from economy to 4×4 at the best prices. It is convenient to reserve online in advance for best prices, with optional insurance cover and free cancellations.



Thailand is safe, but be smart and take precautions. “Too good to be true” deals, or unreasonable deposits or guarantees are a big NO.

* Plan and reserve online to have access to more and better choices. Waiting to be on-site will narrow your options to whatever is available, including car rentals and other services and activities.

* Remember you need a valid International Driving Permit to drive in Thailand. You can rent a car without International Driving License with most car rentals, but we just make you aware of the rule…

* NEVER leave your original passport as a deposit to ANYONE. It is accepted to leave 5,000 to 10,000 Baht insurance excess as a deposit. We have seen many local companies requesting tourists original documents. If something goes wrong or you are accused of damaging the vehicle, retaining your passport may put you in a difficult situation.You will have to accept anything to get your documents back. They will tell you everyone does it… just don’t.

* Make sure your vehicle has an adequate level of insurance before completing a reservation. Ensure your dealer is registered as a Koh Samui car hire company in Thailand. Again, if you want to avoid the hustle and any risks, book your car instantly through our reservation partners. We work with DiscoverCars with more than 100,000 reviews on Trustpilot and a 4.6 score out of 5. They will find you the best prices from renowned car suppliers and will provide their own optional comprehensive insurance.

* If you choose to rent a scooter, please think twice if you are not an experienced driver. Drivers in Thailand can be reckless. Thailand is not the place to learn how to ride a motorbike.

* Feel free to ask us any questions, we are here to help! *

Renting your car safely

Finding a car hire in Koh Samui can be challenging. It involves taking risks and sometimes painful negotiations. If you try to find a private car rental on your own, you never know for sure if the vehicle has the right insurance, the terms & conditions, if the dealer has a car rental permit or if the vehicle’s history is “clean”. Horror stories about renting cars and motorbikes in Thailand can happen…

We work with large car rental companies like Avis, National, Budget, Keddy by Europcar and Hertz through one of the largest, most respected online car rental aggregators. With well known car rental companies you can go ahead and reserve your ride online. You may find a slightly cheaper vehicle if you look for a local company but in our opinion, a slightly cheaper car rental is not worth the risk.

We used to endorse, however, a number of local car rental companies we know and trust but the price was frequently higher as most of their reservations are made on the spot. With big car rentals you can book instantly and in advance. We operate with DiscoverCars, one of the top car rentals aggregators to provide the best deals with seamless hiring process and top of the range insurance.

*Note: KohPlanner is not directly involved in the quotation process or car rental operations. We simply vetted the options available to recommend what we believe are the best services for our followers. KohPlanner may receive a small referral fee from certain partners, but this will not result in any price increase for you.


Compact car rental


The Economy rental vehicle option works for light use, on well maintained roads. Easy to park and cheap to run. If your plans involve exploring Koh Samui hills, or if you are expecting to drive in heavy rain, renting an SUV or truck might be better suited for your needs.

Mitsubishi Mirage
Suzuki Swift
Toyota Yaris

Sedan Car Hire Koh Samui


Good value car rentals with comfort and responsiveness. Ideal for family use up to 4 people. Great vehicles to use on well maintained roads. If you are driving in Koh Samui during the rainy season, you may want to consider renting a SUV or pickup truck.

Toyota Vios
Suzuki Ciaz
Nissan Almera

SUV for rent Koh Samui

SUV and 4x4s

An all rounded type car rental perfect for all conditions. Comfortable, spacious, and suitable for off-road and monsoon season. SUVs are a Thai favourite type of vehicle. Driving a new Fortuner can make your holiday in Koh Samui even more delightful.

Toyota Fortuner
Mitsubishi Pajero
Honda CRV

Pickup Truck for rent in Koh Samui


An all terrain winner and Koh Samui rental favorite for versatility in all driving conditions. Pickup trucks will get you in the island mood and are more economical than SUVs. The new Ford Ranger Wildtrak is a beast of a truck. Consider the double cabs are a bit short of space at the back.

Toyota Vigo
Ford Ranger
Isuzu D-Max

Sport car rental in Koh Samui


This category may include luxury manufacturers or special vehicles like big-foots, boogies or adventure off roads.

There is limited availability of this type of car but if you are looking for something extra special our local suppliers may help.


Boat Rentals in Koh Samui


Coming soon!
We are working on a section for boat rentals and private bespoke tours in Koh Samui and the surrounding islands.
Give us some time to get this ready!