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Renting cars, vans, and scooters in Phuket

Phuket is a big island with lots to see and do all over it. For the best possible experience here, you should rent a car and enjoy the freedom of movement to go anywhere anytime you want.

While The Coolwater is close to the beach, it is located up a steep hill that is probably not appropriate for young children and old people to traverse when returning to the villa. So there is that to think of.

cars and SUVs

You can find the most popular international car rental agencies at the arrivals section of Phuket International Airport. These include Hertz, Avis, Budget, National, and Enterprise. However I always recommend you reserve in advance, especially if you are travelling during peak season. Here are some estimates for car rentals...

Prices are per-day in Thai Baht

Model Normal Price High Season
Honda Jazz / Toyota Yaris 900 1200
Honda Citi / Toyota Vios 900 1200
Honda Civic 1200 1500
Toyota Fortuner 2000 2200

vans

Vans with a driver can be rented for eight hour periods. The Coolwater uses two services for this.

One of our vendors charges 2700 baht and requires two to three days lead time to reserve the van.
The other vendor charges 4500 baht but usually requires less than a day to reserve the van.

All vans require very long lead times to reserve during peak season such as New Year so reserve them early.

motorbikes

If you prefer to just stay near the villa but still want some mobility, then you can also rent a scooter or motorbike such as Honda Click or Scoopy. These normally rent for 250 to 300 THB per day. When driving a scooter, please be aware that you will be sharing the road with other tourists, many of which are inexperienced motorbike drivers. Be wary of traffic. Legally, a motorbike license is required for driving in Thailand, but many if not most tourists ignore this requirement.

Do not under any circumstances allow the rental agency to keep your original passport. This also applies to renting jet skis or any other item. Insist that if they need your passport, they can photocopy it and return it to you. You can leave a cash deposit for the vehicle if they ask. If they require that you let them keep the original passport, you have to ask yourself what they plan to use it for. While it may be a bit extreme, I personally do not do business with anyone that even asks to keep my original passport.

service to the villa

Also, we can arrange a car or scooter for you. The agency will deliver the car to your villa and pick it up when you are done. However you must be at the villa to receive and return the car as you will be dealing directly with the rental agency.

using our scooter

The Coolwater has a single Honda Scoopy that you can rent for 250 THB per day if it is not already in use. It is the perfect choice if you plan to use taxis and vans with drivers, but want a simple solution to get to and from the local store to stock up on supplies.

more information

We have other articles and price lists for taxis, vans, and other transportation options. Click the button below to see them...

toyota HiAce

Phuket van or bus prices to and from Kamala

As a follow up to last month’s post about taxi fares, we are posting prices for vans. Van pricing can vary by the amount of passengers in the van. But here is an approximation. Observant people may notice that some prices are the same as for a taxi. This is not a misprint.


The Coolwater is in Kamala. As with taxis, all van fares to and from any location in Kamala to another location in Kamala is 300 baht. This includes popular stops such as Kamala Beach, Big C, Phuket Fantasea, and of course, The Coolwater.

Van fares for one-way trips to or from The Coolwater and Kamala area to other locations:

  • Patong 1-6 people- 600 baht
  • Patong 7-12 people- 800 baht
  • Rawai Beach – 1200 baht
  • Surin Beach 1-6 people- 500 baht
  • Surin Beach 7-12 people- 700 baht
  • Phuket Town – 1000 baht
  • Thalong – 800 baht
  • Chalong Pier – 1200 baht
  • Rassada Pier – 1200 baht
  • Layan Beach – 800 baht
  • Phuket Airport – 900 baht

You can hire a van for the whole day You will see a lot of variety in pricing here. The service we use has well maintained vans that are able to climb steep hills, including the one to The Coolwater. You can rent such a van through us at 8 hours for 3200 baht.

You can also have a full day tour of Phuket Island attractions with a personal driver. Details on the Coolwater Day Trip are here.

taxi

Phuket taxi prices to and from Kamala

Many of our guests want to know about the prices for taxis and other transportation before arrival or even before they decide to stay with us in Phuket. They ask what it will cost to get around if they don’t rent cars or scooters.

Not unlike taxis in other parts of the world, Thailand taxis have a reputation for trying to overcharge the customer. I think it is sometimes true in Phuket, but it is important to know that this does not apply to most drivers. Also I think it is less prominent here than in other parts of Thailand and the world.

We have put together a price list of fares for common trips on Phuket Island that you can use as a guideline. Some will charge a little more, but with this list, you can know if you are being charged fairly. We have had issues with some guests arguing with drivers over fares that they think are inflated when we know they are not. Also you can use this list to identify when you are being taken advantage of.

I personally don’t mind if I am overcharged just a little bit, just as long as they don’t go crazy with it. Remember you are here to enjoy yourself instead of worrying about small expenses.

The prices below apply to 4-5 seat taxis as well as 7 seat SUVs. However you may find some drivers that want to charge more for the larger vehicles.

The rules state that the drivers are supposed to use a meter to determine your fare and some people say you should insist on it. My experience is that no driver is willing to do that. So if you turn down taxis that don’t use a meter, then you will not get where you want to go.

These prices were assembled by asking actual drivers in the area. The person asking them was a Thai, but she explained that we expect these fares to apply to tourists. The drivers assured us they do.


The Coolwater is in Kamala. All taxi fares to and from any location in Kamala to another location in Kamala is 300 baht. This includes popular stops such as Kamala Beach, Big C, Phuket Fantasea, and of course, The Coolwater.

Fares for one-way trips to or from The Coolwater and Kamala area to other locations:

  • Patong – 500 baht
  • Rawai Beach – 1200 baht
  • Surin Beach – 500 baht
  • Phuket Town – 900 baht
  • Thalong – 600 baht
  • Chalong Pier – 1000 baht
  • Rassada Pier – 1000 baht
  • Laguna area – 600 baht
  • Layan Beach – 800 baht
  • Kata, Karon Beach – 800 baht
  • Kathu – 600 baht
  • Phuket Zoo – 900 baht
  • Phuket Airport – 900 baht
    (trip from the airport to Kamala – 700 baht)

You can also have a full day tour of Phuket Island attractions with a personal driver. Details on the Coolwater Day Trip are here.

Plan ahead for Phuket tours and vehicle rentals

Just today, someone asked us to arrange a tour for them to the Phi Phi Islands. They wanted to go the next day and it was already 4PM in the afternoon. We tried a lot of options for them, but in the end, we were unable to accommodate them.

These boats leave at a specified time early in the morning and while there might be seats, they are usually closed for business by 5-6PM.

So it is best to book your tours at least 24 hours before the tour starts and better to book it before you arrive in Phuket.

Similarly, during peak seasons like Christmas/New Year, Chinese New Year, and other Asian holidays, it is best to book even earlier. This is especially true of renting cars and SUVs. If you wait until you arrive, there won’t be anything for you.

So please plan ahead. We are happy to help or arrange these items for you.

If you want to see a sample of the activities and tours available in Phuket, be sure to check out our “Tours” web page…

http://thecoolwater.thecoolwater.com/tours

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