There is a good network of well maintained highways and roads between major towns and most of the north-south route is dual carriageway. Road signs follow international standards and are in both English and Thai. Motorists drive on the left hand side of the road most of the time.
Heavy trucks dominate the main roads at night so night driving is not usually recommended as truck drivers in Thailand have little respect for cars. Tourist coaches often think they are driving Ferrari’s so be aware.
The maximum speed limit in cities and towns is 60km per hour and varies between 90 and 120km per hour on main and country road outside the city centers and the police apply regular speed checks. Seat belts are compulsory and drink drive laws apply which makes insurance invalid if drivers exceed the legal limit.
Urban areas: 45 - 60kph/28 - 37 mph
Highway: 90 - 110kph/56 - 68 mph.
There are about 64 600 kms/40, 141mls of paved roads in Thailand as well as an extensive network of dirt roads (especially in the north). Major roads radiate outward from Bangkok to all major cities, with most of the north-south route consists of road. Interconnecting roads to smaller towns and cities are generally wide, and a single-lane two-lane sections on trade.
Parking in cities is usually in the street for a small fee or, for the most part, covered parking in the hotel / shopping plazas. More to the parking lot outside the city centers are generally free, if you can find a space. Do not block access government building or you are likely to be towed.
All kinds of fuel are readily available with petrol stations being in plentiful supply. Most of the larger ones will accept major international credit cards. In remote locations cash will be needed.
All drivers must hold a current, non-probationary license either Thai or from their own country but if it is not Thai or English they must carry an English translation or an International driving license(International driving licence). A valid passport must be carried at all times. You will need a Thai driver licence(driver's license) as opposed to an international drivers license (international drivers licence) once you have been in Thailand for more than 3 months.
If you get stopped by the police you will almost definitely get a fine of about B400, about £6, but if you are lucky it will be just B200, or £3. To get stopped you have done something wrong ‘maybe’ even if you don't know what it was! It is advisable to discreetly pay the money and never argue or lose your temper as it will cost your more.. Don’t expect a receipt for the money and you will never know if it is a genuine fine or whether it is being pocketed for that special occasion.
Be very wary of your speed and use every visual aid at your disposal, always check every direction before turning. Look well ahead on highways and one way streets they will come towards you on the wrong side for sure – heart stabilizing pills are a must. Unlike many Western countries, it is easy to pass a driving test here or even buy a license(licence), many of the drivers have little or no experience at all. This is changing with many checks and Police road blocks daily in the attempt to eradicate this problem but I fear it could take some time.
Since Thai motorists are notoriously ill-disciplined to give way or observation of traffic rules, motorists are advised to drive to a 'gentle pace' (50 kilometers or less) in urban areas. In the case of an accident, Thai perfer to resolve the legal outcome on the ground and often expect the wealthier motorist to absorb the cost, this includes foreigners.
Stay away from downtown Bangkok, traffic is terrible and the roads are confusing, to say nothing of road users who have a general disregard for other vehicles. Do not drive too close to the roadside on any road as motorcycles often enough to drive the wrong way, and stay out of the path of buses and trucks.