There was no plan to drive on this trip. We just wanted to stay in the resort, just relax for the whole week. But somehow, we felt something is missing for not exploring around at all. Maybe because we love road trips.
Exploring Ao Nang on foot would only possible around Ao Nang beach area near our resort. Our hotel does have an hourly shuttle to the beach, therefore even we didn’t need public transport at all to explore the nearby surrounding. But, if we want to explore Krabi town, driving will be the best way to do so, as it is approximately 17 km from our resort. We did have a thought to drive to Phuket too (about 150Km away), but we scrapped that plan as the weather is super wet during the week.
Finding car rental company in Krabi
Most international car rental companies are based at the airport. Had we planned to do road trip the whole duration of the vacation, we would have rented a car from the airport. But it would be a waste to rent a car that will be rarely used. Hence, we rented the car only for few days instead.
I searched some local companies in Ao Nang area that offers a cheaper rate and that that is willing to drop the car to our hotel. We ended up renting the car from a company called Krabicarrent.net (please note that there is another rental company that owns krabicarrent.com domain). I contacted the company through Line (the messenger apps) that is mentioned on the website. The response is quite fast, answering our inquiries about the car availability as well as the rates. We got Honda Brio with automatic transmission.
We got Honda Brio with automatic transmission. The cost is 800 THB per day, the cheapest we can get from several options we have searched. It came with some conveniences option too: a free drop off to our hotel and free return in the airport. With this option, we save about THB 500-600 normal taxi fare from Ao Nang to Krabi Airport. As a warranty for the rent, the company offered two options: a cash deposit of THB 3,000 0r holding one of our passports until the car is returned. Surprisingly, holding a passport as a security deposit for vehicle rental is quite common in Asia. I didn’t really check much for the insurance coverage, from their website in the event of any
As for the insurance coverage, our liability is no more than THB 10.000 in the event of any non-recoverable loss or damage. This information can be found on the company website.
Let’s call him Mr. Krabicarrent. That morning he came to drop the car to our resort at the agreed timing. He smiled to me once I saw him in the hotel lobby. I think he’s in the mid-30s. According to him, he is the boss of the company and he is doing the business full time. He speaks English at an okay level, at least from the conversation that we had on Line messenger and some small talk during the car handover. Though, I had a funny experience communicating with him through text message, when he was confused between a steering wheel and a car wheel.
After a short quick introduction and small talk, he gave me a bilingual English and Thai rental agreement form. He filled the form with my Singapore driving license number and some other details. Immediately after that, we walked to the car that had already parked in front of the lobby.
The handover was very fast. It seems that he needed to go somewhere quickly. He showed the gasoline level, told that the car is automatic, pointed the toggle to open the gasoline tank and the back trunk. He also quickly skimmed the car exterior and took note some minor scratch in the form. I tried to hold him a bit doing another turn of inspection while taking multiple photos to avoid being liable for unnoticed damage. After he left, I was still a bit worried and did one final checking turn, to make sure that all damages and scratches on the car exterior were already covered and noticed. Most importantly, I have all the photos as our backup in case of any dispute.
I was extra cautious with Mr. Krabicarrent because from a quick google search, there is one TripAdvisor thread complaining bad experience with the company. However, at the end, we didn’t get any significant bad experience until we return the car.
There are some minor issues on the car, such as passenger window that can’t be opened, the electronic mirror control that is not functioning, and the car that is not too clean. There is also one quite major issue where the steering wheel is not aligned straight. So when the steering wheel is centered, the car will turn slightly to the right. Therefore to drive straight the wheel needed to turn a bit to the left. I complained the issue to him through chat message, but he just said those are not big issues and just be careful for not driving too fast. Surprisingly I didn’t feel bothered too much since the problems are still tolerable.
Car return at Krabi Airport
Skip to our last day in Thailand. After hotel check-out, we immediately drive the car out from the resort. The distance to the airport is less than 20 Km and we reached the airport in less than 30 minutes. We stopped shortly in one of gas stations before Krabi airport to refill the tank. The lowest octane rating we got in that gas station is 91. We paid THB 330 for about 10 liters. After refilling the tank we continued driving to the airport.
Krabi airport is very small and consists only 2 terminals. T1 for international flights and T2 for domestic flights. At the airport entrance, there was an ID check by the security. But, the security didn’t check our cat at all. To reach T1, we followed the sign that took us to a ramp that leads the car to departure area which is on the level 2 of T1. When we reached the drop off point, a staff from the rental company had already
When we reached the drop off point, a staff from the rental company had already waited for us and waving his hand as we reached. I stopped the car and met with the staff while wifey was fetching a trolley. He just quickly checked the car exterior and the gasoline level. He returned our cash deposit and said farewell. As he went, it ended our short car rental experience and also our overall trip in Krabi.
As a final note, I don’t think we can strongly recommend Krabicarrent with some issues that we faced. But considering the pricing and amenities that it offers, travelers who need a cheap vehicle rental can consider the company service. As we should do to any rental company, ensure to check everything before signing any form and ask any question that you have before finishing the handover. Take photograph from all angles to avoid unnecessary disputes. And for our own safety measure, save the tourist police contact number at #1155 to report if the rental company try to put a blame for damage that we didn’t do. Also, try to arrive at the airport early when returning the car so there will be plenty of time for the car return procedures and resolve any issues. For more peace of mind, and if there is more budget available, renting from an internationally well-known company with more insurance coverage might be better.
Honda Brio A/T
- Daily rental rate 800 THB
- Refundable deposit 3000 THB
- Gasoline for about 10L 330 THB (cover about 150 KM short driving that we had)
To see what other fun activities you can do in Krabi, please see this post.