Car hire in Phuket
Hiring a car in Phuket
The island of Phuket lies off the coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. It is known for its stunning beaches, complete with limestone karsts and picturesque traditional boats. While this is a huge draw for visitors and probably one of the reasons you booked your holiday here, Phuket has much more to offer.
Inland, you’ll find mountains and rainforests that seem a million miles away from the coastal life and its spas and resorts. With a hire car, you’ll discover that it’s actually very accessible and the whole of Phuket is your oyster. For a different vibe again, check out the nightlife in Patong, the island’s main town.
What you need to know
For the most choice in car hire companies and vehicles, collect your car up from Phuket International Airport (HKT). Here you’ll find half a dozen firms or more that can offer you a selection of options for your car hire needs. They have all been ranked excellent or very good by our customers and are backed up by 24/7 support and free cancellation should your plans change.
Not everyone comes to Phuket by plane, however, and you may find getting a car from a more central location easier. If this is the case, then Budget offers a wide selection of vehicles for you to choose from without the need to get to the airport to pick them up. Use our booking toolto find out what the best option for you is at a great price.
Where to pick up your car
At the airport, there are a number of arrangements in place depending on which company you have booked through. Some firms have car hire desks within the terminal building, while others are a little further afield. In these cases, they offer a free shuttle bus or meet and greet service to escort you there. Other firms have offices in the airport but not in the terminal building.
To collect your car from Budget away from the airport, you need to get to the office near Toen Fan Village and Mu Ban Sathini. It might be a good idea to get a taxi or a tuk tuk driver to take you there so you can find the right place.
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“The pick-up was easy, it took 5 minutes from arriving at the desk to driving out the car, and the return took even less time.”
Where to go
The first thing you’ll want to do after checking into your hotel in Phuket is hit the beach. Throw everything you’ll need for a day of sun, sand and sea into the car and head for Layan Beach, Karon Beach or Kata Beach. You won’t be disappointed and will find your relaxing holiday starts here.
Old Phuket Town is great to explore for half a day when you want to spend some time away from the beach. Take it all in from the picture-perfect Sino Portuguese shophouses and mansions to the cafes, bakeries and restaurants. Stop by a local market and pick up a few items to have as a picnic at the beach or while hiking through the rainforest.
While there’s plenty to keep you entertained on the island of Phuket, you might want to explore a little further afield if you’re staying for an extended amount of time. You can easily drive to the coast and catch a boat to one of the other islands that surround Phuket. They are smaller and offer a more intimate experience.
For out-of-this-world snorkelling, take the 15-minute speedboat ride to Coral Island. Head to Phuket’s southern tip for departures to this underwater paradise. For some of the most incredible natural wonders in Thailand, the Similian Islands National Park is calling for you. Split across nine separate islands, its densely wooded and features white sand beaches.
Despite the fact that Phuket is an island, it is actually connected to the mainland via Sarasin Bridge. This means that if you’ve picked your hire car up in Phuket, you can continue to use it in the rest of Thailand with relative ease. Bangkok may be a ten-hour drive away, but there are other places of interest to explore closer to Phuket.
Within an hour and a half’s drive of Phuket along the Route 402 and Route 4 roads you can be in the heart of the Phang Nga Province. Here, you’ll find everything from jungle-shrouded mountains to sleepy fishing communities. It’s a wonderful place to see what everyday life in Thailand is all about.
Top attractions to visit in Phuket
Making the most of Phuket with a hire car is not hard. Make sure you include some of the island’s must-visit destinations in your plans for an incredible trip.
Step away from the beach and enjoy stunning views of some of Phuket’s most magnificent coastline from a slight distance. The Karon Viewpoint will allow you to take in the beauty of Kata Noi Beach, Kata Bay, the island of Koh Poo and Karon Beach all in one stunning vista.
Standing, or actually sitting, at 45m tall, it’s almost impossible not to see this huge white marble statue from just about anywhere in the south of the island. If you’re tempted to get a closer look and come face-to-face with the Buddha himself, then you can drive up the hill that he sits upon.
Thailand is famous for its temples and Wat Chalong is the most-visited in Phuket. This 19th-century constructed is said to house a splinter of a bone from the Buddha. It is pretty outside and in, with typical Thai roofs and ornamentation, as well as paintings of Buddha’s life and golden statues.