We cannot deny that the number of cars in Bangkok is continuously increasing everyday. As from the survey in 2001, it showed that about 500 cars were launched each day and the number of cars in Bangkok was about 1.8 million at that time. Because the transport system and, city plan do not work well, people have pushed themselves by having own cars for their convenience.
C ars are expensive in Thailand - in spite of the fact that the Thai government has considerably lowered import taxes for most categories of cars in mid-1991. Japanese models dominate the market.
Most available cars (and motorcycles) are made in Thailand - or rather assembled, as most parts are still imported. Typically, the Thai assembled cars turn out to be more expensive than those made in the home countries of the mother companies of the Thai assembly firms. As labour is cheap in Thailand, those who can afford a car usually also have the money to employ a driver.
In Bangkok, cars are registered at the Police Registration Division, Phahonyothin Road (Tel 02 513-0051 - 5) Mon-Fri 8:00-16:30. The clerks there don't speak English and the registration is quite some work. Car dealers usually offer registration as a service, for which most of the time a separate fee is charged. Registration costs depend on engine size.
Third party liability insurance is not obligatory in Thailand. Traffic laws are pretty much the same as in the West though damages awarded to injured parties are ridiculously low by Western standards. Escaping the scene of an accident is construed as admitting that one was at fault.
Gasoline prices are fairly low in Thailand, less than half a US Dollar per liter (around 2 US Dollars per gallon). Caltex, Esso and Shell have wide networks of gasoline stations covering the whole country. Gasoline stations along main roads in Bangkok as well as cross-country highways operate 24 hours a day. Gasoline stations only seldom have full repair shops but are equipped to vulcanise tyres or change oil. Most car assemblers also operate their own large servicing workshops.