Hiring a car is an affordable and popular way to get around Thailand at your own convenience. Driving in Thailand can be done by tourists as long as you hold a valid driver's license in English from your country of origin or a valid International driver's license. In Thailand, vehicles drive to the left hand side of the road and speed limits are expressed in kilometres per hour. Road signs are also expressed in both English and Thai.
When driving in Thailand it's important to remember that road 'rules' and etiquette are different than what you may be used to at home. In Thailand, tailgating is common and people often cut directly into lines of cars and cut each other off. However, despite the chaotic driving scene, no anger is displayed on the roads and this kind of behaviour is just accepted.
Driving in Thailand during the day is a little chaotic but manageable, however, driving at night is not recommended particularly for tourists. At night there is a lot of heavy truck traffic and the drivers tend to have little regard for other cars on the road. Motorbikes can also be a bit of a hazard as they often drive straight into oncoming traffic. However major routes outside of the city and around tourist/resort areas are generally quite safe.
As in most western countries, using a mobile phone while driving is illegal in Thailand and if you break this rule, you risk being pulled over and issued with a heavy fine. If you are pulled over for any reason while driving in Thailand, simply provide your car rental documents and license to the officer who may also request to see your passport. In the unfortunate event that you are issued with a ticket, your license will be seized, and you will have to visit the closest police station to pay your fine in order to get your license back.