Taking a car into Thailand from Cambodia

Posted on by Simon Oliver


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We’ve been taking our car from Cambodia to Thailand for some years now for holidays and the process of getting it across the border and temporary importation is a simple one.

*Please note that our experiences have always been at the border at Koh Kong /Khlongyai (Hat Lek).

What you will need:

*Your car registration card (although some friends of ours travelled with a registration card in a Cambodian’s name; they just had a letter from the original owner).
*Valid Cambodian driving license (I’m sure a valid one from your country would also do).
*800 Thai Baht for Thai car insurance.
*Your passport (duh!)

The process:

*Park your car outside the immigration office on the Cambodian side.
*Get stamped out of Cambodia
*Go to the Cambodian customs hut and show them your car registration card and license.
*Drive across to the Thai side and park your car before the checkpoint
*Go into the Thai customs booth and show them your car registration card and driving license – they will then fill in a large book and give you some forms.
*Then go to the visa booths (on the left hand side at Khlongyai) and get your Thai visa
*Show them your car temporary importation forms and they will fill in a another book.
*They will then ask if you have car insurance. If you don’t (Cambodian insurance is not valid in Thailand) you need to purchase it. This is valid for a year so you can use it more than once. (cost 800B)
*We have also been asked to pay about 50 Thai baht at this point for an admin fee.
*That’s it.

The whole process, as long as you don’t arrive at the same time as a bus full of tourists, takes about 40 minutes.

And remember to drive on the left once you’re in Thailand.

Bringing the car back:

*Hand in the forms on the Thai side
*Drive to the Cambodian side
*Say (if asked) that you have no contraband in the car
*Get stamped in (if one multiple entry visa) or get new Cambodian visa.

The process for extension is also a simple one.

*Go to the Port Authority of Thailand in Bangkok. Details here
*Take your importation documents, passport and driving license
*Go to building 8, floor 3.
*There’s a small office at the back and there are a few English speaking Thai customs officials who can process your request.
*You can only do this before the date of expiry I was told. I was also told that if I extended my tourist visa for another month I could also extend the car’s temporary importation documents too.

The ladies at this office were super helpful and efficient.

Anybody done this, had any issues or was it a breeze? Have I missed anything out?

This is a guest post from Simon Oliver who runs the excellent Tales from an Expat blog.

Simon can also be found on twitter as @SimOliver.

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