Taking a car into Thailand from Cambodia

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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