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CAR BUYING IN THAILAND
BUYING A CAR :
For a foreigner to buy a car you must have a letter from your embassy if you do not have a one year visa but in Pattaya you just need a letter from Immigration saying you wish to buy a car & nothing from your Embassy. You also need to have letter from Immigration and for this you need 2 photos; copy of your house lease and landlords ID and House Registration; your passport and copies of visa pages and ID copy.Once you have the letter from immigration normally free of charge you then buy your car and take the car to the reg office with the owners book, copy of his ID & Hose reg and Power of attorney form if he isn't going to assist plus he or she has filled out change of wonership form for you. If not registered for a while then you have to pay backtaxes and Insurance --most reg depts have insurance company available there.
BUYING A CAR & WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
For a foreigner take a Thai with you but check if nice paint the car hasn't been filled with plastibond. If new grill etc check for signs of a repaint. Even ask to put thru a test at B =Quik or Auto care if you think the underneath needs new ball joints etc. and always check for leaks and if the oil has been changed. Make sure the reg book shows both the numbers for chassis and engine and are correct. Paint jobs are cheap in Thailand as are body work. Make sure battery not too old but batteries too are cheap 1000 baht upwards and look at the clutch fluid etc heights. If low then check underneath the car for tell tale signs or leaks. If you have a mechanic friend to go over with you even better. Just remember cars are dear in Thailand and theres many to choose from so always ask for a discount. make sure the spare tyre is Ok and you have jack and wheel, brace. You can even buy a Thai car mag in any bookshop so then you get a feeling for the price you want to pay for. Have change of ownership form with you and power of attorney so your Thai friend can do the change over. Basically if biying used cars take to B Quik or Auto care as these guys go over every car with a report. Parts for popular cars are cheap. eg Isuzu pickups are the best unless you want a Vigo but 3 lutre Vigos are juicy on the gas. Parts for Isuzuis are really cheap and the gold top motor is the best motor if looking at pickups.
BUYING A CAR USING YOUR COMPANY:
For a foreigner you can buy a car on credit finance Ok but you must have a Thai to guarantee you. Its easy and terms are good. GE MONEY Finance company is an excellent company to deal with but you need to have copies of company papers under 3 months old; company stamp, work permit copies up to page 6; house reg; landlords ID and house reg just in case; and of course the thai guarantors details and then you can buy the car on a deposit that suites you. For instance a car costing 260,000 baht deposit 100,000 baht the payments are around 1094 baht a month and interest around 6,000 baht in total but again remember everything is tax deductible on your Company so keep receipts including gas receipts. You can pay off early and then sustain a credit rating. Not a silly move if you intend to make a yearly profit. Most popular are the Honda Jazz, Toyota Corollas, Vigo, etc. The dfownside with GE is that they sometimes take 2-3 months after you have paid off the vehicle to give your Tabian reg book over.
BUT BE CAREFUL USING FINANCE COMPANIES FOR IF THEY GO BUST THEY HOLD YOUR BOOK & COULD TAKE AGES IF AT ALL TO GET YOUR REG BOOK. WORST SENARIO THEY WILL TAKE YOUR CAR AS WELL.
BUYING A PICKUP:
When you buy a pickup check to see if you have a jack; wheel brace; handle and also that you have spare whel and the lever to drop your spare wheel if underneath. Garages are inclind to tighten the nuts so tight you will never get the wheels off when you get a puncture so call into a tyre service garage and get them to loosen your wheels nuts then hand tighten yourself. This was then easy to undo. Also chain your spare wheel underneath -- some years ago in Chiangmai some foreign friends lost their spare wheels overnight 1 week after they bought new pickups so be warned --spare wheels can be sold for good profit. Buy the common pickup eg Isuzu spacecab; Toyota Hilux, Vigo, Toyota tiger, Nissan and you won;t have a headache with parts.
Amazing how you can get away with loads this high but not items over the back of your pickup especially on Motorwyas like Highway 7 Pattaya to bangkok. Cover all loads even those bits extended over the back and don't forget the red flag.
WATCH OUT WHEN YOU HIRE A MOTORCYCLE in Pattaya as the old scams of renting you a bike then stealing it back off you. Only hire from a Hotel you are staying at or reputable hirage place and carry your own chain or lock if you have not gota good lockup. If stolen they will want the equivalent of what the bike is worth so be careful. This is an old scam thats back in vogue again and some Police are even involved as in May 2009 a Policeman from Lumpini Branch was arrested stealing bikes as his income was too low.Also many books or reg tabians have been copied so be careful buying bikes,
RIP OFF GARAGES NEAR CHONBURI:
Travelling in Thailand in your car can be a head ache if such things as the leadlights go. Make sure you stop only where you see many cars being fixed and not at garages who have no vehicles showing. The reason is maybe they will rip you. A garage on the left side travelling south from Chonburi tried it on us. Our pickup had one headlight not working properly. They took the lights & grill out and lucky I knew about cars and asked them to test the wires which they did. Wires OK. The boys ripped the fuses out and thats where the change happened to us we think --a dud put in as I noticed the boy was very rough. The garage said we needed a new lens on the Isuzu cost 1300 baht (not in stock) nor even bulbs even though they said they were a light-electrical shop as well as garage. We clicked as no cars being fixed??? Once we saw the lens rip we told them to put back on and we would take to Isuzu. THEY HESITATED NOT WANTING TO put back on. They said they could run a wire from one light to the other headlight cost 1000 baht. That was enough -- they put the lights back not even trying another bulb and wanted 150 baht for 1 fuse. This garage for your interest is opposite the Krung Thai Bank and Jet gas station called TATORN SERVICE garage - names all in Thai (tyres repairs etc) facing Pattaya travelling to Pattaya 3-4 kms out of Chonburi its on the left. See pics but for your interest do not stop here for Thais or farangs.
Take our advice and use Auto Care or B Quik garages as these are the best in Thailand.
[ More help on buying and car repairs in Thailand ]
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