Yes, you can drive in Koh Samui – and it’s the best way of exploring the island.
If you’re planning on driving in Koh Samui you can rent a car for around 1000 THB ($30) per day, and you can fill up a small tank for around 400 THB ($11).
To rent a car you will need your passport and a full drivers licence which will be photocopied and given back to you when you collect your vehicle. Renting a car is the safest way of getting around, however you should be aware that there are a lot of car hire ‘bargain’ outlets on the island which should be avoided as the vehicles sometimes come without insurance.
We offer some of the best car hire deals you will find and all prices include comprehensive insurance in the rental.
Scooters are also readily available across the island however visitors should be aware that Koh Samui has some of the highest motorbike accident rates in the country. If you are hiring a scooter, make sure you wear a safety helmet as otherwise you will be fined around 500 THB ($15) which must be paid immediately at a nearby police station. It is also important to know in advance that insurance does not exist for motorbikes therefore riders are liable for any accidents and they are typically considered to be the foreigner’s fault.
Other ways of getting around in Koh Samui include:
Samui boasts an excellent public transport network of songthaews which are the most popular way of getting around. You will find dozens of them circling the island on fixed routes all day, and they are just a few baht per ride. Songthaews are basically pick-up trucks with bench seats and enough room for about 10 travelers. There are no fixed stops but you can flag one down almost anywhere and the destination is clearly marked on the front of the truck.
The taxis in Koh Samui are government-owned and can be distinguished by their bright yellow colourings. They are metered and air-conditioned however many drivers are not keen to turn on their meters so prices can be very high. Taxis can be found in all towns and circling the ring road but before you jump in it is recommended to negotiate a price for the full journey.
Samui has plenty of off-road areas to explore, so if you are physically fit then hiring a bike is a great way of getting around. You can hire a good quality mountain bike from Samui Bicycle Tours.