Thailand license plate checks (vehicle checks)

July 6, 2020 - Reading time: 7 minutes

License plate checks (or vehicle checks) can be used to find the owners of vehicles in Thailand. This check reveals the vehicle owner’s address along with their full name. Additionally, if the vehicle is subject to a finance agreement then the finance company’s name would be uncovered by a license plate check, as well as details about the vehicle lease holder. We have found through experience that hire purchase agreements tend to be common for vehicles that are purchased in Thailand, especially for high end pickup trucks and SUVs, which are often sold for upwards of 1,000,000 THB.

Our license plate check service can be used to check cars, trucks and motorcycles in Thailand. Our fee for license plate checks is just 12,500 THB including tax. We offer a fast and cost-effective service. Please contact us if you require this check and we will be happy to assist you.

Checking the ownership of vehicles can be useful in a number of different cases. For example, we have previously used this check on behalf of foreign men that are supporting Thai girlfriends. In some cases, the vehicle being checked has not been owned by the Thai lady herself but by an unknown third party - typically a Thai man (potentially the woman’s boyfriend). Additional checks, such as a background check or household check can be used to uncover additional information about your Thai girlfriend, business partner or employee. Often is the case that we are asked to run Thailand background checks and include a vehicle check as part of the service. Other times the check can be used in a search for assets or where contact information (name/home address) for a vehicle owner is needed.

Foreign made vehicles in Thailand can hold considerable value due to Thailand’s taxation policy on vehicles that are imported into the country. Due to these import taxes, the price for high end foreign vehicles (both brand new and used) in Thailand is typically magnitudes more than you might expect to pay in a Western country. Cars made by BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Porsche, Land Rover, Bentley, Jaguar, among many others, would all fall into the category of non-Thai made vehicles, which are subject to high levels of tax.

Our vehicle check service can be used to check the ownership of both cars and motorcycles in Thailand. Additionally, checking to see whether a vehicle might be subject to outstanding finance (hire purchase) agreements can be a cost-effective check used to protect yourself and your capital when purchasing vehicles in Thailand. Thailand vehicle finance checks (included as part of our standard license plate check for 12,500 THB), are often performed by our clients when purchasing a high value asset. If you suspect that a scammer might be attempting to defraud you through the dishonest sale of a vehicle, then in many cases performing a license plate check might help you to realize that you are being duped, and avoid capital loss.

License plates in Thailand

Foreigners typically struggle to understand license plates in Thailand due to the sanskrit letters that are written in the Thai language. However, license plates are simple to understand once you know what to look for. Each license plate typically includes the province where the vehicle was registered at the bottom of the plate, above which we would typically see two letters followed by four numbers.

Red license plate in Thailand

This car (photographed above) is brand new, and therefore it displays a temporary red license plate, while it waits to be issued with a standard white background plate with black text. Restrictions will apply to the vehicle until it is issued with its regular, permanent license plate. Special customized license plates which are decorated by photo backgrounds are also available at an additional cost. Diplomatic vehicles, and vehicles that are used by the police or military typically display special license plates that are different in appearance than those which are used by members of the public.

Did you know that license plates which belong to pickup trucks have green lettering instead of black? Unless the pickup truck has 4 doors, in which case it would be classified as a ‘sedan’ and sport black lettering on its license plate instead.

License plates which have yellow or green coloured backgrounds are seen on licensed hire vehicles in Thailand. Tourists that are hiring taxis when arriving in Thailand can easily check to see whether they are riding in a registered taxi, or potentially a private vehicle, simply by checking the license plate.

If you are riding on a motorbike taxi in Thailand, then it’s easy to recognize when you are using the services of a properly licensed driver by taking a look at his yellow license plate. It’s easy for tourists (or anyone) to spot the difference between the bright yellow license plate of a motorbike taxi (or taxi car!), verses a regular motorbike’s license plate, which has white background and black text. While scams involving taxis are uncommon, checking to see if you are riding in a vehicle with a green or yellow license plate can help to make sure that you are doing business with a registered taxi. This simple tip is designed to help you avoid taxi scams in Thailand.

Guide to license plates in Thailand

In order for us to complete our Thailand license plate check for you we will need to receive a photo of the license plate belonging to the vehicle that you would like us to check. If you do not have any photos of the vehicle license plate then we can help by providing surveillance (at additional cost). Personal surveillance can be used to identify and photograph vehicles, as well as gather information about a person or address. Surveillance can be used to check a person’s lifestyle and whereabouts. We focus on the Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket & Chiang Mai areas, however we often travel to other areas of Thailand when we are required to do so… Please contact us for a quote.

Please feel free to contact one of our experienced team members if you would require our license plate check service or if you are interested in any of the other services that are provided by us. We will endeavour to respond with a free, no pressure quote.

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