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A Guide to Finding an Auto Repair Shop in Thailand

A Guide to Finding an Auto Repair Shop in Thailand

We all want our motor vehicles to be in tip-top condition especially if we use them for work or to get our family around. This is especially true if you’re living in Thailand, where hailing a motorcycle taxi just won’t cut it for a family of five or more!

Finding the right auto repair shop to do the job can be challenging and confusing, especially if it’s your first time. Lucky for you, there are certain tips you can follow to make sure you find the right auto repair shop based on your needs.

How to Find an Auto Repair Shop in Thailand

To find the right auto repair shop in Thailand that will reliably fix your motor vehicle, you first need to know what kind of job you need to do and choose a shop that’s an expert on your vehicle.

You can then ask locals for any recommended auto shops before checking online for these shops’ reliability and customer service track record.

Once you’ve done these, ask for the shops’ estimates before trying their services out. Finally, you can ask if they offer a good warranty for their work to make sure you’re covered in case the problem recurs or if anything goes awry.

If that sounds complicated for you, no worries as we’ve listed down the step-by-step process below on how you can find the best auto repair shop in Thailand to handle your motor vehicle concern!

Step 1: Determine if it’s maintenance or a repair

The first step in finding the right auto repair shop is for you to determine if your vehicle is due for maintenance or if it needs to be repaired. While a lot of us aren’t motor vehicle experts, it’s actually quite simple to identify if yours only needs maintenance.


This is where your vehicle’s manual will come in handy as it will list down what you need to maintain to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. Maintenance of your vehicle will also make sure that you can enjoy using it longer down the line.

Your vehicle’s maintenance may include some change oil, replacement brake pads, or some engine tune-up. These are usually scheduled by your auto manufacturer so it’s important that you keep your owner’s manual or vehicle service records.


Repairs, on the other hand, are an altogether different beast. It can either be some malfunction in your auto or an issue caused by wear and tear such as overheating, weak brakes, and reduced suspension comfort, among others.

Once you’ve determined if it’s maintenance or repair your motor vehicle needs, the first thing you have to do is check your owner’s manual and vehicle warranty certificate. 

Dealer Warranties

Most manufacturers in Thailand offer a 3-year warranty for new vehicles and if your auto falls within that period, then lucky you! You can still bring your car to the dealership for some maintenance and repairs still covered by that warranty.

However, if your auto is already beyond the warranty period, it’s time for you to consider your options – will you take it back to the dealership or will you choose to bring it to stand-alone auto repair shops?

Keep in mind that dealerships will charge higher rates for labour costs and materials compared to stand-alone auto repair shops. If budget is an issue, we recommend looking for the right auto repair shop for your needs which brings us to step 2.

Voluntary Vehicle Insurance

Aside from dealer warranties, you also need to check if the repairs or maintenance needed can be covered by your vehicle insurance. In Thailand, there are a couple of scenarios that may be covered by your policy.

For example, If you have type 1 insurance and your auto gets damaged by any natural disaster, then the insurance company will cover the cost of repair. On the other hand, type 2 insurance can only cover your auto’s damages if it was caused by floods only.

The important thing here is that you are aware of what kind of insurance you have so that you can take advantage of the kind of protection your policy offers.

Local tip:

  • If it’s just some minor maintenance, stand-alone auto repair shops should be able to handle them with ease. 

However, for major repairs, we suggest looking at what the dealerships can offer as they have the expertise to address the issues of their own vehicle lineup.

Step 2: Pick auto-shops with expertise on your vehicle

As mentioned in the previous section, you can have your vehicle maintained or repaired by the dealership but it’s going to cost you more. However, the best thing about these dealerships is that they are obviously the ultimate experts when it comes to their autos.

Based on Vehicle Type

It’s a different story, though, for auto repair shops here in Thailand. Before you choose which ones you want to bring your vehicle in for repairs or maintenance, you have to check what these repair shops specialise in.

Motor vehicles come in different makes and models so it’s important to look for auto shops that have expertise on the type of auto you have. You may drive either a sedan, an SUV, or a pickup and it’s best if you bring your vehicle to an expert.

Based on Vehicle Brand

You also need to consider if these auto shops only work on specific car brands. Brands like Toyotas, Hondas, and Thai Rung Union (a local auto company), will have certain specifications that can only be handled by certified professionals for that specific brand

Aside from knowing being experts on specific car brands, bringing your automobile to a specialised repair shop will help make repairs faster owing to the availability of parts. Put simply, a shop specialising in Hondas will have better access to Honda parts.

In addition, repairs done by specialised shops will be much more cost-effective. They have the expertise to get the repairs and maintenance done much more quickly allowing you to get back to the driver’s seat of your auto much faster.

Local tip:

  • Make sure to bring your car to a repair shop specialising in the make and model of your vehicle. While a general shop can handle most routine checks, a more specialised shop can help you fix your specific vehicle model’s problems more efficiently, preventing unwanted repairs and revisits.

Step 3: Ask locals for recommendations

Once in Thailand, we highly recommend brushing up on your Thai speaking skills and doing as the locals do. You can initiate a conversation with any of the locals and ask for any recommendations on which auto repair shops to consider.

Chat with locals

These locals know which of these shops provide quality service and can point you to some without breaking the bank. If you do ask them, you’d be surprised at how many hidden gems they’ll point out, especially those small auto shops that aren’t too visible.

As a side note, you not only get great information on auto repair shops here but you also get to know more about the culture and the people. This will make your search for the ideal repair shop much more interesting and life-enriching!

Ask family and friends in Thailand

It’s also a good idea to talk to your friends or relatives in Thailand if they have any recommendations on the best auto repair shops in your area. 

They’ve probably had some experience when it comes to auto repairs and will surely point you towards (or at least give you information) on which auto repair shops to check out.

Local tip:

  • Talking with locals can be quite intimidating. If you’re not that good yet at speaking Thai, you can always whip out your phone and use Google Translate to better communicate with the locals in your area.

Step 4: Read online reviews

Aside from family, friends, and locals, you can also get a good idea as to which shops provide the best service and value for money. Fortunately, a simple Google search can bring up tons of online reviews to check on the reputation of these shops.

If you already know if it’s a repair or maintenance issue, and you’ve already come up with a list of shops to choose from based on your motor vehicle’s make and model and the recommendations you received, it’s time to do some online sleuth work!

When scanning online reviews, these are some of the things to look for when choosing an auto repair shop:


First, look for auto repair shops in your area. This will ensure that you can conveniently bring your vehicle in for the job you need it to do.


Next, look at the services offered by these shops. While you may have gotten information from other people about which shops offer certain services, it’s best to double-check if they really are experts on certain brands or types of autos.


Third, limit your searches to those with good ratings. You wouldn’t want to go for shops that have poor customer ratings such as a 1 out of 5 or 4 out of 10 as this implies most customers are unhappy or unsatisfied with their services.


Lastly, check out the comments and customer reviews of these shops online especially those with media uploaded to them. This usually means genuine reviews from real customers who have had their autos serviced by the shop. 

We also recommend that you read the responses of the repair shop to any negative (or even positive) reviews about them. You’ll get a lot of insight into how they handle their customers through this simple online interaction.

Local tip:

  • Customer reviews are a great way to check the reliability of these auto shops online. Those that come with images or videos are especially helpful if you want to have a glimpse of the shop’s equipment and work area.

Step 5: Request for estimates

Once you’ve checked on the online ratings and reviews of the shops you want to try out, then it’s time to ask for some repair or maintenance estimates. 

You need to do this to make sure you’ll be spending within your budget and if the shops offer cost-effective services. Walking into some of these shops to ask staff about estimates is the ideal scenario as you get to see the operations of the shop itself.

However, you can also call these shops or even email them to ask for some price quotations depending on what you want fixed and maintained. 

During this stage, you can also ask for other details such as the turn-around time of services and availability of and pricing on parts.

Once you’ve asked the auto repair shops for their estimates, you can also easily compare which of them offers the most bang for your buck. It will also save you the time and energy of visiting a shop only to find out that their prices are too steep!

Local tip:

  • If you can, ask for a detailed estimate of how much the maintenance or repair will cost. Most of these auto shops can give you a breakdown of how much the parts and the labour will cost.

Step 6: Try the shops out

Once you know which shops offer the services you need at a price point you can afford, you can try some minor services of these shops first. We recommend that you visit these shops and bring your car in for routine services.

These routine services can include a simple car analyser check, some engine tune-up, or just some oil change. This will serve as a good indicator if these shops actually provide good service to customers and if they offer good value for these services.

Once you’ve determined which shops to try out, below are some of the things you need to check to ensure that the auto shop you want to bring your vehicle to can offer you the high-quality service you and your auto deserve:

Shop Appearance

One of the first things you need to check is if the shop is organised and well-maintained. This is a strong indication that the shop is able to professionally provide the services you need in an environment that won’t damage your vehicle further.

Equipment and Tools

Next, you have to check if their equipment and tools are functional, updated, and well-maintained as well. You don’t want to bring your vehicle into a shop that doesn’t have the latest equipment to handle your auto’s mechanical and electrical issues.


You also need to check if the parts they are using during your time of visit are genuine or at least high-quality auto parts. This is crucial as your vehicle will need good quality replacement parts if you want the repair to be successful and last you long-term.


The staff assisting you should also be professional, approachable, and most of all, trustworthy. You can observe how the staff responds to your questions about your vehicle and his or her overall demeanour while working with you and on your auto.


Lastly, you can also check the pricing on the shop itself either through their brochures or the price tables posted around the repair shop. This way, you can easily compare actual prices versus the estimates they gave you.

You’ll also get a better idea of how much other services cost if and when you need to have them done on your motor vehicle.

Local tip:

  • Most routine maintenance work won’t last an entire day so you can probably stay in the shop’s waiting area for a couple of hours. 

Strike up a conversation with the shop’s staff or mechanic from time to time to get updates on how the repair is going. Not only do you get to know the shop’s personnel better but you also get to brush up on your Thai speaking skills.

Step 7: Ask about warranties 

Finally, you need to ask these auto repair shops about the warranties they provide for both their labour and the parts they use on your vehicle. It’s crucial that you ask what’s covered under their warranty and the duration of the cover.

For example, the warranty for labour or service may be different from the warranty on parts and it’s best that you understand which ones are still up for warranty in case you need to bring your auto back to the shop.

The important thing here is that you include asking for warranties when choosing which auto repair shop to choose. This will help you make better decisions when having your motor vehicle repaired in Thailand.

Local tip:

  • Remember the part where we said you can ask for a detailed estimate? You can also use that same estimate to ask how long each replaced or repaired part will cost!
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