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One of the plastic red plates currently being used on Phuket

Vehicles Without Plates Keep Growing

Monday, October 8, 2012
PHUKET: About 5000 cars and other vehicles are now being driven around Phuket without licence number plates, looking like getaway vehicles from a bank robbery.

Phuket Land Transport Office Director Terayoot Prasertphol said today that the lack of number plates was an unfortunate problem.

''We have changed the maker of the number plates because of a quality issue,'' he told Phuketwan today.

''But there is a shortage and we cannot stop people from buying cars.''

Most of the vehicles without plates are brand new.

Khun Terayoot said they had asked showrooms to provide red plates where possible, but there was a shortage of red plates as well. Some were made of plastic.

''In many cases, new car buyers have to make do with a piece of paper that says they are authorised to be on the roads on Phuket, but they may have to wait a few weeks for a number plate.''

There's no predicted date yet for the time when the problem will be resolved.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


There are hell of a lot of old cars without plates also. Easy to tell if they have tax disc then they are not new.
seems like a green light for anybody to remove their number plates if they feel the need to.

Posted by richie on October 8, 2012 12:35


In Patong, Nanai Road near the corner of Soi 2 in the evening you can find a black Toyota Altis without number plates, very dark tinted windows, and a Taxi-sign on the roof. The driver is sitting a few meters away at a motorbike taxi queue.

Oh yes, no driver name or the "complain number sticker" on the sides of the car...

Posted by Fritz Pinguin on October 8, 2012 16:09


5000 new vehicles? We really need that like a hole in the head. I was in the belief that vehicles with red Phuket number plates could not be driven at night, nor could they be driven off the island. If these laws exist or were even enforced, then surely owners would make more effort to register their cars properly ASAP.

Posted by chill on October 8, 2012 17:06


Why does Thailand require these special plates? What purpose do they serve?

Posted by Buster on October 8, 2012 17:22


@chill, you are correct about the red plates, should not be driven at night, or out of Phuket province, I also believe, if vehicle is bought in Bangkok (red plates from Bangkok dealer), it CAN be driven to any province. Wierd rules, but then it is Thailand.

Posted by dbate_me on October 8, 2012 18:46


Red plates are restricted to daylight use and only in the province of issuance. Furthermore they are only valid for 6 months or 5000km, whichever comes first.

However since they imply a new vehicle, many drive around with them for years to give the impression they've just bought a new car.

Khi moo.

Posted by Andrew on October 8, 2012 20:12


Back where I am from, you get a plate the same day you purchase and register your vehicle...Problem here ? No shortage of labor back in the US because PRISONERS make the plates. No skilled prisoners here...? I just purchased a new Moto and am now waiting 6 weeks for a plate...In Chiang Rai. Inexcusable at best.

Posted by Ted Davis on October 9, 2012 05:41


@Ted from Chiang Rai: In Phuket you have to wait about 3 months for a number plate for a motorbike, so keep cool. :-)

Posted by Fritz Pinguin on October 9, 2012 10:27


It's a rare event here to see a Porsche, Ferrari or similar car that does not have a red plate.

Posted by Robert on October 9, 2012 14:13

Sunday January 24, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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