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Hiring a car for one or a number of days or your entire stay in Khao Lak can enhance your holiday experience by giving you greater flexibility and accessibility over where, when and what you want to see or visit. Whilst there are many tours operating from Khao Lak, driving yourself along the coastline, into the countryside and hinterland gives you a glimpse of Southern Thailand in general and Khao Lak in particular which otherwise you would miss. Little waterfalls, secluded beaches, villages where a "white" face is still a rarity for some locals, who nevertheless greet you with their customary friendliness.
There are Budget, Hertz and the local PD Car Rental offices in Khao Lak as well as rentals from Tour Offices. Please ensure though that any car rental includes FIRST CLASS INSURANCE, an absolute neccessity in case of an accident, whether your fault or not. You may have to pay an excess (the first 5,000 or 10,000 baht of any claim typically) but this can be waved on payment of an additional fee. Alternatively, a growing number of visitors to Khao Lak, rent a car from one of the agencies located at or near Phuket Airport, picking up their vehicle when they arrive and returning it when they depart. It is only just over an hour to Khao Lak from the airport and it is a very straightforward drive. You will find a comprehensive list of car hire operators at or near Phuket Airport through this link
Grab one of the free local maps through Khao Lak Lovers website but bear in mind that in some respects the website is out of date.
You can view maps of the various areas in Khao Lak through this TripAdvisor Khao Lak Forum topic
The Khao Lak Lovers website contains driving directions to places such as Koh Kho K hao, an Island some 20km north of Khao Lak accessed by ferry, the adjacent Tsunami Memorial & beach and other drives. Look under "What to see and do" at the top of their page - LINK
Here's how to stay strictly within the law if operating any vehicle (car or motorcycle) on Thai public roads - LINK.