Can an person with an EU passport drive with an own truck, taken from Europe, from India to Thailand?

Please note that the requirement is to drive an own, highly special vehicle from Europe to Thailand, so getting another vehicle misses the whole point.

Highly preferably without having to rely on an obligatory government-appointed "guide" anywhere along the journey (if that is at all possible).

If its possible, which route?

I see the problem of Myanmar being in the way. Is that a harder legal challenge then driving though China?

3 Answers 3


You need special permits to cross from India or China to Myanmar; as the border is not open for free travel.

The crossing point in India is at Moreh (image from NY Times):

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It is not possible to cross into Myanmar from Bangladesh (there are no borders).

You need to obtain a visa in advance to cross into Myanmar. You can get this at the Myanmar embassy in Delhi or the consulate in Kolkata.

You will also need a MTT permit, which is only issued by Myanmar travel/tourism companies and is required at the border. Contact Seven Diamonds Travel for the details and requirements.

Keep in mind you need additional permits for your specific vehicle. You will at minimum need to arrange temporary import permits for the countries you will be transiting through; and then a permanent import permit for Thailand (assuming you plan on selling the vehicle there).

  • I do no plan on selling the vehicle in Thailand (or anywhere at all), but I do plan on travelling with it around all possible South-East Asian countries, and leaving it for my own use somewhere in South-East Asia permanently for my own use during my trips to South-East Asia (I'll be back in Europe most of the year). It doesn't have to be Thailand, I'd leave it in the country where its legally easiest and cheapest to do.
    – lowtoxin
    Jul 17, 2016 at 10:13
  • 3
    You can only import a car temporarily without having to pay the import taxes and fees; and it is for a limited time period. If you plan on leaving the car there, it will have to be registered locally (have local license plates) and for that you will have to go through the procedure of importing it permanently - a task that requires paying the relevant import/excise taxes and duties - and depending on where you are this can run into 200% of the value. In addition; long term import is usually restricted to permanent residents and companies. Please check with the relevant authorities. Jul 17, 2016 at 10:29
  • 3
    If you just leave the car there in a garage or long term storage, it is subject to seizure and forfeiture as it is (in effect) a smuggled good since it was only entitled for temporary import and use, and then to be exported out of the country. If you plan on leaving it permanently, make sure you register it in the country. Jul 17, 2016 at 10:31
  • Myanmar-Bangladesh, there are no borders...eh? Do you mean no open border crossings? Nov 6, 2019 at 9:48

Currently it seems to be impossible to enter Thailand by camping car (RV) - which your truck seems to be if it is not considered transporting goods or seeing imported as special machinery.

Overland (vehicle) Travel into Thailand seems to be impossible currently (Fall 2016). To me it seems the people at seabridge put enormous resources into this and negotiationg directly with the Thai government but fail so far.

  • Can you tell me more about this? What exactly do the restrictions consider? Is there a limit to the vehicle GVWR? There is no clear cut boundary between a passenger vehicle and a camper van, there can be vehicles which are anything in between. It would be very useful to know what do the Thai authorities restrict. I understand that you can enter with a foreign passenger car? BTW: last year I saw someone on Koh Phangan selling a German-registered Mercedes-Benz camping truck so they clearly got in the country somehow.
    – lowtoxin
    Nov 20, 2016 at 13:17
  • See for example allrad-lkw-gemeinschaft.de/phpBB3/… - the truck you saw got there to my understanding years ago
    – max
    Nov 20, 2016 at 13:24

I personally took 3 cars so far from the U.K. to Thailand. There are ways! However, you can not leave the vehicle in Thailand longer than max. 3 month in a role. I had to cross borders every 30 days, as you will only get a 30 days permit for the vehicle. I mostly drove to Cambodia and back over a weekend. BUT attention: The car will be linked to your passport!!! This means you are responsible for the import-duties, in case the car vanishes somehow. Import-fees are depending on the engine size (ccm) and can be up to 400% of the list-price of the car. - So, you better make sure you take the vehicle out of the country again. Also crossing land borders are possible, if you have the right papers.

By the way: I am planning to drive from Germany to Thailand with my overland 4x4 2019 or 2020. There is the new India-Thailand highway through Myanmar ready. Unfortunately I was not allowed in from Thailand coming. But I heard entering from India is under restrictions already possible. Hope that Myanmar will allow free passage until next year. -Fingers crossed!!

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