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  1. #1
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    so happy! Why does Thailand impose such high taxes on imported cars?

    I recently learnt about how it is that Thailand imposes a very high tax on imported cars and trucks that in many cases may triple the price of a new car, compared to buying the car in the country it comes from.

    There are a number of reasons I can imagine for a country like Thailand imposing such taxes. They may want to discourage people from driving. They may want to encourage companies to manufacture cars in Thailand instead of importing them. They may just be looking to tax something that only the well-off can afford.

    As an American with a very cynical attitude toward government and those in power, it offends me that a nominally representative government would impose policy to keep such an empowering commodity out of reach of "average" people in a country like Thailand.

    However, I understand that people from Thailand and other parts of the world have completely different attitudes about the role of government with respect to its citizenry.

    Therefore, I would like to ask with an open mind, what does the Thai government want to accomplish with this tax policy, and why?

  2. #2
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    Re: Why does Thailand impose such high taxes on imported cars?



    So, what do you want to tell us????
    My interesting blog about Thailand at Thailand Blog ---> click here

  3. #3
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    Re: Why does Thailand impose such high taxes on imported cars?

    I'm no expert but don't most governments apply Value Added Tax to luxury items?

    I don't know if this is true but someone once told me that the government in Thailand imposed 100% tax on imports of many things to protect the economy.
    It borders China! Without Tax the country would be flooded by cheap imports.

    I was told this by an expat living in Phuket. Might not be true but it makes sense.

  4. #4
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    Re: Why does Thailand impose such high taxes on imported cars?

    Spot the mistake!

    It's borders are near China.

  5. #5
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    Re: Why does Thailand impose such high taxes on imported cars?

    For imported (new) cars, there are 4 taxes that apply: Import Duty (80%), Excise tax, Interior tax (which is 10% of the calculated excise tax value) and VAT (7%). Although it seems that all imported cars are excessively taxed, the Thai government has the aim of collecting sufficient revenue from the wealthy whilst helping out the working classes, supporting the domestic economy and promoting environmentally-friendly solutions to transportation.
    If you look at the excise tax structure, the policy enables the most commonly used vehicles by Thais such as motorbikes and working pickups (single and extended cab pickups under 3250cc) to carry negligible tax of 3% (effectively 3.1%) because luxury imported cars carry the most tax; Pickups over 3250cc or greater, E20 compatible and all other cars over 3000cc or >= 220HP are taxed 50% (effectively 111.1%).
    However, cars powered by NGV (CNG of which Thailand has domestic reserves) are taxed 20% (25.6%) and hybrid, fuel cell and electric vehicles (with no HP limits) are taxed just 10% (11.2%). Therefore, while the Cayenne S Hybrid (380hp 3.0-litre supercharged V6 and electric motor) costs only 6.65 million baht in Thailand, if Thais really want the extra 20hp of the Cayenne S (400hp 4.8-litre V8 engine) then they pay through the nose for it (11 million). Of course paying $214,000 for an S Hybrid that retails for $70,000 in the US is still quite mad but this example explains how far from being designed to oppress the masses, the Thai import tax structure on cars is actually forces the wealth to subsidise everyone else and is somewhat environmentally-minded.

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  7. #6
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    Re: Why does Thailand impose such high taxes on imported cars?

    It's protectionism.

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    Re: Why does Thailand impose such high taxes on imported cars?

    Thai is more ahead development then their neighbors,how can the poor(country) effort to buy these with the high taxes? Emagine now US lifted the tax-free of import to the USA and Europe of products from Thailand for the poor country now have the chance.

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    Re: Why does Thailand impose such high taxes on imported cars?

    I think partly it's a luxury tax. But in the main, it's to protect the domestic market.

    Successive governments have done a lot to encourage the development of vehicle manufacturing in Thailand. A lot of cars are manufactured here both for the domestic market and export. A lot of people are employed in the industry and the wages are comparatively good. Car prices are quite high in Thailand but still something that millions of ordinary folk can purchase. If domestic prices were cheaper, the number of cars on the road would probably skyrocket.

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    Re: Why does Thailand impose such high taxes on imported cars?

    The post by "PakDuke" pretty much spelled it out for everyone. Seeing as that post contained FACTS, the rest of the posts on here are just opinion(s), which are like a**holes insofar as everyone has one.

    As you can see, the way it's structured is to charge the highest tax on the people with the most money should they chose to purchase a "face gaining" car. And believe me that's ALL those types of vehicles are designed to do, “gain face” for the owner to show that they're rich. Now personally I can't see anything wrong with taxing the heck out of the rich if they wanna "act rich". ..

    Until recently Thais studying abroad could legally "bring back" a car when they returned to Thailand without paying the astronomically high import taxes. It came to light that Thais abroad were 'taking bids' on who would pay them the most for a particular car and then they’d bring it back to be sold for a high profit. The government just closed or is in the process of closing this 'work around' on luxury vehicles.

    I noticed the O/P made snide remarks about the way the US is governed (typical). However, other than anecdotally, it doesn't mean a thing when talking about Thailand as the systems of governance between the two countries are as different as "pineapples and guavas"

    The myopic remark that the Thai government is trying to keep such an "empowering commodity" out of reach of the "average" people in this country is totally laughable!

    I wonder if they O/P has ever driven thru a "one buffalo village in Nakhon Nowhere"? Nearly every shack has a truck and a coupla motorbikes parked in front. Thais are far from being impinged upon by their government when it comes to vehicle availability. However they also don't prefer American brands either when it comes to cars or pick-up trucks. Thais would buy a Toyota, Honda or even a Mitsubishi over a Ford or Chevy any day of the week.

    Perhaps it's just a rant from the O/P because they couldn't import their flashy; F450 4x4 Crew Cab Lariat King Ranch 6.7L V8. I dunno really. ..

    Still "PakDuke" answered it quite succinctly.

  11. #10
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    Re: Why does Thailand impose such high taxes on imported cars?

    I would just say the O/P is a Troll

    And my reaction to his Post is Post #2.
    My interesting blog about Thailand at Thailand Blog ---> click here

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