If you have a driving license with you, then renting a car in Krabi is better than using local public transport in and around Ao Nang and beyond.
The downside of public transport
A public bus might save you money but, unlike a rental car, it won’t save you time or convenience. It can take far more than an hour to get to Krabi Town from Ao Nang, for example, whereas driving a car will take you about 30 minutes. If you are taking tuktuks or taxis, you won’t save money at all: the rates for these methods of transport are fixed at considerably higher rates than their equivalent in Bangkok, where taxis are metered.
The convenience of renting a car
Renting a car gives you many options that public transport does not. For example, you can explore smaller roads and out-of-the-way places in your own time. A rental car gives you the convenience of going where you like and when you like on your vacation. Take for example, a trip to Tiger Cave Temple. If you went on a tour, it could cost you around THB700 per person for a half-day trip, depending on whether you were picked up in Krabi Town or Aonang, or paying a further THB100 surcharge if you were in Klong Muang or Tubkaek. For three people, the tour to Tiger Cave Temple would be around THB2100, which is way more than the cost of renting a car, even taking into account the additional cost of the petrol. Furthermore, a tour bus might leave early in the morning and take a while picking up other tourists on the way, so that you found you only had limited time when you actually got to your destination, before turning around and having to repeat the process. What kind of holiday is that?
In a rental car, you can leave your hotel or guesthouse in your own time after breakfast, you can carry all the things you might need for the day, as well as keep them safely in the car when you are sightseeing outside, and you can stop, take photographs and stretch your legs when you want. Most of all, you can spend as long as you like at your destination without having to worry about a deadline for returning. If you had a taxi or tuktuk, you would also worry about the extra money the driver would charge if you took your time and didn’t return when he wanted you to. Although our rules stipulate that you are only allowed to drive in Krabi province, as long as you tell us and we agree, then you can also drive to Phang Nga and Phuket. You may want to pick up or drop off a friend at Phuket Airport.
So, all in all, renting a car for your vacation is a good idea.