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  • Thailand | Motorbike and Scooter Rentals

    Renting a Motorbike Guide in Thailand

    With travel agencies and motorbike rental shops frequenting almost every road, Thailand certainly makes it easy to find a motorbike to rent or even buy. But, renting comes with rules to follow and certain things to keep in mind. From safety to the law, knowing the risks of riding, is always recommended. Here, we have a guide to help you when renting a motorbike in the Kingdom.

    Before you rent a motorbike, it is very important to inspect the actual motorbike before driving off. Like many other countries, Thailand isn’t immune to featuring all kinds of scams that are geared toward tourists. To circumvent this issue, make sure you take videos and photos of every part of the motorbike. That way, you can prove the motorbike’s condition before you even start driving. Unless you want to be hit with an accusation of denting or causing damage to the motorbike while it was under your care, this step is absolutely necessary. Many scammers are known to cover up scratches and dents with paint, only for it to come off when it gets wet, leaving it to appear that the damage was done by you. If you are really worried about a scam, make sure you take a wet cloth and wipe the motorbike to see if paint comes off, revealing dents or scratches.

    Check the Gas Level
    A good rule of thumb is to always check the gas level before you drive off. As most shops require you to return the motorbike with the same gas level as when you first rented it, you will need to confirm before driving off how much gas is actually in the bike. Most motorbike shops will only leave you with enough gas to make it to a petrol station to fill it up on your dime. And, if you are wondering what type of gas to use, check the gas tank that is usually located under the seat.

    When you rent anything in Thailand, there should be a signed, rental contract in your hand. If you don’t have a rental contract, beware. However, there are some places that are just fine to rent a bike from, even if there isn’t a standard contract. These places are usually off the beaten path and they may have other methods of how to track where you are. These places may just want your phone number, email, or passport copy. And, speaking of passport copies, you should never be asked to give your passport to a motorbike or other rental company. It is illegal. If a company wants to hold your passport, politely decline and try another place. Giving away your passport as a tourist is very risky and if there is an emergency, you will need it in your hand. Giving a copy of your passport is usually okay in lieu of a contract, but again, make sure you inspect the motorbike thoroughly before you leave.

    Motorbike Accidents
    Sadly enough, many people have motorbike accidents with the reasons varying. Just taking a simple look around while driving, will show you just how common it is to see travellers with bandages on many parts of their bodies. From not being aware of wet roads, sand, and using the brakes correctly, many tourists get what they call a “Farang Tattoo.” And, it is definitely not pretty. If you do have an accident, it is best to be honest with the rental company as they will appreciate your honesty and may only ask for a fraction of what it could be to repair the damages.

    Type of Motorbike
    Depending on where you are wanting to travel, you may be more picky with regards to how much power the motorbike offers. In the islands, or in mountains, you will definitely want a motorbike that has at least a 125cc engine. Or, if you are planning on having 2 people ride the bike, you will want more power. A standard, automatic scooter is usually just fine, with most engines coming in at around 115cc or 125cc. Renting a dirt bike can also be fun when there is less traffic, however, keep in mind that it is very dangerous. In most Western countries, you need a proper license to operate such a bike as they are known to cause many serious accidents. However, in Thailand, you may never be asked to show a license. Although this lets you get away sometimes with operating a bike without needing a license, think about what it could mean if you get into a wreck. Most insurance companies require you to have a license before they would cover you in the event of an accident.

    The Cost of Renting
    Rental prices for motorbikes are pretty cheap all over Thailand. From 150 baht to 300 baht per day, or US$5 to $10 a day, is an average price to pay. The type of bike will also drive the prices up or down. For example, a average Joe Honda Click will go for around 200 baht per day, but a Yamaha NMax may go for up to 500 baht a day. The place in which you rent the motorbike also matters with regard to prices. Hotels may charge more, but they are also usually more reliable. Small rental shops that have a large stock of average motorbikes will be cheaper. Also, don’t be afraid to bargain a price, especially if you want to rent it long-term.

    Being insured is definitely something not to overlook. Always make sure the motorbike company will cover you in the event of an accident. Or, you can purchase insurance through your health care provider or it may be covered with your travel insurance. Check to see if any passengers are covered by your insurance, and also check to see if your insurance will not only cover you and your bike, but that of a 3rd party. And, be aware of the things that may nullify your policy. Such things as not having a proper license, drinking alcohol or using drugs while driving, or not wearing a helmet may cut you off when you need coverage the most.

    As stated earlier, many places will try to collect your passport as a deposit. However, as it is technically illegal to do so, you may wish to negotiate by paying a monetary deposit or leaving something else in place of your passport.

    Wear a Helmet
    This may seem a like a no-brainer, but you will be shocked by the number of tourists and locals who drive without a helmet. But, it is against the law to not wear one and if you are stopped, you will most likely be fined. You may also think that your driving skills are superb, but the incognito, soft sands don’t care about your skills.

    Wear appropriate Clothes
    Yes Thailand is a hot and humid country and you will undoubtedly drive around in flip flops and shorts, however, just beware of your own choices. If you want to protect your skin, do what the Thais do: wear a hoodie and long pants! But it isn’t just about preventing a darker tan, as such clothing will help protect your skin if you have an accident.

    Things to bring when renting a Motorbike
    Cash is the best thing to bring when renting a motorbike as many shops won’t even accept a debit or credit card. Your passport and driver’s license are also good documents to bring, but don’t let them take it. Instead, they can make a copy of them and give you back the originals. Another bit of info that you may be requested to give, is the address of where you are staying. All of these things are expected to be asked for, yet it could be that none of them are asked for, depending on the place in which you visit. Remember, the roads may look like they are perfectly fine to drive on, but hidden patches of sand or oil could throw you off in a split second. Wearing a helmet, refraining from drinking, and driving at night are all good rules to follow if you want to truly enjoy your holiday without seeing the inside of a hospital room.

  • #2
    Motorbikes | Scooter Rental Companies
    City Company Website
    Chiang Mai
    Chiang Mai
    Hua Hin
    Hua Hin
    Koh Samui
    Koh Samui
    Koh Samui
    Pattaya Swiss Bikes >> Go
    Pattaya Mikes Motorbike Rental & Trade
    Address: Pattaya 3rd Rd, Pattaya City
    Office Hours: Monday - Saturday 9:00 - 17:00
    Phone: 82-9453019
    >> Go


    • #3
      Tips for riding a Motorbike in Thailand
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      PLEASE NOTE: We’re not recommending that you should ride a motorbike or motorcycle in Thailand but, if you do, these tips will help… Getting around on a motorbike or motorcycle in Thailand is easy enough and, especially in busy traffic, will get you to your destination faster whilst the cars and trucks are plodding along in the traffic. There will be plenty of people who say the first tip about driving a motorbike in Thailand is “DON’T”. But whilst many expats swear never to step into a 110cc step-thru scooter, they are also missing out on an entire slice of life in south east asia. But we do acknowledge that riding a motorbike in Thailand can also be very dangerous. Still, if you stick to the common sense basics – ride within the speed limits, wear a bike helmet, obey the traffic rules and don’t drink and drive – it remains a perfectly reliable way to get around. There will be weekly horror stories of foreigners having bike accidents or getting stuck in hospitals with no insurance. It happens but, statistically, it is rare. And, if you heed all the following advice, you will be mostly protected.

      Wear appropriate clothes
      Two words. Gravel. Rash. Whilst you’ll see tourists riding around on their rented motorbikes in their swimming shorts and singlet, you’re going to be much safer with a few clothes on. Falling off a motorbike without anything covering your knees or elbows is going to be painful enough – having at least some fabric between you and the road is going to reduce the painful grazes a bit. Long pants and a long shirt are a good start. They also help keep the sun off you. Always wear shoes for the same reason. And a motorbike helmet as well – it’s the law and it will save your life if you fall off and hit the road with your head. The flimsy plastic ‘lid’ type helmets cost around 200 baht and will get you through the checkpoints but spending a bit more on a better helmet will provide additional protection. You’ll see the locals riding around with their jackets on the wrong way – they say it keep their clothes clean from the road muck and fumes.

      Keep your motorbike in good condition
      As hardy and reliable as modern Thai motorbikes are, they will run better and for longer if you keep up the service schedule and change the oil occasionally – say every 3 months. You will wonder how they can manufacture these 110-125cc step-thrus for little more than USD$1,200 brand new, but they do and the ones floating around the roads of Thailand are almost all made in the land of smiles. Apart from changing the engine oil keep an eye on the tyre pressure, Thai roads will wear down your tyre tread quickly. Your brakes will also need checking although, like the rest of the part of these bikes, the brakes seem to last forever. To help with maintaining your motorcycles, small motorbike and motorcycle repair places are sprinkled along every main road in towns across the country. They are as ubiquitous as convenience stores. And they’re uniforms cheap, quick and will have many parts on the shelf. If not they’ll call someone and the part will magically appear within 5 minutes. Whenever you’re getting your oil changed get the service person to check the brakes, tyres and make sure nuts and bolts are all tight – they shake loose sometimes. And then there’s the lights at the front and back. Indicators may not be used much by the locals but YOU should. Make sure they’re all working. Otherwise there is little to go wrong on these mighty machines. Even the new electric ones are super reliable and cheap to run.

      Make sure you have a proper license
      Your car license in your home country isn’t legal in Thailand to ride a motorbike or motorcycle. Your International Drivers License for cars issued in your home country isn’t going to cut it either. Legally, the only document that will satisfy the Thai legal system, officially, is a Thai motorcycle license. It doesn’t matter much until a situation arises where you’re in an accident and the law comes crashing down on you. If you live in Thailand you simply must get a proper motorbike drivers license of you want to ride a motorbike here. For tourists, the local bike hire shops will gladly rent you a bike, usually by simply showing your passport and giving them a deposit. Some will even tell you that their ‘insurance’ will cover you in the event of an accident – that’s just not going to happen. YOU are responsible for your own health if you get onto a motorbike in Thailand. Check YOUR situation and YOUR health and travel insurance. And whilst we’re talking about a Thai Motorbike License, we’re talking about the ones you get from the Land Transport Office, not Khao San road for 500 THB
      • Here is a YouTube Video about getting a motorbike license in Bangkok, the same applies at the Land Transport Offices in most Thai cities

      Check your travel and health insurance
      Every week The Thaiger hears from tourists stuck in a Thai hospital with mounting hospital bills and an insurance company that won’t pay out because they didn’t have a proper drivers license. Or no insurance at all. And even if you have travel or health insurance, check the fine print because some insurance contracts preclude driving on motorbikes in Thailand. In 10 years driving on Thai roads I’ve had one fall. It winded me badly and I got abrasions on my ankle and knee. But people ran to my assistance and helped me up. I didn’t need to go to hospital but I was grateful, lying in the middle of the road gasping for breath, that I knew I had good health insurance and a proper license.(The fine print on your insurance, different country’s licences and the policeman that shows up at your accident will all play a part on how your accident will play out. The ONLY sure way you can prove your legal ability to drive on a Thai road is with a Thai motorbike license)

      Travel and explore everything Thailand has to offer without worry!
      • We compare rates from different insurers and provide expert advice on coverage.
      • We can help you secure a policy that fits your needs and budget.
      • The whole process is made simple, so your domestic travel insurance is just a few clicks away.
      Driving is different in Thailand
      Many of the rules are the same as countries that also drive on the left-hand side of the road. But you need to drive like a Thai and be aware of the different rhythm. It is different. Apart from the lunatics that drive too fast, drink-drive or ghost ride (driving against the flow of traffic on the wrong side of the road), there’s just a different attitude to driving. We say it’s a bit like swimming with a school of fish – if you just go-with-the-flow and keep in the stream of traffic you’ll do well. The western attitude of driving defensively will go against the grain of Thai traffic movement where ‘personal driving space’ isn’t really honoured and people will cut in front of you as just a part of daily driving habits. It’s not wrong, it’s different and you’re best to learn the nuances of Thai traffic flow before you throw yourself into the middle of a busy Thai road. Surprisingly, you will rarely hear a motorbike horn. Unlike nearby Vietnam, Thais use their horns (and all bikes have them) rarely.

      Green lights mean GO. Red lights also mean GO sometimes.
      You’ll see what we mean. Don’t even think about trying it. It will either get you fined or dead. Suffice to say, a few ‘enthusiastic’ Thai motorcyclists won’t wait until the green light. Even the red light won’t stop some of them from going straight through the intersection. Many infections will have a countdown before the green light and by the time it gets below 5 seconds, the front row of bikes will already be getting on with their journey.

      If you’re new to driving a motorbike or new to driving a motorbike in Thailand don’t throw yourself into a busy stretch of road immediately. Try something a little calmer and slower to get a feel of the subtle differences in Thai traffic movement. You’re sharing the road with trucks, cars, buses and passenger vans. In fact, find an empty patch of road to get comfortable with the behaviour of your motorbike first. You’re meant to stay on the left hand side and you’d be well advised to do so, despite the behaviour of some Thai motorbike drivers that want to mix it with the larger cars and trucks. Get some confidence with your motorbike and way it handles, and moving in and around traffic on a quiet road before you tackle the main roads.

      Beware pot holes
      The roads around Thailand have really improved in the past decade but you’ll still find pot holes in places there wasn’t one the day before. If you want a really good reason for giving plenty of distance between you and the car in front, it’s to see the pot hole before you end up IN it. Whilst car tyres might glide over these gaping holes in the road, your motorbike is likely to come to an abrupt halt, with you continuing over the front of the handlebars – something to do with Newton’s first law of motion. At a minimum you will learn why they call the suspension SHOCK absorbers. Let your mind be at peace by knowing that you are covered for any personal accident. The Thaiger will help you find the best Personal Accident deal that is most suitable for your needs.

      If you’re not sure, don’t
      Never ridden a motorbike? Didn’t ride a motorbike in your own country? Well, there’s already two good reasons not to try it for your first time in Thailand on a busy road. It can be a bit of a challenge for even experienced motorbike drivers, well a different experience anyway. There’s plenty of other ways to get around Thailand, including motorbike taxi drivers (‘win’ drivers) who will expertly drive you to where you want to go for a very low price. Especially in larger population areas they’re an indispensable part of the Thai traffic eco-system. There are now also plenty of ride-hailing services for bikes and cars, including Grab and Bolt (there are others).

      Police will often arbitrate on the spot at an accident
      If you are in the wrong and damaged someone or someone else’s bike you’re probably going to have to pay up. Now, there’s the ‘official’ way to sort things out in these case and the ‘unofficial’. The policemen will get to the scene soon enough and, often decide, on the spot, who was at fault. They’ll often negotiate how much should be paid as well. The urban myth is that Thai police always side with the the locals – that’s not the case although, if you are indeed in the wrong then you’re IN THE WRONG! If you are concerned that you’re being rolled by the locals in sorting out a simple motorbike accident then call the Tourist Police or your consulate immediately. DON’T agree to pay any money to ANYONE until you’ve spoken to at least the Tourist Police. Getting into an argument with the local police will never ever be a good idea. Demanding that you speak to the police chief, your lawyer, etc, will also usually end up in the situation ending up badly. Be patient and don’t lose your cool. Just politely go through the motions and, in almost all cases, it will cost you a lot less than dragging the situation out and ending up in a Thai court. You are in a foreign country, you’re a guest and they do things differently – end of sentence.

      Despite everything else, getting around Thailand on a motorbike or motorcycle will give you a unique perspective. It can be safe, cheap, reliable and convenient. After reading all this you’re in a much better situation to tackle your motorcycle experience in Thailand.


      • #4
        How to avoid being another one on motorbike road death statistic in Thailand

        While many have experience riding motorbikes, the driving situation in Thailand can be wildly different. As the kingdom’s roads are ranked as some of the most dangerous in the world, it helps to have your wits about you when driving. As a visitor to this beautiful country, keep in mind that you are, indeed, an outsider. This can be felt in many different circumstances in Thailand, but it isn’t inclusive to this country. One thing of which to be aware is that of most accidents that involve a Thai person will end in the ex-pat, tourist, or ‘farang’ having to pay regardless if it is their fault.

        Another thing to remember is that most motorbike accident insurance companies will not cover an accident unless the driver has a proper Thai driving license and is wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. But, hopefully, an accident won’t be something to worry about. Here, we have a few rules to help you understand traffic rules and the general way in which to drive around Thailand.
        1. Always use your back brakes or left-side handlebar brakes first. This will help you avoid a myriad of accidents that can occur. The back brake allows you to stop slowly, while the front brake is to help you stop abruptly. However, without using the back brake first, your sudden need to stop can end in a front flip. And, that may not be what you are looking for in a motorbike driving experience.
        2. Know that everything to the sides and in front of you is your responsibility. This is something that many Westerners or those from abroad fail to understand, resulting in accidents that are equally confusing. So, in typical European or American countries, if someone cuts you off or stops abruptly in front of you, that person is responsible for you banging into their rear. But, in Thailand, the exact opposite holds true.
        3. Beware of sand and water on the roads. This may seem like an obvious statement, however, sand can be hard to see when driving. In colder countries where it snows, sand can be equated to black ice. It is sneaky and extremely slippery. When the Thai New Year of Songkran rolls about, it is not advised to drive a motorbike through the wet, slippery streets and some people will also add to your road trip misery by throwing water directly into your face. Many accidents have occurred during the Songkran holiday, making the government call such holidays the “Seven Dangerous Days.”
        4. Always wear a helmet. Surprisingly, many tourists and ex-pats (not to mention Thai nationals) don’t feel the need to wear a helmet. The laughable Covid-19 trend of wearing a mask with no helmet is no joke. Another piece of advice: those Lotus helmets are the bare minimum when it comes to protection, with many referring to them as traffic ticket dodgers. It is advisable to spend a little bit of money on a brain bucket as your head, indeed, is the most important part of your body.
        5. Keep a cool head. This goes for every situation in Thailand. If an accident happens and you can communicate, it is best to not show extreme emotions. As Thai culture views showing emotions as something only for rare occasions, flipping your lid at a Thai person over an accident won’t have a good outcome.
        As these are just a few of the tips that can help you when driving a motorbike in Thailand, always remember the most common safety rules: drive slow, don’t get arrogant when driving on sandy or watery roads, and wear a helmet. Needless to say, unless you want to be a part of Thailand’s dangerous road death statistics, practise smart and safe driving at all times!