Something many tourists look forward to when visiting Thailand is the chance to see the country from a motorcycle. It’s a great way to get a different perspective of the town. Plus, it’s an extremely affordable activity, oftentimes going as low as 150 Thai baht (approximately $5) a day!
There are several types of motorbikes to rent in Thailand, so whether you want to get a cruiser, a simple scooter, or even a strong, roaring motorbike, this country’s got it all. Read on to learn everything you need to know about renting motorbikes in Thailand!
What should I bring?
Before you stop by a motorbike rental shop in Thailand, pack your passport, your contact information, and some cash. If you don’t have a Thai mobile number, at least bring your address or the location of your hotel. You shouldn’t need any more than 500 baht per day (including some for spare), but if you’re planning on some stops or doing some sightseeing, be sure to bring more. Finally, bring some motorbike experience.
The majority of motorbike rental shops don’t ask for proof of a driver’s license, and many simply assume that you know how to drive. All you’ve got to do is get out of the soi without falling over, and you’re free. Do remember though - if you aren’t all that experienced, you’re putting yourself and everyone else on the road at risk.
What should I be expecting from the average motorbike rental shop?
If you are renting a bike for a whole day, it’s usually assumed that the rental period is 24 hours. Longer periods of a week or a month are often cheaper, so keep that in mind if you’re taking a longer trip. Rental shops provide basic motorbike helmets for you. However, they are usually pretty simple. You may want to bring your own if you want more protection.
The part of motorbike renting that takes more time is the process of selecting your bike. After you’ve deliberated, however, it’s just a simple process of filling out a basic form with your name, passport number, and current address. The shop assistant will also take down the date that you will be returning the bike and the amount that you paid. After that, you’ll get your keys, your helmet, and good wishes as you go on your merry way.
What should I be expecting from exceptional motorbike rental shops?
Exceptional motorbike shops will provide everything that the average shop will, but they’ll also probably give you the options of motorbike insurance and health insurance. This will ensure that you don’t incur massive costs if you do get injured or damage the bike. Great shops will also probably be willing to take a photocopy of your ID card or passport rather than asking to keep the actual document. They may even be willing to accept a cash deposit.
What should I do when I get the bike?
After you’ve gotten the go-ahead to ride off into the sunset (or the burning hot late morning sun), remember to take photos of the bike, especially of any scratches or damage that is already on it. Also ask for a copy of the form and the address of the company so that you can find it easily when it comes time to return it. It would also be a good idea to ask the shop assistant where the nearest gas station is so you can fill up on gasohol 91 or 95. If you aren’t sure which type of gas to use, inquire as to that too.
Should I pay for insurance?
It would be a great idea to get some motorcycle insurance so you can enjoy peace of mind. When you are searching for a motorbike company to rent from, look for one that provides damage and accident insurance in case you scratch the bike against a corner or lose control and get hurt. We highly discourage driving without insurance.
Do I have to leave my passport with the rental shop?
This really varies depending on the shop. Some ask to keep your passport as leverage, while others do not. It seems that shops in tourist areas tend to request for passports more, while smaller shops are more willing to accept photocopies or cash.
Keep in mind that when you are traveling abroad, you should keep your passport on you at all times. It is not legal for a shop to withhold your passport. Ask if they’ll accept a photocopy or a cash deposit instead, and if they don’t, check out another shop.
How do I stay safe as I drive?
Honestly, Thailand is a pretty dangerous country to drive in. There are a huge amount of motorcycle injuries daily. Keep yourself safe by first and foremost wearing your helmet. That way if you are in a small collision, the most you’ll suffer is scrapes and bruises. That being said, you can further protect yourself by wearing proper gear. It can be tempting to wear as little as possible under the hot sun, but do remember that you are making yourself vulnerable to road rash. Wear more protective clothing! Finally, avoid driving if you’ve had a drink or five. Opt for a taxi or even a tuk tuk - it isn’t worth wobbling your way home.
That’s all there is to it! Go explore Thailand, and enjoy your incredible motorbike riding experience!