May 24 2016

Hiring a Motorcycle/Scooter in Thailand

Hiring a Motorcycle/Scooter in Thailand

If you have ever been to Thailand you would have noticed that everyone rides a small Motorcycle/scooter. This is because it is much cheaper to purchase and much better on fuel then a larger vehicle. But like any other country riding a motorbike in Thailand is dangerous and being a tourist in that country can mean it’s more dangerous to you. But they are a fun and cheap alternative to Taxi’s and Tuk Tuk’s.

Traffic in Thailand is very different to the western world. There are road rules and laws but they are not followed or enforced as well as they would be in the western world. I like to call the traffic in Thailand, “Organised Chaos”. This is because if you see the traffic it will appear to be chaos, but as the locals do this every day, they have become accustom to the way and actually manage it very well. Now you throw a tourist with many years motorcycle riding experience and you are the one causing chaos to the traffic.

Before you go on a ride in Thailand make sure you have watched the traffic and learnt how the Thai people will drive/ride. Some unofficial rules are; that the biggest vehicle always gets right-away, Red lights don’t always mean stop and the tourist is always wrong. It is without a doubt (no matter who is really at fault) but if you have an accident in Thailand with a Thai person. You are straightaway at fault. Not only that but it will be your responsibility to have the “victims” vehicle repaired, the victims medical costs, as well as compensation to the victim and your own vehicle repairs and medical costs. Also in Thailand you can turn left at a red light (when safe) legally, and you will also see a lot of set of Traffic Lights will have countdown timers.

Being a tourist in Thailand it is highly recommended you purchase Travel Insurance prior to travelling to Thailand. It is no different if you are hiring a Motorcycle. But be careful with the fine print of the insurance policy. Some things that you may or may not find are that to make an insurance claim for an accident on a motorcycle is that you must be licence to use that vehicle in your home country and you hold an International Drivers permit. In Australia these are easy to get. Just go into your local RACV, NRMA, Roadside service shop and request an international drivers permit. You will be required to have 1 passport photo and the fee to pay for the permit. If you were to be pulled up by police on your motorcycle, they will request your driver’s licence (not the Permits), the permits is specifically for insurance claiming purposes.


Now, you are confident you can ride in Thailand traffic conditions, you have your Travel Insurance booked and have an International Drivers Permit on you. Now all you need in to Hire a Motorcycle and get riding. To do this is very easy and you have so many places to choose from. The standard Motorcycle hired would be the Honda Click (110cc) or similar which you will be expected to pay 200 – 300B per day. You could also go the Honda PCX (150cc) or similar which is good if carrying 2 people or for the larger person. This would set you back 300-400B per day and only have limited availability. You can also hire large 600cc, 1000CC or bigger motorcycles but they are not very practical in Thailand’s touristy areas and can be very costly to hire.

When you have chosen the motorcycle you wish to hire you will be required to handover your passport. **A lot of people feel reluctant to do this, but it will be safe** The reason this is required is so that you cannot steal or damage the motorbike and leave the country. Often the passports are locked away in a safe. A condition report will also be done on the motorcycle before you take it. Be sure to take photos of any serious damage so that it cannot be blamed on your later. You will also be given a helmet, which should be worn at all times when riding the motorcycle. Police will pull you over and fine you if you do not follow their Laws. The Motorcycle you hire may or may not have fuel in it. You can refuel on the side of the street in many locations for about 30-35B for a bottle, otherwise you can ride to a petrol station and fill up that way. You will not have to return hired motorcycle with a full tank unless specified at the time of hire.Honda Click Thailand

A few tips I have for hiring/riding a motorcycle in Thailand are that you start slow. Hire for a shop close to your hotel for convenience sake, Shop around for prices, always wear the helmet provided, and if very worried about your passport hire a motorcycle from your hotel/resort (if possible). Although most of the scooter/motorcycles are automatic I recommend if you have never ridden a motorcycle, Thailand is not the best place to learn. Also if you were to have a flat tyre or small damage has occurred to the motorcycle you can find cheap roadside mechanics that will repair them for cheaper the hire company will change you.

Good luck and enjoy Thailand

1 ping

  1. The Phuket Ride - My Thailand Blog

    […] Every time I go to Phuket I make sure I hire scooter so that I can get around easily and quickly. For a Honda Click (125cc) you will pay 200 – 300B per day and they do not use much fuel. The larger the motorcycle the more your daily rate will be. You will also be provided with a helmet, which should be worn at all time when on the Motorcycle. How to hire a Motorcycle in Thailand […]

Now have your say...