Thailand bike rental is a huge headache for most - don't let it be!

Thailand Bike Rental: 5 Tips from the Slumber Party Crew

In Guides, Thailand by Blake Bottrill1 Comment

Thailand Motorcycle Rental Made Simple

The idea of renting a motorbike in Thailand can be overwhelming and scary for some people. The process is actually rather simple! It’s important to pay attention to a few important details when renting a motorbike. Trust us when we say that Thailand bike rental will be easy as pie after reading our expert tips. With these 5 easy tips you’ll know exactly what to watch for and be a lot less stressed.

1. Do Not Give Up Your Passport

Despite what some other sites may tell you, never hand your passport over to a bike shop. Shop owners can hold your passport and extort you for money upon returning to the shop. Even if nothing happened to the bike! You should know: shop owners are not allowed to withhold your passport by law but in many areas of Thailand that won’t stop them. To save yourself a headache walk down the street to the next motorbike rental shop.

2. Take Pictures and Video

Before you even touch the bike or zoom off make sure to take pictures or video of the whole thing. If the owner tries to make you pay for a scratch that was already on the bike when you got it, you will have proof. Unless it is your fault in which case you may have to pay a small fee. Don’t let the bike owner say you have to pay thousands of baht. A couple of scratches should cost no more than a couple hundred baht.

3. Renting a Motorbike for a Week is Cheaper

Pay attention to how long you will be in an area. Sometimes renting a motorbike for seven days will be cheaper than renting for six days. Book the extra day, save the beer money and return your motorbike early. If you have the time to spare it is always better to travel slow! You will get to see some hidden gems and maybe even fall in love with a new coffee shop halfway across the world.

4. Insurance! Insurance! Insurance!

Whenever possible it is best to look for a shop that provides renters insurance. If anything ever happens you could wind up with an heavy repair bill for you and others. It’s better to pay 50-200 baht up front instead of 10,000 after the fact.

NOTE: Most popular travel insurance providers will not cover your medical expenses unless you have a motorbike license in your home country. Make sure you check your policy!

5. Don’t Rent the Big Motorbike

Most shop owners will try to rent you a larger bike for more money. You don’t need it. It will be more dangerous, less fuel efficient and more expensive. You are not trying to impress anyone with your fancy new motorbike. You are using it to travel from Point A to Point B as efficiently as possible.

Bangkok's streets are mean and busy, but easy to navigate after a trip to a bike rental shop.

Bonus: If the Police Stop You Don’t Panic

If you are driving a motorbike in Thailand you are probably doing it illegally. There is a long list of proper documentation. If the police do happen to pull you over for any reason they will ask you to pay a fine (500-1000 baht) and send you on your way. DO NOT ARGUE WITH POLICE. You will not win, pay the fine and move on. The most common reason for getting pulled over is not wearing your helmet. You should be wearing a helmet at all times anyway!

Don’t stress over renting a motorbike in Thailand

Your adventures will move forward! We are hopeful that this list helps you be a little more at ease with renting a motorbike. The best method of transportation in Thailand, renting a motorbike should be on your list.