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Everything you Need to Know Before Renting a Motorbike in Thailand

What to Bring when Renting a Motorbike in Thailand

  • Passport
  • Photocopy of your passport
  • Cash (very rarely will bike shops accept credit cards)
  • Drivers licence (surprisingly, this isn’t a requirement but we like to carry it with us anyways)
  • Contact information

Rent a Motorbike in Thailand that has Insurance

If you rent from larger motorbike shops, some of them offer an insurance upon rental. We highly recommend spending a little bit extra for this as it would save you a bit of money. This insurance often covers damages, loss, or even accidents. Taking it to another level, ask how the insurance claim works and ask to see a draft of the policy. We personally don’t have any experience or have met anyone that was able to claim through the bike insurance so your best bet is to be sure that you have your own personal travel insurance. We’ve seen accidents happen on the road and they can get bad. Better be safe than sorry!

Don’t Leave Your Passport

I know that more often than not, you would be half tempted to rent the first bike that you see. Believe it or not, it actually pays to walk around and see which store has the best options. Don’t go for the cheapest one, but instead, look for shops that have well maintained bikes. The more reputable stores will allow you to rent a bike without having to leave your passport. I usually carry a photocopy of my passport and leave this instead along with a deposit. We’ve heard of horror stories of shops refusing to return the customers passports over damages. However, if you are renting bigger bikes, that is an exemption. The shops normally hold your passport as a guarantee since you are taking out an expensive piece of equipment.

Take a Photo of Your Motorbike

As you do your initial motorbike inspection, take photos of the bike. Take photos of any existing scratches and dings so that the shops can’t charge you for these “damages” later on. This is something that we had to learn the hard way when we were charged over $200 for bike damage due to a small scratch. And because we were still bike newbies-we also left our original passport which is why in these cases, refer back to tip number 1!

ALWAYS wear a Motorbike Helmet

Motorbikes are pretty dangerous anyways, what more if you pair it up with bad roads, bad driving and an utter disregard for basic traffic regulations. Wearing a helmet is something that Tom insists on-even if we are only driving a couple of meters down the road. Go a step further and request for a full cover helmet over the cute scooter like helmets that won’t really do much in face of any accidents. During one of our motorbike trips up Northern Thailand, we rented a big bike and I got outfitted with a full jacket for protection along with a massive full helmet. Pushing aside the fact that I looked like Robocop, safety always goes first.

Cover Up

As much of an inconvenience it is, resist the urge to wear just a tank top, shorts and flip flops. We’ve seen so many people with nasty bike burns from bad crashes. Again, this is a lesson I learned the hard way as I now have a permanent scar on my right knee from the time we crashed while trying to reach a hidden beach in Koh Phangan. Long light trousers or leggings are best whenever taking long trips on a bike!

Haggle Smartly

Most shops are used to tourists. Even more so, they are used to tourists haggling the rental price down. If you rent the bike longer, chances are, you can get the motorbike at a cheaper price as well. Always haggle with a smile, never be rude, and haggle reasonably. You also have to consider that this is how they make a living. It is best that you get a rough idea on how much the average cost of a bike is and then go from there.

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