Thailand Country Guide

Getting Around


By Road - Motorbike

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Motorbikes can be rented without difficulty in many locations. Rates start around 125 baht per day for a 100-125cc semi-automatic (foot operated gear-change and automatic clutch) step-through models to 150 baht per day for fully automatic scooters. Larger capacity models can also easily be found, although the rates reflect the risks - up to around 2500 baht per day for the very latest model high capacity sport bikes. In all cases, lower prices will apply if paying upfront for more than a week or so and in some cases long-distance travel may be prohibited. Motorbike rentals do not usually include insurance and both motorcycling accidents and motorbike thefts are common.

Parked motorbikes in Bangkok by Jeff Leigh
Many places will rent to you without requiring a licence but legally speaking you must have a valid Thai license or International Driver's Permit. Often a deposit will be required and sometimes a passport photocopy or even the passport itself (don't do this - bargain to leave some baht instead). Helmets are normally included but are usually ultra-basic models with very flimsy chin-strap fasteners. If you are intending to travel by motorcycle and have a good quality helmet at home, then bring it with you.

Insurance is usually not included (or even available). Therefore, ensure in advance that the insurance you leave home with is going to cover your ride on a motorbike. Alternatively, arrange cover with an insurance broker locally in Thailand. If you rent a motorbike without insurance and it's damaged or stolen, the bottom line is that you will be required to pay in full the cost of repairing or replacing it.

Motorbikes in Chiang Mai by Michaels Forbes

Motorcyclists (including passengers) are required to wear crash helmets and to keep their headlights switched on at all times. Enforcement varies widely, but in the tourist areas spot checks for helmets and/or licences are common. While the fines are light, the inconvenience can be considerable as the offender's vehicle is impounded until the fine is paid - the queue and wait at the police station can be lengthy.

Country Guide
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