If you enjoy riding a motorcycle at home, it’s likely you’ll want to ride one on vacation as well. Thailand is one of the best countries in the world to do this, as most locals also use motorcycles to get around. However, there are some steps that you’ll need to take in order to stay safe on the road and to protect yourself during the hiring process. Keep reading to find out more.
Where to Hire a Motorcycle From
Motorcycle hire shops can be found throughout the country, and you’ll have lots of options available to you. However, it’s important to take your time when choosing somewhere to hire from as the price and quality of the bikes will vary from one location to another. If possible, consider hiring a bike from the resort you are staying at or from a western-run motorbike hire company, as these tend to have higher safety standards.
Whatever you do, don’t hire a bike purely based on the price, and also don’t hire a bike from anyone you are unable to converse with in English. At the very least, you need to be able to rest assured that your bike is fully insured and that you know what to do should you break down.
Understand the Insurance and Security Deposit
When you hire a motorcycle, the agency you hire it from will require you to either leave your passport with them or put down a security deposit. It is now illegal not to carry your passport with you in Thailand, so make sure you do the latter. This will cost you around 3,000-5000 baht depending on the bike you hire, and it should be refunded in full when you return the bike, unless there’s any damages.
All good hire agencies will also provide you with insurance. This will usually be between 20 and 200 baht per day and is something that you definitely want to invest in. Some travel insurance policies may also cover you for riding a bike in Thailand, but if you are in an accident, don’t be surprised if the hire agency asks you to pay for the damages up front.
Driving around Thailand on a motorcycle can be a lot of fun, but it can also be pretty dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you want to avoid being one of the 25% of tourists who end up in bike accidents each year, be as fully prepared as possible beforehand.
On the islands, in particular, lots of tourists neglect to wear helmets, purely because the locals do the same. This is a huge mistake to make. Instead of hiring a helmet with your bike, though, we highly recommend purchasing one from motochanic.com and bringing it along with you on your trip. This way you can ensure it’s safe.
Finally, be prepared to drive more defensively when in Thailand. You will be driving on the left side of the road, which may be a huge difference to you, and the Thai population isn’t exactly known for its adherence to road safety.
If you keep the above advice in mind, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a fantastic vacation that you will remember forever.