What about to rent a car or a motorcycle in Thailand?


This blog is not to scared you about renting a motorbike or a car (what I do for years now) but to warn you about some practises and give you some tips in order to vaid any problems if things are going wrong. Driving a motorcycle is a great pleasure and as to be keep as a pleasure.


The first thing to know is the obligation to detain a driving license (international and national) which allow you to drive the vehicule in Thailand. It is the responsability of the hirer. In order to be sure (age, license, documents….) please take pieces of advice to your own country Royal Thai Ambassy or Consulate.

If you are involved in an accident, with some damage or personnal injuries to nay paty, be aware that if the Thai Police and the insurance company (travel or personnal insurance or the other part insurance) discover that your driving and permit license are not in order, you may go through big problems regarding the Law, the Police and all your covers will be invalidated.

And one very important point is:

Be aware that the insurance related to your credit card excluded, for the most part,

  • The simultaneous rental of more than one vehicle
  • The rental of commercial vehicles of more than 8m3 of cargo volume or of more than 3.5 tonnes of total unladen weight
  • All-terrain or 4X4 vehicles, two or three-wheel vehicles, motor homes and caravans
  • Damage caused in the passenger compartment of the vehicle
  • Free Vehicle Loans

So just take a complimentary insurance to be sure to be cover in case of damages.


They will never ask for your driving license considering it is your own responsability (either if you are drunk or under under any illegal substances).

Means that no question about your ability to drive a sport DUCATI, it is your own responsability.

Lost of the payment are done by cash money.

As for all type of vehicules, take the time to inspect the bike and agree any damage to the vehicule before to take the motorbike.

Taking pictures or a film (better pictures) of the scratches or any existing damages is the best solution.

Most of the contracts are in Thai langage and you sign (2 signatures) on the one sheet contract. No diagram to report scratches or damage.

Here are the things you should check for before to accept the motorbike and leave the premises:

    • Inspect the bike for any existing damage and take photos.

    • Sit on the bike to test your confort on and the suspension.

    • Check if the mirrors are not broken or not adapted to you (you will need them).

    • Check if the size fit to you. Ride it to test.

    • Then test the brakes (has to be well balanced and secure) and, very important, the steering fork (if the bike had an accident before).

    • Privilege the thicker tyres more secure and confortable.

    • Check if you are two that the engine gets enough power to carry on 2 persons very important for your security.

    • Wear the security equipments (helmets, protective footwear and cloth which offer you a protection). Helmets are mandatory in Thailand and give you the essential protection.

    • Privilege the automatic gear than the ones with clutch. Much more confortable.

    • On raining conditions, use gently your brakes (back first) and do not take any speed. Keep control!


      At last but not the least, if you don't ride a motorcycle or worts never ride, perhaps Thailand is not the best place to try or to learn.



      Both International and national driving license  may be asked by the rental company. Again it remains the hirer responsability to ensure compliance with the legal driving license requirements, not the rental company. Some international company get some more staright rules and will control you are able to rent the choosen vehicule.

      As for all type of vehicules, take the time to inspect the car and agree any damage to the vehicule you have to report on on the diagram on the rental contract before to take the car. Taking pictures or a film (better pictures) of the scratches or any existing damages.

      You can pay both in cash or credit cards. Prefer the credit card as long as there is a tracability of all payment and some credit card insurances offer some coverage when you use use it to pay.


      Some tips:

    • In any case, you have to carry with you, your driving license (both international and national).

    • You cannot drive intoxicated with alcool or some forbidden products (lots urin test are done after an accident but in the street or road aswell to be sure you are not under drugs.

    • Wear the security equipments (helmets, protective footwear and cloth which offer you a protection). Helmets are mandatory in Thailand and give you the essential protection.

    • It is not recommended to surrender your passport as deposit. Notice that a passport is not your property but your state one. Leaving a copy and a cash deposit (around 5000Tbh) is much secure for you. If the hire company insists, hire from someone else.

    • Drive defensively, obey all traffic rules and even if you get the green light or the priority, check before to go on.

    • Driving at night is not recommended if you can avoid it especially on motorbikes or when it is raining.

    • If you lose your helmet, go buy a new one and give it back with the bike, it will cost you less than charge by the renter.


    • First of all, check your own policy travel insurance (credit card one or one signed with an insurance company). You should read precisely the terms and conditions of your contract. Most of them are not covering: camping cars, trucks more than3.5T, 4X4, 2 or 3 wheels vehicle.

      So you have to take an extra insurance to hire the vehicules out of the basic contract.

    • Duly note that the other party does not get any insurances, you will have to pay for your hired vehicule.

    • You can ask all questions about insurances, not sure you will have a proper answer. Some companies, shops porpose, more and more, with an extra cost, an insurance. But you will have to pay before leaving Thailand for the damages and ask for a refund when back home.

    • Ask what the procedure is if you need to claim insurance before you rent a bike.

    • You can buy an insurance for an 20 to 50 Tbh per day extra cost. Remember that it is mostly for the vehicule and if you get some corporeal damages, you have to call your travel insurance (again read the terms and conditions to know which model you are able to hire and cover for.


    • Obey to all instructions and stay calm.

    • If you have obeying to the trafic rules (with helmets for bikes), you are not drunk or under influence of illegal substances, you get your driving licence (international and national), you will have no problem and they will let you go.

    • Notice that the Police can checkor ask what you have in your pockets and will check in the vehicules or motorbikes.


      In Thailand, you drive on the left and the priority to the right is the rule even if, bigger the vehicule is, more priority it gets….


      Have fun!!!