Let’s talk about renting a scooter in Thailand. Not just about the rent, but other things related to that too.
Going on a holiday? You have two options – ride a scooter or take a taxi, or go on a tour. There are two categories of people, and both of them are fine. Not everyone for whatever reasons can or want to ride a scooter. However, if you think that your age does not allow you that, you are wrong. Many retired people in Thailand not only ride scooters but also powerful motorbikes too. I cannot imagine my life without a scooter, and I think I will buy one when I get back to Lithuania. In Krabi you can easily survive without a motorbike, it can offer you many travelling tours, taxi and public transport is well developed, but it might be more difficult in islands, if you aim for passive vacation, when you lazily lie under the palm tree, maybe take a boat for a day, but taxi is expensive, the only way to see something is by renting a scooter.
Few things that you need to know before renting a scooter in Thailand:
- There are two ways of rent – leaving your passport as a deposit, or leaving a copy of your passport and money deposit. If it is required to leave your passport, I recommend choosing only reliable verified renting spots. Not for a reason that your passport might not be given back to you when you return a scooter, but simply if anything happens, it might cost you more than a scooter repair price. Some renting spots are famous for that, they earn from the disasters of others. Leaving your passport as a deposit, especially during any unfortunate events, no one thinks about money and save their time.
- I of course do not wish for anything bad to happen. Unfortunately, it is quite a common situation. We are raised in a country where no rode us on a scooter, Thailand also has different driving culture, roads are unknown. Some islands have twisting and steep roads. Drive safely. I know the satisfaction to press and accelerator more and go with a wind, but I do not wish for anyone to get hurt. People get hurt here quite often though. Have a travel insurance. Be more concerned about how to not mistake brake with an accelerator 🙂
- Always wear a helmet. Do not follow the example from the locals. Wearing no helmet is the first thing the police might stop you for, and it is the main protection if something happens on the road.
- You probably will not get any documents for renting a scooter. In the best scenario, you will get a sticker that you paid taxes, however so called “green card’s” you will not receive, but do not worry. The insurance is usually not given too. I have heard of one incident when someone bought an insurance, but still had to pay for repairing a scooter.
5. When renting a scooter, take pictures of all sides of it. One scratch that is not even yours can suddenly become your fault when returning a scooter.
- Have a driver’s licence with you. Theoretically Lithuanian driving’s licence is not valid, however from the time you enter Thailand for the first time you can use international driving licence for some time. Practically, because of it, you do not need suddenly stop riding a scooter. It is a shame to admit, but we still drive with Lithuanian driving licence. Often the police looks at it lightheartedly. During our 1.5 year stay in Thailand, we did not have any incidents regarding our driving licence, yet I would like to get local driver’s licence.
- If you are planning a longer stay, you can get Thai driver’s licence, you will only need medical reference from your doctor (costs around 120 thb), your registration form in Thailand (is made at the migration department with your valid house or hotel contract with your name and signature, made for free), passport, copy of your visa. Although Thailand is amazing for that you do not know what to expect from it. If two of you want to have Thai driving licence, you have to sign a contract with both names on it, otherwise only one who’s name is on the contract can get a licence.
- If you plan to stay for longer than 5-6 months, I recommend buying a scooter. To rewrite the documents is not difficult – you will only need a form confirmed by a transport department and signed with both of your sigantures, you will go through a technical scooter check on the spot (that looks more like a number check on the body of the scooter). If you buy it from Thai, you will need a passport copy with a signature, if from a foreigner – also valid visa (only valid, you can only change the documents if the seller is still in the country), your passport copy and valid visa with signatures. Every year you will have to pay very small taxes, around 300-400 Thb.
- Rent prices: vary depending on the season or period, scooter model and location. More expensive in some islands than in the mainland. In Koh Phangan our friend will rent you a scooter with a discount for a short period of time 130-180 Thb, in Krabi our neighbor rents for 200 Thb, but also has more expensive options. Average price in most of the places reach around 180-250 Thb. Renting for a longer period of time, an average monthly price starts from 2000-3500 Thb.
Let’s come back to renting a scooter. If you need a scooter in Krabi, our neighbor has around 40 of them, and it is the only place in Krabi, where you do not need to leave your passport and the deposit is only 3000 Thb. He rents for shorter or longer periods. Write us and we will help you to rent a scooter.
If you need a scooter in Koh Phangan island, our old friend rents them near the harbor. It is very comfortable, you get to the island, get a scooter, save money on taxi, feel free and independent. How to find him: when you leave the harbor go straight until you see T shaped crossroad, on the other side of the road you will see the green bank, next to it there is a scooter rent spot. If you tell him that Tomas from Lithuania sent you here, you will instantly get a discount. If you write us few days prior your visit, you will be guaranteed that they will be waiting for you, and leave you the best possible option. During the Full Moon party” most of the scooters get rented, other times, if that is not during the Christmas period, he must still have some scooters left to rent.
Currently we live in the Krabi region. You can also follow our adventures on Instagram.