One of the most convenient and fun ways to get around in Thailand is by scooter. From my own experience, scooter rentals in Thailand are really nice. BUT you need to PAY ATTENTION when renting a scooter! Read all the things do need to know when you renting a scooter in Thailand.
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Is Driving a Scooter a Good Idea?
On the internet, you’ll find that it’s not recommended to drive a scooter in Thailand because of the large number of accidents that happen every day. Locals will also people tell you this. But according to the locals, the main reason for these accidents is inexperience and reckless driving. And this is also what I’ve seen firsthand, and mainly in the more popular areas. The main roads in Thailand are well paved, but there are steep and curvy parts. As long as you go to one of the decent rentals, have a little experience with driving a scooter, have an international drivers’ license (valid in Thailand), and drive in a mindful manner renting a scooter is a great idea!
Buy an International Drivers’ Licence
Most drivers’ licenses are only valid in a limited amount of countries. Ordering an international drivers’ license is very easy and relatively cheap. In the Netherlands, I went to the ANWB (store for travel materials) and it took them 10 minutes, 25 euros, and a passport photo to make my international drivers’ license. This license is valid for one year, so you can use it on multiple trips if you want to.
Also Read ➳ What else to pack in the BackPack Essential Packing List
Go With The Flow
In Thailand, there are different rules in traffic (just like in Bali). Or how I experienced it, there is only one real rule and that is to drive on the left-hand side. The many cars and scooters mingle together and because everyone gives each other space to move, the traffic flows. Often on the highways, the lane on the farthest left is unofficially assigned to scooters, which is nice because then you have enough space to drive comfortably in between the rest of the (much faster going) traffic. If you are always used to strict traffic rules, you might have to get used to this a little. But as long as you “Go with the flow” everything will be fine, and you’ll have a great time driving through the diverse landscapes.
Also Read ➳ the Ultimate 3-Week Thailand Travel Itinerary
Prevent Being Scammed By Scooter Rentals
When you rent a motorbike be careful where you rent it. Because many motorbike rentals in Thailand try to scam travelers. When you bring the motorbike back, the people from the motorbike rental will say you caused scratches or damage to x, y z parts of the motorbike. And they want you to pay a lot of money for the claimed damages.
This is not a nice experience and can have really unpleasant consequences, as you might have left your passport at the scooter rentals in Thailand to get the bike in the first place. To prevent being scammed you can do the following things:
- Look on TripAdvisor for motorbike rentals with many good reviews. If a motorbike rental has a lot of good reviews, it is most likely this is a trustworthy organization.
- Take loads of photos and a video of your entire motorbike before you drive it. These will be proof whether you are or are not responsible for the claimed damages. So, make sure you take your time to take photos and videos.
- Look for a rental with scratch insurance (as the name says, this is the only insurance for the scratches you make and no other damages) or full insurance. You pay a little more when you rent your bike, but this little extra money will save you a lot of stress.
Pro Tip! Check out the Mae Hong Son Loop In The North Of Thailand
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