Motorbikes are a very common thing in Vietnam and it is no longer a mysterious for expats after coming to Vietnam. Motorbikes is one of the most convenient transportation for travelling Vietnam, it is even cheaper than taking a taxi when you rent a bike to get to your destination, help you saving up lots of money on commuting each month.
Moreover, if you want to take a short trip around Ho Chi Minh city or other provinces, it won’t be difficult anymore with a motorbike with you. Here is an in-depth guide about motorcycle in Vietnam
1. Motorcycle type
There are 2 types of motorbikes:
– Automatic motorbike: Easy to use, even for amateur drivers; good for riding around the city or on smooth, flat road.
– Manual motorbike: More complicated to use, require a higher level of driving skill and traffic awareness; good for riding on mountain path and long road trips.
And the engines for both are divided into 2 types:
– Under 50cc: Everyone from 16 years old can drive, don’t need a driving license.
– Above 50cc: Anyone from 18 years old and having a driving license can drive.
2. Rent a motorcycle
In South East Asia for general and in Vietnam for particular, a crowded road with full of motorbikes is familiar with its citizen. When you first visiting Vietnam, you can be overwhelmed with the scenery, but you will soon use to it and enjoy taking a motorbike on the street.
However, in motorbikes rental section, scams or accessory shuffles are really common in Vietnam, even when you hire in recommended stores. Therefore, you must check your motorbike carefully before renting it. If some parts aren’t functioning, tell the stores immediately in order to change another bike or negotiate the price down.
In my opinion, it is the best to rent an automatic motorbike above 50cc, which is very convenient to use.
It is different between stores at the rental price, period and deposit:
– Hotels: If you rent a motorbike from your hotels for a few days, they will require your identity card for deposit instead of money.
– Normal rental shop: If you rent a motorbike from a normal rental shop, you need to hand over your passport to the owner or deposit a large amount of money (may up to ¼ price of the motorcycle) until you return the motorbike. Leaving your passport at the stores is not an ideal thing to do.
– Big rental shop: If you rent a motorbike from a big rental shop, you can replace your passport with other forms of valid identification or even a copy of your passport.
After decided which store to rent and which one to rent, ask the shop owner for a trial run to make sure the motorcycle status is fine. Remember to check the breaks, lights, indicators, horn, wheels, mirrors if they are in good condition or not.
The next concern for you is about the gas, whether the bikes is filled or not. But most owner empty the gas tank when you hire so ask them where the nearest gas station is. A full gas tank usually cost about 50,000VND to 70,000VND (around $3).
The price for motorbikes rental is usually about 100,000VND/ day for a manual motorbike, about 200,000VND/ day for an automatic motorbike and even higher for higher-grade motorbikes.
When something wrong happens to your motorbike, call the owners first before bringing it to the mechanic. If they can’t fix your motorbike, they will suggest you to the trusted mechanics to repair it.
3. Buy a motorbike
If you are staying in Vietnam for a long time and looking for a good motorbike to purchase, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki are the most well-known brands with many good motorbikes at affordable price. You can search for the nearest location to see all types of motorcycle they offer can choose your favorite.
On one hand, buy a motorbike in an authorized store may cost more but in return, you will get a whole new motorbike with usually a 2-year guarantee. Make sure to go to that store on time dated in the schedules in order to get your bike checked for free.
On the other hand, buy a second-hand motorbike on the street is cheaper but you have to face many problems such as scams, broken motorcycle, etc. If you choose this way, make sure that the owner transfers the blue card to you. Blue card is the proof for motorbike ownership in Vietnam and the name on it can’t be adjusted. If it is lost, you can’t get another one.
After possessing a motorbike, don’t forget to change the oil every 1,000 kilometers to keep the engine strong and work properly.
Yamaha Nouvo bikes are not recommended in any situation either rent or buy. These motorbikes, regardless of model, all have the similar keys. Key makers all over Saigon can make keys that work perfectly for all Yamaha Nouvo bikes. As a result, everyone can steal your bike like a piece of cake. So avoid Yahama Nouvo no matter how.
Always wear a helmet when driving and the max capacity on each motorbike the government allow is 2 people and a kid. Drive on the right side of the road and turn on your indicator before turning right or left.
One beer is acceptable when driving. If you drink more than that, the cops will catch and fine you with lots of money.
If you are caught by the cops for making mistakes such as no indicator when turning, no lights at night, surpass the speed limit, … give them about 100,000VND and they will let you go.
This article is summarized by Modoho – a trusted agency in Ho Chi Minh city. If you need any help from a local expertise with free searching services (only landlord have to pay) feel free to contact us. Here is some listing for you:
- Masteri Thao Dien for rent.
- The Estella for rent.
- Vinhomes Central Park for rent.
- Apartment for rent in District 2 (Thao Dien).