Phuket Island is one of the most popular resorts in Thailand, while convenient and inexpensive public transport on the island is virtually non-existent. Therefore, motorbike hire in Phuket is an excellent alternative to an expensive taxi. You can take a motorbike for rent in Phuket almost everywhere, but there are some nuances, knowledge of which will help you avoid a number of serious problems and generally help you get the most out of the trips on motobike. Useful tips for renting a motorbike and the cost of this service can be found on this page. Also, in this short article, I’ll talk about when better not take a scooter (motobike) for rent in Phuket and why the real price of renting a motorbike can be much higher than the first price.
CONTENTS OF ARTICLE ( you can click on the link for quick transition)
How much to rent a motorbike in Phuket
The average rental price for motobike in Phuket is 200-300 THB per day ($7-9) and depends mainly on several factors: model of motorbike, the physical condition and the rental term. But renting a particular model in a particular place can depend on the location of the rental office (in a busy place the price may be slightly higher than in the neighborhood in the lane where there are fewer tourists). If you have little experience of driving motobike in Thailand (but you have firmly decided that you can not do without it), I recommend choosing popular models of motorbikes with automatic transmission and not too original coloring. More details about the procedure for renting motorbikes and the preparation of the contract can be found on the page Thailand motorbike rental – rules and tips!
The most popular in all Thailand (and in Phuket including) model Honda Click will cost you 200-250 THB per day. For this money you can find a motorbike in very good condition with a small run (up to 10 000 km or so). In this case, it is better to choose a variant with engine capacity of 125 cc (there are 100 cc). And it’s not about the maximum speed and acceleration, as some might have thought, but in the best power traction of a motorbike when climbing mountain serpentines, which are found everywhere in Phuket. Especially if you plan to ride not alone on the motorbike, and its mileage is over 25,000 km. A popular model for a trip alone is a Honda Scoopy motobike with a 110-125 cc engine, but personally I do not like his retro design and a small trunk, so I prefer Honda Click. If a motorbike for rent in Phuket looks “tired” and its mileage is over 25,000 km, it is better not to rent it more than 150 THB per day or even to look for the option in the best condition.
Among motobikes with more power, the leadership is held by the Honda PCX with a 150 cc engine. This motorbike is more comfortable for long trips (more comfortable seats, wider wheels), while it looks very solid. But the cost of such a bike when renting in Phuket is from 300 to 500 THB per day for short term rent (for 300 THB it will be difficult to find a high season). Also, Yamaha bikes are often found with engines of comparable capacity and at comparable prices. For example, Yamaha Fino, Yamaha Nouvo and Yamaha Aerox (analogues of Honda Scoopy, Click and PCX respectively). I have nothing against Yamaha, but i like Honda more, so I prefer them. There are also more powerful motobikes, for example Honda Forza 300 or Yamaha T-Max, but renting such a motorbike will be more expensive than a Car rental in Phuket with all the advantages of the latter option.
With long-term rental of a motorbike in Phuket, the cost of this service is significantly reduced. For example, rental of motobike in Phuket can be 200 THB per day, but for a month (30 days) it is quite possible to rent the same motorbike for 3000 THB (or 100 THB per day). Of course, not every rental office will agree to such a discount (in a popular place it is simply more profitable for them to rent motorbikes for days). But if you visit a few places and are not afraid to bargain about the price, then everything is real.
Rent a motobike in Phuket online
From the end of 2017, it possible to rent a motorbike in Phuket online, using the services of the international company BikesBooking. As far as I know, it is currently the only company in the world specializing in the rental of motobikes, scooters, quads, motorcycles and bicycles around the world. At the beginning of 2018, about 950 rental offices are connected to the system at popular resorts. Note: in the search results, the rental price of some motorbikes seems to be overestimated if you are looking for a motobike for a day. This is due to the fact that some rental offices charge a minimum of three days. And the cost of rent for three days will be the same as for a day!
Speaking directly about Phuket, I want to mention the most important advantages of this service.
– Motobike delivery to the hotel. Having reserved motobike online, your motorbike will be delivered to the hotel after your arrival to the island, and after the end of the lease term you can leave motorbike in another chosen place. All this contributes to saving time on your vacation. Unfortunately, in 2018 I noticed that some rental companies started to charge money for shipping – 10 euros. But you can always choose an office where this service will be free same before.
– There is no need to leave a passport as a deposit. At the end of 2017, when I was on vacation in Phuket for the last time, I went around a few dozen rental offices around Patong beach and everywhere with me they demanded an original passport as a deposit and did not agree to a cash deposit (for more details, see “My experience of renting a motorbike in Phuket “). For BikesBooking usually enough cash deposit, while its size can be much lower than the standard – only from 1000 THB.
– The basic cost of rent is paid on a place when you will receive a motorbike. As a rule, only a small amount is prepaid online (about 1 USD per day).
– Ability to manage online booking (for example, when changing the rental date).
– All motorbikes have insurance against damage caused by third parties, and in the process of booking you can order a full insurance.
Better places for rent a motorbike in Phuket
Motorbike rental in Phuket is a very popular service that is provided both by specialized rental companies with several dozen motorbikes and small private companies that you can find literally every 50-100 meters on the popular beaches of the island. Motorbike rental is also often offered by expensive and budget hotels, guesthouses and cafes, for which this service is an additional source of income. Personally, I prefer to choose motobike for rent at a price, vehicle condition and the terms of the rent, regardless of who specifically offers this service.
As it was already written above, motorbike rental is presented in Phuket everywhere. But, unlike car rental in Phuket, such an option is not available at the island’s international airport. In most cases this is justified, because many tourists fly to the island with suitcases, and driving a motorbike and simultaneously carrying a heavy and large suitcase is not only uncomfortable, but also dangerous. On the other hand, if you flew to Phuket with a not very large backpack and do not want to take a minibus or a popular taxi transfer from Phuket Airport to Patong Beach or another island beach, you can rent a motorbike in the nearest village. However, for this you will have to make a walk of 15-25 minutes. Leaving the terminal, you need to move south to the village of Nai Yang (see map).
The distance to the village is about 1.5 km, but walking in the heat with a backpack is not very pleasant, especially since you will spend extra time searching for a place with a rental of motobikes and, most likely, you will visit several rental offices before making your choice. You also need to remember that before the return flight from the island you will also have to leave a motorbike in the village and walk to the airport with things that are have much more weight because of souvenirs, fruits, Thai alcohol and new clothes, than on the day of arrival to Phuket. Of course, you can take motorbike taxi from the village to airport, but then there will be practically no savings from renting a motorbike.
The second option is to take a motorbike for rent in Phuket after you got to Phuket Town from the International airport. The advantage of this option is that in the main island settlement there is practically no seasonal price, i. Rent a motobike will cost about 200-250 THB per day at any time of the year (for a daily rent for a motobike with a mileage of up to 10,000 km). Among the shortcomings of the option can be noted only that you in most cases will have to immediately participate in busy urban traffic. If you have experience riding a bike in Thailand, there should not be any problems. But if you for the first time decided to use a rented motobike for traveling around the island and there is no experience in driving a motorbike – a similar situation is fraught with a little stress and can be dangerous. Again, the option does not fit, if you just arrived in Phuket and you have a suitcase with you.
Finally, there is the option of renting a bike in Phuket directly at the resorts. This option is convenient because you can rent a motobike after you have left things in your room and generally do not do it right after you arrive in Phuket. For example, the next day or even on any of the days of your holiday, when there will be a need to drive motobike. Among the shortcomings of the option can be noted a slightly higher price of renting a bike in Phuket during the high season. However, for today the high competition among tenants of motorbikes does not allow them to overestimate the prices. So you can rent an motorbike online or choose a motorbike rental location in Phuket based on your personal preferences and capabilities.
Fuel for rented motorbike in Phuket – kind and where to buy
Modern motobikes are very economical. For example, Honda Click with a 125 cc engine. on average consumes about 2.5 liters of fuel per 100 km of run. A Honda PCX with a motor 150 cc. for the same distance should not use more than 3 liters. Of course, if you weigh 120 kg and together with you a passenger with the same weight, and if you will travel a lot along serpentines, fuel consumption will be great. I specifically used the word “fuel” in the article and not gasoline, because in Thailand it is customary to call fuel “gasoline”. In reality, gasoline is a real fuel without impurities. And what is poured into motobikes now is a Gasohol – a mixture of gasoline (90%) and ethanol (10%). But the Thais still call this fuel gasoline and this is the name you most often see along roads where such bottled fuel is sold.
A small nuance: the fuel can be both green and red-orange, depending on the gasoline underlying it. The first option – Gazohol 91, and the second – Gazohol 95. In reality, you can fill in the rental motobike both kinds and do not be afraid to mix them in any combination. At the same time, it is difficult to notice any difference in dynamics. But if you want do absolutely right already, then if you are able to choose it is better to use the fuel recommended by the motorbike manufacturer or the employee of the rental office. Often, right next to the fuel tank cap, the fuel grade to be used is indicated. But if you noticed on the dashboard that the fuel is already at zero, I recommend not to hesitate and buy any fuel at the nearest roadside point, even let it be more expensive per liter.
It should be remembered that the cost of fuel in bottles can be 2 times higher than at gas stations. For example, in Phuket, the minimum price I met was 30 THB, but more often 35-40 THB per bottle is found on the island roads, in which about 0.6 liters of fuel or even a little less is poured. For comparison, at large gas stations the price of 1 liter of gashead is slightly less than 30 THB. Large refuelings, where employee in uniform will fill your motorbike (you only pay money) when you traveling between the beaches of Phuket are really rare. But sometimes you can see on the sidelines small automatic gasoline station selling, where there is a choice of several brands of fuel or only one kind and you can pay with both Thai coins and banknotes. Just remember that the such machines can not give change for you.
Thus, if you plan to travel a lot around Phuket on a rented motobike, you must plan in your recreation budget for fuel costs of 150 baht per 100 km when refueling “from bottles” or about 75 baht when you visit official filling stations.
When is it better not to rent a motorbike in Phuket
Motorbike rental in Phuket provides a lot of opportunities and gives an unforgettable experience. Independence from an unnecessarily expensive taxi, the ability to quickly reach neighboring and remote beaches, the pleasure of driving on the beautiful roads of the island and from self-visit several attractions – all this is possible with the help of a motorbike rented. However, there is a “fly in the ointment” in this barrel of honey. Despite the availability of rental motorbike in Phuket, you should clearly realize that the final cost of rent can be much higher for a number of reasons. In this article, I will not focus on the consequences for health and life in inaccurate driving, only on monetary issues.
First, currently in Thailand, the traffic police has become much more actively monitor the observance of traffic rules by tourists and the availability of their driver’s license. Earlier on such “pranks” as driving without a helmet or without a driver’s license, in many cases, eyes were closed (except for special events on the roads). Now it’s hard for me to remember the day when I did not see mobile patrols that stop motorbikes literally dozens to check documents. Also often in the city traffic there are police officers on powerful motobikes, and i saw that several times they stopped the violators of traffic rules.
As a rule, 95% of tourists who rent a motobike in Phuket or other resorts of the country do not have international or Thai driving licenses to drive motorbike, and riding without a helmet is still a common phenomenon, so fines are a good addition to local budgets. Given that most traffic police officers use action cameras (fixed on the helmet) during such raids, it will not be possible to “negotiate” by giving a small bribe – only the official payment of a fine in the police department, and this is precious time spent on vacation and a spoiled mood.
Actual sizes of fines in Thailand (2018)
– Driving a motorbike without driving license – 500 THB;
– Penalty for driving without a helmet in Phuket for driver/passenger 600/400 THB;
– Penalty for traveling to the oncoming lane 450 THB;
– Penalty for speeding 500 THB;
– Penalty for crossing the intersection to a red traffic signal 1000 THB;
– Penalty for a turn on the road in a prohibited place 400 THB.
– Penalty for parking in a prohibited place 400-600 THB.
As you can see, the amount of fines is several times higher than the cost of renting motorbike per day. In view of the fact that police patrols, which massively stop motorbike drivers, are often installed in the most popular directions (for example, on the route between the beaches of Patong and Karon), there is a possibility that you can stop on motobike even several times a day. In a situation where you did not violate any rules (the speed regime was observed, you were wearing a helmet, your passenger was also wearing a helmet, you were not intoxicated) and you “just” have no Thai or international driving license to drive motobike, you you will have to pay a fine of 500 THB.
It is necessary to keep the receipt and you will not be fined this day again. But with the cost of renting a motorbike in Phuket 200-300 THB, all the pleasure of riding two wheels will cost 700-800 THB per day, which is comparable to the cost of renting a car in Phuket. In the article “My experience of renting a motorbike in Phuket” I shared some secrets that allow me to avoid a fine, but they are not a panacea and can not work in every situation. You should be careful while parking a bike in Phuket along the roads: places where parking is prohibited are marked with a red and white curb. Leaving the motorbike in such a place, do not be surprised when you find chains on wheels and a receipt with a fine. Chains will be withdrawn only after paying a fine in the police station, to which you will have to get yourself. Also you can not park motorbike along have yellow and white curbs – these are special areas for taxi parking.
It is also necessary to remember that riding a motobike in Thailand without the necessary experience can result in a fall. If you do not take into account the health consequences (at least bruises, scratches, bruises and abrasions), you will need to pay for repair of the motorbike. Motobike on average weighs about 100 kg, so when falling on the asphalt while driving, even with a slight speed on the plastic parts are deep scratches and scuffs. And in the event of a collision even with a small obstacle, the glass that cover the front light fixtures are very easily broken. Unlike car rental, rental motobikes usually do not have insurance. This means that you will have to pay for repairs from your own pocket.
Even if you do not apply to the office, where you rented motorbike, but to a third-party service (this is usually cheaper, although this is a violation of the lease agreement), the amount can be not very small. In a third-party workshop, small scratches on the plastic can be removed approximately 70-100 THB (multiply by their number), and the replacement of the glass will cost about 200-300 THB (when renting a popular motorbike model in Phuket). If the damage is more serious and the plastic parts of the motorbike body are cracked or crumbled into pieces, a complete replacement with color selection may be required, which will cost several thousand baht. Finally, even the most neat ride is not a guarantee that you will avoid puncturing the wheel. In most cases, repair or replacement of the camera will cost 150-250 THB, and replacement of the torn tire will cost an additional 700-800 THB.
I do not in any way want to dissuade anyone from rent a motorbike in Phuket, because these are really cool feelings and freedom. I just want to remind you that when driving a motorbike you need to be extremely careful and attentive, because not everything on the road depends solely on you. But if you are not confident in your abilities, do not have any experience managing the bike or you do not have a cash reserve to cover possible damage – Phuket is not the best place to study and it’s better to rent a car. Car rental in Phuket is the availability of full insurance, protection from the sun and rain, a large trunk and a lack of interest to you from the police. In any case, the choice is yours. I wish you pleasant trips and safe roads!
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