Things you should know:
At the Rental Shop:
- Renters will ask to hold your passport, don’t give it. Legally, they just need a copy. You should always be in possession of your passport. Rental shops will accept a cash deposit instead.
- Read through the contract and make sure you understand the terms. Always check for scratches/damages, take a picture of the bike if you can.
- Insurance –get the insurance if offered, if the rentals offer a bike lock, take it. Some renters will hold you accountable if you get into an accident and make you pay for damages. If the bike is stolen, renters will often make you pay for a new bike, which can be 16,000 THB to 45,000 THB. If they have your passport, they won’t release it until you pay.
- Check the bike, make sure everything is working, and practice around the street to make sure you are comfortable stopping and turning.
On the Road:
- Know when to use your horn –In the US, the horn is mostly for expressing road rage. In most of the world, a light tap on the horn is used to let other drivers know you are there.
- Drive within your ability –if you are following someone, don’t do anything you are uncomfortable with. Talk about directions before driving in case someone gets behind at a light. Agree on a common speed. Don’t make a turn you if you are not ready, its okay to wait. Don’t rush if you are late. Take your time.
- Scan the roads –there are so many obstacles on the road. Scan the roads all around so you are prepared for any bumps, fallen branches, running children, potholes, etc. Slow down, look back, and move over.
- Wear a helmet –this is a given. Also, full sleeve t-shirts, pants, and shoes if you can. This may save you some scratches in case you fall. At night time, wearing bright colors may increase your visibility to other drivers.
Most of all, be safe! Happy riding!
***This is from my observations only. Please do your own research and make your own conclusions. Please exercise responsibility and caution when driving***
***If you are looking for a place to rent a motorbike in Surat Thani, I highly recommend X Rentals & Services. They are honest and have well-maintained and legal bikes for sale and rent.***
***All photos were taken by Kem Ramirez and used with permission.***