Rent motorcycle in Chiang Mai – travel guide

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When visiting Northern Thailand and Chiang Mai area it’s best to have your own bike. That way you don’t have to rely on songthaews and public transport when exploring all the best attractions in Chiang Mai. There are few things you should keep in mind when trying to rent motorcycle in Chiang Mai.

In this blog post we would like to share our experience, recommendations and few other tips to know when you need to rent motorcycle in Chiang Mai.

What do you need to rent motorcycle in Chiang Mai

When you want to rent motorcycle in Chiang Mai or any other place in Thailand, the bike rental shop usually requires some form of deposit.

Most common are cash deposit, passport or “small ID” (your national ID for example). Some rentals only require one of the items, while other might ask you for both deposit and a passport.

blue temple fountain
Blue temple, Chiang Rai

It’s recommended not to leave your passport if possible. Especially if something goes wrong and you get in conflict with the rental.

They can keep your cash deposit in the worst case scenario but you really need to get your passport back. Keep this in mind when you want to rent motorcycle in Chiang Mai.

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Another thing is rather obvious – to rent motorcycle in Chiang Mai you should have a valid international driving license for scooters. Before renting the bike make sure your driving license also allows you to drive scooters. You need to have “A” stamped. “B” is for cars only.

I would also like to mention that we spent 2 months traveling different parts of Thailand and we were not stopped by police once.

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IMPORTANT: If you get fined for anything, you are never supposed to pay directly to police officer. You should receive a ticket that has to be paid at the police station.

Rent Motorcycle Chiang Mai

Where to stay in Chiang Mai

If you are looking for a traditional place stay in Chiang Mai’s old town. For modern experience choose for example Nimmanheamin area. It offers many restaurants, bars and nightlife. It’s also common choice for expats.

Best hotels in Chiang Mai

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What bike to rent

There are multiple choices when renting motorcycle in Chiang Mai – manual or automatic, usually 110cc or stronger. If you alread have an experience on bikes and prefer manual, go for it. However, it’s not necessary at all. You will do just fine driving automatic scooter.

If you plan to drive with 2 people on the bike, I would recommend to rent 125cc motorcycle at least. In most cases we didn’t have any problems with such a bike.

You can always rent a stronger bike, but it’s not inevitable for Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai area. Furthermore it will cost you more.

Rent Motorcycle Chiang Mai

Sooter rental price

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Price: from 250 THB per day

When you want to rent motorcycle in Chiang Mai, price might be a very important factor. The scooter rental price depends on what bike you rent. The cheapest bikes are usually 125cc automatic. The prices start at 250 THB and can go as high as 1000 THB per day.

When renting for a week or a month you can get a discounted price.

Where to rent motorcycle in Chiang Mai

Once in Chiang Mai you will notice there are a few bike rental shops around. In my opinion Mango bike rental is one of the best bike rentals in Chiang Mai.

They have a nicely organized website where you can check what bikes they rent. Furthermore the prices are much better than in other shops.

Other shop I recommend is Mr Mechanic. We personally rented motorcycle in Chiang Mai for Mae Hong Son loop here. Our experience was very pleasant and we got almost brand new bikes that worked perfectly. Mr Mechanic has 3 motorbike rental shops in the Old town.

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Read next: If you’re traveling around northern Thailand you should certainly not miss The Blue temple Chiang Rai.

Don’t forget travel insurance

Investing in travel insurance is absolutely essential. It provides vital protection in case of unexpected events during your journey, such as medical emergencies or delays. Yet many travelers overlook this option and consider travel insurance to be an unnecessary expense.

Trust me, having travel insurance can bring immense relief if you find yourself in an unfortunate accident.

You never know what life throws in your way. Travel insurance is always designed to save you money in various unexpected situations. Investing in a good insurance is a must!

For us, the best travel insurance we always choose is SafetyWing.

Rent motorcycle in Chiang Mai for Mae Hong Son loop

If you want to rent motorcycle in Chiang Mai to do the Mae Hong Son loop, make sure to mention that to the rental company. For some reason they’re not allowed to rent all to bikes for Mae Hong Son loop.

We did the loop on 125cc automatic Honda Seat. I believe you will do just fine with a similar bikes. Honda Click is another reliable bike, but it has less storage space.

Rent Motorcycle Chiang Mai

Things to keep in mind

There are a few things I wish I knew I rented motorcycle in Chiang Mai. Here is a list of some useful things to keep in mind:

  1. Test the brakes – before taking the bike further, make sure to test the brakes properly. It’s very common to get a bike that doesn’t have proper brakes.
  2. Take a photo/video of the whole bike – useful in case the rental accuses you of causing some damage to the bike
  3. Get some gloves – if you travel somewhere early in the morning it’s freezing cold on the bike. Your hands will thank you.
  4. Get helmet with a shield or wear glasses – there’s a lot of insects and dirt in the air, it’s very useful to cover your eyes. It also helps agains the wind.
  5. Travel with many layers – especially early mornings and late evenings can be super chilly
  6. Use sunscreen – it’s windy on the bike so you may not realize it but it’s really easy to get a sunburn
  7. Get bungee ropes – only useful if you plan to travel long distance with your backpack. You can use bungee ropes to tie it behind your back instead of carrying it all the time.
  8. Check the insurance – you should know exactly who covers the damage if something happens. Some bike rentals offer extra insurance for 30-50 THB per day.
  9. Carry extra raincoat – this point needs no explanation…

Road conditions in Northern Thailand

If you’re not an experienced driver you might be worrie dabout the road conditions. Well, I have good news for you! The roads in Northern Thailand are mostly perfect!

There are almost no potholes and the roads are often wide. In addition, everyone on the road is very respectful. The only thing ou have to prepare for is a lot of curves.

Rent Motorcycle Chiang Mai

Best Chiang Mai tours

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Rent motorcycle in Chiang Mai – conclusion

As you can see it’s very easy to rent a motorbike. Driving in Thailand feels very safe in general and everyone is tolerant. Even if you’ve never been on a scooter before there’s nothing to be afraid of. Always be careful and stay safe!

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