Our prices for renting either motorbikes or cars are comparable to the rates our competitors charge. The rates are fairly standard for renting bikes and cars in Chiang Mai. The big difference is the level of maintenance the vehicle receives and the level of customer service you receive. Bikes run from 800-2000 baht per week and 2000-5000 baht per month for our fully automatics, depending on the size and style of bike you want. Obviously the bigger the bike, the more expensive it is because it was more expensive for us to purchase initially. Cars run 990 baht per day, 5000 baht per week or 14,900 per month. And for a vehicle and a driver, we currently charge 1200 baht per half day (4 hours or less) and 2400 for a full day (up to 8 hours), which includes the cost of fuel. Please bear in mind that prices are subject to change, but as of 2017 these are our standard rates.
Yes. As we have been living and operating in Chiang Mai for many years, we are intimately familiar with most of the hotels, apartments and areas around Chiang Mai. As long as it isn’t too far out, we will deliver your bike or car for free.
Each bike comes with either one or two helmets, per your request. We also include a complimentary rain poncho because yes, sometimes you do get rained on when riding somewhere. It happens. When it does, you can either choose to put on your rain poncho and soldier onward, or just find a dry pit stop and wait it out. The rains in Northern Thailand rarely last longer than 20-30 minutes, so hitting a coffee shop is a good way to ride out the weather if you prefer to not drive in the rain.
Yes. If you need any kind of language assistance in your dealings, we are glad to help.
Unfortunately, the visa rules seem to be changing all the time. There are websites that specialize in keeping up with these changes, but even they struggle to keep up. Then when there are “official changes”, things are still subject to individual interpretation by whatever immigration official you might be dealing with. We are more than happy to answer your questions once you are here, or perhaps just a few days before your trip, but to speculate beforehand is risky.
This is a tricky one. There is somewhat of an urban myth that you are allowed to drive on your driver’s license from your home country for 30 days. Or sometimes it’s “you have 30 days upon arrival to get your Thai license”. And indeed, the vast majority of places will rent you a bike and never ask you if you have one, nor tell you it’s a requirement. To them it’s your problem, not theirs. We actually care about our customers as repeat business and word of mouth recommendation are what we thrive on. As such, we want you to know the truth.
We have verified the actual rules via the land transport office and the reality of the situation is, you are legally required to have an international driver’s permit to operate a vehicle in Thailand. We strongly recommend you get an international driving permit just to be fully legal. For most countries they are extremely easy to get; just pay $20 and fill out the form and show your local driver’s license. If you don’t have one and take your chances driving anyway, you will occasionally get a rather insistent officer that wants his 400 baht… especially if you frequently drive around the tourist areas during the day. Forewarned is forearmed.
Furthermore, only certain international licenses are actually considered valid. Only the countries which were part of the 1949 Geneva Convention of Road Traffic, are acceptable. That convention basically set about establishing rules of the road that everyone would supposedly agree too, and what the licenses would look like internationally. This 1949 version replaced the 1926 version. There was another convention in 1968, but most countries seem to feel the 1949 one was good enough and that’s the one they require. Before getting an International Driving Permit for your Thailand trip, be sure you are getting one that has the 1949 endorsement. Over 150 countries issue this version of the IDP, but there are still some that issue the 1926 version, notably Germany, so please be aware of this rule.
It is highly advisable to have a motorcycle license (Euro) or a motorcycle endorsement on your license (US) before renting a motorbike from us or anyone else. This is something that the police are really looking for lately at their checkpoints. Mostly they are fining people for not wearing a helmet, but you will often also be asked for your license as well and they will look to see if it authorizes you to operate a motorcycle. That said, the checkpoints are pretty much limited to the busy areas of town and only until about 4pm.
Many places in town will rent you a bike and never ask about your license, as they simply do not care if you have a legal problem. They just want their money. We prefer to be a lot more honest about the realities of riding in Thailand. If you are driving daily in the busy areas of town (anywhere near or around the moat), be prepared to be pulled over. The ticket cost is negligible compared to tickets at home… just 400 baht usually… but it’s better to just avoid the area during the day or better yet, get properly licensed before coming.
You will adjust very quickly. Lots of people rent from us and are able to make the transition easily. Within just a few minutes behind the wheel, you’ll be fine.
First off, call us. Immediately. The number is on every sticker and there’s multiple red ride stickers on every bike.
Secondly, you need to understand that you are not in your home country and accidents in Thailand are rarely going to be handled in a similar fashion to the way it would be at home. While some consideration may be given to the question of “Who was at fault?”, you should also be prepared to accept that because you are a foreigner, you may often be considered at fault regardless of what happened, simply because the assumption will be that you don’t understand local driving habits well enough, you probably don’t ride a motorbike every day at home, you were probably distracted by all the temples and amazing things to look at, etc. For any number of reasons, you will commonly be assumed to be at fault regardless of what actually transpired.
Thirdly, it is simply part of the Thai culture that those who have more are expected to help those who have less. This concept actually extends to accidents as well. You, as the foreigner, will be presumed to be much better off than anyone else involved in the accident unless they too are also a foreigner. More often than not though, the accidents we deal with happen between foreigners and locals. And when this happens, you will not only be thought to be at fault most of the time (see above), you will also be expected to give money to help the less fortunate local who now may be unable to work and at the least will have medical costs they may not be able to afford. This amount will vary depending on the particulars of the accident, but I have commonly seen local expat acquaintances pay 5,000 ($150) to 10,000 baht ($300) for accidents where they not at fault at all. There is no point in getting defensive if this should happen as that will only make things worse. These things should be handled in a way that’s consistent with Thai customs, with a Thai on your side that will have your best interests in mind as they guide you through it all. It is highly unlikely that anyone from the big agencies downtown will want to waste their time helping you should this happen, so please, even if you don’t rent from us, choose who you rent from carefully.
Lastly, if you should get into an accident and you are not properly licensed (valid Intl Driver’s permit with Motorcycle endorsement), you should be prepared for major trouble. You could even be looking at temporary detainment and serious fines. We cannot overstate how easy it is to get an International Driver’s Permit and how much trouble may be avoided by having one.
And of course, don’t drink alcohol and drive. Again, this is just a situation that can and will lead to detainment and hefty fines… and that’s if you’re lucky. Be smart. Be safe.