What if I get in an accident?

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.

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