Renting a Moped/Scooter in Thailand
The easiest and most exciting way to get around Thailand is to rent a moped! Me, Shay and Tyler rented mopeds for multiple days on two different islands in the south of Thailand, (Kho Samui, and Kho Tao). If you find yourself on one of the islands or in a rural village, there is absolutely no better way to have fun.
How to rent a Moped in Thailand
Once you arrive on one of the islands, get off the ferry, walk into the city, look around at one of the dozens of moped-rental shops, and find a place you like. This isn't really a place for price-haggling since the prices are pretty much set ahead of time, and these guys really can't be making much of a profit. The mopeds cost only 150 Thai Baht per day ($4.19 USD), 200 Baht for a nice, brand new 125cc moped, 300 Baht for a small motorcycle. Those are flat rates, there are no hidden fees or any extra costs or taxes like at a car rental company. It's 150 Baht per day, period. You sign your name on a piece of paper, give them one of your passports, and that's it, you have a moped for however many days you wish.
Hard lessons learned
Our first rentals were from some lady who gave us some pretty beat up mopeds on the island of Kho Samui. They worked just fine, but they were covered in dings and scratches. The moped I was driving later broke down on the other side of the island. I took off my belt, tied my dead moped to Shay's functioning one, and had him tow me all the way back to the rental place. The lady quickly gave me a replacement and we were swiftly on our way.
The second place we rented from, on the island of Kho Tao, the mopeds were brand new and super awesome, sparkling clean and in perfect functioning condition. The owner took literally 20 pictures of each scooter to document their condition and then we drove off... No more than 20 minutes later, we were driving down a steep dirt road, Tyler hit a bump and crashed his moped into a pile of jagged rocks. His self esteem was badly injured and so was his moped. Now the fresh, new paint had scratches all over it (not terrible) but noticeable. Two days later when we returned our mopeds to the rental place, the owner noticed these scratches, looked at his cost-to-fix spreadsheet, and Tyler owed the man $300 USD.
If we had crashed the other, more beat-up mopeds we rented on the other island, the owner wouldn't have cared, and probably wouldn't have noticed.
Lesson: Don't rent brand new mopeds if you think you're going to crash them...
Is driving a moped in Thailand safe / easy?
- Shay comes from the dirt-bike/motocross world, and I come from the mountain bike/motorcycle world so driving these things was no problem for us. But, depending on where you are, the roads can be super sketchy, super steep, wet, or not roads at all, just bumpy dirt paths. It is definitely easy to crash or hit something. I think we all crashed at some point either from trying stunts or from hitting something, but Tyler was the only one to noticeably damage his scooter. We saw a pair of girls trying to drive down a steep hill on a moped, one of them had blood gushing down her leg, obviously from crashing the thing earlier. If you have some experience driving a two wheeled vehicle, it's definitely gonna help you out here.
How much does it cost to rent a moped or scooter in Thailand?
- 150-200 Baht per day (~$4 USD)
Do you need a drivers license to rent a moped in Thailand?
- No, all you need is a passport to give to the store owner as collateral.
What's better, using a taxi, or renting mopeds in Thailand/Bangkok?
- Definitely taxis are better in the city of Bangkok but if your're on one of the islands, mopeds are definitely the way to go.
How much gas does a moped use / Is gas in Thailand expensive?
- We drove our mopeds all day for 4 days and only used like 2 gallons of gas, and it's about the same price as in America.
Where is the best place to rent a moped or scooter in Thailand?
- On the island of Koh Samui and Koh Tao.
Do I recommend renting a moped in Thailand?
- Yes, definitely. Racing these things around with Shay and Tyler was the most fun I've had in a long time.
My GoPro backpack clip I use: http://amzn.to/1RRPoKH