Some of our favorite days in Southeast Asia are spent cruising around the islands and hopping from beach to beach. In a place like Phuket Thailand, renting a motorbike is the perfect way to enjoy island life. There is a sense of freedom and excitement that comes when you rent a scooter in a tropical paradise like Phuket. However, before you can grab a Phuket motorbike rental there are a few things that you need to know first!
8 Tips Before Renting a Motorbike in Phuket Thailand
1. Know How to Ride
Let’s get right down to it. If you have never ridden a motorbike or scooter before this isn’t the place to start! There is no shortage of horror stories about tourists coming to the islands and getting in way over their heads. The last thing you want on your holiday is to end up in the hospital because you didn’t know how to ride your Phuket motorbike.
Phuket is a massive island and there are many parts that even feel as if you are on the mainland. The hills are steep, traffic can be heavy, and there are countless winding roads to adventure on.
If you do know how to ride then do so with confidence! When you rent a scooter in Phuket it will be the ultimate day of exploring that you’ll never forget.
Phuket Motorbike Tip: If you don’t feel comfortable renting a motorbike in Phuket Thailand you can opt for a tuk-tuk tour! Instead of a traditional car, cruise around the island in the back of an open air tuk-tuk. While this isn’t exactly like getting a motorbike rental in Phuket, it will still make for a super fun day.
2. Sim Card or Offline Map
As soon as you land in Thailand you should get a sim card for your phone. We paid 800 Thai Baht which is roughly $20 USD for one month of unlimited data. The plans can be cheaper or more expensive depending on what speed internet you need.
Having a sim card will come in handy while renting a motorbike in Phuket. You’ll especially love having one if you get a little lost and are heading back to your hotel for the night.Make sure to pack an external charger if you plan to be out all day, too! Check out our day bag packing list for items we ALWAYS keep with us. You can also find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!
If you don’t have a sim card you should at least have a map handy. Many of the shops to rent a scooter in Phuket from will give you a small map but we didn’t find this super helpful. Instead, download an offline app like Maps.me to help you without wifi.
3. Hotel Motorbike Rental in Phuket
So where do you actually rent a Phuket motorbike? If you’re sitting at home planning your holiday and stressing don’t! Motorbikes are super popular and rented on almost every street corner on the island.
The best way to go about renting a motorbike in Phuket is through your accommodation. You can email them before you arrive to arrange it, or just ask when you get there. If for some reason your hotel doesn’t rent them directly they should be able to find one for you easily.
4. Steep Deposit or Passport
The main benefit of renting a motorbike in Phuket through your hotel is not having to deal with a massive deposit! The hotel already has all your information on file including a copy of your passport.
You may still be asked for a small cash deposit, but it is typically less than going to rent a scooter in Phuket from an outside shop. If you are going to a place in town you will have to give them something to ensure that you are coming back with the bike.
From our experience, a credit card deposit isn’t offered and you only get the choice of leaving your passport or a large sum of money. This can be nerve-racking especially when our #1 travel rule is to never give up your passport!
Just a day is one thing but it’s hard to come to terms with leaving your passport with someone you don’t know for up to a week or longer. This is why it’s better to go directly through your hotel or get a local recommendation from them.
5. Damage Check Your Phuket Motorbike
We’ve rented many, many motorbikes along our travels through Southeast Asia. While there is a laid-back island vibe in Thailand it’s still important to double-check your bike and take photos as you would with any rental car.
This isn’t a big worry. Just something to give you a little extra protection in case any scratches or dents are pointed out when you return the bike.
You also want to be sure to get the right size bike if you have two people. The island has some steep hills and take it from us… It’s never fun when the second person is running up a hill behind the bike because it doesn’t have enough power to make it!
6. Plan for the Heat
It’s hot in Thailand. Like scorching, massive sunburn, heatstroke hot! If you can try to plan your day out for the early morning or late afternoon. The temperature is cooler and it makes for a much more enjoyable time.
During the month we spent on Phuket we fell into a nice routine. We would be up early and on the bike exploring the island just after sunrise. Just before noon we would stop somewhere new to grab lunch then head back to our apartment.
You can really save some energy if you spend the hottest part of the day out of the sun!
If you’re limited on time or only have one day on your motorbike rental in Phuket, no worries! Make sure to cover your shoulders, apply lots of sunblock, and drink water with electrolytes.
7. Renting a Motorbike in Phuket Thailand Cost
So what can you expect to pay when renting a motorbike in Phuket Thailand? As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, it is a little more expensive than other places in Asia. Still, we’re talking the difference of just a couple dollars here!
After some hunting around Kata beach where we were staying, we were able to find a deal for 250 Baht/day ($7 USD). Yet, we were able to get it down to 200 Baht/day on a weekly discount.
Some official motorbike rental Phuket shops may charge more and have nicer and newer bikes. We noticed the restaurants that double has motorbike shops seemed to be a little bit cheaper.
8. International Drivers License
Having an international drivers license is a MUST when renting a motorbike in Phuket Thailand. It felt like every other day we were pulled over at a checkpoint stop! They were often set up going into the most popular party beach of Patong.
If you don’t have an international license it’s super easy to get one before you leave your home country. This isn’t an uncommon thing as we’ve been checked in Vietnam and Bali on motorbikes as well.
To ride a scooter in Asia make sure to have a motorcycle license from your home country! You want to be completely covered if you plan to ride them.
Other fines to watch out for are speeding, wearing a helmet, and having your mask on during the pandemic. When you consider tickets can be upwards of $200 USD it’s better safe than sorry!
Where to Stay in Southern Phuket
5 Star Resort – The Shore At Katathani – Kata Noi – Ultra-luxury 5-star hotel offering rooms with private pools. Located on the far end of Kata Noi overlooking one of the best beaches on the island.
Ultra Luxury – The Nai Harn – Nai Harn Beach – Known as one of the nicest hotels in not just Phuket, but all of Thailand! Amazing beach and sea views from luxury rooms. If you ever want to leave you will be literally steps from the famous Nai Harn Beach.
Royal Experience – Mom Tri’s Villa Royale – Kata Noi– Once a home of the Royal family of Thailand, this converted residence is one of the most unique places to stay on Phuket.
Phuket’s First Hotel – The Memory at On On Hotel – Old Town – Built in 1927, the On On Hotel was constructed in the signature Sino-Portuguese style and retains its historical charm. It was even featured in the 2002 blockbuster “The Beach” with Leanardo DiCaprio.
Unique Stay – Roost Glamping – Rawai – Yes you can go glamping in Phuket Thailand! These upscale tents are set around a gorgeous pool and the cafe serves up healthy tropical dishes.
Hostel Life: – Sino Hostel @ Kata – Kata Beach – Hostels are very popular in Phuket and Sino is in a great location. Choose from dorms and private rooms as you use it as a base to see Kata Beach from.
For more of the best hotels in Phuket Thailand explore the latest prices here!
Have any questions on how to rent a scooter in Phuket or want to share your own experiences? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
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Phuket Travel Planning
Transportation: While traveling through Thailand 12Go is where we find all our ferries, trains, buses, and transfers! You can find everything from island hopping speed boats to the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find activities all over Phuket! You can find everything from a James Bond island luxury sunset cruise, to Phuket Old Town 15-taster food adventure, and 5-hour island tour!
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