Vietnam is known for its bustling city streets filled with swarms of motorbikes. For many travelers, renting a motorbike is a popular way to get around Vietnam’s cities independently and explore at one’s own pace. But how much exactly does it cost to rent a motorbike in Vietnam per day? The prices can vary quite a bit depending on several factors.
Factors affecting motorbike rental prices in Vietnam
- The location within Vietnam has a significant impact on motorbike rental prices. More touristy areas like Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Hoi An, etc. generally have higher rental costs than less touristy cities.
- Renting in a major city center is usually more expensive than renting a bike in surrounding districts or suburbs.
- Smaller or more rural towns in Vietnam tend to have lower motorbike rental rates.
Type of motorbike
- Rental prices depend largely on the size and model of the motorbike. Small automatic scooters tend to be cheaper to rent than manual transmission scooters, which are cheaper than renting a larger displacement motorbike.
- Brand also plays a role, with models from well-known brands like Honda costing more than local Vietnamese brands.
- Newer or higher-end models cost more than older, budget models.
- Established rental companies aimed at foreign travelers often charge higher rates than local shops and guesthouses that also rent bikes.
- Renting from hotels and hostels generally costs more than independent rental shops.
- Negotiating and comparing prices from various vendors can help find lower rates.
- Peak tourist season from November to March sees higher demand and prices for motorbike rentals across Vietnam.
- Low season months tend to have better deals and discounts on rentals.
Average prices to rent a motorbike in Vietnam
To give a general idea, here are average rates to rent different motorbikes per day throughout Vietnam:
Small automatic scooters
- 120,000 VND to 150,000 VND ($5 to $7 USD)
- Models like the Honda Lead, Yamaha Nouvo
- Best for one rider, lighter driving in cities
- 130,000 VND to 230,000 VND ($6 to $10 USD)
- Models like Honda Future, Yamaha Sirius
- Good for one or two people
- 200,000 VND to 350,000 VND+ ($9 to $15+ USD)
- Models like Honda Winner, Suzuki Raider 150cc
- For long distances, two riders, some off-road
As a benchmark, renting a common manual scooter like a Honda Future around Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City costs 130,000 to 180,000 VND per day ($6 to $8 USD).
Be wary that many places will quote daily rates but calculate based on 24-hour blocks. So picking up in the afternoon and returning the next morning may count as two days.
Beyond the base rental rate, there are usually additional costs to factor in:
- Most rentals are given out with an empty or near-empty tank. Renters need to top up themselves and cover the fuel costs.
- Mandatory insurance from rental companies costs around 20,000 to 50,000 VND ($1 to $2 USD) per day.
- A deposit of 3 million to 5 million VND ($130 to $220 USD) is usually required, to cover the value of the bike in case of damage or theft. This is refundable upon return if the bike is undamaged.
Tips for getting good deals on motorbike rentals
Here are some tips for getting the best value deals when renting a motorbike in Vietnam:
Book online in advance
- Booking online a week or more early often allows you to get discounted rates compared to walk-in rentals.
Rent for longer periods
- Weekly or monthly rentals come out cheaper per day than daily rates. Ask about discounts for longer rentals.
- Politely ask if they can offer a lower rate, especially during low season. Avoid aggressive haggling.
Rent outside tourist centers
- Venture beyond the main tourist zones and check rental prices in less central areas.
Check online deals
- Look on travel deal sites for promo codes and coupons for bike rental companies.
Safety considerations when renting a motorbike
First-time riders should take safety precautions:
- Get proper training on how to drive a motorbike safely in Vietnam’s chaotic traffic. Ask the rental company to show you.
- Always wear a helmet when riding, for both driver and passenger. Vietnam has stiff penalties if caught without one.
- Learn the local traffic rules and etiquette. Drive defensively and avoid risky maneuvers.
- Check that the motorbike is in good working order and inspect it for defects. Test drive it before committing.
- Consider purchasing extra travel insurance that covers motorbike accidents. This can provide peace of mind.
Alternatives for getting around Vietnam
While motorbikes are popular, some other transportation options exist:
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- Cities have public bus systems, though routes are limited. Hanoi and HCMC also have metro and tram services.
Private car services
- Hiring a car with driver can be comfortable but more expensive.
- Grab is Southeast Asia’s top ride-hailing app, with affordable motorbike taxi options.
- Biking is an eco-friendly way to explore Vietnam’s landscapes, often with bicycle rentals available.
- Vietnam’s cities have vibrant street life. Walking allows you to experience it up close.
Top destinations to visit by motorbike in Vietnam
One of the best ways to experience Vietnam is cruising around on a motorbike rental. Here are some of the top destinations for motorbiking in Vietnam:
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- Charming historic town with a mix of Japanese, Chinese, and European architecture. Easy to get around by motorbike.
- Nearby beaches like An Bang and hidden rural villages provide scenic rides.
- Former imperial capital with imperial citadel and royal tombs to explore. Traffic is lighter than big cities.
- Day motorbike trips to Hai Van Pass, Lang Co Beach, Bach Ma National Park.
Ho Chi Minh Trail
- Historic route through jungles and mountains, used during the Vietnam War. Portions around Khe Sanh and Phong Nha are accessible.
- Ride through rice terraces, visit hill tribe villages around this northern Vietnam hill station.
- Cruise past rice paddies, fruit orchards and floating markets. Can take motorbike on ferries between delta islands.
Ha Giang Loop
- Epic northern circuit through remote mountainous landscapes and ethnic minority villages.
- Highlands hill station with cool climate, known for flower gardens, lakes, waterfalls and pine forests.
Choosing the right motorbike rental for your needs
With many motorbike options, it’s important to pick the right type for your purposes:
City riding: Automatic scooters like Honda Lead offer ease of use in congested urban areas.
Two passengers: Larger scooters and 125-150cc motorbikes have power for two riders plus luggage.
Long distances: Choose motorbikes with 150cc+ engines for comfortable cruising on highways and mountain roads.
Off-road/dirt: Durable dirt bikes from brands like Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda handle off-road conditions well.
Comfort features: For long rides, look for bikes with amenities like storage racks, phone charging ports, or windscreens.
Reputation of brand/model: Stick to reputable brands known for safety, durability and performance.
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Driving safely while motorbiking in Vietnam
Vietnam’s roads can be a challenge for new riders. Here are crucial safety tips:
- Enroll in a motorbike driving course to hone skills for Vietnam’s road conditions.
- Drive slowly and defensively until accustomed to traffic flow. Be alert to hazards.
- Follow all traffic laws to avoid fines and also set a good example for other drivers.
- Equip bike with mirrors and workable lights. Keep lights on day and night for visibility.
- Wear protective gear like jackets, gloves, shoes covering ankles, and UV filtering sunglasses.
- Keep belongings in waterproof packs secured to bike. Don’t overload the bike.
- Use offline maps so you don’t have to look at your phone while driving.
- Always have a charged phone, cash, ID and Vietnam motorbike insurance documents on you in case of emergencies.
Handing back your motorbike rental
To avoid issues when returning your motorbike rental in Vietnam:
- Check the bike thoroughly for new scratches or damage. Document with photos.
- Fill the gas tank up completely before returning it.
- Return at the agreed time to show responsibility and avoid late fees.
- Ensure you have the original rental agreement and deposit receipt.
- Get full inspection by the owner and written confirmation that bike is undamaged.
- Retrieve your full deposit, minus rental costs and deductibles for any minor agreed damages.
Renting a motorbike opens up easy independent transportation for seeing the sights in Vietnam. Prices average $6-15 per day, depending on bike type and location. Manual scooters are popular options. Follow local driving laws, get insurance, and don’t skimp on safety. With caution and common sense, a rental motorbike lets you discover Vietnam on your own terms.