Renting a motorbike is one of the best ways to explore Vietnam. The freedom of the open road combined with breathtaking scenery makes motorbiking around the country an unforgettable experience. However, your plans may change during your travels. You may decide you need more time with your rental motorbike than originally expected. Rather than cut your trip short or scramble for new transportation, extending your motorbike rental is often possible if handled properly. With some preparation and flexibility, you can gain approval to keep your rental longer and continue enjoying the ride.
This article will provide key information and tips for travelers who find themselves needing or wanting to extend an existing motorbike rental agreement in Vietnam at the last minute.
- Background on motorbike rentals in Vietnam
- Common reasons renters seek extensions
- How to request an extension from the rental company
- Potential extension fees and charges
- Alternatives if an extension is refused
- Strategies for securing approval
- Avoiding late fees and fines
- A summary of the main points
Follow this guide to successfully gain more time with your rental motorbike so you can fully experience all that Vietnam has to offer.
Motorbike rentals are extremely popular for tourists visiting Vietnam. Zipping around the country on a motorbike allows you to take in scenic routes, small villages, back roads, and excitement. Motorbikes provide convenience and flexibility for getting around that tour buses and other transportation options lack.
Most motorbike rental agreements in Vietnam are relatively short term. Standard rental periods are often 24 hours up to a week or two at most. Terms and conditions usually specify the start and end dates/times of the rental period along with mileage limits, rental costs, required deposits, etc.
Renters typically book motorbikes in advance or upon arrival at their destination. Rental shops and agencies are found throughout Vietnam in cities, tourist hotspots, and near airports and bus stations catering to travelers.
Reasons to Extend a Rental
Despite best laid plans, situations come up during a trip that lead renters to realize they need more time with their motorbike than originally expected. Some common reasons include:
- Wanting more time to explore an area – Riders find they did not allot enough days to fully experience sights and activities in an area with their rental bike. Extending allows for a more leisurely visit.
- Changes to travel plans/itinerary – Trip schedules shift unexpectedly. Travelers may add new destinations or spend extra time with new friends. An extension accommodates revised plans.
- Mechanical issues or accidents – Flat tires, breakdowns, minor spills, etc. can happen. Extra rental days help compensate for time lost dealing with repairs and recovery.
- Bad weather conditions – Pick up in rain delays start of rental. Violent storms interrupt travel mid-trip. Extensions allow renters to wait out the weather.
Situations arise on even well-planned vacations. When they do, extra rental time gives you flexibility to handle the changes while still enjoying your motorbike adventure.
Contact Rental Company in Advance
If you realize you need or would like to extend your motorbike rental, contact the rental company as soon as possible before your return date. Waiting until the due date may limit their ability to accommodate an extension.
Reach out through whichever method you booked the rental:
- Call customer service hotline – Speaking directly with a representative allows you to explain your extension request and answer any questions.
- Go to rental office in person – Stopping by the shop where you rented can help ensure your message is received and addressed promptly.
- Send email to request extension – Emailing the rental company creates a written record of the date/time you submitted your extension request.
Be ready to provide:
- Your name, contact info and rental agreement details
- How many extra days you need
- Reason you require an extension
- Payment information if additional fees apply
The sooner you make your request, the more likely the company can accommodate changes to your rental.
Extension Fees and Charges
Depending on policies of the individual rental company, extending your motorbike rental may or may not incur additional charges. Make sure to ask about extension costs when making your request.
Potential fees include:
- Daily rate may stay the same – You simply pay the standard daily rental rate for the number of extra days.
- Extra days may cost more – Some companies charge a higher daily fee for extension days compared to original rental rate.
- Administrative fees or taxes – One-time extension or late return fees range from $5-15 USD or a percentage of the base rental rate.
- Deposits – Additional security deposit required to extend rental period. Refunded upon on-time return.
- Mileage overage – Extra mileage charges can apply if you exceed mileage limits during the extension.
While granting an extension should not be difficult or punitive, costs may increase beyond the base rental rate. Inquire about all applicable charges so you can make an informed decision when requesting extra rental days.
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Alternatives if Extension Refused
Ideally, rental companies will try to accommodate reasonable extension requests when possible. However, some situations like existing reservations for your motorbike after your return date may prevent them approving additional days.
If your extension request gets denied, you have alternatives:
- Rent from another company – Find a new rental shop and make a fresh reservation for additional days.
- Use other transportation – Take buses, trains, planes or passenger motorbikes between destinations.
- Adjust itinerary – Skip visits or activities you won’t reach on your remaining rental days.
While not ideal, with some flexibility you can modify your plans and continue traveling if unable to extend your current motorbike rental.
Tips for Securing an Extension Approval
To help convince rental companies to authorize extra time for your motorbike rental, follow these tips:
- Be polite and explain reasons – A courteous request emphasizing your desire to safely enjoy their rental motorbike and services may appeal to them.
- Offer to pay any extra costs – Pledging to cover additional fees reassures them extension won’t cause financial loss.
- Ask about alternatives if refused – Even if extension denied, they may offer compromises like reduced extra fees, different return location, etc.
- Book early departures – If original rental period very short, extending seems more reasonable to avoid frequent turnovers.
- Rent during off-seasons – More motorcycle availability makes extension approvals more likely during slower tourist seasons.
- Develop rapport upon pickup – Friendly interactions from the start encourages rental staff to go the extra mile to help you later.
A thoughtful, polite request optimizes your chances for a positive extension outcome. But alternative backup plans help too in case an extension simply isn’t possible.
Make Sure to Return by New Due Date
If successful getting an extension approved, be diligent to return your motorbike on time and avoid new penalties. Cross reference your original rental contract and extension terms to ensure you know:
- Exact new return date and time
- Correct updated rental period length
- Applicable late return fees if past due
Before the revised due date arrives:
- Double check return location and hours to avoid issues dropping off after-hours
- Refill gas tank and meet any other return conditions
- Perform a final walk around inspection for any new damage
Satisfying all rental conditions and returning on the new agreed date shows good faith. Follow through demonstrates you are a responsible renter they can trust with future extensions.
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- Extending a motorbike rental in Vietnam is possible if handled properly. Give advance notice and politely emphasize your enthusiasm for more time with their bike and services.
- While usually reasonable, prepare for extra extension fees and have backup transport plans ready in case an extension cannot be granted.
- If successful, meet all new rental terms, return location/dates and avoid new late fees. Follow through proves you are a great customer worthy of flexibility.
With some preparation and planning, a last minute motorbike rental extension allows you to fully experience the magic of Vietnam on two wheels a bit longer. Just ride responsibly so you, your bike and others all arrive safe at your destination.