Below are the most popular FAQs we collected over years of hiring motorbikes in Hanoi and providing guided motorcycle tours through Vietnam.
1. What does Hanoi Motorbike Rental provide?
Hanoi Motorbike Rental offers three types of motorbike rental from Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. Our bikes work with a wide budget range from at least 10$US to 35$US/day/bike depending on the bike you want to hire. All bikes are Japanese Hondas, no other brands or cheap Chinese fakes.
– Semi-automatic or fully automatic scooters 100-125cc.
– Manual clutch road bikes 125-150cc.
– Manual clutch dirt bikes 125-250cc.
All bikes will be filled up with gas for an easy start (except if you take them on the train from Hanoi). You either pay us gas up front or fill up when you return. A small tool kit and basic spare parts will be provided if you use spare parts then pay for parts when you return.
As we have only one office in Hanoi, currently there is no one-way rental available. You collect and return in Hanoi. If this becomes available in the future we will let you know.
2. Why should I go for a Honda?
The answer is simple. Honda means “motorbike” in Vietnamese. Parts are everywhere and all mechanics know how to fix a Honda. In addition, the cost of repair is cheap and there’s always someone will offer a helping hand if you have any problem.
Honda motorbikes save fuel, more reliable than other brands (in Vietnamese tropical weather). Simply look at the traffic and you can see at least 70% of bikes are Honda brand.
3. What should I bring with me for the trip?
You don’t need to bring with you all of your travel bags as you can leave your bags with us in the company office in Hanoi.
Here are items we suggest for motorcycle touring and please decide what you really need:
– Clothing: helmet, rain gloves, wellington boots (rubber boots for rainy season from June to October), summer gloves, balaclava, t-shirt, socks & underwear, long sleeved shirt, turtleneck shirt, extra jeans, light jacket, leather chaps, zip-lock bags, riding boots, bandannas, sunglasses, and goggles. Some hotels on the road have express overnight laundry service and you don’t need too many clothes.
– Personal items: basic toiletries, emergency cash, sunscreen, and earplugs.
– Emergency items: first aid kit, emergency contact number, list medical conditions, list medications, flashlight, chargers and duct tape.
– Miscellaneous: small towel, bath towel, trash bags, duffel bags, bungee cords, camera and cargo net. We do provide rubber straps (the local one that is recycled from truck tires and it is really good)
4. How is the traffic in Vietnam?
Just in one word: scary. It’s not for the faint of heart or a place to start riding. We recommend taking a riding lesson before you rent the bikes if you are new to motorcycles. You can do this in your home country or in Vietnam. A lesson costs 30$US and takes about or two hours depending on how fast you catch up.
5. How long do we ride each day?
The speed limit is between 25 and 70km/h. We suggest riding slower than the local people’s speed. 200km/day should be more than enough and stop as often as you can.
6. What do I need to hire a bike from you?
We need 50% of the rental amount deposited in order to confirm bike(s). We will send you the instructions to send your deposit. The balance will be paid when you collect the bikes in Hanoi.
7. When is the best time for riding a motorbike in North Vietnam?
There is no good or bad time to ride in Northern Vietnam. In fact, normally the best season is from September to February. May to August will be hot while March and April are usually cool and wet.
8. Do I need to have my country or an international driving license to ride a motorbike/motorcycle in Vietnam?
First, none of the foreign licenses is valid in Vietnam, including your country license. There are conflicting reports about this but the reality is unfortunately not a good news.
Fortunately, the good news is IDP (international driving permit, 1968 Convention) is now valid in Vietnam from August 1st 2016 with the 46/2016/ND-CP decree. However, this decree only covers countries that abide by the 1968 Convention on Road Traffic on IDPs. Many countries like Australia, UK, USA, and Canada are not signatories to the 1968 Convention but abide by the 1949 Geneva Convention. Therefore, citizens of those countries are NOT able to drive in Vietnam with their IDPs. If you have a 1968 IDP, you can purchase an insurance policy easily for Vietnam. Please also bring your home country driving license with motorbike endorsement.
In case you have no IDP or Vietnamese driving license, the police rarely stop you to check license unless you do something wrong. It’s more to do with personal medical insurance that we cover below.
9. Do I need to have insurance for motorbiking/motorcycling in Vietnam?
This is a very important thing for planning your Vietnam motorbike tours.
Yes, you need to have a personal medical insurance, even if you are a pillion passenger so that insurance will cover any accident.
We don’t require any sort of license to book a trip but it’s more about insurance. Most of the insurance companies don’t provide a policy that covers a motorbike tour accident if you don’t have a Vietnamese driving license. Sadly, it’s impossible to get a Vietnamese license with a tourist visa. You need a business visa of at least three months, a work permit, a sponsor company and a valid passport. All these documents should be translated into Vietnamese at a notary office. Then, a Vietnamese license is available after 7 or 10 days. It’s just too complicated and time-consuming. With just a normal personal medical insurance you will still be covered about 19 hours a day when not riding because we only ride about 5 hours a day on average. Some companies like CHI Insurance, World Nomads, and Allianz didn’t require a local driving license and covered larger displacements.
Even Vietnam doesn’t recognize any foreign license but take it easy you will be ok. We don’t need a license to join our tours or hire our bikes. More details are at this link.
10. What do I have to do when I collect my rental bike?
In fact, you simply sign a contract. It will be available in two copies and you take one with you. Then we need some sort of identity (but not passport) for security deposit like your country driving license, ID card etc. Alternatively, money deposit is an option and we will advise exactly how much we need in each case.