Renting a motorcycle in Ho Chi Minh

San Jose, CA
#1
Anyone know the best places to rent motorbikes in HCMC? Also, do i need to have a spare helmet for ladies i pick up that ride on the back?

I heard it is the law these days in Vietnam to wear a helmet while motorbiking, so i am bringing my German half-helmet on this trip.
 
#2
Duc you should just use Grab, it's vietnamese uber. Cheaper than taxi and you can order a car or motorbike which is like xe om but more organise and the price is fix so you know what you have to pay before you order the ride. We used it when I was there last year and had no hassle at all. You dont need a credit to register cos you pay the driver cash at the end of the trip the price that was agreed before hand. Me and my mates all ride motorbikes in Australia and thought about renting them in Vietnam but it was too much of a dick around and not knowing our way around it would have been too hard to navigate. I like grab cos you just put in the address you need to go and it tells you how much that trip will cost depending on if you're ordering a car or motorbike. You also have the option of hiring a car or a few hours or day/s.
 
Southeast Asia
#3
I agree with @Quinn about using Grab. There's no more Uber in Southeast Asia, but Grab is very easy and convenient for requesting a moto or taxi, without having to worry about public taxis with rigged meters.

For renting a moto in Ho Chi Minh, the best and most reputable place is Stevie's Garage. He speaks English and Vietnamese. He responds on Facebook, or you can contact him on WhatsApp, Viber, Line, WeChat, SMS, or call him at +84828236833

Yes, Vietnam requires a helmet while riding a moto. If the police stop you, pay them some lucky money and move on. The Grab drivers carry extra helmets for their passengers. When you rent a moto, they will usually include a helmet or two.
 
San Jose, CA
#4
Gents, thanks for the info. I already know about Grab and have it on my iPhone. Uber didn't work in Vietnam, due to logistics and bureaucracy. I will only use Grab when i don't have a motorbike or my rented Honda Blade/Wave.

There is just something about freedom and exploration, and also not having to grab some strange dude on a scooter out of fear of falling off. I'd rather take my chances at getting a ticket for being an unlicensed driver in a land my father lost a war in, for the chance at saving time and living like a local would.

The previous times i was in Saigon i had met early a freelancer who had her nice Honda scooter. She rode me/us around and i started out riding "bitch" on the back, but then my manhood kicked in and i drove her around on her scooter. But can't bank on that to happen, so will be renting my own transport.

As for Mailinh and Vinasun, 1st time i was back there in HCMC/Saigon there was a young taxi driver who tried to rip me off. I told him he should have turned on the meter when we started. He asked for what i knew was three times the rate $15. I gave him $5 for the airport ride. It was either that, or i would report it to his taxi company or the authorities even though they probably would have ignored this Viet Kieu. It never came down to that, so from that point on, i got a scooter until i landed a freelancing temporary vacation "girlfriend".

Renting and riding a scooter in Thailand is a helluva lot easier than in "Nam". Oh, edited since i forgot to add my research and contribution for future users:

Honda Blade/Wave 110cc
 
San Jose, CA
#6
I hope your have insurance/license to ride in Vietnam - If you don't.. don't bother.
No license, which means no insurance and insurance won't cover if one doesn't have a license.

The Vietnamese law is that if someone is injured, it's 19 years in jail.

If someone is hit and killed, it's 20 years in jail.

Life is about taking risk. I've ridden a motorbike in Vietnam and Thailand before, and it's part of the local-like adventure, but i get your point.
 
#7
Well aware of the law hence holding license & insurance, hence holding both here.

Good luck, just don't come begging if something happens.
 
San Jose, CA
#8
Many foreigners come to Vietnam to trek from Saigon to Hanoi, or vice-versa. You can't get a license unless you have a 3-month visa. Many only visit for a few weeks.

Many have ridden safely, and according to my relatives in Vietnam, it simply isn't a big deal.
 
Southeast Asia
#9
It's a common practice to ride a moto without a proper driver's license or insurance in Vietnam.

When you're in America, before you leave, stop by AAA and get an International Driver's Permit. This, along with your valid state driver's license showing a motorcycle endorsement, is valid for riding any motorcycle a small moto (175cc or less) in Vietnam. And it works great for any motorcycle in Thailand, etc.

To ride a larger moto in Vietnam, you will need the specific A2 license. You can take the test at the local police station, or bribe them 600,000 VND ($26 USD) and they'll approve the Vietnamese A2 license, which is specifically for motorcycles larger than 175cc.

If you do not have a license, when being pulled over, pay the local Vietnamese policemen some lucky money and you'll be on your way. The police usually ask for 500,000-600,000 VND from foreigners, but I've gotten away with 300,000-400,000 VND every time. If the motorcycle is larger than 175cc and you do not have a Vietnamese A2 drivers license, the lucky money will not help, and the police will impound the motorcycle on the spot.

You can get proper insurance for your moto, and it's cheap to obtain, but it's just to protect yourself from the police, and the locals widely assume it's not going to help out with any real world consequences of your actions... injuring yourself or another person. And it's my understanding there are no insurance options to protect your property against theft or damage.
 
#10
I have a 155cc moto and bribed myself a normal Vietnam driver's license.

What kind of insurance should I take for a new moto and where's the best place to get moto insurance? When I asked at the Honda dealership, with help from a Vietnamese friend, they were not very helpful. It seems like no one in Vietnam cares about moto insurance, but it personally gives me a bad feeling.
 
Southeast Asia
#12
If you stay at a boutique hotel, just ask the front desk, and they will have a moto arranged for you at $8-12 USD per day.
That's a good tip, and I always forget about this in Ho Chi Minh. When I travel around Vietnam, every hotel can easily make arrangements to have a moto delivered to the hotel for use. The bill usually gets attached to the final hotel invoice, and you pay for everything upon checkout. And you can easily walk up to any hotel and ask for their moto rental price. I cannot comment on the prices to rent a moto in HCM, because the Stevie's Garage place I mentioned above is the only place I've used. While traveling around Vietnam, I usually pay, on average, 120-150,000 VND per day everywhere in Vung Tau, Da Lat, Nha Trang, Hanoi, Can Tho, Hai Phong, etc.

And something to keep in mind is Vietnam recognizes one rental day as one day of the week, which is different than Thailand and Indonesia, which recognizes one rental day as 24 hours from the time of pickup.
 
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