Rent or buy a motorbike in Vietnam?
What should I do? Should I buy a bike? Should I rent a bike?
When you first come to Vietnam it is hard to know what to do. There as so many options available and decision to rent or buy a motorbike can be hard. The number of places offering rentals has increased a lot in the years. Especially just before covid shut down the country. But rentals have become an established and easy option to research.
While most of the companies are still the same, there has been a big change in the visa situation. Currently Vietnam has limited tourists to either a free 14 days or a 1 month visa. While taking bikes into other countries has become much harder making it not an option for most people.
The shorter time frame of the visas has meant that if you want to see as much of Vietnam as possible then you need to use your time wisely and can’t afford to have any days wasted.
2 Main Reasons
With the decision to rent or buy a motorbike there are usually 2 points to take into account. The first is the time that you have and if you will have time to sell the bike to another traveller at the end of your trip. As the number of tourists have dropped since covid you may find that you struggle to find another backpacker to sell the bike to. If you end up selling to a shop then they will usually give you a bad price for it as they need to turn a profit on it when they sell it again. This means spending a 3-5 days at either Hanoi or HCMC to sell the bike at the end of your trip to ensure a good price.
The second decision you should take into account about rent or buy is the cost. If you are ok with the rental price of a motorbike then you should rent as it is in the interest of the rental shop to provide you with the best bike they can to make a happy customer and as most rental shops cover the costs of repairs on the way we are all aiming for a problem free trip. While most people buying are looking for the cheapest bike they can which usually means the oldest and the most likely to have a problem on the way. The gamble with buying is then if you want the price to be cheaper than renting then you need to sell the bike at the end and hope that you can sell it for a price making it less expensive than renting with the repairs costs taken into account.
In summary with renting you know the price. With buying it could be less or more.
Reviews and Blogs
There are now established motorbike rental companies in Vietnam. Many have been running for many years and have multiple shops across the country. These shops have many reviews and blog articles from customers so it is easy to check about them and ensure that you will be take care of on the way. Reviews and recommendations are a great way to decide on a shop to rent or buy motorbike.
Tripadvisor has always been a useful tool for reviews in Vietnam.
Here is a link to one of many customer blogs we have but a quick google search will show you even more.
One thing to look out for is that it is the same shop that you will be returning the bike to. As some places offer buy backs on the bikes but they are partners instead of the same shop. They might not match the buy back of the original shop meaning you have to trust and check the reviews of 2 different shops.
If you have any questions about riding in Vietnam or want to ask more questions about the process of renting or buying a bike then feel free to contact us. I hope this has helped in your decision to rent or buy a motorbike in your trip in Vietnam.