Renting a motorbike in Saigon

Watching traffic cruise by from the back of a xe om or the backseat of a taxi can leave an adventurous traveller wanting to join the madness and drive their own motorbike. With motorbike rental spots all over the Pham Ngu Lao backpacker area there is something available for almost all motorbike needs, but with so many shops things can seem a little overwhelming. Here are some tips and recommendations to make your sure you get the most out of your rental.

Doesn't look quite as good as the picture on the website.

All motorbike rental shops give you the option to rent a bike by day or month. Daily rates can vary greatly store to store, but usually cost 100,000 to 200,000 VND for a standard and 150,000 to 300,000 VND for an automatic. Monthly rentals are always a better deal: a standard can be rented for as low as $50 a month and an automatic can be had for around $75. All rental shops will generally require a deposit and/or a passport to be left behind. Remember, the cheaper bikes aren’t always going to be the most stylish, or cleanest, bikes in Ho Chi Minh City but they’ll still get you around town. Chi’s Café on Bui Vien is a great place to rent with well-maintained bikes and an English-speaking staff that can help you with any troubles you may have on the open road.

Hope they've got full tanks.

For those of you looking to take a long one-way trip across Vietnam, most bike rental shops also sell used bikes at reasonable prices; a Honda Wave in decent condition can be as low as $200 after some bargaining. Travel forums, including Travelfish’s very own, can be a good place to buy bikes from fellow travellers who have already made the trip. Once you buy your bike and make your trip you can come back to the same forum and resell it. If you’d still rather rent, try Saigon Scooter Centre, a foreign-owned rental house that has a huge number of bikes, ranging from classic scooters to dirt bikes. While they are more expensive than other bike rental shops in Saigon they offer a one-way drop off service, which is much less of a hassle than the buying and reselling.

Chi’s Café
40/27 Bui Vien, Q1
T: (09) 0364 3446

Saigon Scooter Centre
25/7 Cuu Long, Tan Binh
T: (08) 3848 7816
www.saigonscootercentre.com


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