“Different countrieshave different rules and different laws regarding motorcycles. In Thailand, a carlicense for an international drivers license is good for a motorbike 125cc orless. So you are driving legally here if you have an international license unlessyou ride a bigger bike. In Germanyyou do not need a full motorcycle license to ride a scooter. Those havesimplier licensing requirements there (although I am not sure what they are).Bottom line - you should check your policy before you leave and make sure itcovers motorcycles.”
MADMAC is there a Thai government website you can point meto that shows this information? If youare right (and I don’t doubt / really hope you are) then I’ll be able to get abike without worrying about bankrupting my dad if I have an accident. Seems to me I’ll have to leave it for Laos and Cambodiabut I’ll be trying to take a bike test in Vietnam (I know this could take afew weeks, but I’m not limited by time). Any info will be gladly received.
I have a full UK driving licence Cat B, B1 and I'll get it convertedto an international driving licence before I go. I have no bike entitlement in the UK
#1 PeterJW has been a member since 30/8/2011. Posts: 19
Peter I got it from two sources, one was the immigration office in Mukdahan and the other was what we call the department of motor vehicles in the states in Mukdahan who converted my existing license and issued me my Thai licenses. Let me do a little checking around and get back to you.
Thanks very much for this. I suspect there are many others who want know as well. Much appreciated
#3 PeterW has been a member since 29/8/2011. Posts: 31
The problem, Peter, is that Thai law is not your problem on this issue. This isn't really a society of law. You'll get by with whatever license vis-a-vis the Thai authorities. The problem is your insurer. If they won't insure you for riding unless you have a license in your home country, then Thai law doesn't mean a thing.
I calledtravelguard last week and they said as long as I’m not riding illegally inanother country they will cover me in the event of a motorbike crash formedical fees. I’m going to get myInternational Driving Licence application sent off today. If that’s all I need in Thailand then I’llbe OK. It seems that even with a full UKbike licence you still may not be covered by your insurance if you don’t havethe appropriate licence for the that country e.g.Vietnam. That’s why I want to find a thai gov/immigrationwebsite that I can point my insurance to if the worst case scenariohappens. This is the policy wordingbelow.
“Any claim arising as a result of your use of a two-wheeled motor vehicle unless:
a) as a passenger you wear acrash helmet and it is reasonable for you tobelieve that the driver holds a
licence to drive the two-wheeled motor vehicle underthe laws of the country in which the accident occurs
(if such a licence is required under the laws of thecountry in which the accident occurs); or
b) as a driver you wear acrash helmet and you hold a licence which permits you to drivethe two-wheeled
motor vehicle under the laws of the country in whichthe accident occurs (if such a licence is required
under the laws of the country in which the accidentoccurs).”
I can imagine most people crash abroad without the InternationDriving Licence so therefore not insured. My mate went about 5 years ago and said most of the problems were pissed18 – 25 year olds, shirtless and then hitting palm leaves or a patch of sand onthe way home for the night. I can’timagine drink un-licenced driving is legal anywhere!
Thanks for all your help
#5 PeterW has been a member since 29/8/2011. Posts: 31
Peter - well done on finding the Travelguard policy. This may be a better option for anyone considering renting a motorbike. The policy details appear much fairer on first reading - though it still isn't fully clear to me whether you are fully covered.. I'll be interested in what you can find out, Mac.
Still no Public Liability cover, though, it seems.
On the drinking and driving front - you are never insured if that's the case - in a car or on a bike.
It is surprising the numbers of people who ride fast on bikes in Thailand - clearly inexperienced, no shirt even or helmet, potholed and gravelly roads. I rode a bike when younger, before the new UK licence rules, so have some idea on a bike. But I'm almost constantly overtaken by young kids - who probably haven't ever ridden a bike before. Quite a few seem to come a cropper.
I've done some more digging around on this point about whether Thais need a licence to ride a motorbike in Thailand. It appears that, although it is widely flouted, they do actually need one legally. This means that the Travelguard policy will not pay out anything if you have an accident on a bike and have no bike licence.
Back to square one, I'm afraid.
Almost certainly, unless you have a full and proper bike licence in your home country you will NOT be insured via any travel insurance policy if you have an accident on a hired bike. Do not think the insurer will pay out for any medical costs, air ambulances or anything at all - because they won't. You will have to pay all or any of these costs yourself.
This is the case for UK citizens, anyway. Other countries travel policies may differ - though I'd be surprised if travel insurers anywhere allow inexperienced riders to ride around on a potentially poorly maintained bike on badly potholed or gravel roads.
Up to you if you take the risk - but be aware of the consequences.
Nice one Nokka. I feel inclined to agree with you unless MADMAC can show something else. I was going to get a bike licence here but it costs about £750 cheapest and thats if you pass first time! If not you'll be spending over £1000! I'll have a look at taking a test in Thailand if at all possible. I'm going to try the same for Vietnam (the whole process takes about 21 days apparently). I'll let you know if I find out this is possible. If I get a Vietnamese bike licecne would that be transferable? If thats the case I'll fly to Hanoi first :)
#8 PeterW has been a member since 29/8/2011. Posts: 31
Peter, that link is worth checking out.
Bottom line is that I think you need to make sure your insurer is willing to cover you if you come here with an international license (which they should) before you leave.
thanks fo this MADMAC. It looks like sitting a bike test will be the best way to go. I'm heading to Koh Lanta first from Kuala Lumpur so will get it done in Phuket or Krabi if possible. Apparently the whole thing takes a day inc medicals etc. If I get there and they tell me I don't don't need to do it then sweet.
#10 PeterW has been a member since 29/8/2011. Posts: 31
Thanks for the link MADMAC. I'm going to try and take a test over there. It looks like the whole thing (medical certificates, training and a test) takes a day and can be done all over the place. I'll either do it in Krabi or Phuket. I've heard from mates that paper work will be a nightmare but I'll give it a go. I'm confident enough that if I get a licence I'm sorted insurance wise. Would a Thai bike licence be transferable to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam though?
#12 PeterW has been a member since 29/8/2011. Posts: 31
For most UK insurers a Thai licence doesn't appear sufficient - you need a UK bike licence. The Travelguard policy does seem to allow it under their policy wording - but may be best to check further with them before relying fully on it.
Nice lateral thinking though, Peter - let us know how you get on with the test.