Motorbike Rental verses Buying a Motorbike

When you have settled into your new living quarters after arriving in Vietnam and have obtained your Vietnamese motorcycle licence the next question that may be on your mind is should I buy or rent a motorbike? Buying or renting a motorcycle will depend on a number of factors and it will be different for every person. So depending on your circumstances it may be good for you to rent or buy.

Points that need to be considered:

1) How long do you intend to stay in Vietnam?

Obviously, if you are here for only a short time it would make sense to rent a motorcycle. So your next question is how long is a short time? I think a short time will be anything up to 12 months. You will have to come to an amount you are willing to pay to buy a motorbike verses how much you are willing to pay to rent a motorbike. Project these amounts out over the period of your stay and factor in the following points.

2) Foreigners can’t own a motorbike in Vietnam.

Foreigners in Vietnam according to the law are not permitted to own a motorbike or car. So if you chose to buy you will have to have the papers in someone else’s name. Hopefully someone who is a local you can trust. If you chose to buy you will have to be comfortable with this point.

3) Do you know a good mechanic you can trust?

If you have chosen to buy you will have to know a good mechanic. Being a foreigner in Vietnam you will always pay extra for things and the repairing of you motorbike if it breaks down will be no different. When you rent a motorbike if it breaks down you give it back and they will fix it or give you another one.

4) How will you sell the motorbike when you leave?

Once you have finished your stay in Vietnam you will now have to sell the motorbike. You may sell it very quickly and get your price but it is another thing to consider.

5) How more financial will you be by renting or buying?

After working out the 2 scenarios of renting or buying, project these figure out over the length of your stay and then determine how much better off you will be financially. Also factor in the responsibility and extra work involved in owning a bike.

6) How much are you willing to pay for a motorbike?

Depending on how much you pay for a motorbike whether it is new or second-hand will be another factor to consider. If you buy a second hand bike and it is not in good working order you may be spending a lot of time and money at the repair shop. If you buy a new bike you should have trouble free running but is a new bike within your budget?

In conclusion, if you chose to rent a motorbike and not have the extra responsibility and associated costs you have in buying a bike even if you pay a little more it may be well worth it to do so. On the other hand if you chose to buy a motorbike and it fits in with your budget and you don’t mind the associated extras in doing so that’s great also. So as you can see everyone’s situation is going to be different. Weigh up the facts and be comfortable in your decision.

Now you should have more of an idea which way you are leaning towards when getting geared up to ride the roads of Vietnam.

Good luck with your decision, I know you will make the correct one, and if you have any questions please email me at

Enjoy your stay in Vietnam and always ride safely.