When visiting Thailand, Phuket is definitely a must-see, especially if it’s your first time in the country. Phuket is a great place to explore beautiful white-sand beaches, local cuisine and nightlife. The island itself is quite big and there isn’t any frequent transport network, so one of the best ways to explore the place is by renting a scooter.
Where? How much? For how long?
You can rent a scooter anywhere near your hotel, sometimes even from the hotel itself – all you need is your passport. Prices for 24 hour rentals vary and you can always bargain to get a better price – usually around 200baht.
How much is the fine for not having a driving license when driving a scooter in Thailand?
When renting the bike, all you will be asked for is payment and passport as a guarantee to return the vehicle. However, don’t forget that driving without a license is illegal and there are police officers, spread around the whole island. If you don’t own a motorcycle license, make sure to have at least your regular one. The fine is around 500baht and once you have been fined, you are able to drive only one more day without a license, using your fine ticket.
How do I know all that? Well, it happened to me and my friend. We were going around the island when all of a sudden, in the middle of nowhere, police officers showed up and asked us for a license. Since none of us had one, we got a fine, and so did many other tourists coming behind us. Although Phuket is a relatively cheap place, we’d rather have spent the money on something else.
Lesson learned – if you are going to Thailand and plan to rent a scooter, carry your driving license with you at all time. 😉
Do you need a map when driving a scooter in Phuket, Thailand?
Yes, you do. Direction signs can be a bit confusing and some of the best areas have very small roads without any signs. You can ask the hotel to print you a map, or just purchase a local mobile plan with data – there are great offers for travelers.
Having said all that, I must conclude that renting the scooter, even if we got fined, was one of the best experiences in our trip.