How to buy a motorcycle in Vietnam is the first question to ask yourself, if you want to explore the whole country on your own with a independently and therefore make the greatest memories ever. It’s is actually not that easy get a motorbike that quick. But there are a couple things you can do to get it faster…
In the following blogs I want to tell you a little bit about my experiences in Vietnam. I went there right after I have explored Cambodia. To make this clear upfront: Vietnam was an absolute dream!
I know, I almost say this about every destination, but Vietnam is just another level. Trust me!
The fact that I love it so much maybe has something to do with the extraordinary beauty of the country, the extremely friendly people or with point, that I explored it with a motorcycle, had crazy adventures and have seen the greatest sights you can possibly visit.
I am not sure. But before I could start my journey I had to ask myself the question of how to buy a motorcycle in Vietnam.
When I got there, I had no idea. I thought, I’ll just wing it. And luckily, I found one quickly. So, I could start my journey straight away. But that’s not normal. Some people need way longer. But, if you follow the following tips, you’ll be sorted out quickly.
How to buy a motorcycle in Vietnam – General information
Usually I give you some information about everything you need to know. In this case I only want to give you 6 crutual points, which will be important for your motorcycle trip through Vietnam, what you need to watch out for when you buy a motorcycle and what to know in general.
International drivers license
Usually you would need an international driving license to get around in Vietnam – I figured, that it is not that important. I got stopped by the police once and showed them my german drivers license. They have been completely fine with it. Still, I would always recommend you to have an international one with you. Even though I think it won’t get critical at any point, it’s always good to have one on you. And just in case, always have a little bit more money with you, because you might be able to pay them 😉
Unfortunately a lot of Vietnamese speak bad English. In the big cities it is alright. But as soon as you get out of them, it will be more difficult. This can also be a problem regarding the question of how to buy a motorcycle in Vietnam (read below). Only buy one from somebody, who speaks good English. Otherwise they might tell you some weird stuff, which you don’t understand 100% correctly and then you maybe buy the wrong motorcycle
No bike is perfect
When you think about how to buy a motorcycle in Vietnam, you should also think about which one to take. Certainly there is no perfect choice. I promise you that!
It will break down eventually, which is completely normal. So, don’t be afraid. Still, it would be good to get one, which will at least run for a couple 100 km 😉
One month visa
Don’t forget, usually you only have a visa for one month. So, you should get your motorcycle quickly, if you want to have enough time on the road.
Lies to sell
Vendors and other backpackers might lie to you to sell you a motorcycle. This is normal. Be aware of that. Of course, it’s not a good thing to do and I don’t say everyone does it, but there are a couple people out there, who do so. So, always check everything twice and look closely. If you don’t have any knowledge about motorcycles, then maybe take someone with you, who does, or bring it to a mechanic before you buy it.
You will need some additional things when you go on a motorcycle tour through Vietnam. There is a second question besides how to buy a motorcycle in Vietnam and that’s “what you also gonna need?”. When you have found the right one, also ask for elastic bands, waterproofed clothes, a waterprooved tarp to cover your bags, refillable water bottles, a helmet and mechanical tools.
How to buy a motorcycle in Vietnam – Tips & what to do
Regarding the question of how to buy a motorcycle in Vietnam, you would be better off to follow some tips.
When I first arrived in Saigon I did not have a clue about how to buy a motorcycle in Vietnam. I literally had to learn all the tips I give you by myself. Some of them are just logical, some are quite unconventional.
The first tip on how to buy a motorcycle in Vietnam is asking the locals. They always have some good tips and can maybe even sometimes sort you out quickly. Most of them are very friendly and helpful.
Short tip: Watch out for the prices they give you. They will probably higher than buying a motorcycle from another backpacker
The 2nd tip on how to buy a motorcycle in Vietnam is asking backpackers. Mostly you will get in touch with them in hostels. If you don’t like to stay in hostels, then it might be a littler harder to get in contact with them. But you will meet some on the streets eventually.
I did this a lot. You just gotta ask, ask, ask… Many others usually have success with that. I did not. But I sold mine like that. Other backpackers just asked me, which proves that is works 😉
The third tip on how to buy a motorcycle in Vietnam is to print out a self made ad and look up printed out ads in hostels. You might have success either way. If you print out an ad and distribute it in many hostels, you might be lucky, that someone calls you and offers you his/ her motorbike.
And on the other hand you will find print ads from sellers at every corner. So, keep looking. Maybe there is the right fit 🙂
The fourth tip on how to buy a motorcycle in Vietnam is to search on the internet.
For example type in “motorbike for sale Saigon/ Hanoi”, depending on where you are right now. Most results will be normal vendors, but that’s okay. Maybe you find a good offer. Sometimes there are some ads from private people online on specific motorcycle selling websites.
My best tip on how to buy a motorcycle in Vietnam is to just go to a proper vendor. The prices might be a little higher, but therefore your bike will be in good condition for the first part of your journey. And to be honest, the prices are not that much higher (up to 80$). You’ll pay between 260-350$.
Sometimes you get lucky and visit a vendor from a European country like I did (A guy from the UK). They can additionally give you a good map, strings, offer you a better price and show you places and a route you should take.
The guy I met told me the best and most adventurous route, because he did the trip 6x already.
Because of him, I went inland 3x. What you’ll see there is absolutely fantastic. That’s why you should listen to others, who have already done the trip. They always have good tips.
Once you found a good bike, then it’s up to to get a better price. Always try to negotiate. Doesn’t matter, if it’s from a vendor or a backpacker. Usually you’ll always get a discount. To give you an example. Instead of 320$ I payed 280$. I sold it for 240$ again. So, I basically drove around whole Vietnam for 40$ (accommodation, food, fuel and motorbike repairment not included). How sick is that ? 🙂
If you follow/ use all the tips, then the question of how to buy a motorcycle in Vietnam should be solved pretty quickly.
All thats said, I wish you nothing but the best on your journey!
You gonna love it!
Want to know more about Vietnam? Read here
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