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  1. #1
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    Vehicles in Thailand

    I'm planning on a long stay in Thailand (about a year) and I'm wondering about bringing my motorcycle over there.

    What are the laws on that? The preferred shipping method?

    One thing that DOES concern me is the quality of gas over there, AND insurance.

    Or would I be better off buying or renting one over there?

  2. #2
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    Depends a lot on what ya got and what ya do with it, They got everything from Hogs to Rice eating crotch rockets, so be ya a cruising bro or a rice boy you will not be lonely here.
    Gas is 95 or 91 at the pump and you can buy anything your heart desires be it an old Vespa restored, or a Viet Nam era Honda 50 to a new HD Road King.
    Motorcycles are everywhere and for every use, but to import one is not worth it for a years use as they tell me that they are expensive to import, but again all that info is on GOOGLE.
    But you can buy it here, just depends on what your pocket will stand, and the same goes for ins. all the way from just covering you and people you kill with your crotch rocket to full coverage for everything, but again what will your pocket stand and what do you want.
    I have a kinda friend that is mid age,works here, and likes fast rice rockets, he wears nothing but wife beater shirts when he is not working and looks like he could be the gov. of Calif. , got him a new high powered one, next day he got a little drunk in town, showin off when he left the bar, went about 100 feet, hit the curb so hard that it tore his 500K baht jap motorcycle in 2 neat pieces and damn near killed him, and not a nickle worth of ins..555

    But Like I said, all the info that you are looking for is right on GOOGLE, plus it is for real and then you will know the truth.
    Smart people do not know everything there is to know, but they can answer any question because they go to the well when they want water.

  3. #3
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    In tourist destinations like Chiang Mai you can rent motorcycles quite cheaply. I am guessing 300-400 baht per day. They may give you a better rate for weekly. However, if you live near the main road then you might be able to use public transport. Even small lanes have motorcycle taxis which are quite cheap to use and have fixed prices.

    If you import a bike you would have to prove you are not going to sell. Someone once told me they had to pay 200% import fees on a powerful bike. Is it really worth the hassle? You have to make that decision yourself.

    I guess the cheapest motorcycle to buy would be like 30,000 baht. Or you could go for a 1000 baht bicycle!

  4. #4
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    Right on Richard, a new Honda Phantom is about 80K baht, 200 cc is the largest built in Thailand and sold here, so anything else is spendy and I do not think that the larger is a necessity to have. Not with gridlock the way it is in CM now.
    A new Honda WAVE 150cc is new about 45K.and used is what ever you have to pay. and will haul you around OK.
    I doesn't matter if you have a HD Road King or a Honda Wave because according to Thai drivers, you have no rights on the road and they will not give an inch of their road ownership anyway and it is easier to ditch a small/light weight scoot that a big heavy one.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Barrow
    I guess the cheapest motorcycle to buy would be like 30,000 baht. Or you could go for a 1000 baht bicycle!
    in most metropolitan areas I've known, it was usually enough to walk from point a to point b (and sometimes safer to boot!)

  6. #6
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    motorcycle taxis are rare in Chiang Mai.
    you can rent a Dream or Wave 150 cc for 150 to 250 baht a day, 2500 to 3000 a month. lots of places arrange rental, but details about insurance can be hazy. another problem is that they want to keep your passport, or plane ticket, or ATM card, or something one wouldn't want to part with for long. you can buy run-down Dreams or Waves from 12000 and up, if you are not a motorcycle enthusiast it should be ok to get you around. I bought a second-hand Yamaha Fresh (105cc) for 18000 at a shop near the Three Kings Monument where they arranged all the necessary paperwork, registration, insurance, etc, which is very convenient as all the paperwork is in Thai of course, and huge piles of papers. if you want to buy a motorcycle, you can just walk into this shop, pay and ride home, they arrange the paperwork later. all they need is a passport copy, and a residence certificate from the local immigration office. (they don't need a drivers licence :-) ) for the residence certificate, you need to ask the owner of the apartment where you stay for a copy of the rental contract stating when you moved there and how long you are staying, AND a declaration by the owner stating your residency there, with a copy of the owner's ID attached. the immigration gave me a hard time with these documents, the first time they just couldn't state clearly that they need both of these documents, not either/or, as it is displayed on the written information hung on the wall. you also need a couple of photos and as with all matters at the immigration office, a copy of the passport info page, visa page, AND entry card.
    I have found that riding a motorcycle is convenient, I can zigzag among the cars when there is a gridlock, and it is CONSIDERABLY cheaper than having to rely on public transport, which is almost non-existent, there are a few bus routes but buses are few and far between, and of course taxis that charge minimum 15 baht for any distance that costs me 5 baht by motorcycle.

  7. #7
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    btw, the immigration office told me that I do not qualify for a certificate of residency if I have a tourist visa only, they insisted on a non-b. that's how I ended up walking around and taking taxis for half a year, and it is tough, expensive, and very, very limiting. however, a few people I talked to told me they got the necessary papers and were allowed to buy a motorcycle even on tourist visas (or going on visa-free 30-day visa runs). they insisted they didn't have to pay to the officials to overlook this "minor" detail, so I have no idea how they did it, there might be some law office arranging vehicle purchase in these cases.

  8. #8
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    No I don't think so Betti, I bought a used dream from the Honda dealer just a couple of blocks from Mc Cormack hospital back towards the river when I was living there and the only thing they asked me was if I had 30k baht. 555, and a passport, I even put it on my VISA card. it was a 125 electric start and not very old. But they are required to put ins on it when they sell it, but you have to pay for it.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Betti for that information. Like anything in Thailand, in depends on where you are and who you ask. My local Honda dealer told me that I would have to show work permit and passport to register the motorcycle in my name. But, other places are not so strict.

  10. #10
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    I guess it depends on personal contacts between people, I mean dealers and officials in a town or city. I definitely got my motorcycle registration a few weeks before getting my work permit :-) so, at least now we know there is a certain place in Chiang Mai where they can arrange it this way, and that the immigration office in town needs the above documents. I don't make any generalisations any more :-)

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