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Tips for Renting a Motorbike in Hanoi

If you are planning on renting a motorbike in Hanoi then this is a must read. Full of pros and cons the outcome be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. Somebody experienced the good, bad and the ugly after  motorbike rental in Hanoi in a few different provinces. Save yourself the danger and the expense by being fully prepared before hand by reading our experience here. Where to rent motorbike in Hanoi?

Where can I rent a motorbike in Hanoi?

Motor rental service is available in Hanoi and you can easily find the shops which offer this service on main streets like Hang Be, Ta Hien, Luong Ngoc Quyen, Dinh Liet. and especially small streets in Hanoi Old Quarter.

how much does it cost for a whole day rental?

The cost ranges from $6 to $50 per day depending on motor type

Should you rent a motorbike in Hanoi?

Don’t take this question too lightly. If you are not an experienced rider and want to ride around just for fun then be very careful. Exhaust pipe burns, scraped skin and hospital visits are not fun.

Yes, the traffic in Hanoi is not as busy as in Ho Chi Minh City or Danang but riding here is still a challenge. It is even more challenging when it is wet, windy or when the roads are extra busy during national holidays.

The cost of motorbike taxis or even regular taxis are quite cheap so maybe you are better off letting someone else do the driving.

In the event of an accident your insurance may not cover you unless you are licensed to ride in Vietnam, some insurance companies consider motorbike riding an adventure sport and don’t cover it.

Tips Motorbike Rental Hanoi
Tips Motorbike Rental Hanoi

Tips Motorbike Rental Hanoi

How to rent a motorbike in Hanoi?

When you rent a bike in Hanoi you will need to provide your passport or for longer term rentals a copy of your passport. Most rental places will accept payment when you return the bike after your ride. Read More: Location map motorbike rental in Hanoi

Best Company Rental Motorbik In Hano
Best Company Rental Motorbik In Hanoi

In most cases the rental place will not provide you with any paperwork, no contract / agreement and no registration for the bike. This could be a problem if you are stopped by the police which is very unlikely unless you have an accident.

Also note that most places will not ask for a driving licence, most foreigners in Vietnam are unlicensed but this is changing as getting a license is getting easier. If you plan to be here for more than a few months, get a licence.

The automatic motorbike is the easiest to handle, better to ride in metropolitan areas, and suitable for beginner drivers. The manual requires hand and feet coordination. And big engine bikes are for experienced riders only and suitable for the rugged roads in the countryside.

How to ride a motorbike in Hanoi?

All you need to know before you start to ride a motorbike or car in Vietnam.

But carefully! Regardless of how experienced you are, riding in Hanoi takes a bit of getting used to. Use some common sense and learn how the locals use the road.

There are SO many motorbikes zipping around that you have to walk slowly but surely, allowing the motorbikers to (hopefully) dodge around you. If you stand around waiting for them to stop for pedestrians to cross, you’ll be waiting a long time.

Traffic law is practically non-existent. It’s not that scary once you get the hang of it, but you might want to get a feel for how it works before setting off on your own.

Follow closely behind someone who looks like they know what they’re doing

The Vietnamese will carry an entire house (plus their three children and dog) on the back of their bikes if they can. You will amaze at how they don’t tip over.

What Are Hanoi Motorbikes Rental Requirements?

It you want to rent a motorbike in Hanoi, some rental companies ask for your passport while others don’t. We’ve noticed that shops located along the main touristy roads seem adamant about handing over your passport. It seems as though the smaller businesses on the less traveled side streets are more accepting to a passport photocopy or a cash deposit instead. To rent a motorbike in Hanoi, you need two things:

  • Passport
  • Cash

For motorbike rental, there are different procedures depending on the rental shop and the length of the rental. If you stay in a hotel and rent a motorbike from the hotel for a few days, the hotel will not require a deposit. If you rent directly from a rental shop, you need to give your passport to the owner until you return the motorbike or deposit an amount of money (from 1.5 million VND to 3 million VND). Leaving a passport with a shop while you travel the whole country is not ideal, so an alternative can be suggested. Often rental shops will accept a different form of valid identification or even a copy of the passport.

In some cases, an additional requirement could be the number of your hotel room if you’re renting a scooter from the hotel.

Or sometimes a rental company could ask for the hotel that you are staying in.

Regarding payments, you almost always pay in cash and upfront. Most motorcycle companies don’t ask to see proof of a driver’s license. You can drive away from their shop without toppling over or crashing into something or someone. More information>> Best place motorbike Rental in Hanoi

Safety Inspection and Checks

Before you set off, make sure you give a thorough check of the motorbike. The company will usually go over the bike and make a list of any dents, scratches and damage it might already have which you will be asked to witness.  Pay attention when this is done as the contracts you are about to sign says that you hired the bike in prime condition. If it comes back with any additional marks you will be charged for this and be careful some companies motorbike rental Hanoi make alot of extra income this way.

Here are things you should check for.

1) Inspect the bike for existing damage and take photo’s on your phone

2) Sit on the bike and bounce up and down – make sure the suspension is working

3) See if the mirrors adjust and you can see behind you.  Thai drivers hardly ever use their mirrors – but you do!

4) Ride the bike and check for size comfort (your knees should not be forced to stick out)

5) Ride the bike and test the brakes (some bikes have rear and front, some combined – know what you have)

6) Check the acceleration – sometimes you will need to get out of the way of some idiot quickly

7) Opt for bikes with thicker tires – thin tires and gravel will be your No one reason for an accident

8) Helmet – Get as good as you can and wear it.  Seriously wear it – I know some people don’t but think of your mother!

How much? – Motorbike Rental Hanoi price

The company will usually charge per 24 hours. When you rent for a day. the price you pay will vary depending on where you are, whether the bike is older or new, and an automatic or a manual one. In some places, you may have a discount for a weekly rental, most will for a monthly hire term.

Rental Scooter In Hanoi
Rental Scooter In Hanoi

If you intend to hire this motorbike for a long time (over a week), make sure you have a good deal with the company. (especially in peak seasons insist on a daily rate for how many days you hire)

Budget is about 120.000 to 200.000 VND per day or 800.000 to 1.200.000 VND for monthly rental. It depends on your motorbike preference.

Note that motorbikes rental prices in popular tourist destinations in Hanoi are higher compared to less touristy areas. If you plan to rent a scooter in Phuket, I recommend getting a bigger Motorbikes than 50cc.

I recommend renting a scooter from a scooter rental that looks trustworthy. Renting a scooter from your hotel is a good option although it will cost you more. But as we’re talking about a few dollars difference, it is a less risky option than to rent from a business that looks suspicious.

Some places for Hanoi Motorbike Rental

It is not difficult to rent a motorbike in Hanoi or any other Vietnam city. There are several variants:

small hotels and hotels.

specialized points.

other variants.

You can hardly walk around any (especially central) street without noticing a dozen rental places where you’ll be gladly helped to hire a scooter.

If you are staying at a small hotel you’ll probably be told about such nearest places at the reception. They even can bring you a bike or something to the hotel as hotel owners often have contracts with the owners of motor transport.

If they don’t provide such a service, it’s enough to walk along the second and the third lines of Hanoi.

One more method of hiring motor transport in Hanoi is getting in touch with the foreigners living there a long time and running some bike rental business. We’d advise you to turn to our good acquaintances – guys from the Moto Vietnam and they not only will help you to choose a good and suitable bike but will also give you some recommendations and several bike riding lessons.

There are some places motorbike rental in Hanoi. But I recommend these fews stores as the quality of motorbikes are quite good and easy to find:

Motorbike Rental Van Chinh
Add: 24D Ta Hien, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. (Old Quater)
Tel: 0989595533

Cong Tan Motorbike
Add: 110 Nguyen Van Cu, Long Bien District, Hanoi.
Tel: 0857255868

Read more: Cheapest motorbike rental in Hanoi

Phung Motorbike
Add: 37 Ngo Huyen, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.
Tel: 0857255868

Rentabike

6b Tam Thuong (lane by 38 Hang Bong Street), Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Tel: (0904) 392423 (Thu)

Viet Motor

Add:  55 Trinh Cong Son, Nhat Tan, Tay Ho, Hanoi (near the Water park in West Lake).

Tel: +84369986789

General Maintenance

From the moment you take off from the rental motorbike lot, you’ll be seeing Vietnam in a whole new way. You can now take the scenic route through the rice paddies! While enjoying your new found freedom, keep these general maintenance tips in mind:

Rental Motorbikes In Hanoi
Rental Motorbikes In Hanoi

Gas

Ask your motorbike rental company how much your motorbike should cost to fuel up in Vietnam. When running low on gas, find a reputable gas station with a metered gas pump and pull up to the attendant. They will first ask you how much money you would like to spend. You can either provide an amount or ask them to fill the tank up entirely. Either way, just make sure you end up paying the amount shown on the pump.

Oil

Ask your rental motorbike agency how often you should change the oil for your particular bike in Vietnam. Most bikes require an oil change every 500 to 1,000 kilometres. Changing the oil should cost 100,000 VND (4.35 USD).

Chain Tension

Ask for a chain tension inspection every 800 kilometres, and tightening costs between 20,000 to 25,000 VND (around 1 USD).

Air

Ask to check your tyre pressure at the same time you check your oil. Keep in mind that few places actually test the tyre pressure. It is common for them to be dangerously over-inflated. Pressure gauges are cheap and easy to obtain. So it’s best to ensure the tyres are inflated to the PSI written on the sidewall of your motorbike.

How to drive a scooter or Motorbikes in Vietnam?

Traffic in Vietnam is an organised chaos. It seems terrifying and busy, but it has a couple of rules worth following.

Observe other drivers first. Take a motorcycle tour, or a motorcycle taxi, and watch what the driver does and how Vietnamese people survive on the roads. Follow This: Contract Motorbike Rental In Hanoi

Always wear your helmet. You will see that everyone in Vietnam has them. The ones that you will get at the rental shop are cheap and not very well made. You can buy better ones at authorised dealers.

Drive slowly. Start from around 30 km/h and try to keep some distance between you and the other bikes.

Beep, beep and beep at everyone, especially at intersections and roundabouts, and when you overtake other vehicles. This is a warning sign for others, so they don’t turn, or change lanes, suddenly.

Remember that the person, who drives out from a side street into a main street has a priority, so many people don’t look around when they join the traffic.

Be aware of other cars driving on other lanes. Look at the arrows on the road if you are driving on a road with three lanes. Many times people driving on the left lane are allowed to turn right at the very last moment.

It is illegal to drive in Vietnam without a valid driving license, but it’s Vietnam… So, carry your international driving license with you or around 500,000 VND to ‘pay’ your fine when caught by police. I heard that if you talk to them in French they will let you go as no one speaks it in Vietnam. Try it out and see if it works. Good luck!

Things to do in Hanoi

It can be easy because there are many kinds of transportation to choose based on your budgets. Also, numerous attractions, restaurants, shopping venues, and hotels are located close to each other so it’s easy to move from this place to another.

But surely there is a difficulty in language and communication as Vietnamese cannot speak English well. And above all is the fear of scams of tourists. 

So think carefully about where you want to go and how you want to get there; what might cost you the least may take up the most time, and a bigger transportation budget may actually save in terms of more sights seen and less hassle along the road.

For getting around Hanoi, I have listed down every kind of transportation with detailed information including price and some advice for each. So read on.

From Noi Bai Airport to Hanoi - Get Around in Hanoi

Noi Bai Airport (IATA: HAN, ICAO: VVNB) is the only airport in Hanoi and the biggest one in Northern Vietnam. Noi Bai Airport is located in Soc Son District and is 45 kilometers from the city center (Hanoi Old Quarter). It takes around 45 minutes to get from Noi Bai Airport to the city center.

There are several ways for tourists to get to the city center from Noi Bai Airport. We list out some with advice for you:

Book a Grab Car in Hanoi

If you have Grab app on your phone, that’s great. If not, you have to download the app in order to book a car. Noi Bai Airport has free wifi everywhere so it’s easy to do so.

However, remember you need to pay them the 2-way gate fare of 30.000 VND (1.5 US$). Choose a proper pick-up and drop-off point to avoid communication issues. If you decide to use Grab, you won’t have to exchange money at the airport since you can pay by credit card.

Traditional Taxi

If you find using modern technology to book a Grab inconvenient, then just go with the traditional taxi. It’s not hard finding a taxi outside the airport. There will be a taxi lineup the moment you walk out of the airport. These are notable and reliable brands you should choose are:

  • Taxi Mai Linh (phone no. 024 38 222 666): the remarkably green cab with its name “Mai Linh” on both sides.
  • Taxi Van Xuan (phone no. 024 38 535353): the grey cab with a blue and a red line along both sides. This one offers quite a low price compared to Mai Linh as the quality of the car is not as good as Mai Linh Taxi.
  • Taxi Airport (phone no. 024 3200 2566): the half white and half dark pink cab with its phone number on the front door.

The average price of a cab from the airport to the Old Quarter should be around 250.000 – 300.000 VND (11 - 14 US$). This includes airport gate fare. Do not pay more than this and if you are quoted a higher price, you are most likely being scammed.

Private Car

Another option for you in case you want higher certainty and safety is to book a private pick-up car from a travel agency. This is properly the safest way and fastest way of transportation. The driver will wait for you outside, and once you arrive and done with the procedures in the airport, you can immediately get on the car and transfer to the exact location you need.

The price of a private car is around 16 - 18 US$. With a group of 4 - 5 people and above then the price is 5 US$/each person. Contact us for the Private Car.

Things to do in Hanoi
Things to do in Hanoi
Hanoi public transport - Buses in Hanoi

If your luggage is not too big and you want cheap transportation, look for the 86 Bus Line at Terminal 2. The approximate time of transportation is an hour, with a 30.000 VND (1.4 US$) ticket fee and bilingual instruction.

The earliest time you can catch the bus is 5:10 in the morning and the bus departs at 22:30. One small drawback is that the bus contains only 25 seats, while its capacity is 80 people. Perhaps prepare yourself to stand during the 60-minute drive.

Hanoi Taxi - Hanoi Transportation

Taxi is easy and common transportation in Hanoi. You can hail a taxi on the street or for safety, ask your hotel receptionists to help you out. Fitted with reliable meters, the starting price for taxi costs between 10.000 VND and 15.000 VND per kilometer.

However, there’re a few things I need to remind you for getting around Hanoi by taxi:

  • Most of the taxi drivers cannot speak English and it could be difficult for communication. If you need to go somewhere, just show the driver a paper or card that has the address on it.  
  • Be careful of taxi scams. Some will try to impose a flat rate for your trip instead of relying on the meter. Even when they use the meter, some of them will have defective meters that run too fast! Instead of just any taxi that passes your way, look for one of the reputation brands. Some of them are:

Taxi CP (+84 43 826 2626)

Hanoi Taxi (+84 43 853 5353)

Mai Linh Taxi (+84 43 861 6161).

  • Taxi drivers in Hanoi are also loath to give back change. If this is a big deal for you, bring smaller bills to pay the exact change.
Cyclo

By far the most unique way if getting around Hanoi, or three-wheeled bicycle. A front seat will be enough for a maximum of 2 people. However, cyclos only go around Hanoi Old Quarter and you cannot find it anywhere outside this area. Cyclos are only used for exploring the Hanoi Old Quarter.

If you decide to take a cyclo, make sure you pay between 100.000 – 150.000 VND per hour (4.6 – 6.9 US$) riding around the Old Quarter. Watch out these things:

  • There can be scams as some peddlers are not honest about pricing. Agree on the price up front before you boarding.
  • If the peddlers charge you more once you finish, pay the price you agreed at first and be firm about it. However, you can tip the peddlers as he/she pedaled your entire body weight for the past hour.
  • Have the correct change ready, as cyclo drivers (like their taxi counterparts) hate to give back change.

I recommend booking cyclo tours with your hotel or with a trustable party. Consider these tours: Sans Souci (the oldest and most well-known cyclo brand in Hanoi), TNK Travel.

Taking a cyclo around the Old Quarter is a must-try thing visiting Hanoi

GrabCar/GrabBike - Hanoi Transport Service

You can call a GrabCar or GrabBike for getting around Hanoi. If you want to experience how it feels like to sit behind a motorbike and join in the crazy traffic like a local, booking a GrabBike can be a great consideration. 

Bikes can easily zigzag their way through traffic so you don’t have to worry about being stuck in the congested streets behind lines of cars. The price might go up a bit during peak time though. However, it shall not be a big deal, as it is still going to be cheaper than catching a cab.

Bus - Hanoi public transport

Local buses are also a very common transportation for locals in Hanoi. Local buses are noticeable with red, white, and yellow colors.

Hanoi has a number of local buses that have regular routes through the city, most of which stopping nearby and in front of famous attractions such as Hoan Kiem Lake, The Old Quarter, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Temple of Literature, etc.

A ticket is 7.000 VND and you can only pay in cash. Make sure you carry smaller bills if you’re planning on travelling via bus. To prevent a miscommunication with the bus driver, you should write your destination on your phone. This way you can show him once you get on the bus. You also should be careful whenever you get on and off the bus because it pulls away quickly.

If your accommodation is not near to the attractions of the Old Quarter, there are ways to get there. You can catch the bus lines below. I recommend avoiding peak hours (6:30 – 9:00 and 17:00 – 19:30):

  • To Hoan Kiem Lake: 04, 14, or 36.
  • To O Quan Chuong Gate: 03, 11, 14, 22, 18, 34, 40.
  • To Dong Xuan Market: 31.
Bicycle

Getting around Hanoi by bicycle is not for the weak-kneed; traffic rules fly out the window as soon as you hit the road, and accidents are a definite possibility.

Bicyclists must also contend with hot, humid weather between April to August. If none of these faze you, then pedal on; many hotels in Hanoi offer bike rental services, often going for as low as 1 US$ a day.

Walking

You can choose to walk around Hoan Kiem Lake and the Hanoi Old Quarter area. However, I suggest you not walking too far since it's not easy for first-timers to walk in the streets of Hanoi. The traffic can be crazy and you don't have the skills of walking through the traffic like the locals. It could be very dangereous and accidents can occur.

Take a walk on the old and busy streets in Hanoi Old Quarter to feel the tranquil and unique atmosphere of Hanoi or discover some amazing street food

By walking in the Old Quarter, you could drop by a typical coffee stall of Hanoi, order a cup of ice tea and enjoy the capital’s morning charm in a really local way. If you want to make it an authentically interesting experience, let’s visit one of these oldest and most interesting cafes of the city.

Motorbike

You sure see numerous motorbike on Hanoi roads as it is the common transportation of locals here. Do you want to try to drive one? Hanoi traffic can be "crazy" some time yet it is still a thriller and exciting experience that many tourists want to try out.

Thuê xe máy Hà Nội

You can hire a motorbike in the Old Quarter area or join in thrilling Hanoi Motorbike Tour

Train

Hanoi has only one train station which is the Hanoi Train Station in 120 Le Duan Street, Dong Da District.

Left of the main entrance stands Counter 2, where tickets for southbound stations are sold. To the right of the entrance stands a ticket office for tickets to Sapa (via Lao Cai), and Counter 13 for tickets to China. Buy tickets at least a day before the trip to make sure you get the kind of berth you want.

Bus

A series of bus stations are located around Hanoi, each one dispatching buses that travel only in a particular direction. Call or visit these bus stations for updated tickets prices and schedules. As with the train, buy your tickets at least the day before you travel to ensure a seat.

  • Gia Lam Bus Station

Address: 9 Ngo Gia Kham, Long Bien, Hanoi

Location: Google Maps

Destinations: serves northeast, including Ha Long Bay, Lang Son, Haiphong, and Lao Cai/Sapa

  • Luong Yen Bus Station

Address: 1 Nguyen Khoai, Hanoi

Location: Google Maps

Destinations: Hai Phong, Saigon, Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang, among others

  • Kim Ma Bus Station

Address: 1 Kim Ma, Dong Da, Hanoi

Location: Google Maps

Destinations: serves northwestern Vietnam, including Dien Bien Phu and Hoa Binh

  • My Dinh Bus Station

Address: 20 Pham Hung, My Dinh, Tu Liem, Hanoi

Location: Google Maps

Destinations: Dien Bien, Hoa Binh, Bai Chay (near Ha Long Bay), Bac Kan (near Ba Be National Park), and Nho Quan (near Cuc Phuong National Park), among others

  • Southern Bus Terminal - Phia Nam

Address: Km 5, Duong Giai Phong

Location: Google Maps

Destinations: Hue/Da Nang (first-class sleeper bus), Saigon, Da Lat, among others

I hope that after this post, you can now know your way of getting around Hanoi based on your needs and budgets. If you have any question, feel free to ask Motorbike Nguyen Tu. We are always here to help!

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