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Finding out about Vietnam motorbike driving license with Vietnam Motorbike Tours

If you are a foreigner and not only love but also want to discover all famous or beauty scenes in Vietnam, I believe that everything is really wonderful on following your itinerary. A lot of travelers even take the iconic motorbike road trip between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, all the way through the country. Riding a motorbike in Vietnam is definitely an amazing experience… But before you jump on a bike, you may be wondering:

  • Is it legal?
  • Am I insured while driving a motorbike?
  • How do I get a motorbike license?

Now, Vietnam Motorbike Tours is here to let you know the answers to some normal questions.

I have an international driver’s license. Does that cover me to drive in Vietnam?

No. International driver’s licenses are not accepted here. You will see news that an “international driving permit” is now usable in Vietnam, but it appears that what this really means is that Vietnam is now issuing an international driver’s license to people who already have Vietnamese driver’s licenses. This does not mean that Vietnam will start accepting existing international driver’s licenses obtained in other countries.

Virtually nothing. You will get fined at least 5 or 10 times what a Vietnamese person would get fined for the same thing, but it will still be around $20 or $30 USD, maybe a little more. Negligible. They might try to fine you something like $100 USD, but try to negotiate that down. That’s right, you can negotiate with the extorting police here. Welcome to Vietnam.

If I were you, I would:

  • Always have cash while driving a motorbike so you’re ready if you get pulled over.
  • DON’T let the policeman see that you have the equivalent of $200 USD on you or you will probably be giving it all to him.

How to drive through Vietnam safely

  • Be predictable on the street when travelling in Vietnam by motorbike

Remember this is the chaotic traffic of Vietnam, pretty much everything is unpredictable. So it does help a lot if each and every one try to be predictable on their own. Foreigner or not, when you’re on the street, you’re expected by other drivers to be predictable in every moves.

Driving is the easy part. Anticipating the traffic is harder. Keep in mind that you will always be driving with other motorbikes around you on the streets and not talk about happening surprised situation. There’s no way you can pay attention to all those bikes at one, to be able to react if something happens. What you should do are:

  • let other drivers know that you’re about to turn/ pull over/cross the street/etc.. so they have time to react.
  • Use your horn and blinkers. It’s normal in Vietnam
  • No sudden movements, be predictable!

-     Always drive in a straight line

  • Always be expecting motorbikes coming from every directions

Be extra careful when you’re driving on a road that has many alleys leading out. Roads might look empty but someone could suddenly come out very fast from an alley, children or dogs can sometimes recklessly run into the street, so accidents can be happened. And I also believe you are also afraid to encounter troubles. As a petrolhead I understand the urge to twist your acceleration real hard when you’ve got a chance, but keep in mind that it’s when you need to be extra focus and ready to react.

  • Prepare for braking

On a crowded street, be prepared for emergency braking. Always focus on your path and be willing to press on the front brake and rest your right foot on the back brake.

  • Do look over your shoulders when you’re about to turn

People don’t pay much attention to blinkers. So crossing the street using blinkers and mirrors doesn’t always work. You should try to go slowly, look over my shoulder and work my way to the other side gradually.
If in doubt, sit behind a taxi or other slow-moving vehicle and follow their lead!

  • Pay attention to flashing headlights from cars and trucks

When you’re about to cross to the other side and the cars/trucks are going in the opposite direction, right in front of you flash their headlights, it means they want to get passed first and won’t slow down. Better wait for them to go and you continue to your journey.

  • Keep your distance

Keep your distance to the car/motorbike in front of you. It depends on how fast you are going to determine how much a distance you need to keep, but I think one tenth of your traveling speed is a safe number.

What happens in a serious crash in Viet Nam

In the case of a serious crash where either the traveller or a local is injured. People from the surrounding area or village quickly surround the scene of the crash out of curiosity. The police will then promptly show up and act as an on the spot investigator and judge. After their small investigation and may be based on the witnesses who watch your accident live, they will decide who pays who what amounts. You must be compensated for damage or not.

The police will then confiscate the motorbikes from both parties and use them as ransom to force an agreement between those who were involved in the crash. It is here that you will usually find the police so helpful. They typically support in a reasonable negotiation between foreigners and Vietnamese.

We recommend following police advice in regards to the cash needed to make the situation go away. Holding on to your morals of who caused the crash will not help you here. This the way things are done. Once all parties agree to walkway quietly, the police will then release the motorbikes. An efficient way for dealing minor problems is to spend little coffee money as any problem will magically disappear.

For Vietnam Motorbike Tours’s help and the accurate full stoy explanation of clients is very important. We often see “bending the truth” from travellers and digging big holes for all parties seems to be involved then. It is easiest for travellers to fix the situation themselves. Police, like to deal with the driver of the vehicle directly and attempts to pawn the situation onto someone else, can delay in motorbike retrieval.

Once again, if you are driving by the book and have an international driver permit and valid license then this will help when accidents occur.

How about Insurance for a motorbike in Vietnam?

When you are a foreigner who is traveling through Vietnam, you will not be able to purchase insurance locally that you can actually use. all most Local sellers or other rental agencies might offer to sell you a 3rd party yellow insurance paper. For you, this does nothing. To have the yellow insurance is merely a guideline in Vietnam and you should not rely on it for anything.

Before departing on your trip, you will want to check with your local insurance agency about providing insurance for motorcycle rental within Vietnam. They will give you right information on what they offer and how it might cover you in the event of a significant accident in Vietnam.

It’s best always to be aware of what the rules are in the country you are traveling too. Then be mindful of how those apply alongside the rules from your home country because of having some similarities among countries. When you are planning to drive a motorcycle to visit and discover some places in Vietnam, you can be too prepared, and a little knowledge about the local customs to completely be willing for a long way.

We’ve helped a lot of people safely and comfortably enjoy a memorable trip without any hassles at all. If you have any questions, there is an excellent chance we have already answered them. Please look at our Q&A page to see if it can help provide a solution to your problem. Then if you have any further questions or are ready to book, please feel free to get in contact with us.

We look forward to helping you experience the real Vietnam, the way the locals do. 

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 Vietnam Motorbike Tours Club || Best Vietnam Motorcycle Tours Operator

 Address: 3/7/36 Duy Tan Street, Cau Giay District, Ha Noi City

 Mobile: +84 976 024 986

 Email: info@vietnammotorbiketoursclub.com
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