How to buy (used & new) motorcycle in Thailand (visa are OK)

Buying motorbike in Thailand is very easy and super quick. You can choose one of these big motorbike shops and just walk in. If you have all required documents and enough cash, you can leave in about 1 hour on motorbike. If you're foreign citizen, can motorbike be registered in your name? It depends on dealer, his connections and also at province. Rarely are tourist visa enough, usually are 3-months non-immigrant visa required. Easier is register motorbike in name of Thai citizen. For example your girlfriend, boyfriend or wife. Of course you have to pick up somebody trustworthy, because they'll be owners of the motorbike. And since you're most likely will be paying in cash, there's not a single connection between you and the motorbike.

Buying motorbike and the Thai Citizen will be the owner

Buying motorbike as a Thai Citizen, required documents

If you decided to buy new motorbike in Thailand in name of Thai citizen, than 3 things are required. First of all copy of ทะเบียนบ้าน (house registration paper), than their Thai ID card and of course enough cash to buy some motorbike. Thai motorbike shops usually doesn't offer paying methods like credit cart or bank transfer. And you have to pay in cash. You'll walk in and choose right motorbike. Then is required paperwork, which takes about 30 minutes. At the end you will be handed bill and keys from the motorbike. And you can leave with your new motorbike. You will get your license plate after about 2 months. You can have license plate delivered to address of Thai citizen. Or you can pick up license plate at motorbike shop after 2 months.

Foreign citizen (on visa) will be the new owner of motorbike

Buying motorbike as a foreign citizen on non immigrant visa

If you prefer buying and registering motorbike in Thailand in your name, than 3 things are required. Your passport, letter from local immigration office or consult confirming your address in Thailand and enough cash for motorbike. Usually are required 3-month non-immigrant visa. Sometimes you can get motorbike registered in your name even with tourist visa, especially when you're buying used motorbike. But when buying brand new motorbike, majority of dealers requires 3-month non-immigrant visa. Process is the same as with Thai citizen. Paper work takes about 30 minutes and after paying you can leave with motorbike. Don't forget that most likely you'll have to pay in cash. License plate will be delivered to your address after 2 months. Or you can pick up license plate at shop.

Buying used motorbike (second hand)

Kawasaki KSR 110 PRO model 2013

Every bike shop in Thailand has also section of used motorbikes. They usually buy motorbikes from the owners and renovates them. Although these motorbikes are older, they're are still in a good shape. Some comes with license plate and some without. If you pick up one with license plate, you don't have to undergo all the hustle with registering and getting license plate. Good news for foreigns - used motorbikes can be usually registered in your name even with tourist visa. You can't be 100% sure before you ask dealer. But there's a big chance, that it can be registered in your name without 3-month non-immigration visa. Which are usually required when buying brand new motorbike.

Traveling outside of Thailand, crossing the border

Thailand and Thai documents: Information of conveyance, Passenger list and Crew list

You can cross the border with motorbike that is registered in your name and even with motorbike that is registered in name of Thai citizen. In both cases you'll need fill in these free documents: Information of conveyance, Passenger list and Crew list. You will be provided by these forms at the border. If don't own motorbike (registered in name of Thai citizen), than you also need permission from the owner. There's a special official form available. You also need owner's signed copy of Thai ID card and owner's signed copy of house registration paper (ทะเบียนบ้าน). Sometimes it takes a little bit more time to cross the border, because Customs have to verify all provided documents.

Tips on buying motorbike in Thailand

  1. Cash only - Motorbike shops usually doesn't offer paying methods like bank transfer or credit card. Most likely you will have to pay in cash.
  2. ATM withdrawal - There's usually a limit. ATM in Thailand gives you just 20 000 Baht per day. If you want to buy motorbike for 60 000 Baht, it takes free days of withdrawing money. You can also go to a bank and try to withdrawal more money at once there. Maximal withdrawal limit in bank depends on limit of your credit card. Thai banks doesn't have any maximum limit.
  3. Which one to buy - Don't expect any advices from salesmen, they usually doesn't know about motorbikes more than you.
  4. Bargain - Price can always go lower. And they are expecting, that customers will try to bargain. Initial price is every time higher and salesman is expecting to lower it by 1000 Baht - 3000 Baht.
  5. Adjusting - There should be technician, who should make test ride and adjust you motorbike. Especially clutch, brakes and fuel injection.
  6. Oil - They should also provide you with a little bit of oil for free so you can ride to gas station.
  7. Thai person - Take some Thai friend (girlfriend) with you. They can understand better at which point you should bargain and when some service should be provided for free. They can make sure, that you will not be cheated or charged more than any other customer.
  8. Helmet - Buy helmet right away. In Thailand it's very cheap and it can save your life. Needless to say, you can save a lot of hustle with Thai police. Since majority of Thai people doesn't wear helmets, police is overwhelmed by fining them. And they're not bothering randomly stopping and checking people with helmets. Helmet can save a lot of money. Especially if you don't have valid Thai driving license and you would be fined for this too. Usually it's 350 Baht for helmet and 200 Baht for driving without driving license. Price of helmets starts at 120 Baht. Good one can be bought for 800 Baht.

Kawasaki KSR 100 PRO 2013 - 2022

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