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Phuket officials target tourist motorbike rentals

Phuket officials target tourist motorbike rentals

PHUKET: Phuket officials are proposing a standard agreement for motorbike rental operators to use to ensure that legal basics are covered when renting motorbikes to tourists, such as the tourist having the correct driver’s licence to operate the motorbike and that the motorbike itself is covered by the compulsory accident insurance.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 23 February 2023, 11:35AM

The standard agreement was proposed at a meeting held at the Phuket Provincial Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office (DDPM-Phuket) at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday (Feb 22).

This meeting was called following “a large group of foreigners renting motorcycles for use in tourism in the Phuket area and frequent accidents affecting the tourism of the province,” said an official report of the meeting.

Present at the meeting were police, disaster and safety officials and officers from other relevant agencies, including the new Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket Office, Lertchai Wangtrakuldee.

More specifically, but not mentioned in the report, was the mass motorbike rally by mostly French nationals that overwhelmed the streets of Patong earlier this month.

Following mass arrests after the motorbike rally, the issue was raised by police in talks with the French honorary consul on the island.

Patong Police Chief Col Sujin Nilbadee pointed out to the French consul that the rental operators found guilty of hiring  motorbikes to people without a valid licence have been charged with a B1,000 fine as they are responsible for ensuring the correct and legal documentation is in place.

Similarly, anyone found guilty of renting a vehicle without the correct licence would also face a fine of B1,000, Col Sujin added.

The standard agreement proposed at the meeting yesterday was described as “control guidelines to organise motorcycles for rent in the Phuket area to be orderly and legal”.

“Since there is no [single] law to directly control the vehicle rentals, the meeting has discussed for all government agencies to integrate relevant law information into enforcement,” said the official report.

Attendees at the meeting suggested that vehicle rental operators use a standard agreement that was “clear and correct”, and available in at least three languages: Thai, English and Chinese.

Under the agreement, tourists renting vehicles must strictly follow the traffic rules, said the report.

All cars and motorbikes rented must also be covered by the compulsory insurance required by law so that every vehicle rented has insurance coverage in the event of an accident that results in injury and death, the report added.

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Kurt | 25 February 2023 - 10:31:58

Yes, in my european home country I am allowed to drive 6 contiguous months with a Thai driving license. EU countries have all same model driving license. Allowed to drive with in Thailand during your holiday. as license info is in english as well. No need for a international driving license what actually just is a translation document only.

LivinLOS | 24 February 2023 - 16:48:08


Of course you can use a Thai license in England, my wife drives cars with her Thai license and I ride motorbikes with my Thai bike license. What are you talking about? 

2ndly the reason a UK license 'used' to be accepted is because UK licensing used to allow up to a 125 cc motorcycle on the car license. This has changed post CBT era but it used to be the case that a UK car lic...

Kamala Pete | 24 February 2023 - 11:37:48

Just to stir the pot. According to the UN Traffic Act of 1949 and the Thai Traffic Act of 1979, an IDP is not required if you are a tourist/visitor in Thailand as long as your license is in English, has a photo, and your country is a contracting state of the 1949 treaty, which most are.

JohnC | 24 February 2023 - 08:53:02

@maverick. Why should an English licence be acceptable in any country other than just Blighty or maybe even the whole UK? Try using a Thai licence over there and see what happens. Foreign licences have never been legal in Thailand for any rental vehicles, ever. Just because the brown bears accepted them as good enough for many years does not make them legal in any respect.

Kurt | 24 February 2023 - 08:51:51

Agreements, not explicit contained in laws don't impress rental shops. There is here to much Thai thinking:..."Oh. not for me". Shop closures, impoundig motorbikes, hefty fine. That works, not weak gentle agreements.

Kurt | 24 February 2023 - 08:44:27

Don't understand why there is not a [single] strict Thai law to directly control the vehicle rentals. I's there were it has to start to make sure experienced licensed drivers join the dangerous Phuket road traffic.

Kurt | 24 February 2023 - 08:37:39

Have a look at ER's of hospitals. So many foreign tourists day after day having first- and repeated treatments after motorbike accidents. It is obvious that Phuket Officialdom avoids Phuket will be named as road dangerous holiday destination. They hide the daily numbers of accidents quite well.

Capricornball | 23 February 2023 - 16:29:04

Oh jeez, here we go again with more incompetent officials creating a new ambiguous  "standard agreement" that is reliant on the police to enforce it (555). I see the BIBs continuing to fleece tourists while turning their backs on the REAL source of the problem, the rental companies. What is needed is a new police force that will enforce the existing laws (555). THAT would work.

maverick | 23 February 2023 - 14:27:15

How will they enforce this - for the motorbike rental companies supporting this is like turkeys voting for Christmas 90% of tourists have no idea about needing an IDP unless they are returnees - a home license in English should be acceptable as it is for cars and used to be for scooters providing it’s a bike and car license 

SEC2 | 23 February 2023 - 13:59:23

It would be interesting to see the Phuket statistics on how many tourists get into motorcycle accidents and how many die every week. I see  many tourists bandaged from head to toe every day. Someone is making money, and I think it is the hospitals. Are these  accident statistics available?


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