Renting a Motorcycle in the Philippines

Thinking of renting a motorcycle in The Philippines and not sure how or where to start?.
Not many businesses in The Philippines have a website including hire shops so it can be difficult to say the least when you arrive and want to rent a bike.

Lets look at a few things you need to know before renting a motorcycle.

1. Licence – Your International driver’s licence can be used to hire and legally ride a motorcycle for  a period of up to 90 days. If you plan to hire /stay for longer you may be able to convert your existing International licence into a filipino licence, it’s ok you do get to keep your International licence, the advantage is there is no need to sit for any written or practical exams. Hire shops may need to take a copy of your Passport if you are a Foreigner. Local filipinas must posses a licence with 12 under ‘Restrictions’ to be allowed to drive a vehicle and ride a motorcycle.

2. Wear a Helmet – Helmet laws do apply in the Philippines. You are now legally required to wear a helmet whilst in operation of a motorbike. Hire shops usually have helmets either for hire or come free with motorcycle hire. Note: Look for the LTO – The Land Transportation Office ‘ICC’  (import commodity clearance) sticker on the outer rear of helmet. If the helmet does not have this sticker demand one that does, it will save you any hassle on your journey. For more information visit

3. Registration – Make sure your ride is currently registered. The LTO  (department responsible for vehicle licensing and registration) has a handy txt message service simply text:  ‘LTO Vehicle Plate Number ‘ example text: LTO Vehicle 1234mc  to 2600 from anywhere in the Philippines.

4. Insurance – Yes and No. Many hire shops do provide cover for you, the hired motorcycle and damage caused by you and your ride to property and people although insurance cover in the Philippines does vary so make sure the hirer provides you with details and carry the documents with you. If the vehicle is registered, (don’t hire it if it is not) 3rd party insurance ie; injury to persons other than yourself is usually covered during mandatory insurance during the registration process.

5. Riding – Always wear protective gear at the very least a helmet. Ride on the right hand side of the road  and take it easy. Trying to ride a motorcycle fast anywhere in The Philippines is virtually impossible due to many factors (see warning below). A great adventure awaits you if you dare. Have fun and stay upright!

Warning – Riding a motorcycle in The Philippines is statistically very dangerous. As a general rule slow down. Expect to have to stop at any given moment. With no apparent road rules, other vehicles will pull out in front of you without any warning. Stray dogs are one of the biggest problems, they will wander across the road as well as people, Carabao, goats etc all add to the problem.


4 Responses to Renting a Motorcycle in the Philippines

  1. I will be in manila on Jan 2014. Interesting to rent dual purpose bike. Any advise?

    • Hello,
      Without knowing your weight, skill level or where you intend to ride the dual purpose i say you have a couple of options.
      1. The Honda XR200 in the Philippines is a dream bike for many. The good points are that it’s readily available to hire, to service and get parts. It’s got electric start, medium seat height, it’s reliable, strong and will take you almost anywhere in the Philippines. You wont regret hiring the XR, it’s a fun ride, your not going to be able to ride fast anyway (see our previous post about riding in the Philippines).
      Bad points, Electric start only (no kick start). Low power to weight ratio compared with modern design dual sports. Yes the XR 200 has a 2013 model but its not really been updated since the late 80’s. Also the brakes are not great, front disk, drum rear.
      2. Hunt around to try and find a more powerful and bigger dual sport. You might be lucky and find a KTM EXC, BMW etc. These types of dual sports in the hire shops are hit and miss.
      Good Luck, have fun, ride carefully.

  2. Hello,
    Spam won’t be tolerated….Please if you would like me to add your site and details then look at the format and send me the information via the ‘contact’ page for review. Thank you.

    Rob (admin)

  3. Hello, which insurance company in the Philippines provide insurance policy for commercial motorbike rental?
    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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