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 or stay for longer you can 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.
Note: This is exactly what i did, i converted my Australian drivers licence into a Philippines licence without even having a motorcycle licence in Australia, in the Philippines there is no separate test for vehicles and motorcycles.
Hire shops may need to take a copy of your Passport if you are a Foreigner. Locals must posses a Philippine licence with 12 (that’s 1 and 2 not twelve) under ‘Restrictions’ to be allowed to ride a motorcycle (1) and drive a vehicle under 4500 kg’s GVW (2).
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 lto.gov.ph
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 including hot Filipinas ;), Carabao (Buffalo) , goats etc all add to the problem.