How to Buy a Motorbike in Vietnam

How to Buy a Motorbike in Vietnam

Are you thinking about how to buy a motorbike in Vietnam? Well, look no further. In this guide, I will take you through the motion of the Vietnam motorcycle buying experience. In no time, you should be riding on one of Vietnam’s most popular transportation means.

Why Should You Ride Motorcycle in Vietnam?

Vietnam is a popular travel destination for tourists around the world. No wonder it has been an increase in tourists from Australia and beyond recently.

It attracts attention for a nation with dense jungles, coastlines, beach resorts, and mountainous routes. At least 8 million visitors throng popular destinations in Vietnam like the Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh Cities.

First, motorcycling is a standard feature for a country with 90 million people. It provides one of the quickest means of transportation in the bustling cities of Vietnam. At least 45 million people find this as the most convenient transportation. No wonder it is the 4th largest motorcycle market worldwide.

Vietnam has an abundance of compact roads. That makes moving around on a motorbike in Vietnam more convenient. For tourists, motorcycling in Vietnam helps you explore the inner streets. It offers a great way to enjoy the mountain breeze and see Vietnam’s cultural heritage.

How to Buy a Motorbike in Vietnam

North Vietnam Motorbike tour 9 Days

Should you buy or rent a motorbike in Vietnam? Sometimes, tourists do not take the issue of buying or renting into consideration at first. Local tour guide and ex-pat say it all depends on the length of your stay.

Do you intend to travel around Vietnam for like 3 to 12 months? Then it would be wise to buy a motorbike. It is more cost-effective, plus you can sell off before leaving.

Then, you need knowledge on how to buy and sell motorbikes in Vietnam. It could be challenging both ways without a good understanding of the market. So, how do you purchase a motorcycle in Vietnam?

Required documents to buy a motorbike in Vietnam

As a foreigner, you are allowed to buy motorbikes in Vietnam under the following conditions:

  • You must obtain all riding licenses and documentation to include the motorbike Bluecard. The Bluecard is the previous owner’s documentation.
  • Get government documents and transfer of ownership if you purchased the motorbike from someone else.
  • Foreigners with temporary or permanent work or resident permits can purchase motorbikes.
  • You are a staff of an international organization or a foreign embassy consulate in Vietnam.
  • You should have an international driving license (add a Vietnamese translation for ease of communication).
  • Tourists should present a letter of recommendation from the Department of Foreign Affairs.
  • Invoice or paper of remittance and Declaration of Origin of Imported motorbike.
  • Category A1 motor licenses cover less than 175cc while above 175cc covers A2 motor licenses.

Should I Buy a Used or New Motorbike?

Vietnam Motorbike Tour 3 Day, Hanoi-Pu Luong-Ta Xua-Hanoi

The decision of whether to buy a new or old motorbike depends on your budget and the quality. A new motorbike of 100cc and higher (750cc) should cost about 1,500 to over 16,000 USD. Used motorbikes cost anything from 700 to over 3,500 USD. They come in different grades, from manual, semi to touring automatic.

Vietnamese government charges 120% as taxes on imported motorbikes. Also, there are other charges plus a 5% registration tax.

However, a lot of travelers look for cheaper motorbike deals ranging from 100 to 700 USD. It would be best if you threaded with caution when shopping for used bikes. Quite a good number of such used affordable motorbikes are low-grade quality. You might end up with more repair costs.

Where to buy a Bike in Vietnam (Used and New)

There are several credible options to make your motorbike search online or in real-time easier. But you also need to decide if you want a new or used bike.

Online Platforms for Used Motorbike:


Travelswop is the home for such sales, but unfortunately, it has become scarce. Your best bet would be to visit the smaller shops directly to place your order.

Facebook Groups: ForSaleVietnam

ForSaleVietnam Facebook group is famous to the locals. In there you can find all manner of items from the local market. If you check, there are always regular posts of motorbikes sales.

Vietnam Backpacker Sales

You can get great motorbike deals on Facebook via Vietnam Backpacker Sales. You can check out their prices and others for your budgeting needs.


Vietnam has its local version of Craigslist called the ChoTot. Once you can gain access to the site, then you would find a regular listing of motorbikes.

Roadside Mechanics

If you are staying for a short time, then you could look out for roadside mechanics. They usually receive motorcycles for repair, sales, or lease arrangements. But always remember inspecting before hiring or buying.

Vietnam Cities to Buy Motorbikes

Chinese Motorbikes

Off-road Vietnam Motorbike Tours in North - Central - South

You have to choose between the Chinese or Vietnam motorbike market. Like ‘Honda Win’ or ‘Honda Cub,’ Chinese motorbikes are usually not top-quality products. These products often come from an unknown company but are covered with a known brand’s name. So, you get Honda or Yamaha motorbike but not from the original company.

You can get Chinese motorbikes for as low as 800 to 1,000 USD for new ones. The used ones go for about 200 to 500 USD. Remember, you always get what you pay for. The cheaper they come, the happier or more prosperous you make local mechanics.

But don’t despair; if that’s what your budget can accommodate, it’s all good. After all, it’s an adventure, so about $50 for minor repairs shouldn’t hurt your budget too much.

Vietnam Motorbikes

Most big names in motorcycle manufacturing have their plants in Vietnam. You can purchase incredible motorcycles from notable brands like Honda, Yamaha, and more.

Some popular motorbike brands include the Honda – Wave, Dream, Lead or Air blade, or Yamaha Sirius. But expect to spend $1,000 and higher for 100cc upward.

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)

Ho Chi Minh is a popular city for tourists and for purchasing motorbikes. An easy way to start is to look for the locales. Pham Ngu Lao street is an excellent place to start. Check out the big Neon bullhead sign (Crazy Buffalo). There you will find a wide array of used bikes for sale.


North-East Motorbike Adventure Ha Giang Loop Vietnam 8 Days Tour from Hanoi

In Hanoi, you can visit the Hanoi Old Quarter backpacker district to buy motorbikes. Hanoi to Ngo Huyen has a lot of motorbikes and reasonable rates to make your search easy.

Hanoi streets are small but busy. You should find travel agents and guesthouses to lodge. Not so far from the whole activity is the Phung Motorbike showroom. That’s another good place to start your motorbike purchase or search. You can get access to a variety of used and new bikes for sale or lease. The good thing about the Phung Motorbike is that you get fully serviced ones.


Sapa is an excellent location to get pretty cheap and used bikes. Most tourists travel by bike from Hanoi to Lao through Sapa. They stop at Sapa to sell their motorcycles and use the night bus to get to Laos. Since their visa is about to expire, they make desperate sales at up to 70% discount.

What to Inspect When Purchasing a Motorbike in Vietnam

Buying a bike is not a piece of cake. If you are purchasing a new bike, you have fewer worries. For used motorcycles, there must have been a crash at one time or the other. So, here are things to inspect:


Inspect the battery to be sure it retains a charge. A weaker battery means weaker headlights illumination. It will flicker once you increase your speed.

Front brake

The front brake needs to respond with a firm grip to a halt. If it doesn’t, you are likely to have a crash. Make sure there is no noise or vibration from the brakes.


For a traveler, you will spend lots of time on the roads at dusk and dawn. So, it would be best if you have a powerful glare.


Vietnamese love their horns, and you would need a lot of it.

Rear Swing-arm

The swing-arm refers to two vertical forks for holding the rear wheels. Check for any distortion (bending) of the swing-arm forks. If any of it is bent, your motorbike will likely veer off at the slightest road bump.

Transmission and clutch

There should be no cracks or rust on the suspension.

Engine cover

Look out for the original seal on covers, screws, and bolts. It helps indicate if the engine has been worked on before. Glue on seals or defaced screws means the engine has undergone repairs.

Blue Card

Vietnam Motorcycle Trip from Hanoi To Cuc Phuong National Park - 1 day

If you purchased a new motorbike, the Blue Card would carry your details. You can obtain one from the Vietnamese Traffic Police Department vehicle registration office. If you buy a used one, then you need the former owner’s BlueCard. But you also need a transfer document.

Most motorbike purchased from Backpackers on Facebook has traveled North-South for some years. The price should be between $200 to $400. Remember to seek the help of a mechanic for inspection. Motorbikes from local mechanics may cost about $500. Watch out as it may require significant engine repairs.

A used motorbike with all one-color spray may be due to an accident. The spray helps cover all traces. Chips and dents on the body can help confirm any suspicion.

Accessories to Go with Motorbike Purchase

You will need these accessories when on a ride. So, find out which are available with your purchase. If not, you may have to purchase these items:

  • Helmet
  • Chain and locks
  • Cargo straps plus
  • Rack extender
  • USB charging port
  • Cell phone holder

What to Assess during Motorcycle Test Ride

  • Transmission and clutch should run smoothly.
  • Brakes must respond promptly during the test drive.
  • The headlight must be sharp and focused.
  • Suspension – Look out for excessive vibration from the front or rear wheel. It must not sway uncontrollably on potholes.
  • Kick Starter and Electric Starter – should pick at the first start or ignition.
  • No squeaky or rattling noise when riding.
  • Change gear with ease.

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 Maintenance Checklist before making Vietnam Road trips

Most riders settle for used motorbikes. That means you need to carry out more maintenance checks before your road trip. Things to sort out include:

  • Change engine oil
  • Change plugs
  • Check brake pads and possibly adjust or change them.
  • Tighten chain.

 Additional Items for your Vietnam Trips

  • Purchase bungy-cords for tying down luggage (better than ropes).
  • A map of Vietnam
  • Repair tools – hand tire pump, spanner, screwdrivers, hammer, plug spanner, and more.
  • Spare parts – tire tubes, headlight bulb, fuel line hose, fuel filter, and more.
  • Wet weather gear to take care of wet nights and thunderstorms in the mountains.

Where to Ride in Vietnam?

Vietnam Motorcycle Trip from Hanoi to Ninh Binh - 1 day

For a new rider, it is risky to get on the road without prior knowledge of motorcycling. Take a crash course on motorcycle riding and safety. Also, starting with low-traffic cities like Thailand and Pai will help improve your riding skills. An automatic or semi-automatic scooter will help you learn with ease without breaking a bone.

Are you trained and ready for the high roads or bustling cities of Vietnam? Then, it is time to explore Vietnam.

Vietnam has exciting locations in the cities and mountainous planes. Your mission, budget, and length of stay will determine all you can achieve. You can start fromNorth,Hanoi and end in Ho Chi Minh City in Southern Vietnam. Or you could go the other way round.

Cities to Visit in Northern Vietnam include

  • Ba Be Lake
  • Bac Khan
  • Ban Gioc
  • Cao Bang
  • Ha Giang
  • Ha Long and Catba
  • Hanoi
  • MeoVac
  • Nghia Lo
  • Mai Chau
  • Sapa

Cities to Visit in Southern Vietnam

  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • NinhBinh
  • Da Lat
  • Hue
  • Da Nang
  • HaiPhong
  • Hoi An
  • NhaTrang
  • Mui Ne
  • PhongNha

Some tourists prefer to go all the way through the border at Lao and Cambodia. However, it is a risky business. But ensure you have the originals of the Bluecard.


Vietnam Motorcycle Trip from Hanoi to Ba Vi National Park - 1 Day

Purchasing motorbikes from local mechanics is a dicey one. But it would help if you are careful about imitation and low-quality bikes. You may be fortunate to get proper documentation. Please stay away from purchasing stolen or problematic motorbikes. There are a lot of them out there!

If you have a permanent card or resident permit, then you don’t have to worry about anything. Some of the popular, reliable brands to go for include Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Piaggio, and SYM. The above motorbikes have available parts, easy maintenance, reasonable prices, and durability. Honda brand, for example, has about 70% market share with impressive, long-lasting motorbikes. ‘cưỡingựaVuivẻ’ – Happy riding!

How to Buy a Motorbike in Vietnam.

Last Updated on March 18, 2023 by Travel Guides Editor @


  • Kent I Church

    Kent I Church is the creator of Story RV. He loves the idea of RVing but want to enjoy it with maximum comfort. He wants readers to love RV and not to be put off by discomforts. He offers all his RV ideas at

About Author

Kent I Church is the creator of Story RV. He loves the idea of RVing but want to enjoy it with maximum comfort. He wants readers to love RV and not to be put off by discomforts. He offers all his RV ideas at

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