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The best way to see the island of Koh Phangan and get around is by scooter, moped, bike, whatever it is you call it… You can drive along the beautiful roads, carefully of course, stop off at viewpoints, beaches, go and see places and watch sunsets and nothing is ever too far away.
But what happens if you accidentally crash your bike?
What happens if there’s just a little scratch or a lot of damage?
Now, the most important thing is that YOU ARE OK.
Of course you should go get checked out at the hospital and get your wounds cleaned etc, in this particular article we’ll talk about it being not a serious crash and so as long as you are ok and you’ve gone and got your bandages, what happens next…?
Let’s start at the beginning of you renting the bike in the first place, this is the very reason that rental companies will ask for your passport as a safety/damage deposit.
Scooters/Mopeds are actually very expensive to buy new (in case you didn’t already know that!) some companies will accept a big cash deposit but it’s not likely.
If you crash and damage the bike then you will have to pay for the damage you caused.
This is why you are asked to leave your passport as a deposit.
If you are unsure of this, well, don’t be, just make sure you rent from a reputable company which is usually linked to or recommended by your accommodation who will have a trusted company/person they work with.
Imagine you are renting out your own car to a foreigner, on an island where there are no speed cameras and drink driving is abused… now maybe you can understand why they ask for your passport or a large money deposit right?
This is their livelihood and they should not have to pay for your mistakes.
Ok so, depending on the type and amount of damage to the bike will depend on how much you have to pay.
Sometimes if you are lucky and it’s a tiny scratch from a bump not a crash then you may get let off but be prepared that scratches to the bodywork will be charged for and any other damage.
To make sure you are getting a fair deal it is best to take photos of the bike on the first day of rental, just in case there are already some scratches or small damage.
It is usually unlikely as the rental companies keep their bikes in top condition for your own safety.
You will also usually have signed a contract and on this contract there is a price list of the type of damage and what you have to pay, so maybe take a photo of this at the beginning to make sure they are sticking to the pricing system.
Just be aware that bikes are an expense and if you have caused considerable damage, you will need to pay for it. You would expect the same if someone caused damage to your property right?!
Don’t let this put you off renting a scooter but just be aware to treat it with care and maybe not rent one if you are not an experienced driver and definitely don't drink and drive, as this is when most accidents happen!
The last thing you want is a big hospital bill PLUS a big scooter repair bill!
There’s your words of advice, now happy driving!