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On old forums and sites on the Internet, you can still find information that renting a motorcycle or car in Laos is impossible, and that no rights other than local ones are valid here. But much has changed in Laos, and today you can easily rent a low-power scooter, a powerful motorcycle and a car, and all this is legal.
What rights are needed to rent transport in Laos
Laos has acceded to the Geneva Convention on road traffic and is committed to recognizing international driving licences (IDLs). IDLs are such rights in the form of a booklet in different languages, which are issued in addition to ordinary Russian rights or any other national rights. Do not confuse IDUs with ordinary national rights, which, although they have an international format and are recognized by many countries, do not apply specifically in Laos (see the whole truth about driving licenses abroad).
IDUs are issued by the traffic police on the basis of your national rights. Repeated exams are not required. But, of course, to control a Motobike or a powerful motorcycle, there must be an appropriate category.
In practice, there are almost no police on the road in Laos, so many tourists drive without rights at all, on national without an IDP, or on Thai rights, which they either officially receive in Thailand or simply buy fake rights on Khao San Road in Bangkok and other places. As tourists say in the reviews, they just got off with a fine for driving without a license of about $ 6 right on the spot.
Where to rent transport in Laos
Renting motorbikes in Laos is becoming more affordable every year. If a few years ago rental prices were much higher than in neighboring Thailand and Vietnam, now they are almost equal. So, you can rent a scooter machine from 80 000 Kip (USD), and a semi-automatic machine is even cheaper. True, prices may differ from city to City and between distributors, but in general no more than 120,000 Kip ( USD).
Motorcycle rental is not available in all tourist places, but only in more or less popular cities: Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Pakse, Savannaket, Luangnamtha etc. In these places, you can rent low-power scooters in hotels, travel agencies and rental offices on the street. In small towns, the official rental may not be at all, but everywhere you can try through the locals to find those who want to hand over their transport. Finding a powerful motorcycle is very difficult.
Finding a car for rent in Laos is more difficult, but possible in major cities and airports. It is best to search and book online through World rental offices. Basically, the points of receipt of the car are at the airports of Vientiane, Loung Prabang, Pakse:
Найти автомобиль в аренду в Лаосе
Where and how to refuel
Refuel in Laos as well as around the world at gas stations. There are also traditional Asian bottles of gasoline along the road, but it is better to fill gasoline at normal stationary gas stations, besides, they are cheaper.
There are few types of fuel here: Regular, Premium, Diesel. Motorbikes are refueled Regular or Premium, but not all fuel grades are signed in English, so trust the tankers.
The cost of fuel varies everywhere, but on average:
- 1 liter of gasoline – 10300 Kip (Lao currency and exchange rate). USD, see
- 1 litre diesel-9350 Kip ( USD).
Features of renting motorbikes
In rental offices, as a pledge, they are asked to leave a passport and usually a written contract is concluded. In the hotel where you live, sometimes you can do without a deposit. With a Motobike, a helmet and a lock on wheels or a cable are issued.
In the city, you can park a motorcycle during the day without problems anywhere, and at night it is better to leave it under supervision in the parking lot of hotels, which is usually free. Near some attractions outside the city parking is paid, ask for 2-5 thousand Kip. You can not park along the curbs, painted stripes in red zebra.
Features of traffic in Laos
The road is generally good roads, but worse than in Thailand. A lot of serpentine roads pass through the mountains.
Traffic almost all over the country is very calm, there is little Transport. There is a lot of transport only in Vientiane, there are even small traffic jams. However, this is not a reason to relax, because there are a lot of bad drivers and pedestrians on the roads. The driving experience of local residents in the whole country is very weak: almost no one uses turn signals, rear-view mirrors, do not know the rules at all. A lot of old vehicles without headlights and parking lights move in the dark. Therefore, you should be very careful.
There are few police on the roads, but then how lucky: you can drive for months and not meet a single traffic policeman, or you can stumble right away. If you ride a motorcycle with a helmet, the police will not pay attention to you. Drivers in cars do not touch at all, if there is no gross violation of traffic rules.