How to buy a bike in Thailand

If you are an experienced traveler and have been in Thailand long enough, then you may have thoughts about buying your own scooter. I will tell you how to buy a bike in Thailand. And also how to register the bike for yourself.

Bikes search

If you need a new bike (scooter, motorcycle) — everything is simple. You go to a Honda or Yamaha showroom and buy it. They will also help you with documents and registration. But it is more profitable to take another option. Where to look for offers with the bikes for sale ?

Most of the bikes are for sale by rental shops. They often buy a new bike after the mileage exceeds 20−25 thousand and they put it up for sale. You can call (text) to all companies and ask about the availability of scooters.

Also, many Thai people display bikes right next to the road with a sign "for sale".


After inspection, checking the technical condition and discussing the price, you need to:

  • sign a sales contract
  • get a resident certificate
  • register a bike for yourself

Contract of sale

The contract form is available in any shop where they sell a bike. If you buy from a Thai person, most likely he will come to a meeting with an almost ready contract. After signing the sales contract (two copies), you can pay for your new scooter.
Bike sale and purchase agreement signed by the seller

Residence Certificate

To register the bike, you need to get a Residence Certificate (or work permit). This document confirms that you are legally living in Thailand. If you are not buying a scooter from a local, the seller will also need a resident certificate.

How to get a resident certificate? First, we collect the documents:
  • photocopy of passport (main and visa page)
  • two standard size photos (3.5×4.5)
  • house rental contract
  • fill in the form TM.18 (download)
Then you have to go to the Immigration Office. Return the documents, pay 500 baht — and in an hour you will get the certificate.

Important notice: you must have any visa (tourist, student, medical, volunteer) to obtain your certificate of residence, but not a 30-day stamp.

Bike registration in Thailand

Next, you need to register the bike for yourself. You can use the services of any bike shop. They will gladly do everything themselves for a little money. Or go through this quest yourself.

The next steps differ depending on where you bought the bike. If the bike is "local", that is, from the Surat Thani province (Surat Thani city, Koh Samui, Phangan or Koh Tao islands), it is faster and easier. If the scooter is from another province (for example, from Bangkok or Phuket), the procedure will take a little bit more time.

Local bike registration

Together with the seller we go to the Land Transportation Office. On Koh Phangan, this is a small white building near BigC (Google Map). If you register on Koh Samui, then the office is located on Lipa Noi (Google Map).

The whole procedure will take about half an hour. Your bike frame and engine numbers will be verified, the new owner will be added to the green book (green book is an analog of PTS), you will pay tax (~ 2500 baht), insurance (~ 800 baht) — and that’s it. The bike numbers will remain the same.
Greenbook (green book) — an analogue of PTS, confirmation of bike ownership

Registering a bike from another province

After completing the purchase and sale agreement, you need to take from the seller a full set of documents:
  • signed contract in two copies
  • greenbook
  • copy of seller ID
  • residence certificate (if the seller is not a local)
With these documents you go to your province. Then contact the Land Transportation Office in Phangan (Google Map) or Koh Samui (Google Map). You give the documents, pay tax and insurance. And for the greenbook and new numbers you come in two weeks.

Purchase without registration

Registration for a motorcycle in Thailand is optional. Especially if you do not plan to travel outside your province.

In this case, you take from the seller a full package of documents (agreement, green book, copy of ID), which will be required in the future for renewal. When you sell a bike, you simply give these documents to the new buyer.
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