Jump to content
BANGKOK 23 March 2019 03:10
Sign in to follow this  
john29

Beware Renting Motorbikes In Chiangmai

Recommended Posts

I recently had a very costly experience renting a small motorbike in Chiangmai. And according to the police my experience is now very common, especially as the low season has arrived and motorbike rental shops are suffering.

I rented a motorbike for a few days from one of largest motorbike rental shops in Chiangmai. Soon after, the bike was stolen and I was forced to pay the rental shop a very large sum of money to replace the bike. Even with their "full" insurance, you must pay 50% of the cost of a brand new bike. At first, I thought I was just unlucky. But after speaking with police and some locals, it seems this is a scam which is happening frequently in Chiangmai now. It is the bike shop staff who are "stealing" the bike to help their cash flow during the low season. They wait in the popular tourist areas late at night (Thapae Gate, Loikroh Road, etc) looking for their rental bikes. They have the keys for all their bikes and as the bikes are covered in the rental shop advertising stickers they are not difficult to spot. Once they find one of their rental bikes parked up, they simply drive it away and put it into safe storage and out of sight. Meanwhile, you have to report the bike stolen and are met with little sympathy, long waits at the police station, and a massive bill.

The police know who are doing this and are closing in. However, without finding the bike or proof that it was "stolen" by the shop staff, legally you have little choice but to pay up. They have your passport too. It did not feel good when handing over a large sum of cash to the people I am 99% certain are responsible for stealing the bike. I have learnt a costly lesson. Please beware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry you had this negative experience, its true when times get tough people get desperate. If I rent a bike and I am going to use some kind of chain or cable locking system so I don't have the same experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a Popular trick to me?

Many years ago another shop did this with a Honda Wing 125 & the customer paid for the replacement value of the bike.

I had all the details of the bike & two months later when the bike reappeared on the rental row I went down with a lawyer & the police to claim the bike as it had been paid for. The shop refunded the money & I returned it to the customer.

PM me the details of the bike & I will attempt to follow up for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, this has always been a scam of some shops. The best thing to do in my opinion is to buy your own good lock and chain, and chain the body frame of the bike to something unable to be moved. :)

By the way, why not mention the name of the shop??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
By the way, why not mention the name of the shop??

Sawasdee Khrup, Ajarn, and "really sorry to hear that," Khun John29,

I think it may be wise, for Khun John29's personal safety, that he didn't mention the name of the shop. Not in a public forum.

The moto-sai scam (and the gem stone scam, and the smoke "something illegal and get busted" scam) is nothing new in Chiang Mai, and one shop is "famous" for it, and several years ago there was quite a bit of talk in the Farang community here that a certain Farang here was involved with them in terms of steering clients to them and getting a cut of the scam. But I like my human head on my human shoulders too, and for all I know (now) that shop may have changed hands. And gossip is gossip.

I am sure I don't have to be explicit, for any long-term resident of CM reading this, who else may be beneficiaries of such scams.

best, ~o:37;

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a useful heads-up for people who rent bikes. Have you posted your story in a forum geared more to tourists, such as Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree? I don't know how many Thai Visa members rent motorbikes.

For anyone who does rent, I suggest getting a very good lock. If you have a bike with disk brakes get a quality padlock that fits through the holes in the disk. This doesn't make theft impossible but it does complicate the task, which is often good enough. Don't use a 100 baht cheap lock, those things are easy to break. Obviously you don't want to use a lock provided by the rental shop.

Edited by heybruce

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, this has always been a scam of some shops. The best thing to do in my opinion is to buy your own good lock and chain, and chain the body frame of the bike to something unable to be moved. :)

By the way, why not mention the name of the shop??

I don't think that it would be right to mention it. The problem that I see is that you have no proof - at all - that the shop took the bike and stealing motorbikes is not that uncommon. . You think that they did and you very well might be right, but you don't even have any circumstantial evidence (for example, other people having the same problem with the same shop) to back you up.

Did the police tell you that this shop was known for doing this, or just that "some" shops do it?

I am sympathetic about your problem, but accusing someone of stealing your motorcycle back with no real evidence of any kind just would not be cricket!

Edited by Ulysses G.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sounds like a Popular trick to me?

Many years ago another shop did this with a Honda Wing 125 & the customer paid for the replacement value of the bike.

I had all the details of the bike & two months later when the bike reappeared on the rental row I went down with a lawyer & the police to claim the bike as it had been paid for. The shop refunded the money & I returned it to the customer.

PM me the details of the bike & I will attempt to follow up for you.

Are you involved with this, or help out from the goodness of your heart?

And was the shop owner or any members of the staff arrested or charged with anything?

Sounds like a scam for the lads to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not only this, but they get old 100cc honda dreams that I could pick up for under 10k and on the contract they require you to pay 50k! that's the price of 125i wave!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This may also be a scam with rental bicycles too. A mate of mine has had 2 rental mountain bikes stolen this year and had to pay out for new ones. That's 2 rental bikes this year!!! He could have paid for a great bike of his own with the money he lost. Fed up with the cycles, he now rents a motorcycle!!!

I've had 2 very nice mountain bikes the 3 years I've been in CM, which I bought myself. I go everywhere and anywhere with them and have never had them stolen nor seen any evidence of attempts to steal them. Maybe his locks were provided by the rental shop who also had keys for them. I don't know all the details but I would guess this may have happened unless he had just been bloody unlucky.

Aitch

Edited by Drew Aitch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you involved with this, or help out from the goodness of your heart?

Arh, just the "goodness of my heart". I hate to see the rental shops ripping off customers.

But the bike is "only" a Mio & probably the most popular bike stolen in Chiang Mai right now.

If it were a bigger bike 250cc+ it would be relatively easy to spot should it reappear on the rental rack at the shop (for which I now have details.)

Most rental shops in Chiang Mai have had small automatic bikes stolen & I would suggest that a gang cruises the street looking for rental bikes (easy to spot with the shop stickers on it) that are probably not chained or locked up properly & steals the bike using a skeleton key, or even their own bike by some naughty shops.

Years ago in Cnx one shop was so notoriously bad that your bike was either stolen or had drugs planted under the seat. Either way you lost & paid up big time. I recall that one bike, an MTX was locked & chained up & it still walked late at night. No doubt nicked by their own employees with a full set of keys for the steering lock + padlock.

I don't think it is good idea to name the shop accused of stealing its own bikes here as it is only an accusation & it could well be that the Mio was nicked by other people & not the shop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just as a caution...

Thai law is rather touchy about commentary that is even slightly perceived as defamatory, etc.

Thai Visa offers open discourse, but national law here should make one wary about rather serious allegations in posts.

Better to go through private legal channels, I would think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a matter of interest, we know the bike was a Mio but how much did you have to pay out for the bike?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not just CM or Thailand, this scam is run everywhere in SE Asia.

Very good point, this is scam run all over Thailand.

1. Never ever leave your passport , a copy of 1st page and visa stamp is enough. if they refuse a copy of passport move on to a dealer that will.

2. Be sure the motorbike is 100% insured for accident or theft, get this in writing. not 50%

3, Inspect the bike for defects or damage, scratches and dents, take pics

of any damage.

This is info for anyone anywhere in SE Asia who wants to rent anything.

You must protect yourself from becoming a victim, this is a tourist scam

that can ruin your holiday. The wolves are out there so be aware. Chok Dee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...