Car VS motorbike. Should you be driving a car in Vietnam or not?

Car VS motorbike. Should you be driving a car in Vietnam or not?

car VS moto

When you see the way and style of driving in Vietnam for the first time, confusion and frustration overcomes you. You can’t comprehend how it’s possible to be driving the car in this country at all, not mentioning the motorbike riding.  Brownian motion that consists of different vehicles seems complete chaotic, and looks quite dangerous not only for your nerves, but health in general.

Nevertheless, there are some people who for 3, 5 or even 10 years have been driving cars. They don’t want to switch to less expensive vehicles such as motorbikes despite of the fact that the petrol isn’t that cheap in Vietnam, it’s over a dollar already.

The question is – why would expats who come to Vietnam to pass the winter cold prefer four wheeled vehicles?

First of all, it’s convenient. Going with family by car is safer and more comfortable.

It would be easier and more enjoyable going by car than by motorbike, especially when there’s a big group of people traveling together who want to visit the nearby places of interest or go to nice resort towns such as Mui Ne, NhaTrang or Vung Tau (the distance between all of them is about 200 km). Hiring a car means you wouldn’t depend on the driver, time of departure or arrival to a certain places. Also transportation of special equipment for surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing would be much easier.

Second of all, this is your safety.  If you aren’t an experienced in riding scooters or motorbikes in Vietnam, then renting one in a resort town isn’t be a smart idea.  Foreigners on the roads aren’t treated any differently to experienced Vietnamese drivers, so in case you get in an accident – that could ruin your whole vacation.

And third of all, the number of cars on the roads is comparatively small, that’s what makes driving a car in resort places such a pleasant thing.  Also consumption of petrol wouldn’t be high because all the interesting places are located close to touristy epicenter.

And the last important point is of course getting a driving license. To get a license for “A” category to be riding a motorbike in Vietnam, you have to at least pass a driving test and at most oral speaking test in Vietnamese. To get a license for “B” category one needs to have an original driving license and passport for traveling – 7 days later the driving license will be ready.

For people who are coming to Vietnam for 10-14 days it would be the best to be going by taxi, but if you wish to stay in Vietnam longer than that and get to know the country a bit more, then you’ve got every reason to get Vietnamese driving license and drive around comfortably.

Marina Kovalenko

5 Responses to Car VS motorbike. Should you be driving a car in Vietnam or not?

  1. orange says:

    I know the car rental company. My friends and I took it for the trip to Mui Ne, Nha Trang, Dalat.
    Its possible to rent different cars for a few days or for a long time, and the price will be less of course.

  2. Yuri says:

    Should or not isn’t really the questions as it all comes down to convenience and it is obviously much easier for visitors and long-term residents to use a motorbike. The law as such [drivers license] is practically irrelevant if one is responsible and if one has a motorbike under 50cc [or registered as such] for which no license is required.

    As far as accidents go, yes, a car is generally safer, however, not so much for others on the road whom you may hit with a car especially if you aren’t well versed in the ways of the road here. Something you quickly learn when riding a motorbike for any length of time. A drivers license is one thing and local experience is another. It’s one thing to hurt yourself and another to injure another driver or pedestrian. If not monetarily then certainly ethically.

    This article would have a lot more potential to enlighten people as to the pros and cons of each mode of transport if it wasn’t so biased and especially if more information was provided in terms of obtaining different licenses [and possibly insurance] as well as the consequences of breaking the law and dealing with the repercussions.

    If nothing else — and staying with the bias —how about some instruction on the 7 day category B license?

  3. Alex Dobrov says:

    You can get Vietnamese driving license if you apply to local traffic police office in Baria – Vung Tau.
    1. You need to have original driving license from your country
    2. You need to have valid visa (business, minimum 3 months) in your passport.
    3. Copy of labor contract
    4. Official translation of your original driving license into Vietnamese language (stamped by Consular or Foreign Affairs Department).
    5. Filled application form with your signature and signed (and stamped) by your employer
    6. 2 photo (2*3 cm)
    If you try to do everything by yourself its quite complicated.. better find any agency or local person who can help you

  4. Yuri says:

    Hello Alex,

    Thank you for that information. It brings up another point that is not clear in the article: apparently —as per points 2, 3 & 5— you need to be employed within Vietnam in order to obtain a Category B license, something many foreigners are not. Hence another point for the convenience of motorbikes.

    I know I am a nudnick as was so accurately pointed out in the comments of a previous article but aside from better English writing/editing of these articles I would suggest that the authors attempt objectivity and provide more information; not everyone in Vung Tau is Russian or Eastern European, not everyone is employed by a local company, many people here are retired, many people here are here because they are on a budget and cannot afford the things employed people can. By and large in articles such as this opinions should be irrelevant; that is what the comments section is for.

    I say this simply to encourage people to write articles that do not limit the readership and that go to improving the overall content of this site. That is the point isn’t it?

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