How to buy a motorbike in Vietnam
Where to look
Buying a motorbike as a tourist in Vietnam is pretty cheap and easy. If you are not in Vietnam, the best place to look for them is on Facebook. Tourists are often selling their bikes after their bike adventures across the country. You can do a search for a "Buy and sell" Facebook group in the town you are going to be in, or join this facebook page which is specific to buying and selling bikes.
When you buy a bike, it's important you get the blue card - especially if you want to cross the border into or Cambodia. There is no other paperwork you need. Most of these bikes are bought and sold purely for adventures across the country. There is no change of name ownership needed. You just pass on the blue card to the next person when you sell it again. Just check the license plate and engine name match what is on the card.
It goes without saying, you probably should have an actual motorcycle license. I do have one, but I have also met people who had no issues buying a bike and crossing into Loas without a motorbike drivers licence. I guess that is your call to make.
Most of these bikes are pretty old and have been put through the mill already. Expect to run into issues with the bike on the trip, but you will always be able to find someone to help fix it and it won't cost a lot . Bikes range in prices from $150 to over $1000. Most of the 'backpacker' bikes cost between $150 and $300 including helmets, blue card, rack at the back for your bag, and often more accessories.
We left Vietnam about 2 weeks ago and are currently in Laos. Our Bike, Jude, is doing well - in over 800km she has only one puncture so far and had no other issues. She is a Detech Win 110cc.
Let me know if you have any questions about buying a motorbike in Vietnam. Follow our adventure on Instagram.