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Compare Travel Insurance Travel Insurance Tips Vietnam Motorbike Holidays & Travel Insurance
 

Vietnam Motorbike Holidays & travel insurance

Exploring Vietnam's breathtaking scenery by road will not disappoint. Whether you're riding along the magnificent mountain passes or sticking to the outstanding coastline, there's no denying that your trip will be full of fantastic adventures and unforgettable experiences. However, it should be noted that riding in Vietnam is not for the fainthearted, and it certainly comes with its fair share of thrills and spills...

Did you know that riding a bike over 50cc is illegal for foreigners in Vietnam? Vietnamese licences are mandatory for all drivers of motor vehicles as well as riders of motorcycles with a capacity of over 50cc. 

Unlike driving or riding in other parts of the world, an international driving permit (IDP) isn’t necessarily valid in Vietnam. So, before you buckle up, have a read of our Vietnamese driving guide to get you geared up and ready to go!

 

How to convert your NZ motorbike licence to a Vietnamese motorbike licence 


If you already have a NZ motorbike licence, you'll need to convert it to a Vietnamese one. Unfortunately this isn’t something you can do from NZ before you depart.

In order to convert your licence you have to be at least 18 years of age, have a Vietnamese visa that is valid for at least 3 months, and you must have lived, worked or studied in Vietnam for at least 3 months, and you must hold a legitimate current NZ drivers license.

Once you've ticked all those boxes then you'll need to...

•   Take your New Zealand motorbike license (together with your original license for sighting) to 1 Quoc Tu Giam Street.
•   Apply for a category A1 motorbike license, which is up to 175cc and "Khong thoi han" which means the motorbike license will never expire and is for  life.
•   Take two sets of forms obtained from this office and twelve passport photos (number could vary).
•   Take a medical form and go to a hospital for a health check, they will provide you with a list of hospitals where you can do this.
•   Obtain a written letter of introduction (in Vietnamese) from your employer to explain who you are, where you are from and you wish to obtain a Vietnamese motorbike license.
•   Take this employer letter together with two copies of your passport and visa, stamped by the embassy or a local notary to 1 Quoc Tu Giam Street. They will contact you when you are required to sit your practical test.
• You will be required to sit a practical test.
 

Will My Travel Insurance Cover Me While Riding A Motorbike in vietnam?

Remember your travel insurance policy will only cover you riding overseas when you have a licence that is valid in the country you are riding in. So without a Vietnamese licence you could be driving on the roads unprotected. Not a scenario you want to find yourself in!

Plus, it's likely that your insurer will have engine size limits they allow you to ride up until, irrespective of your licence class.

You can compare the various motorbike engine limits here. Click on the plus icon for more information.

Insurer Underwriter Maximum Engine Size Buy Now
Certain Underwriters of Lloyds No Limit

For riding a moped/scooter under 50cc,
you must hold a current NZ drivers license
and a license valid for the country you are
riding in. For motorcycles greater than 50cc,
you must hold a current New Zealand
motorcycle license valid for the same class of
motorcycle and a license valid for the
country you are riding in.
You must be wearing a helmet
Go To Insurer
Allianz Australia Insurance Limited 200cc

No cover unless you have a valid driver’s
licence as required in the country you are in
and you are wearing a helmet.
 
Chubb Insurance New Zealand Ltd 200cc

Must hold a current New Zealand
motorcycle licence.
Go To Insurer
Cigna Like Insurance New Zealand Ltd 200cc

You are covered for riding or pillion
on a scooter, moped or motorcycle with an
engine capacity of less than 200cc if you
are wearing a helmet and hold a valid
motor vehicle licence in New Zealand.
 
Certain Underwriters of Lloyds No limit (with Sports & Adventure Pack A)

The driver must have a valid license
for operating that class of vehicle in
the driver’s country of residence, and
you must be wearing a safety
crash helmet.
Go To Insurer
Zurich Australian Insurance Limited 200cc

Whilst in control of a motorcycle or moped
you must hold a valid New Zealand
motorcycle licence or New Zealand motor
vehicle driver licence; This must be
valid in country you are in, you
must wear a helmet and you cannot be
participating in a professional
capacity or racing.
 
Certain Underwriters of Lloyds No limit

For riding a moped/scooter under 50cc,
you must hold a current NZ drivers license
and a license valid for the country
you are riding in. For motorcycles greater
than 50cc, you must hold a current
New Zealand motorcycle license valid for
the same class of motorcycle and a license
valid for the country you are riding in.
You must be wearing a helmet.
Go To Insurer
Allianz Australia Insurance Limited 200cc

You must hold a valid driver’s licence
as required in the country you are in,
and you must wear a helmet.
Go To Insurer
QBE Insurance Australia No limit

You must have a license valid in
the relevant country and
be wearing a helmet.
 
Allianz Australia Insurance Limited No limit

For riding a motorcycle with an engine
displacement greater than 50cc, you
must hold a valid motorcycle license in the
country you are riding in. For riding
mopeds/scooters with an engine displacement
of up to 50cc, you must hold a valid motorcycle
or drivers license valid in the country you
are riding in. You must be wearing a helmet.
 
Southern Cross Benefits Limited Trading 200cc
Must select moped and motorbike cover.
You must have a valid driver’s license as
required in the country you are in
and must be wearing a helmet.
 
Zurich Australian Insurance Limited 200cc

Whilst in control of a motorcycle or moped
you must hold a valid New Zealand motorcycle
licence or New Zealand motor vehicle
driver licence; This must be valid in
country you are in, you must wear a
helmet and you cannot
be participating in a professional
capacity or racing.
 
Certain Underwriters of Lloyds No Limit

For riding a moped/scooter under 50cc,
you must hold a current NZ drivers license
and a license valid for the country you
are riding in. For motorcycles greater than 50cc,
you must hold a current New Zealand motorcycle
license valid for the same class of motorcycle
and a license valid for the country
you are riding in.
(does not mention helmet in PDS)
Go To Insurer
Certain Underwriters of Lloyds No Limit

You must have a valid licence for
the relevant country.
 
Allianz Australia Insurance Limited No limit (with Adventure Pack)

For riding a motorcycle, you must have a
current NZ motorcycle license or motorcycle
license valid for the country you are riding in.
For riding a moped/scooter, you must have
a current NZ drivers license or drivers license
valid for the country you are riding in.
You must be wearing a helmet.
Go To Insurer
Certain Underwriters of Lloyds No Limit (with sports adventure pack)

For riding a motorcycle, you must have
a current NZ motorcycle license or motorcycle
license valid for the country you are riding in.
For riding a moped/scooter, you must
have a current NZ drivers license or drivers
license valid for the country you are riding in.
You must be wearing a helmet.
 
Allianz Australia Insurance Limited 200cc

You must be wearing a helmet and
hold a valid driver’s licence as required
in the country you are in.
 
Certain Underwriters of Lloyds No Limit

For engines under 50 cc you are covered with
a valid drivers license. There is no restriction
on engine displacement if you hold a current
NZ motorcycle licence or motorcycle licence
valid for the country you are riding in.
Go To Insurer


General Advice Warning: The contents of this article were accurate at the time of writing. Insurers change their policies from time to time, so some information may have changed. You should always read the Product Disclosure Statement of your chosen insurer to understand what is covered and what isn't. The information provided is of a general nature only and does not take into account any personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your personal circumstances.

Licensed To Thrill

If you're travelling to a foreign country make sure you get your International Drivers Permit (IDP) - preferably before you leave! This allows you to drive or ride the same class of vehicle you are permitted to ride in your home country. So, if you are NOT covered to ride a motorcycle or scooter in New Zealand, you are not permitted overseas. It's strange how we tend to throw caution to the wind when on holiday. With absolutely no training or experience riding a motorbike or scooter at home, many of us seem to think we'll master the skills on the spot in a foreign country.

You can apply for an IDP overseas, but make sure you're ticking the right boxes. You may be able to fool the traffic cop in Thailand that you have a motorcycle licence, by 'ticking the box' when you got your IDP, but it won't cut the mustard with your travel insurance company. If you DO have a valid motorcycle license, be thrilled! Your licence will be accepted in over 150 countries including Bali, Indonesia, Laos, and Thailand.

Venturing To Vietnam?

If you will be riding a motorcycle in Vietnam over 50cc, then you must obtain a temporary Vietnamese drivers license.

To convert a NZ driving license into a temporary Vietnamese driver's license, you must hold a valid Vietnamese residence permit of at least three month's validity. Visit the website of the New Zealand Embassy for full details on how to apply for a Vietnamese drivers license.

What's Not Covered?

Even with cover offered, exclusions still apply. You are not covered:

  • If you are racing and intentionally putting yourself at risk
    Any time you intentionally put yourself in danger such as using your bike for jumps, stunts and tricks and injure yourself (especially if you are not wearing a helmet at the time) you are unlikely to be covered.
  • For motorbike theft or damage
    Whether owned, borrowed or rented, most insurers do not cover the bike. If it's your own bike, it should be covered under your own motorcycle insurance. If it's a hire bike, the rental company is likely to have insurance built in to your daily hire cost or charge you an additional premium to cover it.
  • For competitive or professional riding
    Competitive riding of any sorts is generally not a covered event under standard travel insurance policies.
  • For bike hire excess cover
    Are you renting a Vespa in Italy, motorbike on holiday? Maybe in Bali? Although travel insurance often covers rental vehicle excess, this generally does not extend to two wheeled modes of transport. If you hire an expensive bike and it gets damaged, unfortunately your travel insurance will not cover the excess.
  • If you do not follow the rules of road
    Always follow road signs including traffic lights, stop signs and give ways.
  • If you are under the influence
    You would not be covered if you were drink driving and had an accident while you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • If you do not wear a helmet
    Cut and bruises are not ideal travelling companions, make sure you wear a helmet at all times when riding overseas. No travel insurance company is obliged to cover you if you incurred injuries when you were not wearing one.

What's Next?

Finally, contact your travel insurance provider before you purchase travel insurance for your motorbike holiday to double check the policy details. It often pays to make to take a few minutes to make that short phone call to clarify. When riding motorbikes or scooters overseas you are taking risks with both your health and your money. So do your research and compare travel insurance quotes and cover levels. Don't just settle for first or the cheapest policy you find.

Perhaps all that muscle power is too much for you. Taking out cycling travel insurance for your push bike shouldn't give you whiplash either. Ride easy with our cycling travel insurance essential guide.

 

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