Guided vs Self-Guided for your Vietnam motorbike tours is sometimes a hard decision. There are pros and cons of each type of tour and Vietnam Motorbike Rental will go over details to help you make up your mind. You need to know your riding ability, your handling of the situations, and what you want to get. You paid hundreds or even thousands of dollars to fly to Vietnam and a bad decision can break your whole holiday/vacation.

Honestly, what we show you on a guided motorbike tour is much more than when you self-guide. We don’t get lost, know the best place, and have friends everywhere. In addition, you have a professional team to support you when you need a guided trip. On the other hand, you will be on your own if you self-guide.

Riding Ability

Honestly, Vietnam is quite a dangerous plan to ride motorbikes. You do need strong riding skills to have a safe trip and come back in one piece. This is, in fact, the most important in riding guided vs self-guided.

If you don’t really feel confident, riding on a guided trip would save you the hassle.

Situation Handling

The Vietnamese driving license requirement is quite hard. You simply can’t get a Vietnamese driving license with your tourist visa. Even if you have a business visa and a work permit and/or residence card, it would take between 710 days to convert a Vietnamese driving license. In addition, if you use a service company you may pay between 150200$US. Traffic cops start speaking English or have smartphones so they can translate what you said. Riding a motorbike without a local license is subject to a fine of 40-55$US (under 175cc) or 180-270$US (over 175cc). If you have a local guide, things will be much more simple.

The way people do business in Vietnam is quite different from your home countries. Despite the fact that more businesses are trying to offer Western or close to Western standards, most still serve the local way. This means they can be good or bad, cheap or expensive depending on how you deal with. In general, this is another very important thing for riding guided vs self-guided in Vietnam.

There are many unexpected things on the road and you must be well prepared. Animals, drunk or bad riders/drivers plus landslides, etc. will all require experience to deal with.

Navigating Vietnamese main roads is easy. However, local tracks or off-road sections are difficult because you must speak Vietnamese. Google Maps doesn’t normally have tracklogs for small roads.


Naturally, people would expect to see the most and the best in Vietnam. In reality, you can see much more when you ride with a local guide. However, getting lost is also part of the fun while riding self-guided. Many riders come to Vietnam with high expectations but they are not well prepared or on a low budget.


The price is probably the most important thing when you decide guided vs self-guided tours. You are not just paying for yourselves but also the extra spending for a guide on your trip plus administration from the tour operator. The more people you have then the cheaper you pay for services. For example, if you are alone, you have to pay for more than the cost of two riders.

Vietnam Motorbike Hanoi Rental - Guided Vs Self-Guided For Your Vietnam Motorbike Tours. This is guided.

When you ride guided, there is almost nothing to worry about, except small money for drinks and some pocket money. The operator pays the local prices and services. There are different classes of services and you get what you pay for.

This kind of tour is for people who want the freedom of mind, in safe hands, wishing to experience the best of Vietnam and are ready to pay for quality services. You always explore the places that you want to see.

If you decide to ride guided in Vietnam, we suggest you check out this page.


As we mentioned earlier, you do need to prepare for every situation that can happen while riding. Vietnam is still a developing country by far, the thinking and standards are different from Western countries. Don’t ever use Western standards to rate services in Vietnam unless you can pay more for the same services in your country.

Vietnam Motorbike Hanoi Rental - Guided Vs Self-Guided For Your Vietnam Motorbike Tours. This is self-guided so you can easily get lost.

The good things about riding self-guided are your total freedom, flexibility, and minimum spending because you just pay for yourselves. However, this also means you have minimum support, misunderstanding, and unexpected spending at times. In addition, you easily get lost if you try to ride off the main roads and miss many places you had in your mind. It can be more expensive or cheaper than riding guided depending on your ability.

In case you want more about preparing your own trip, just click here.

Some ideas about prices we spend for good service on the road, please have a look here.


Making a decision of riding guided vs self-guided is not easy. You get what you pay for. There are good and also bad people everywhere, especially when you are in a foreign country. If you want things easy and no hidden cost then ride on guided tours. On the other hand, if you want to challenge yourself or have a unique experience then ride self-guided. There is more work to do when you are on your own but it can be more fun!

Vietnam Motorbike Rental offers tips, advice, and some basics if you rent motorbike(s) from us. We are also very happy if you want us to be your guide in Vietnam. No matter how you want to ride in Vietnam, we are with you if you need it.

That’s it, straight forward thoughts and hopefully, you could make your decision easier. For more information, please contact us.

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