We were travelling around Phuket for about 3 months and used a company http://motorbikehireinphuket.com, who offered a good service and free pick up and collection which was quite a bonus as were located a little bit off the main areas
Since phuket is a tourist town and there are a large community of long stay foreigners, staycationers and backpackers, there are lots of motorcycle rentals around phuket island and most of these motorcycle rentals are located in the patong beach area. A Bit of caution, thai authorities does not allow foreigners to drive motorcycles without a valid iternational license and if accidents do happen, you are liable to pay for everything as there is no personal insurance involved when you are renting a motorbike here.
motorbike rentals here depends on the displacement of the bike, if the bike is 100 cc or less, then it is cheaper but when the displacement of the bike is more then 300 cc, then it is expensive. rentals go for 300 baht a day minumum for the motorbike.
The guy at the place I was staying at (Coconut Resort @ Nanai Rd) offered bike rental around Patong so i didn't even have to fish around for 'em. They had 2-3 bikes that can be rented at only 200 Baht (that's 20 RM for me) per day. Hell yeah I rode it all around Phuket, north south east west :P This is the best way to get around as you can see Phuket for yourself and you'll feel like a local, as long as you don't go Valentino Rossi in excitement. If you're carryin someone with you, make sure either one of u is wearing a helmet. If it happens so that you catch too much attention of a traffic officer and u're not in possession of ur licence, wathever that looks like a license and written in foreign language will do. If things get hot always request to speak to a tourist police. You can get scooters everywhere, and along Patong beach you can find some real nice bikes for a little bit more cash. Oh yeah, petrol ain't cheap like how it is everywhere.
It's cheap to rent a motorcycle. And it's an easy way to travel between the different beaches. But unvoid driving into Phuket city and be careful in Patong. The traffic is quite hectic and they are driving in the left lane of the road.
It's also mandatory to use a helmet, which can be hard when it's hot and sunny.
The best way to get around the island is by scooter/motorbike. These can be hired for about 250 Bhat per day. We booked ours for the full 10 days. Bookings can be done via the hotel/resort. Parking is easy, and the cost compared to calling a taxi or tuc tuc is cheaper. We travelled about 15 km a day, looking for new beaches to explore. It is a much cooler way of travelling too.
Additional information on the transportation from Phuket Airport.
To get to Phuket Town, you may take the Airport Bus from the bus stand (85B) on Departure Level. Take note that this bus service can pick up and drop passengers anywhere on the way. I even spot a big group of scouts use this bus for their field trip! That means the bus will not be very punctual, but within acceptable range.
Alternatively, you may take the minivan (max 9 pax) to Phuket Town right outside the Terminal Building on Arrival (right next to Thai Military Bank's Bureau de Change). The fare is 100B one way. This service will only leave once it has 9 passengers, so either make sure you have a big group or you are patient. Do notice that this minivan is not suitable for passengers with big sized suitcases or backpacks.
Both bus and minivan services terminated in Phuket Town's Bus Terminal on Thanon Phang-Nga. So advantages for people who stayed on or near Thanon Phang-Nga.
For other destinations on the island (e.g. Patong, Kata, Karon), only two real alternatives exist: rent your own car or take a taxi. There is a taxi counter once you exit Customs. You state your destination and you pay the price on the board, which is terrible. My personal suggestion is to walk outside the Airport compound onto the main road, where plenty of metered taxis are parked around. They will charge the fair price. But this only works if you don't have too many luggages to carry, because it is still quite a bit to walk.
FASCINATING WATCHING ALL THESE PEOPLE WHIPPING IN AND OUT OF TRAFFIC ON THEIR MOTORBIKES....
PATONG BEACH LOOKED LIKE A MOTORBIKE CLUB HAD RIDEN INTO TOWN AND TAKEN OVER!!! HEHEHE!!!
BUT ACTUALLY ..PROBABLY THE CHEAPEST WAY TO GET FROM THE COUNTRYSIDE INTO TOWN AND BACK...
One of the cheapest way to go around Phuket is by renting a Motorbike THB200 as compared to a car THB1000. There are lots of free lance motorbike owners who can rent out their bikes.
Rental rates are charged by the hour or on 24hrs basis. Do bargain and check out the prices before renting. Check if insurance is included and read the fine prints before signing on the dotted line.
Getting around Phuket on a motorbike is a must!!
Not only is it convenient, it is also very affordable starting from Baht150 / Day for a Moped. I had a great time going around Phuket in the 2 days I rented the bike. Phuket is a nice size for covering and it is quite easy getting around as the network of road is fairly simple connecting major towns and directions to each place before the junctions.
Be advised that though I had a great time riding in Phuket, the roads in Phuket at some parts might be windy and up and down some steep terrain so do exercise caution and some areas it is only 2 lanes so again be careful when overtaking or when being overtaken.
When renting the bike, the shop might request that you leave your passport with them. A better option would be to leave a photocopy of your passport with them or the most your driver's licence. They might also request that you leave a deposit with them but do decline as you might not see the deposit when you return with the bike and coax them to accept the photocopy of the passport. If they seem unwilling, you can always try the next shop.
If you are renting for 2 days or more, you should be able to get a better deal so do negotiate on the price before settling on renting the motorbike.
We rented this for 200 BHT per bike and pumped another 100 BHT petrol to go around the whole island. Our whole journey around the island for only 300 BHT in total. Nice..just becareful when you biking in phuket town as its a little busy and also try not to bike when it gets dark.
There is a company called "Phuket Motorbike Rental" in Patong Beach. They have brand new Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, JRD & Kawasaki motorbikes. The bikes are always very clean. There are never any mechanical problems and never any problems such as bent rims which is always the case with most motorbike rentals.
I highly recommend renting you motorbikes from these guys. They are great to deal with and they even deliver the motorbikes to your hotel!
You can check out their website at www.phuktmotorbikerental.com
One of the cheapest way to go around Phuket is by renting a Motorbike .
There are lots of free lance motorbike owners who are into this kind if business in Phuket.
They have per hour or on per day basis. Just make sure to bargain and check the prices before renting.
For a good driver I can recommend renting a scooter, its the best way to get around. And very cheap. But you need to be avare, traffic is lefthanded and in same places chaotic. But you can always stay away from busy roads and town centers and just drive slowly on junglehillroads and watch the beautifull scenery going by.
We rented our scooter from an older, religious couple to avoid any "pettifogging". Lucky us cause one day on a gas station boy who refueled our scooter knocked it down. Luckily only the brake handhold got broken but some other rental could have ripped us of because of it.
Always carry drivers licence with you. Police will stop you almost every day and sometimes several times and if you dont have it, you need to go to policestation to pay the bill before they give you your scooter back. The bill is not big but the trouble is.
And its also possible to get parking ticket as well, like we did. In that case the police will chain your scooter and will unchain it only after you pay the ticket in policestation.
But policemen seem to be very nice in Thailand anyways =)
Since Phuket is so spread out you might want to think about renting a scooter. We rented one (for the two of us) right when we arrived. Our bungalow was up on the hill and walking back and forth to the beach would have been real anoying, getting around the island to explore would have been impossible - or expensive. During the busy season bikes are sometimes hard to track down but when you do, youre set. Cost is usually around $200 bht/day for everything. Gas is next to nothing. I kept our bike for the entire week we were in Phuket and we loved being able to go out to the restaurant, the bar, the beach, the store and back to the bungalow, etc, etc, etc.....also, great for day trips and looking around the island and beach hoping. Other transportation options incl: renting a jeep or 4X4 OR hiring a taxi/tuk tuk to take a couple people around for the entire day. Both these options run approx $30/day...an option though.
Drive safe, drive slow, stick to the side of the road, dont be alarmed by honking horns - they are meant as a heads up that a vehicle is approaching NOT (the north american honk) of - get the F out of my way A**Hole!
We had a great experince with the scooter. NOTE: driving in Patong beach is a bit nutty, ver crowded....driving along the coast simply breathtaking.
We rented a large 750cc motorcycle for a day in Phuket. The guy wanted my passport as deposit for the bike. No way I was going to do that. It was late in the morning and the guy hadn't rented it yet, so he agreed to keeping my driver's license instead. As they do not sell insurance or rent helmets (at least in 1995), we figured that we were on our own with zero protection if we crashed this thing.
Nothing happened and we had a great time, but my plan if we damaged it severely was to leave it in a ditch and fly away. Let him keep the driver's license.
Tip: it may be worth bringing along an old passport or some other "official" looking document and telling these guys your passport is with the tour group or some other BS story. Let you have the upper hand at the end of the transaction, should anything occur.