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There are several reasons why Goa feels so liberating. One of them, of course, has everything to with with something as basic as local transport. While in most other Indian cities you are dependent on private car rentals that come with a driver or must jump on to an overcrowded bus or train, Goa offers you the very enticing option of renting a bike and getting around the place on your own! Self-riding bike rentals offer you the freedom to go where you choose, when you choose. There’s no driver nagging you to get back to the hotel nor do you have to put up with a possibly unclean car. Pay the money, turn they key on your newly acquired bike or scooter and Goa is yours to conquer!

It is no surprise that as soon as you step into Goa, you see a number of tourists – young and old, male and female, Indian and foreign — cruising away on scooters and motorcycles. It is a splendid feeling as you cut through the coastal breeze looking at the horizon of  the Arabian Sea.

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What is the best place to rent a bike in Goa?

Your hotel manager is usually the best guy to catch hold of. No matter how small your hotel is, the manager always knows someone who rents bikes for a living and he’ll be happy to put you on to him.

But no matter where you are in Goa, a bike rental place is just round the corner. Either everyone knows someone who rents out bikes to tourists or they do it themselves. Panaji, the capital, remains the best place to rent out bikes in Goa. If you have arrived in Panaji by bus, all you have to do is walk out of the terminus and you’ll discover more than a handful of shops renting out bikes. Here are a few agencies from where you can hire a bike in Panaji.

1. B & G Travels And Holidays

Contact: +91-832-2222786

Address: 206, 2nd Floor, Nizari Bhavan, National Talkies, Dr Pissurlekar Street, Panaji, Goa 403001

2. Baretto Car & Bike Rental

Contact Number: +91-9822124943

Address: Head Post Office, Panaji, Goa 403001

3. Neliza Tours & Travels

Contact Number: +91-832-6547102

Address: Cardozo Building, KTC Bus Stand, Panaji, Goa 403001

Even if you are not in Panaji — from Arambol in North Goa to Palolem in the south, every tourist destination has folks who’ll be looking to rent bikes.

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How much does it cost to rent a bike in Goa?

In the peak season, you can rent a Bajaj Pulsar for around Rs 800 a day and a Honda Activa scooter for around Rs 400 a day. Royal Enfield costs Rs 1200 a day.

The off-season rates are only tad better. Pulsar goes for approximately Rs 600 a day and a Honda Activa scooter will cost you as little as Rs 250 a day. Royal Enfield costs Rs 900 per day.

What documents do I need to rent a bike in Goa?

Indian citizens are required to have the following documents:

1. License: You will need a valid two-wheeler license which you would need to submit to the bike dealer when you rent the bike. You can keep a copy with you while you drive.

2. Identification: If you do not wish to submit your license and want to keep it with you while riding, you would need to submit a valid photo ID like a PAN card or passport that you can submit. You will rarely find a dealer who will be willing to give you a vehicle without keeping an original document of yours as collateral.

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3. Bike documents: Make sure you ask for all bike documents before you take over the two-wheeler. If you run in trouble anywhere on the road, you will need to produce the documents and won’t be excused just because you are a tourist.

What do I need to keep in mind while renting a bike in Goa?

1. Test the bike: Take the bike for a test run of 100-200m before you finalize on one. Several bikes are old and not in great condition. So, you need to make sure if the brakes are functional. Check the headlights and the rear-view mirrors. Riding at night in Goa can be quite risky. Goa has several roads with no streetlights and you don’t want to find yourself on one of these with no headlight.

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2. Ensure you have the dealer’s contact information: Before you leave, ensure you have your bike dealer’s mobile/contact number so that you can call him if you run into trouble anywhere in Goa. Typically, most dealers have contacts all over the state and they can help you if needed.

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3. Check the fuel: Most bikes hardly have any fuel in them when they are handed over to you. And very often, the fuel indicators don’t. So when you pick up a bike, check the fuel levels. Bikes run out of petrol immediately after they are taken on rent. So, make sure you find out where the nearest fuel station is and fuel up your two-wheeler within the first 5-10 minutes of renting your bike.

4. Safety: Helmets are compulsory for all riders so make sure you get one along with your bike. Do not pay extra for your helmets as it is covered in your daily rent.

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5. Return: Try and return your bike at the time you have promised. If you are late even by a couple of hours, the dealer will try to charge you extra. Negotiate your way out of it as the rent you pay for the day covers the entire day.

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6. Damages: If there are any scratches or damages to the bike before you rent it, take pictures of it before you begin your ride. That way, while returning your bike, you cannot be charged for damages that you are not responsible for. If you are indeed responsible for any damages, be honest and pay up.

7. On the road: Be aware that a lot of people riding bikes and cars on the roads of Goa are intoxicated. Ever so often, you will come across someone racing away trying to overtake you, or someone passing comments at you are trying to provoke you. Make sure you keep your cool and keep your speed under control. Riding is fun but don’t let it risk your life. Enjoy the road but try to stay away from those who might sabotage your safety.