This post is about the few things you should keep in mind when renting a scooter or a motorbike in Cebu city, Philippines. This guide also applies to renting scooters or motorbikes in Mactan, Lapu Lapu. Before you start renting one in Cebu, Mandaue, or Lapu Lapu, you must understand where these cities are.
There are 3 ways to travel to Cebu: by air (Mactan airport), by land specifically on a bus (North bus terminal or South bus terminal), by sea (Pier 1, Pier 2, Pier 3, or Pier 4). Let’s start with traveling by air.
Arrival at the Mactan airport in Cebu
Most people who are not a local get confused with Mactan and Cebu. So the first thing you should know is that Mactan is a part of Cebu province which is divided into Lapu Lapu city and Cordova. Lapu Lapu city and Cebu city are 2 islands that are connected by the bridge.
In most airports, you find car and scooter/motorbike rental shops just outside the terminal. In Mactan airport though, there is none. However, there is an option to make an early booking with a rental shop so they can deliver the car or the scooter/motorbike at the airport with an extra delivery charge. One of the rental shops that delivers to the airport is Cebu rental motorbike (here you can find the link to their Facebook page ). The rental shops will charge about 500 pesos to deliver you the scooter/motorbike from Cebu city, while the rental shops in Lapu Lapu city will charge you around 250 pesos.
Is it a good idea to have a scooter/motorbike delivered to the airport?
Yes and No. If you rent from the owner’s location, it will be easier for you to find him in case something goes wrong. Sometimes, scooter/motorbike owners turn off their phones and go to sleep. With that being said, you will have no way of reaching out to them. So our advice is to pick it up from the owner’s location and make sure to ask on how to reach them in case of an emergency. As much as possible, take more than 1 contact information from the owner.
If you ask the scooter/motorbike owner to deliver you the vehicle at the airport, make sure to specify your needs. First, request the number of helmets in advance. The motorbike owner might just show up with 1 helmet so better inform them how many you will need or if you don’t need one at all. Second, if you need a mobile phone holder, make sure that the scooter/motorbike has one. If it is your first time to visit Cebu or you are not familiar with the routes, having a phone holder is a must. Third and final, if you are unable to get a local SIM card, ask the scooter/motorbike owner to get one for you. All airports in the Philippines offer a local SIM card, but during business hours only. You’d be lucky to find one that is still open during late night.
Most cheap and budget hotels are located in Cebu city, while most of the expansive hotels and resorts are located in the Mactan area near the airport. If you are unable to book a Grab, which shows the fare at the onset before booking, you may opt to ride a metered taxi instead which you can easily find at the exit of the airport. Be sure to ask the driver to set the meter before leaving the airport and pay the exact amount that is shown on the meter. The fare can cost between 250 to 400 pesos depending on the traffic and your destination.
Always have an advance booking reservation for scooter/motorbike rental online. The Philippines is not like Thailand where you just walk in to rent one. Book2wheel.com is an online portal with tons of verified and registered scooter/motorbike owners. We strongly suggest to book in advance.
Should I rent a scooter or motorbike in Cebu city, Philippines?
Yes. Aside from being economically friendly, riding a scooter or motorbike is best especially in traffic congested areas.
We advise to at least rent a 150cc scooter as the engine is more powerful and it can take you anywhere. Also, you will have a good space to put your belongings under the seat, and backpack between your legs in the foot rest area. It is also advisable to drive without a passenger especially for long travels. There are plenty of tourist spots and destinations in the North and South of Cebu.
Yamaha Nmax 155cc is our top choice of scooter to drive long distances.
Arriving in Cebu city by the seaport and renting a scooter
The port is located near the downtown area which is in the center of Cebu city.
Make sure you have all your valuable things secured. If you have a backpack, wear your backpack in front of you as there are snatchers in the downtown area. The best advice is to take a taxi from the port and arrive at your destination. There are no rental shops in the port area, but since you are near downtown, you will be close to all the rental shops located in Cebu city. Usually, the rental owner will ask you to leave your passport or any other valid ID. If you are not comfortable leaving your passport or any valid ID, you can leave a cash deposit instead.
Arriving in Cebu by bus
There are 2 bus terminals in Cebu: South bus terminal which is a 30-minute walk from the Cebu port area, and North bus terminal which is near SM Cebu. There are no rental shops in and near the bus terminals. The best thing to do is to book online to avoid ending up at the location which does not have any available scooters/motorbikes or even worse, a wrong address. Make sure you speak to someone before you arrive at their shop.
With Book2wheel.com, you can chat with owners before booking their scooter/motorbike. This way, you can have everything arranged prior to picking up the unit. When renting a scooter/motorbike, make sure to read the rules and avoid breaking the law. Always wear an ICC certified helmet, a proper footwear (do not wear slippers), and a proper scooter/motorbike driving attire (do not drive in your trunks/bikinis).
Rental rates of a scooter/motorbike in Cebu
You can find scooter/motorbike rental starting from 400 pesos which is about 8 USD. Typically, the price depends on the year, make, and model of the scooter/motorbike. You can get 110cc scooters such as Honda Beat from 350 to 500 pesos. The longer you rent, the lesser the price you can get. If you rent for a month, you can get the daily rate down to 200 to 250 pesos a day. Please note though that lower engine scooters are not good for long rides. Also, if you are tall and heavy, you might damage a small scooter.
Rent a 150cc scooter for around 650 pesos to 700 pesos per day. This is the real deal. Based from our experience, the travel time from Cebu city to the north or south of Cebu is between 4 and 6 hours. Thus, it is best to rent a scooter that is in good condition and most importantly, you are comfortable driving with.
Yamaha Nmax 155cc, Yamaha Aerox 155cc, and Honda click 150 are good scooters.