Buying a scooter as a foreigner in Taiwan can be a confusing and stressful experience. If you do not live near the MRT in Taipei, chances are that you have thought about at least buying a scooter. Taiwan is a place that should be explored not just with public transportation, but by scooter. If you only take public transportation everywhere you go, you are missing out on a huge part of Taiwan. To make you buying experience smoother, we have created this guide to let you know what to expect and answer any questions.
Here is an easy checklist for buying a car or scooter in Taiwan:
Before buying the scooter:
Buying a Scooter/Moped/Motorcycle in Taiwan FAQ 在台灣買機車常見問題:
Q: Do I need an ARC to buy a scooter?
A: Yes, for most all cases. Having an ARC card is a requirement for vehicle registration with the Motor Vehicles Office.
Q: Do I need a local license to buy a scooter?
A: Yes, for most all people. But it is possible that you own a scooter while not having a local license, but I assume that you will want to ride your own vehicle.
If you have a valid driver's license from your home country, you may be eligible for transfer of license based on principles of equity. For more information, see the government's website here.
Q: What is the driver's licence test like in Taiwan?
A: See our full blog on the test here.
You can also check out the in-depth explanation from Tealit here.
Q: What taxes do I need to pay for my scooter?
A: License plate tax (for 150cc and above) and fuel tax, which need to be paid annually. Electric scooters/motorcycles do not need to pay fuel tax.
Q: What are the fuel tax rates for gas scooters and motorcycles?
Q: What are the license plate tax rates for gas scooters and motorcycles?
Q: What are the annual license plate tax rates for electric scooters/motorcycles?
Q: What kind of scooter/motorcycle insurance is there in Taiwan?
A: There is compulsory insurance (强制險) which will pay a fixed amount for the medical expenses of another party and your passengers if you crash. You must purchase this insurance.
There is also optional third party insurance (第三方責任險), which covers extra amounts to passengers, other parties, and property damage. I highly recommend getting this insurance before driving your new car.
Another type of insurance is driver Injury Insurance (駕駛人傷害險), which gives the driver an amount of money should they crash themselves.
Please refer to the chart in the car section above for an explanation of coverage.
Q: How much is scooter insurance in Taiwan?
A: Compulsory insurance (强制險) ranges from about 350 NT to 600 NT depending on your age and gender.
Other added insurance (such as 第三方責任險) can range from 1,000 NT to 4,000 NT or more annually depending on your plan.
Q: Where can I buy a scooter in Taiwan?
A: There are scooter shops everywhere. Most of them are either Kymco, Yamaha, or SYM. Basically of these shops sell new and used scooters. There are also scooter dealerships like 非常機車 or you can also buy scooters at Carrefour. Motorcycles over 250cc are usually sold at specialty shops.
Q: How much is a new scooter in Taiwan?
100-150cc scooter: 50,000 - 100,000 NT
250-500cc scooter: 100,000-250,000 NT
500cc and above scooter/motorcycle: 250,000 - 600,000 NT
Q: How much are used scooters in Taiwan?
A: Used scooters (below 150cc) in good working condition are usually 10,000-40,000 NT.
Q: How much are scooter parking spaces in Taiwan?
A: Most apartment buildings have free parking for scooters. Free scooter parking on the street is everywhere. At some office buildings, scooter parking is about 100 NT per month.
Q: How much are scooter repair fees in Taiwan?
A: To change the oil in a normal 150cc scooter, it costs about 150-250 NT. Oil changes are required about every 1000 KM. Repair services in Taiwan are super cheap and usually are not much more than the price of parts. Labor costs are a third or less of what they would be in the US.
Q: How often do I need to take an emissions test for my scooter?
A: If you scooter is over five years old, you need an emissions test annually (驗車). These tests are free, and offered at many scooter repair shops.
Q: Can Motorcycles ride on National Highways in Taiwan?
A: No, not yet. But heavy large scooters/motorcycles above 250cc can ride on expressways.
Q: What is the difference between Green, White, Yellow, and Red plated motorcycles in Taiwan?
Green plate: 50cc or less, light scooter (輕型機車)
White plate: 50cc to 250cc, normal heavy scooter (一般重型機車)
Yellow plate: 250cc to 550cc, large heavy scooter/motorcycle (大型重型機車), this requires the large heavy scooter license and can ride on the same roads as cars and on most expressways (快速道道), but not on National Freeways (國道).
Red plate: 550cc and above, large heavy scooter/motorcycle (大型重型機車), this requires the large heavy scooter license and can ride on the same roads as cars and on most expressways (快速道道), but cannot yet ride on national freeways (國道).
Q: How much is the price of gas?
A: As of March, 2018 it was around 27 NT per liter for 95 octane gas. However in March 2020 it has dropped to 25 NT per liter, which is quite low.
For you Americans that is 95- 100 NT per gallon (3.14 USD to 3.31 USD per gallon).
Q: What are the average annual costs for a scooter/motorcycle in Taiwan?
License Plate Tax: 0 - 7,120 NT (see above for rate table)
Fuel Tax: 300 - 2,010 NT (see above for rate table)
Gas for 5,000 KM: 2,500 - 10,000 NT
Oil Changes: 500 - 2,500 NT
Emissions Tests: Free
Other minor repairs/servicing: 5000 NT to 10,000 NT
ETC fees: Not applicable
Parking fees: 0 - 1,200 NT
Insurance: 350 NT to 4,600 NT
Estimated Total Annual Costs: 8,650 - 37,430 NT
Q: How do I get a local Taiwanese licence?
A: Check out our guide on getting a driver's licence in Taiwan here.
Q: What side of the road does Taiwan drive on?
A: The Right side.
Q: Anything else I should consider when riding a scooter in Taiwan?
Renting a Scooter instead?
Check out our blog about scooter rental in Taiwan here.
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.