Bali scooter rental and motorbike tips, Do’s en Don’ts [2023]

Updated: 10-08-2023

When you look at pictures of the amazing vacations and adventures of someone in Bali, you see that they’ve rented a scooter. With this scooter, they’ve traveled around the island, showcasing the beautiful beaches and the flora and fauna of Bali.

Not only that, you will see many tourists on scooters and motorbikes in Bali. That’s because renting is easy, and this mode of transportation is the cheapest and most adventurous. It can be fun! I am here to tell you how to keep it that way and answer the following questions:

  • How much does it cost to rent a scooter?
  • Do you need a drivers license to rent one? and which license do you need?
  • Is it safe to drive a scooter in Bali?

Why do tourists rent a scooter in Bali?

renting scooter in Bali and going on adventure

Most people in Bali rent a scooter because they can move independently to several destinations. It’s the cheapest way to get around and also a unique experience in Bali. It’s an adventure!

No more waiting for taxis or being stuck in traffic. With the mobility of scooters, you can easily pass cars stuck in traffic.

Petrol costs only around 10k IDR ($0.75) per liter. That’s about $0.50 for 1 liter. Some scooters can travel 30KM with that.

International Drivers License required for renting a scooter in Bali

In Bali (and Indonesia), foreigners should have an International Driver’s License to drive a scooter. But with so many tourists driving around, do they all have that document? No, they don’t.

Some Scooter rentals in Bali don’t ask for the driver’s license and just want to rent out their scooters. Most places outside of hotels simply display scooters with a rent sign. These places won’t ask for your license.

Many people come here without the intention of driving a scooter but end up renting one because the opportunity presents itself. In some secluded places, it’s handy for various reasons, one of them being a taxi is nowhere nearby.

You can obtain an international driver’s license in your home country. The Bali Police Station doesn’t issue these anymore. So before heading out to Bali, make sure you have your international license. Each country has it’s own process and only takes minutes to obtain one!

Insurance for the what-if moment

Are you traveling with travel insurance? If not, then no insurance will cover you. But if you have it, the insurance might still not cover you. Wait, what?!

If you only have a driver’s license for a car, and you get an international license, you’ll be allowed to drive a scooter. But you won’t be insured if something happens.

So when are you insured?

When you have a license for motorbikes, you’ll be insured. But it’s also up to the insurance company. They’ll likely want to know the circumstances beforehand: Did you drink alcohol? What was the accident like? Did you have the right of way? What was the condition of the scooter you rented? Did you wear a helmet?

Why are you insured only like this?

The scooters and motorbikes people rent are 110cc and up. With 110cc, you can reach speeds of 100km/h (70mph). In your home country, you’d probably need a motorbike license for that, right? Make sure when you rent a scooter that the speed meter works. You don’t want to drive recklessly in a place that already has a high accident rate among foreigners driving scooters.

When should you NOT rent a scooter in Bali

don’t rent if the scooter is in a bad state

Let’s keep your vacation and stay enjoyable. If you have never rented a scooter or driven a motorized 2-wheeler before, I advise you not to rent it. Bali is not a training ground for beginners.

This place might seem hectic for the untrained eye when we talk about traffic. Most tourists gasp in awe about how traffic moves in Bali. Even for me who has been driving here get amazed from time to time.

Another reason is not to rent a specific scooter in Bali is when you see that the scooter has been in an accident before. With a fixer-upper, you might encounter problems. (rent only scooters that start with DK, the local ones)

Stop driving when the following happens

  • You are a stiff driver, your muscles and your scooter can’t move freely making turns.
  • Your heart is palpitating and you feel fearful
  • The scooter has a flat tire
  • you’re not feeling comfortable driving a scooter
  • You don’t have a helmet

There are alternatives to get around the island. Hire a private driver, some touring companies know someone that will scooter you around to all the nice places. (for a touring company contact me at

Helmet? But I see so many people driving without a helmet.

Mr Warburton said travellers in Bali often saw locals riding around without helmets and were lulled into a false sense of safety.

Always wear a helmet. Trust me, wearing a helmet is cooler when riding a scooter than not wearing one. The primary purpose of the helmet is safety. In Bali, some might argue it’s to avoid a fine. As a passenger, always wear a helmet too!

Scooter pre-rental checklist for Bali

  1. International Driver’s License: Ensure you have one ready and on you. It’s a legal requirement for foreigners.
  2. Passport & Documentation: Have your passport and any necessary documents. Some rentals might want to note down details, though avoid leaving your original ID with them.
  3. Pre-Rental Inspection: Before confirming, inspect the scooter. Look for dents, scratches, and ensure functionality of brakes, lights, and indicators. Also check how much petrol is in it and check where the closest petrol station is for refuelling.
  4. Take Photos: Capture images of the scooter’s current condition. This acts as evidence in case of any discrepancies when returning.
  5. Helmet: Ensure the rental provides a helmet. Safety first!
  6. Understand the Costs: Confirm the rental fee, potential deposit, and if there’s insurance or coverage for potential damages.
  7. Rental Agreement: Read and understand any rental agreement or contract. Note down the return date and any other important terms.
  8. Scooter Type: Choose a scooter that fits your needs. Familiarize yourself with options like Scoopy, Vario, or NMax, and pick accordingly.
  9. Test Ride: Before committing, take a brief test ride to ensure you’re comfortable with the scooter’s condition and feel.
  10. Emergency Contacts: Note down any emergency numbers provided by the rental agency, in case of breakdowns or issues.

Protect yourself against the weather while riding scooter in Bali

Many tourists underestimate Bali’s weather. In the dry season, protect yourself from the sun, and in the wet season, be wary of the rain.


Bali Sunburns by riding scooter

When going on a scooter trip, use sunblock or another form of protection. Shield yourself from the sun since there’s little shade on the open road. Sunburns can be severe and painful.

Rainfall, invisible potholes and visibility

Rain reduces visibility, not just for you but also for others. So, be cautious when it rains and adjust your speed. Your braking and stopping distance are also impacted by rain.

In Bali, roads can be treacherous. Sometimes, potholes are disguised as puddles. Be very cautious. Locals often avoid puddles since they might hide holes.

When you rent a scooter look for the following signs

  • Does it look old or worn out? Also, check out the tires.
  • Is there any major damage visible?
  • Are all the lights working? (Backlight, signal, head, and big light)
  • Is the license plate secure?
  • Are the breaks working properly? Try it out a little bit
  • Are the papers correct (license matches the one on the scooter)

Use also some sense and feeling when renting a scooter. Don’t rent a rust bucket. If you have a bad feeling about one particular scooter, ask for another. If they don’t have another available, then just excuse yourself and look for another rental place. There are plenty of these.

Finally Renting one, what does it cost and what do you need?

Bali Scooters for rent
Bali scooter rentals are all over

Renting a scooter differs from 50k IDR to 70k IDR per day for the cheaper models. This is around 5$ per day. The cheaper models are 110-125cc. For other scooters with 150cc, you can pay 100k IDR and up. Often when you find bikes for rent around 50k IDR per day, which is really the lowest price, you can also expect a super worn out bike. I would not advice it.

Great Scooters to rent are the Scoopy and Vario 110-125 CC are great for going around and not carying more than a total of 170 kg (with 2 people). The Honda Vario, Beat are very common scooters. Most garage or scooter work shops can repair these on the spot. If you need some more power it’s the NMAX or PCX scooter you want, these are around 150cc. It’s more spacious and has more power (but do you really need that power?). The Nmax easily costs around 100k IDR per day (slightly more than $6).

What do you need to rent a scooter in Bali?

  • Your international driver’s license
  • Passport (plus a copy)
  • The address of your hotel
  • Email and phone number
  • the money upfront for the whole duration that you are going to rent it

This information will all be documented on a receipt which you should receive a copy from. If the bike rental wants to keep your passport find another place. The passport is yours, so make a copy so you can share that with them.

You will require to fill in some form which also includes the start date and end date. Based on this you will have to pay the sum upfront. If you want to rent it for 2 weeks, and it costs 100k IDR per day, that means, 1.4 Million IDR (~ 92 dollars).

STNK- the valid papers

When the process is complete, you should have the key, that is for the right bike (yes this can be an issue!). Don’t forget the motorbike papers. This is called the STNK, a rectangular piece of paper in some plastic. Whenever you are stopped by the police you would need to be able to show the STNK and your drivers license.

TIP: Take multiple pictures of every side. So when you return it, and they claim you made damage, show the pictures of the state when you rented it.

The helmet should be good. If the one provided is not good, you can buy a helmet. There are a lot of helmet shops in Bali. Take one that you can feel is good. Buying a new helmet that would be considered safe costs around 400k IDR. This would be your own helmet and is great if you stay for a longer period in Bali.

Fines when riding a scooter in Bali

There are plenty of random police checks, where both locals and tourists are checked for their papers and appropriate wear.

Do not go half-naked or only in your swimwear on the scooter. The police can give a fine for this. A Helmet is also part of appropriate wear. Even though you would see many without you can get fined if you’re not wearing one.

Driving reckless, stunting can also get you in trouble. Please behave as these are not your own scooters. Someone else will also rent the scooter.

Going around with your rented scooter

When you are going around Bali with your rented scooter, you will see some amazing landscapes and picture oppurtunities. Make sure you park safely on the side while enjoying the views. Do not block the traffic and be safe for you and your travel companions. Going around can bring you to amazing places like Amed or visit a waterfall!

12 tips for driving scooter in Bali

Bali dense scooter traffic
Dense traffic even for motorbikes in Bali
  • Secure an International Driver’s License: Before you set foot on a scooter, ensure you have an international driver’s license. It’s not just a recommendation; it’s the law.
  • Safety Gear: Always wear a helmet. It’s a basic safety rule and can also save you from potential police fines.
  • Raincoat: have one with you, you never know when it could rain. Some parts of the island suddenly could have heavy rain.
  • Petrol: make sure you have plenty, refill this in time by visiting a Pertamina.
  • Stay Left: Remember, in Indonesia, you drive on the left side of the road.
  • Beware of Traffic Hotspots: Areas like Kuta, Seminyak, and Canggu can be traffic-dense. If you’re a beginner or feel uncomfortable, avoid these zones during peak hours.
  • Inspect Before Renting: Before renting, do a comprehensive check of the scooter. Look for dents, and scratches, and ensure lights and brakes (and breaklight) work. Snap some photos as evidence.
  • Practice in Quiet Areas: If you’re new to scooters, practice in less busy areas to get a feel for the bike.
  • Stay Alert at Intersections: Bali intersections can be chaotic. Always be cautious, especially when multiple lanes merge.
  • Watch Out for “Surprise” Obstacles: From wandering chickens to sudden potholes, be prepared for unexpected obstacles.
  • Know Your Scooter’s Capacity: Different scooters (like Scoopy, Vario, or NMax) have varied power and space. Choose wisely based on your needs.
  • Stay Calm & Enjoy: Riding a scooter in Bali is a unique experience. Stay calm, be observant, and enjoy the freedom it offers, but always prioritize safety.

So should you rent a scooter?

scooter destination in Bali
Countless destinations within reach by scooter. Go on a adventure, search for the biggest burger in Bali, or visit Tirta Ganga.

If you already know how to drive one, go for it. You get to see a lot more. Just be careful, always. Follow the rules and make sure that the scooter you rent feels safe.

Enjoy the rides, sights and adventures all over Bali.

Recommended read

Leave a comment