Last updated on February 7th, 2020
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 been around the island showing the beautiful beaches and flora and fauna of Bali.
Not only that, you would see many tourists on scooters and motorbikes in Bali. That’s because renting is easy, and this way of transportation is the cheapest and most adventurous. It can be fun! I am here to tell you how to keep it like that.
Why do tourists rent a scooter in Bali?
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 whole different experience to do this in Bali. It’s an adventure!
No more waiting for taxi’s or being stuck in traffic. With the mobility of scooters, you can easily pass cars stuck in traffic.
Petrol only cost here around 7-8k IDR per liter. That is about $0.50 for 1 liter. Some scooters can do 30KM with that.
International Drivers License required for renting a scooter in Bali
In Bali (and Indonesia) as a foreigner to drive a scooter, you should have an International Drivers License. But with so many tourists driving around, do they all have that paper? No, they don’t have.
Some places don’t ask for the driver’s license and just want to rent out their scooters. Most places outside of the hotel just have a scooter with a rent sign. These places will not ask for your license.
There are people coming 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 many reasons, one of them being a Taxi is nowhere near.
You can get the international driver’s license where you live. Bali Police Station does not give these out anymore.
Insurance for the what-if moment
Are you traveling with travel insurance? If not then no insurance will cover you. But if you have then the insurance might not cover you at all. Wait, what?!
If you only have a driver’s license for the car, and you get an international license, you will be allowed to drive a scooter. But this way you are not insured if something happens.
So when are you insured?
When you have the license for motorbikes you will be insured. But then it’s also up to insurance company. They most likely will want to know the situation beforehand: Did you drink alcohol? What was the accident like? Did you have 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 (70mp/h). So that’s actually just motorbike speeds. For this, back in your home country, you would need a motorbike license (right?).
When should you NOT rent a scooter in Bali
Let’s keep your vacation and stay enjoyable. If you have never rented a scooter or drove 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 [email protected])
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.https://www.news.com.au/news/aussies-62k-heartache-after-horror-scooter-crash-in-bali/
Just wear a helmet. Don’t be like others. Let me tell you, wearing a helmet is cooler when driving a scooter, then not wearing a helmet. The primary reason for the helmet is safety. In Bali, people might say otherwise (avoiding a fine). As a passenger on the back, also do wear a helmet!
Protect yourself against the weather while riding scooter in Bali
What most tourists underestimate is the weather in Bali. In the dry season, you got to be careful with the sun, and with the wet season, you have to be careful with the rain.
Going on a scooter trip make sure to use sunblock or some form of protection. Cover yourself from the sun because on the open road there is not much shadow or protection from the sun. These burns can become severe and painful.
Rainfall, invisible potholes and visibility
With rain, you get to see a lot less. Not only you but also the people around you. So take care when it rains and adjust speed accordingly. Your break and stopping distance are affected by rain.
In Bali, not all the roads are good. Sometimes potholes are disguised as a puddle. Be very careful of these. You can often see locals trying to avoid puddles as these might be 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?
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.
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.
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.
So should you rent a scooter?
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.