DRIVING IN BALI
Getting around by car in Bali is the most comfortable and fastest way to get to know the island. There are several ways to move around Bali by private transport: by rental car, by car with driver or by car with guide.
RENTING A CAR IN BALI
Renting a car in Bali is not that difficult since there are many rental offices, and most of them offer rental cars, family vans, or 4×4 vehicles. Renting a car without a driver is not a very common option among tourists because the traffic in Bali is quite chaotic. Still, the island is quite large, and by renting a car, you can move at your own pace and also reach places less visited by tourists.
When you rent a car, you must be very careful because there are many motorbikes on the island that pass the vehicles on both the left and right-hand sides. Also, in Indonesia, you drive on the left side, like in the UK. This can be a disadvantage for drivers from Europe who are used to drive on the right side. If you decide to rent a car, we recommend that you get fully comprehensive insurance. There is a good chance that the car will be scratched or damaged because of the volume of traffic.
To drive in Bali, you’ll need an international driver’s license. You can apply for this permit at the provincial traffic office in your city of residence, and it is valid for one year. To obtain the international driver’s license, you must have a valid driver’s license and pay a fee.
Renting a car without a driver costs starts from € 15-20 per day, depending on the rental company.
RENTING A CAR WITH DRIVER
Renting a car with a driver is a prevalent option among people visiting Bali. This option is more recommended than renting a car without a driver because on the island, some roads are not in perfect condition. During the rainy season it can be complicated to drive on roads that you do not know. Additionally, Balinese people don’t respect road signs very much, and it’s better not to get stressed out when you’re on holiday.
If you rent a car with a driver, you will have enough freedom, since he will take you to the places that you indicate to him and you will be able to stop every time you want it. The driver will pick you up at your accommodation and drop you off at the end of the journey.
When choosing the itinerary, the route must follow an order, as drivers will not accept unnecessary turns on the island.
We recommend Ketut, the Balinese driver from Taro (near Ubud) that we met on our first visit to Bali. He is very pleasant, fun and happy to share unwritten details of Balinese culture. Contact him by phone or WhatsApp: +62 818 0558 4411.
Renting a car with a driver costs about €40-50 for a full day, depending on the route. Routes usually take about 10 hours. You can also negotiate a price for half a day, but you have to take into account that if the distances are long it takes quite a while to cover them and you won’t have time to see many things. The price is agreed upon before you start the trip, and you will have to pay for it when you return to your accommodation.
If you want to rent a car with a driver for several days, we recommend you to book everything with the same driver. Talk to him from the beginning as he can make you a price for every day you will need it. Regardless of where you stay, you will not have problems finding a driver as there are many of them, and they are everywhere. We recommend you to ask in the accommodation if they know a trusted driver they can support.
Renting a car with a driver is one of the best options. Since drivers have a lot of experience driving in Bali and the only thing you will do is enjoy it. Many times they will recommend places that are not well known by tourists. Another benefit of renting a car with a driver is that the drivers are usually amiable and like to give conversation to their customers. In this way, you can learn things about Balinese culture and even learn some words in their language.
RENTING A CAR WITH A GUIDE
Renting a car with a guide is very similar to renting a car with a driver. The main difference is that when you rent a car with a driver, he will take you to the places you indicate. Still, he will wait for you in the car while you are visiting the temples or other locations. If you hire a driver who is also a guide, he will tell you about the Balinese culture, about the temples and about the points of interest you pass by, and he will go with you on the tours.
Our friend Ketut, the Balinese driver from Taro, is the perfect guide for your holidays. He is very kind, funny and happy to show you the most important places in Bali. Contact him by phone or WhatsApp: +62 818 0558 4411.
The drivers in Bali are friendly, so traveling with them is a different way to get to know the island. It is quite common for them to stop along the way to go to markets, temples, or restaurants that you would not have access to if you were not accompanied by a local.
If you cannot hire a driver-guide in advance, don’t worry. There are guides everywhere, and they are easy to recognize as they are usually dressed in traditional Balinese clothes and carry some kind of guide’s accreditation.
This option is probably a little more expensive than renting a car with a driver, but if you want to learn more about Balinese culture first hand, it is the best option.
- Although Bali is a reasonably safe island, we recommend that you do not leave any valuable items in the car regardless of whether the driver stays or not.
- Most of the time, the drivers will try to get more money from you than this type of service is really worth, and you will have to bargain with them.
- It is beneficial to know the approximate prices of each service, and in case they ask for more, tell them that it is not your first time in Bali, and you know how much they cost.
- Always set the price before getting into the car because once the tour is over, it will be very complicated to bargain and pay less than they ask.