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International Driving Permit and Licence for Bali

Can I drive in Bali with my Driver’s Licence?

No, if you are wanting to drive in Bali, you are going to need an International Driving Permit (IDP), which is sometimes known as an International Drivers Licence (IDL). These permits need to be obtained in your home country before you arrive in Bali, and it is basically a translation of your current driver’s licence into a number of different languages.

You then need to have BOTH this International Driving Permit (IDP) on you, PLUS your regular drivers licence, at all times when driving or riding on Balinese roads.

Under Indonesian traffic law, driving without a license is an offense punishable by up to four months in prison or a fine of IDR1 million (US$67.84).

If you want to drive around on a scooter or car in Bali, it is a good idea to get a local driver’s license. Some of the prerequisites of obtaining a local driver’s license in Indonesia is having a valid international driver’s license (IDL) and a KITAS (visa) as well.

How to Obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP)

Getting your hands on an International Driving Permit (IDP) before you leave for Bali is straight forward.  The International Driver’s Assocation can create one for you in under 10 minutes. Ensure you have your usual driver’s licence from your country of origin as well as your International Driving Permit with you so you are covered for driving legally in Bali.

However, it must be mentioned, that having an international drivers licence (permit) for a car, it is not the same as being covered for an International Motorbike licence. Car and Motorbikes are different licences. Please be aware that many health insurance providers will ask for a copy of your International motorbike licence should you have a personal accident and injury with a motorbike and wish to claim on your medical expenses. 

Where is the best place to rent a scooter?

If you are looking for a reliable rental company, Bikago offers secure and trustworthy scooter rentals. Since 2014, Bikago has served 50,000 tourists in Phuket and Bali. Arrange your rental online for a hassle-free, reliable, and straightforward experience. Their stringent safety standards ensure a seamless scooter or motorbike rental. The fleet, no older than 2 years, guarantees smooth rides, backed by a dedicated team, including road assistants. They offer free island-wide delivery and pickup. Additionally, choose from hard cases, surf racks, and a first aid kit. Thefleet includes options from Yamaha Nmax to Honda Scoopy, with insurance included for the bike.

What is the best scooter model and power?

In Bali, the choice of scooter brands like Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki doesn’t significantly impact the experience, as none stands out as superior. If style matters, options like the Honda Scoopy or Vespa are available. When renting a scooter in Bali, you can select from various engine sizes, such as 110cc, 125cc, 150cc, and 155cc, which determine the scooter’s power.

For casual rides through beach towns and rice fields, a 110cc scooter is sufficient. The Yamaha NMax 155cc scooter is a favored choice by many. It stands out as the most potent among the popular rental options in Bali, making it an ideal choice for effortlessly navigating mountain roads.

Can I rent an electric scooter in Bali?

Yes you can! The island is perfect for electric mobility. The distances are not too far and there are cafés everywhere to charge if needed. Balinese people are really curious about electric vehicles and love the fact of ‘tidak pollusi (no pollution). Imagine enjoying a rice field palm tree road in complete silence. Electric is the way to go!  

SKUTE is the first and only 100% electric scooter rental company in Bali. SKUTE rents out the best electric bikes from world leader NIU. Going green in Bali is simple and cost-effective. With the current high rising petrol prices, driving electrically will save you a lot of money. You will pay around Rp. 2,430 for 60 electric kms, while for petrol you will pay 7x more, at Rp. 17,000 for polluting petrol kms. 

Can I get scooter lessons?

For those who wish to learn how to ride a scooter and understand the Bali road rules it is reccomended that you take some scooter lessons. Places like Bali Safe Rider in Sanur (set up with a classroom for theory  followed by practical) and Canggu Scooter Lessons can help with that.

How do you rent a car?

There are larger car rental companies like Avis, otherwise there are smaller business like Drive in Bali, Bali Care Hire, Echo Bali Care Hire, and Bali Car Matic Car Rental. Then you can find even smaller ways with locals that rent their cars and scooters to expats, typically on Facebook. Trevo (a car sharing app) is another great option to start with, epecially when looking at short term rentals. If you plan in living longer than a year in Bali it becomes more economical to purchase a car or scooter. 

How to Drive in Bali Safely and what are the road rules?

Traffic police in Bali pull over people to check that they have an international driving permit, as well as making sure everyone (including the passenger) is wearing a helmet when driving a scooter or motorbike. There is a regulation in Indonesia that requires all people riding motorcycles to wear a helmet. If you are caught without one, the official fine is Rp 250,000. This also means driving with a shirt on and not under the influence of alcohol. It is also recommended that you also wear closed in shoes while driving a scooter.

When it comes to understanding the road rules – well that is another story!  You drive on the left hand side of the road (like in Australia) with the driver sitting on the right side. Bali is known for its traffic jams but even driving in the chaos there still is a rhythm and for example the tooting of your horn is used as a courtesy to let drivers know what is going on. Don’t take anything to personal, motorbike cutting in and out of traffic is normal in Bali. Make sure to give yourself plenty of extra time when driving in Bali. Google maps will not always be accurate and to be on the safe side you could add in an extra 20+ minutes to account for unpredictable traffic. There is a lot going on and negoitation is required – whether it be other bikes, cars, dogs, pedestrians, potholes, ceremonies, wet weather and much more. 

Speed limits vary depending on the road and location, but generally the maximum speed limit for a scooter is 60 km/h on city roads and 80km/h on highways. Riders must use their headlights at all time, even during the day. 

You are about to familiarize yourself with a well-known phrase in Bahasa Indonesia that emphasizes the importance of safe driving: ‘Hati Hati,’ which in English translates to simply ‘take care’.

You may find seat belt availability a bit hit-and-miss. Car seats and booster seats are not typically carried by taxis for example. Often expats bring their own, eventually buy them (selected Baby stores or from Facebook Marketplace etc) or hire them.

What insurance do I need when driving a car or riding a scooter?

When you opt for car or scooter rentals, the rental company often provides insurance coverage for theft or damages. However, it’s important to note that this coverage is distinct from any potential personal injury resulting from an accident. To safeguard yourself against personal injury claims, it is crucial to have Travel and Health insurance in place. If you find yourself involved in a motorbike accident, for instance, possessing both licenses becomes necessary. It is advisable to consult your insurance provider regarding the specific requirements for claims, particularly for scooter with an engine capacity exceeding 50cc (as most scooters typically surpass 110cc).

So whilst insurance may be included (needs to be noted on your receipt or invoice) it will only usually cover total loss for a motor bike. It wont cover damage to other people or damage to the bike. Many companies will not even provide insurance for bikes. Usually, if a tourist causes damage they pay everything including the 3rd party medical expenses.

A car may be different, but best to have in writing the cover and excess.

So once again, do not forget that you need BOTH of the correct licences for insurance. If you don’t have both licences then you most likely not be insured by your travel or health insurance and won’t be able to get any medical treatment if you end up in Hospital as a result of an accident.

Can you help me get the best insurance for my personal circumstances?

Navigating the intricacies of insurance can be a challenging and bewildering task, especially when deciphering the product disclosure statement. To alleviate this complexity, we connect you with established expat insurance companies on the ground, with long term experience in guiding and insuring expats.

These experts handle the arduous task of interpreting policies, identifying the optimal options tailored to your needs, and devising a suitable payment plan. Their proficiency extends to comprehending the medical system and the specific visa you hold, ensuring you’re in secure hands. Whether it’s selecting between “inpatient or hospitalization” coverage or opting for a more extensive plan that encompasses both “inpatient and outpatient” benefits, they provide comprehensive assistance. Additionally, they extend their support to cover your travel insurance needs.

Find out more about our services.

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