Renting a scooter in Bali might seem like a daunting task, but by now it’s a well-known fact that this tropical island-paradise is best experienced from behind the handlebars of your very own motorbike.
If you’ve ever caught a glimpse of traffic in Southeast Asia, the thought of renting a scooter in Bali might sound crazy, and maybe even a little bit scary. However, once you push past the traffic in the more populated areas, you’ll discover the endless beauty of Bali’s roads, heart-stopping scenery, magnificent waterfalls, and even some hidden gems.
In this guide, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about renting a scooter in Bali, including who to rent from, how much it costs, where to fill up on gas, and what you should know before hitting the road.
Who Can Rent a Scooter in Bali
Anyone who holds an international driver’s license is eligible to rent a scooter in Bali. You can choose to get your license in your home country prior to arriving in Bali, or you can obtain an international license from the police station on the island. To do so, you’ll need to provide the following documents:
A valid driver’s license issued by your home country
Your passport with a valid Bali visa
Getting an international driver’s license in Bali can be an unnecessarily long process, so I’d advise obtaining one in your home country prior to your trip.
What You Should Know Before Renting a Scooter in Bali
Before you rent a scooter in Bali, you should know a few key things:
In Bali, they drive on the left side of the road. This is extremely important for anyone coming from a country where you typically drive on the right. The trickiest part is making right-hand turns.
Traffic is best described as organized chaos. Our method to the madness was to always be alert and to be cautious when approaching intersections. If you’re not sure what to do, watch the locals and drive with confidence.
Always wear a helmet when riding a scooter in Bali (more on that below).
Bali Scooter Rental Safety
The number one rule to remember when renting a scooter in Bali is to wear a helmet. Your scooter rental company should provide a helmet for you (and for your partner if you will be riding together). Not only will wearing a helmet keep you safe, but it will also prevent an uncomfortable conversation with the local police.
What to Do if You Get Stopped by a Police Officer
Renting a scooter in Bali as a foreigner increases the chances that you will get stopped by local authorities. This is nothing to be nervous about as it is a pretty routine procedure, though you should be prepared in the event that you are stopped. If you are pulled over, try to remain calm, be polite, and present the officer with your international driver’s license. If for any reason the officer gives you trouble or tries to pressure you into “paying them off”, ask if you can speak to their superior.
What Happens if You Ride a Scooter Without an International Driver’s License
While many tourists do obtain their international driver’s license before renting a scooter in Bali, there is still a large number of them that choose not to do so. It’s easy to rent a scooter without one since most motorbike rentals won’t care if your license is international or not. However, the people that do care about this are the police. This is one reason why it’s not uncommon to see officers pulling tourists over throughout the island. The fine for not carrying a license with you can vary anywhere between 30,000 and 1,000,000 Rupiah, and oftentimes, much more than that. To ensure that you are paying only the price of the ticket (and not the bribe) ask the police officer for the ticket slip.
Where to Rent Your Scooter
There are many places to rent scooters in Bali. You can either choose to find a rental location that suits you best, or you can ask your accommodation to organize a scooter rental for you. We chose to have our Airbnb host organize our scooter rental as we were able to have the motorbike delivered right to our door, and we didn’t have to make a special trip to return it anywhere after we checked out.
If you do happen to choose to rent a scooter on your own, take some time to shop around. In busier areas like Kuta and Ubud, you can do a bit of walking around to explore your options. Many places vary in price and scooter quality, so doing a bit of perusing can only help you find the best deal.
How Much Does Renting a Scooter in Bali Cost?
Renting a scooter in Bali will typically cost around 50,000 – 60,000 Rupiah per day. Depending on the type of model you choose, you might pay more. Keep in mind that sometimes you will be required to pay for the entire rental in advance, and sometimes you won’t have to pay until you are finished with the scooter. Be sure to double-check with the person or place you are renting from.
What to do Before You Start Riding Your Scooter?
Before hitting the road, you’ll want to perform a detailed inspection of the scooter you’ll be riding. I recommend taking photos of your scooter from all angles to document any nicks, dings or scratches. When taking photos of the motorbike, you’ll want to make sure that all blemishes on the scooter are fully visible so that you can’t be blamed for any pre-existing damage.
Where to Fill Up Your Scooter
In Bali, you likely won’t see a typical gas station. We only happened to see one in Ubud near our hotel, however, the majority of gas stations are often disguised as roadside shops selling candy and instant coffee packets. Many of these shops can be recognized by signs that read “petrol” on them, however, some of them will have a pump in front of the shop labeled “PERTAMINI”.
Remember Where You Parked Your Scooter
Bali’s streets are jam-packed with scooters, and sometimes it can be difficult to remember where you parked among the seas of motorbikes. I recommend using Google Maps to save your parking location – this was especially useful for us in Ubud. By saving your parking location in Google Maps and having a photo of your scooter saved on your phone, you can guarantee to find your motorbike with ease every time you park.
Renting a Scooter in Bali is Exhilarating
Cruising around Bali on a scooter is truly an exhilarating experience – I’ve never felt so terrified, and free, in my entire life! Once you get the hang of the rules of the road, you’ll be so glad you rented a motorbike.
While planning your trip to Southeast Asia, don’t forget to check out these travel hacks to make your next flight the best one yet.