All you need to know about renting a scooter in Bali
Renting a scooter or motor bike in Bali is a great way to get around and avoid all those nasty traffic jams that are all over the place. It seems that the traffic is getting worse by the year and the only way to really get around Bali; especially those tourist areas like Seminyak, Canggu and Legian is to go and hire yourself a scooter. It’s really cost effective and you’ll find that you can zip around the place with no hassle and zig zag through those long traffic delays.
Motor bike riding is also lots of fun. Just picture yourself riding those roads with the warm tropical breeze washing over your body as you scoot past temples, rice fields, beaches, shops and temples. It’s a real buzz and everyone who gets on a scooter for the first time wears the biggest grin – they just love it!
If you are a bit of a novice when it comes to riding on a bike you will have to get used to traffic conditions in Bali. They can be quite chaotic and random. You will even see kids riding bikes or families of 4 people with their pet dog. It’s all very unusual but this kind of adds to the fun and excitement of scooter riding in Bali.
There are a many safety and important road rules you must adhere to in order to stay safe and avoid either hitting someone or falling off the bike. Following are some really useful tips to help you get on the road with your own scooter.
Tip# 1: Where to rent a scooter – there are heaps of places and if your renting one of our villas in Canggu, Seminyak or other areas all you need to do is walk down the main street and you will find dozens of eager vendors trying to rent their bikes to you. If your a bit unsure about doing this I would suggest you chat with one of our reservation team or speak to one of your villa staff who can point you in the right direction. Even better, we can organise a scooter for you so when you arrive it’s waiting there. This avoids a lot of hassle.
Tip # 2: Dont over pay for your scooter – you should be paying about Rp 60 000 or Rp 70 00 per day max for a standard scooter. If your a surfer and want board racks on the side you shouldn’t have to pay extra for this. It’s all included. You may have to bargain a bit as some vendors will try to get as much as they can out of this.
What ever happens don’t pay more than this. If your renting for a longer period of time, you will have more bargaining power. Say 1 week you could get away with paying Rp 350 000 or US$ 35 – this is really good value.
Tip # 3: You do not need a drivers license to rent a scooter – they will take a photo copy of your passport but in so far a having an international drivers license, you don’t have to show it. This is where the issues begin as there are so many people who have never driven a bike before and think they can easily negotiate Indonesian traffic. These are the ones you see hobbling around with big bandages and wounds. Riding in Bali is dangerous and you do need to have a certain level of experience, simple as that!
If you think you can hop on a bike and be superman, you are mistaken! Accidents and deaths happen all the time so be ultra careful – even if your doubling.
Tip # 4: You will need to wear a helmet – yes that’s right! I know your in a tropical climate and the temptation is to go without a helmet but if the police catch you, your in for a heavy fine. Plus there’s the safety issue. They are not called helmets for nothing. The helmets you get in Bali are generally plastic rubbish, but they are better than nothing. make sure they fit snugly and wear it all the time even for short trips. Police are on the look out for foreigners who are not wearing a helmet as they can get some good money from you when they nab you. Be warned! Everyone gets busted not wearing one. It’s just a matter of time especially if your in Seminyak.
Tip # 5: Pay a bit extra and get insurance. The last thing you want on your holiday is to be slugged with a cost to replace a motorbike – it could cost you thousands of dollars. So for the sake of say and extra $20 its worth it!
Tip # 6: If for what ever reason the police stop you, pay them what they ask and move on. be friendly, always smile and never talk back or be rude, arrogant or overly smart ass. You do not want to accompany them back to the local police station. You will only end up paying more.
Tip # 7: First time renting a scooter in Bali? If so, then once you rent the bike find a quiet area and practice for a few hours. If your in Canggu there are heaps of very quiet alleyways or gangs to practice starting, stopping and turning the scooter. What ever you do never drive after a few drinks. You will only end up falling off or worse crashing into someone on coming. Be smart and stay sober when on your scooter. If your going out at night for a few drinks, take a taxi.
Tip # 8: If you have caused any scratches on the scooter or there have been any parts that have come off, like a rear view mirror, get it replaced or fixed before you return the bike. The owners will charge you a lot more for fixing it if they have to do it and you may get scammed by paying hefty fees.
Scooter riding in Bali is lots of fun if you keep your wits about you and drive safely. By the end of your holiday you should be confident enough to get around the island so that next time you return you can hop on and do it all again, with no headaches or fears. It’s all about having fun and seeing this incredible island.