Getting around in Bali, Indonesia
Bali, Indonesia is called the Island of Gods because of its exotic scenery and beautiful people. Though many Aussies call Bali their second home, driving in Bali is not like driving in Australia. The roads are fluid and open to the different elements that can affect what people do on it. Keep yourself alert and ready for anything that can happen!
Make no mistake, you CAN’T drive in Bali with an Australian license or any other foreign license.
The good news is you can still obtain a temporary driver license that can be purchased from the police station at a cost of $30US. This is available for anybody between 18 and 70 years old. Keep in mind that you may be stopped by the police without a license or a helmet. These Balinese ‘police’ may stop you for something you did not do, hyping up a situation and expect you to pay a ‘fee’ ranging between $10 - $30US.
This is not unusual when in Indonesia so don’t freak out, just stay calm. If possible, pay the money and they will leave you alone. You can also ask for their ID.
- You CANNOT drive in Bali with an Australian license
- You CANNOT drive in Bali with a New Zealand license
- You CANNOT drive in Bali with a foreign license
- You CANNOT drive in Bali with no license
- To drive in Bali, you'll need to obtain a temporary drivers license.
- Remember that road conditions can be poor
- No indicator needs to be used when changing lanes
- You will be sharing the roads with animals such as dogs, chicken and cows
- The traffic rarely goes faster than 40km/h and on main roads 70hk/h max
- Always watch the road for potholes, stones or anything that can cause harm
- Wear a helmet – especially one with a strap
- Wear enclosed shoes
- No drugs or alcohol – ever!
- Always signal with your horn when overtaking
- Don’t speed under any circumstances
- Ask the rental car company about taking out insurance and make sure you keep their number in case something happens
- If you can, wear eye protection as it can be a bit dusty when travelling on their roads
Riding a scooter or motorcycle in Bali?
Riding a scooter or motorcycle in Bali is very common, and quite frankly the best way to get around. If you are covered by a travel insurance policy you may need an international driver’s license, which you apply for before you leave for your trip. If you hire a scooter or motorcycle in Bali the engine capacity will be around the 125cc mark. Regardless of how large or small the bike it is a good idea to check with your travel insurance company to see whether you need to obtain a specific type of policy to cover you any medical injuries while riding a scooter or motorcycle, even if you are a pillion.
- Motorcycle and Scooter riding in Bali is the most common mode of transport
- Your travel insurance will not cover you for scooter riding in Bali if you do not have a current Australian driver’s license
- Most times travel insurance will cover you for scooter riding if the engine capacity is 50cc’s and under. This may require extra coverage under your insurance
- You may need extra travel insurance to cover you for motorcycle riding with an engine capacity 50cc’s and over. Always check with your travel insurance company
- Remember that most Balinese vehicle vendors may not care if you have a license or if you know how to ride. Keep in mind this is not legally allowed – just place a quick call with the Balinese embassy so you don’t find yourself in hot water, should something happen
- Riding a scooter or moped in Bali is the equivalent of catching a bus; used frequently and without much discrimination, so the roads will be dense with traffic, keep alert!
- Take out travel insurance to cover you for unexpected medical injuries while overseas
- Have a basic understanding of the roads – where your hotel is or landmarks near it if you get lost riding on your own
- It’s a good idea to ride with someone if you can. There is strength in numbers.
- Make sure your helmet is protective and has not yet expired
- There is a ‘right’ motorcycle for you – invest time to find one that suits you
The most important thing to remember is that riding a motorcycle anywhere in the world should be treated with care, whether you are a novice or rider extraordinaire.
Remember to get a Balinese license if you wish to drive a car. If you are riding a motorcycle you need a valid motorcycle license and you may need license valid for Bali. If you want to be covered for potential medical expenses due to a motorcycle accident check with your travel insurance provider.
All in all when riding a motorcycle or scooter exercise caution and always wear a helmet. Ride young and free!
*Exclusions, limits and sub-limits may apply. Claims are assessed on a case by case basis. See our PDS for details.