DRIVING IN BALI
If you want to know
more about driving in Bali. Here goes:
The first thing that you
need to know about driving in Bali is that you need a drivers licence - that is
an International one that you can organise at home or a licence that you can do
a test for in Bali. If you choose to do the test in Bali, you will need to be
prepared to go into Denpasar and be patient in filling in forms and waiting to
do a driving test. Our suggestion is to get an International licence before you
There are many places to
hire a car or motorbike in Bali, there are small local businesses through to
International companies, such as Budget. The price of a car at the bigger
companies is set and at the smaller local companies you can ‘ discuss price’,
this seems to be very much the case with motorbikes. Make sure that you get
insurance and that it is real and that you know what the excess is. There can be
major problems in Bali if you have an accident and hurt a local, and in
negotiating with the car hire company for compensation for damage.
But many people prefer
the freedom of having their own transport when in Bali and would never travel
without hiring a car or bike.
So what are some of the
road rules –
- Have patience – the
roads can be heavily congested and you can even get caught behind ceremonial
processions, just enjoy the experience.
- The larger your
vehicle the more influence that you have when driving – size is king!
- Cars and bikes will
swerve in front of you – do not get flustered this si a normal part of
sharing the road in Bali.
- Traffic lights are
sometimes seen as a ‘suggestion’ rather than a rule. Don’t panic if
you are in traffic that goes through a red light , this is not uncommon if
traffic is flowing…
- Remember to sound your
horn, if you are planning to turn or change your position on the road. Also
when travelling in the mountains and you approach a corner, to warn oncoming
- Be careful when
driving at night. In fact it is often better to avoid it unless you are very
confident and experienced. This is an issue in the North of the Island on
the road to and from Gilimanuk. Trick drivers coming from Java are notorious
for driving like cowboys!
- Most of the car hire
companies ask that you fill your car with fuel from the government owned
petrol stations – Pertamina . The quality is better than the small
roadside fuel retailers.
- Hati – Hati is often
seen on signs – it means be careful – take note!
- Carrying surfboards on
or in cars can be a wealth hazard. I have been stopped by the police and
fined for having my boards both on and in the car??? The general rule is
that 20,000 Rph alleviates the problem.