To legally drive in Bali, you must hold an International Driver’s Permit or a Balinese licence. It is not legal to drive in Bali with a driver’s licence from another country. If you are caught driving without an IDP, you can face a fine of up to 980 ฿ (£22). It is also possible to get a short-term Balinese licence, but these are only available to those visiting on a long-term Balinese visa. A temporary licence will cost you around 980 ฿ (£22). You can also purchase an IDP online before you travel. This usually costs around £10. Remember to also take your national driver’s licence with you when you drive in Bali as you will need to provide both if you get stopped.
If you hire a car in Bali, it is a good idea to purchase insurance options when you book your vehicle. This will prevent any liability on your part if the car is damaged in any way. Many car hire agencies provide in-built third-party protection on hire vehicles. However, there are sometimes additional insurance options that you can book for a small fee. As roads in Bali can be busy and quite chaotic, it is worth having additional coverage to set your mind at ease.
Like the UK, in Bali people drive on the left-hand side of the road. This means that most Balinese cars are fitted with right-hand steering. This makes driving in Bali easier to get used to than countries where they drive on the right and makes navigating things like left turns and roundabouts a lot easier.
Bali does not have a lot of petrol stations, but you can find shops that sell bottles of fuel. Shops will usually display these bottles on the side of the road, making them easy for drivers to see. If you see a shop selling bottles of fuel, it is a good idea to stock up, especially if you are planning to drive all day and explore the island. In many of Bali’s villages and more rural areas, you may go some time before passing one of these shops so it’s good to be prepared.
FAQs about hiring a car in Bali
Public transport can be difficult to navigate in Bali. There are many independent transport providers, but these do not always link up well in more rural or less populated areas. It can also be difficult to follow signs and information on public transport as this is generally not translated into English. Hiring a car can save you stress on your travels and means you can explore Bali at your own pace. It also allows you to travel to more rural areas that may not have good transport links.
When you hire a car in Bali, it may take some time to adjust to the local driving culture. There are a few key things to be aware of when you’re driving in Bali. For one, drivers do not indicate to signal that they are going to turn or change lanes. Instead, Balinese drivers will usually sound their horns to let other drivers know when they are about to move. Sounding your horn in Bali is not a sign of anger or aggression but a signal to make other drivers aware of your presence, so don’t be afraid to do that when moving through traffic. You should also note that roads in Bali are not well-lit at night, so if you are driving in the dark, it is a good idea to have a map on your phone or GPS in your vehicle.
The legal driving age in Indonesia is 17. Drivers aged 18 and above can hire a car in Bali, depending on the policy of the car rental firm that they use. There are no legal age restrictions on car hire in Bali. Therefore, many car hire companies offer student deals on car hire, or offer special packages for drivers under a certain age for a small additional fee. Many car hire companies in Bali also offer an additional driver policy so, if you are travelling with a younger party, you can still split the driving.
Mini (Class Mini Car or similar) is the most frequently booked car hire type in Bali.