Renting a scooter in Candidasa, Bali was peanuts for us: it was extremely inexpensive and not terribly complicated to get our hands on a rental.
We could have easily settled on renting a scooter from the hotel located next to our Airbnb, but when we discussed the pricing and saw the clientele, we had a sneaky suspicion that these rates were a bit inflated.
Sure enough, a quick trundle down the road towards town exposed us to a myriad of tiny little family-run establishments, most of which were vending a combination of cell phone/data cards and scooter rentals.
Opting to save our money for what really mattered (petrol and delicious food!!) we settled on a tiny little family-run shop right across from the Lotus Lagoon located smack dab in the centre of town.
The shop was run by an extremely friendly woman, and we managed to haggle down the scooter rental to approximately $40 CAD ($30 USD) for two weeks, or less than $3 CAD/day for us. As an aside, this ended up being the most reasonable price for scooter rentals for the entire duration of our trip through South East Asia.
We were offered two relatively safe-looking helmets and a 125cc scooter in exchange for our money, our international drivers license, and a signature for a contract.
Normally, vendors will expect you to provide a deposit or even exchange your passport for the duration of the rental (Don't do this - it's shady, and I would never personally part with my passport. Ever.) but for whatever reason she seemed content with our signatures and our money.
I'm extremely fortunate to have a significant other with a valid motorcycle license - it made our excursions by moped easy, and deterred my fears associated with seeing so many tourists with road rash, broken bones, and worse. Myself, on the other hand.. I can barely drive a car, nevermind a motorcycle!
Traffic in Bali was intense to say the least, and when things got crazy I simply clung to his back, closed my eyes, and sang little songs to distract myself from the fact that we were roaring knee-to-knee at 50+ km/hour, three mopeds across on a single lane, in a cluster of 200+ people, sometimes five people to a scooter. Exhilarating, to say the least!
I've compiled a list of common questions and answers for people looking to rent a scooter in Bali.
Is An International Drivers License Required To Rent A Scooter In Bali?
The short and sweet of it is no, though it's not a bad idea.
The alternative is that you get yourself a local drivers license from a police station, which you might have to bargain and bribe for. You'll have to show your drivers license and visa/passport, so it's honestly a lot easier to just go ahead and get one at home before you fly.
An International Driver's License in Canada cost us $30 CAD and was issued in the same day from ICBC.
Can I Drive A Scooter In Bali Without A License?
I highly discourage anyone from driving without a proper license in Bali. Sure, you might see a ten year old driving recklessly on the highway without a helmet, but they'll be disregarded in favour of your forgotten turn signal.
Indonesian police officers make it a point of targeting foreigners for easy money grabs/bribes, so consider yourself warned. If you do get pulled over, request an official ticket from the officer; this can help reduce the risk of actually being forced to pay a bribe, but the issues are pretty bad in Bali.
It's definitely worth the effort to come prepared - sometimes officers pull people over just to check and see if they have a proper license or documentation - if they don't, a bribe ensues and they line their pockets accordingly.
Do I Need Insurance?
Insurance isn't really necessary while driving a moped, though this may be offered through your rental agency - if it makes you feel safer, then by all means.
Most accidents are settled on the road, and a number of local drivers cannot afford insurance; just remember that as a foreigner, you'll likely get the short end of the stick and be required to pay for damage.
Regardless of your decision, I highly recommend traveler's health insurance - accidents on scooters are incredibly common in Bali, and there are many drivers with little consideration for traffic laws.
Where Can I Rent A Scooter?
The quick and easy way to get a scooter rental is to have your hotel staff arrange one for you, though the convenience usually comes at a premium.
Alternatively, a quick walk down any busy road will quickly demonstrate to you the sheer number of mom-and-pop rental shops, who will often accommodate bargaining.
Be sure to inspect any scooter thoroughly before you select it, and take a picture of the license plate and body to verify damage prior to the rental. Also, go with your gut instinct: if the deal seems too good to be true or you feel uncomfortable, move along to another establishment - scammers abound!
How Much Will I Have To Pay?
Some tried and true rules apply here - the longer you rent, the cheaper it'll be.
Use these price points as vague rules of bargaining, though prices might be less in the low season. If you pay more than this, you're being ripped off.
- Daily: 30,000 - 50,000 Rupiah
- Weekly: 200,000 - 250,000 Rupiah
- Monthly: 650,000 - 750,000 Rupiah