Car rental tips for Bali

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March 12, 2014 at 1:54 pm  •  Posted in Practical info by  •  32 Comments

Rental cars and motor bikes are a very popular means of transport in Bali. The island is big and personal means of getting around is a necessity since public transportation is virtually non-existent.  Taking a taxi is an option, but can be costly when traveling long distances.

Everyone drives on the left-hand-side of the road, so be mindful if you come from a country that drives on the right side of the road.  It usually takes a day or two to get used to it. Traffic is a bit chaotic, common in South East Asia, so give yourself some extra time if you need to be somewhere.

I recommend for everyone who come to Bali to rent a car or a scooter.  A car is a much safer alternative to a scooter, so I highly recommend it during your stay. Plus, car rental is inexpensive and quite affordable.

Toyota Avanza - rent a car in Bali

Toyota Avanza – the most popular car to rent in Bali ; 20$ a day or 350$ a month

Most rental services are privately owned by Balinese, but international car rental chains such as Hertz and Avis are also available. They are not so popular in Bali since they charge much more than private car rentals.

Bali car rental prices

An average price for a car rental in Bali is around $15-25 per day, or $200-350 per month. Most cars in Bali are manual transmission, but there are options for automatic if you don’t know how to drive a stick shift.  Note: Automatic transmission cars are more expensive to rent. You can also rent a car with a driver, which can typically cost $30-40 for 10 hours, not including the cost of gasoline. If the driver is also hired as a guide, the price range will go up to around $50-60.

The is not a very big selection to choose from when renting a car. The following list are the types of vehicles for rent: Toyota Avanza, Suzuki  APV, Suzuki Katana, Suzuki Karimun, Suzuki Estylo, Suzuki Splash.

The most popular car is the Toyota Avanza. A minivan which seats up to 7 passengers. The daily rate is usually $20 for manual, and $25 for automatic.

Another popular minivan in Bali is Suzuki APV. It’s slightly bigger and more comfortable than the Toyota Avanza. The daily rate is around $22 to $25 for a manual. The only difference aside from the body style is that the APV can fit at least 8 passengers.

A bit smaller version of Avanza and APV is Daihatsu Xenia but it’s a bit harder to find it. Price is slightly cheaper than for Avanza. Usually it’s around 300$ per month and 18$ per day.

Car rental in Bali - Suzuki APV

Suzuki APV – anotherpopular car to rent in Bali ; 22-25$ a day.

If you’re on a budget, a compact car such as a Suzuki Katana (price range $12-15 a day / $170 a month), or Suzuki Karimun ($15-18 a day / $220 a month) is suggested. Its a basic, old school looking car, that offers little comfort, offering not just affordability, but maneuverability through the small streets of Bali. Just keep in mind that this car can only carry 3-4 people. If you plan on carrying 4 people with luggage, be prepared for an uncomfortable ride. Hopefully you don’t plan on traveling long distance.

A good compact option with slightly better comfort is either Suzuki Estilo for $18-20 per day, or Suzuki Splash for $20-25. The Suzuki Splash is one of the most comfortable cars in the price below 25$ a day.

Another option is a crossover Daihatsu Taruna for $20. Not all car rentals have it but it’s a good option as well.

If comfort is the most important feature in a vehicle and price is of no concern. Below are some examples of cars that may interest you. Daily rates: Honda Jazz  $30, Suzuki Swift $30, Daihatsu Terios $30, Suzuki Grand Vitara $40, Toyota Rush (like Rav4) $40, Suzuki Crossover $40, Honda CRV $50, Toyota Camry $50.

types of cars available for rental in Bali

 

Be careful with insurance. Most Bali cars are uninsured. Renting a car is your responsibility, regardless of who is at fault. For  those rentals cars who are insured will still require you to pay minimum amount of $200 if an incident occurs. If you rent a car with insurance, you will have to pay extra. I highly suggest before renting the car, make sure you consult with the owner everything about insurance and what you are liable for.

 

I have often been asked about the possibility of renting child safety seats. Child safety seats are not required by law and are often not used in Bali. I have seen online prices of around $20-25 per day. Equivalent to the price of a car!

 

Petrol price is 0.7$ per litre /$2.6 per US gallon

Suzuki Karimun - rent a car in Bali

Suzuki Karimun – one of the cheapest cars to rent in Bali; 15-18$ a day.

Car rental rules

Although you are officially required to have an international drivers license in Bali, car rental agencies do not require proof.

But if you are stopped by the police, you are supposed to show proof. If you are unable to provide a license pay the “unofficial fine” of $5 after a long bargain. Yes, that’s perfectly fine in Bali. Don’t forget to bargain otherwise you end up being asked for $20.

There are no special requirement about age and no limits for mileage. Just bring the car in a good shape back and that’s it.

Suzuki Katana - rent a car in Bali

Suzuki Katana – one of the cheapest cars to rent in Bali; 15-18$ a day.

Cars for surftrips.

If you plan to surf in Bali and travel around the island for waves, your choice should be Toyota Avanza, or Suzuki APV.

These cars are big enough to carry long boards inside and have space for passengers. Roof surf racks aren’t popular in Bali, we use special ropes that can be puchased from any big surf store. I don’t remember exact price, but I believe it is around $40.

The Karimun, or Katana can fit short boards perfectly inside, but will be a little tight on space.

Where to rent a car in Bali:

Below are recommended private car rentals, that I have used pesonally, with their contact information. They are very trustworthy agencies who are very helpful. The first on the list Ketut has helped me with many car, or motor bike rentals. Many of my friends who come for their holidays have used this particular agency and were happy with their expereince. Ketut is simply the best!

Ketut: +62 812 3965111, +62 361 8555328, e-mail: ketutmarta@hotmail.com (manual Toyota Avanza, 19$ a day, 350$ a month)

Nyoman: +62 812 382 8994 or kusuma_dex@yahoo.com(Avanza, Karimun, Splash; manual cars & automatic)

Made: +62 361 787 4006 (Avanza, Katana, Terios; manual or automatic)

 

Watch my youtube channel for car & scooter rental tips:

car-rental-tips

 

 

32 Comments

  1. Max / October 8, 2014 at 8:12 pm / Reply

    Thanks for bali car rental contacts. Ketut was a nice guy to deal with. We rented Avanza car from him and he delivered right to the airport and gave a good price for monthly rental.

  2. Mary / October 31, 2014 at 12:55 pm / Reply

    Do I need to show my license to rent a car in Bali?

    • Stella / November 2, 2014 at 1:54 pm / Reply

      no, you don’t need that!

  3. joni mili / April 4, 2015 at 11:41 pm / Reply

    this blog very helpfull…. bali is the island in the world… and i hope it happen 4ever… eksotik island… i love bali

  4. Marcus Dixon / April 8, 2015 at 10:11 pm / Reply

    I got to know about Bali car renal price, and got to know the other details. Thanks a lot for sharing the blog. Keep sharing.

    • Stella / April 13, 2015 at 7:45 am / Reply

      Thanks Marcus!

  5. kerry woods / April 24, 2015 at 3:29 pm / Reply

    Thanks for the information car rentals in Bali. It is indeed very necessary when we travel. Will be more comfortable and private, if we use and driving their own vehicles. so we can explore every place we visit, according to our own desires. The information you provide is really nice and helpful. I really liked your blog.

  6. Julio Moreno / July 24, 2015 at 7:17 am / Reply

    Hi!
    So, Ketut doesn’t have Automatic cars?
    Also, I will stay my first few days in East Bali but would love to return the car at the airport if possible. Can this be done?

    • Stella / July 26, 2015 at 4:24 pm / Reply

      Ketut doesn’t have automatic cars and also I am not sure if he delivers to East of Bali, that’s far. I guess it’s easier to rent the car there and ask them if drop off in airport is possible or not. If it’s beyond Sanur maybe for extra charge they can do that.

      For automatic cars try Made or Nyoman. Good luck!

      • Julio Moreno / July 27, 2015 at 10:27 am / Reply

        A lot of the car hire places say on their website that they require an international driving permit. Should I just lie and say that I do have one and just “forget it” when I arrive or just try someone else? I did have one but it expired in April and havent been home since to get a new one.
        Also, tried Nyoman and Made, all sold out for the next few weeks. Any other tips on automatic cars?

        • Julio Moreno / July 27, 2015 at 12:28 pm / Reply

          Never mind. I was able to book it :)! It turns out, even the places that say “International Permit Required” can be convinced otherwise. Also turns out my roommate is fluent in Indonesian :)

        • Stella / July 29, 2015 at 6:30 pm / Reply

          Great that you managed to book a car. August is high season in Bali now, that’s why it was a bit hard ;)
          Normally you are required to have an international license to drive in Bali. But polices happily accepts small bribes if you are telling them that you forgot yours at home.

  7. Colin / August 9, 2015 at 7:00 pm / Reply

    Hi Stella,

    Thank you so much for your assistance. I arrive on Wednesday and has given me the confidence to do the right thing and book a car for my family of six.

    Many thanks

    Colin

  8. Aero / September 7, 2015 at 2:15 am / Reply

    Thanks for info will b really helpful…

  9. Komang Wahyuni / November 30, 2015 at 8:18 am / Reply

    Hi Stella

    Thanks you for sharing information about Bali

    Komang Wahyuni
    http://www.jatayurental.com/

  10. António / February 12, 2016 at 12:29 am / Reply

    Hey hey ! what is the name of that car hire Firm ? me and my wife are will be in Bali from 22.february this year for 3 weeks .kan you please send med their adresse and firm name ? what car will you recomend us to rent .how is the streets in all bali ?

    • Stella / February 12, 2016 at 3:26 pm / Reply

      There are rental company contacts in the end of the article, use them to rent a car.

      Most of the people rent Toyota Avanza, that’s the most popular car in here. I find it a bit too big. My favorite one is Suzuki Splash. It’s good for 1-2 people. Avanza is more for a family or group of friends.

      Have a nice day!

  11. elliot / February 23, 2016 at 11:10 pm / Reply

    Can you rent as a 20 year old?

    • Stella / February 24, 2016 at 9:10 am / Reply

      Yes you can. There are no limits here. Kids are riding scooter when they are 8 years old ;)

  12. Max / March 8, 2016 at 1:10 pm / Reply

    Hi and thanks for sharing Bali! Your blog is straight to the point yet informative!

    So, me and my gf are planning to rent a car just for two. We are looking to get either the Jimny or Katana but from your blog, it’s said to be not so comfortable. Is the air conditioning for both models, good enough for bali’s weather? Probably, I cannot expect much from other form of comforts like seats right? And will they be good enough for steep slopes? Will you recommend other cars to us instead?

    • Stella / March 8, 2016 at 4:59 pm / Reply

      Hi Max,

      those cars do have A/C but somehow it just doesn’t cool the air enough when it’s hot. I personally hate Jimny – both in terms of A/C and how uncomfortable is to drive this car. Plus it’s not a powerful car at all ;-/ If you want a smaller car but slightly better – consider Karimun (sometimes newer versions are called Estilo), it’s much better car for basically the same price. Another super comfortable small sized car is Suzuki Splash, but it might be a bit more expensive – so decided based on your budget.

      • Max / March 17, 2016 at 9:09 am / Reply

        Thanks for the tips !

        • Max / March 17, 2016 at 10:01 am / Reply

          Also, is insurance well covered in the car rentals you’ve recommended? I understand also traffic can be stressful in Bali, is it just in the crowded areas like in the southern side or traffic is bad everywhere around?

          • Stella / March 17, 2016 at 12:14 pm /

            Max, the traffic (and chaos) is mostly in the south – Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, Jimbaran and Denpasar are the worst. As soon as you get out and got exploring the island you will mostly get empty roads and roads with very little traffic.

  13. max / March 10, 2016 at 4:47 pm / Reply

    Hi looking at renting a car for 3 weeks pick up at the airport, I have 3 kids under 6 am I best to bring car seats with me? Does the rentals include insurance?

    • Stella / March 17, 2016 at 12:12 pm / Reply

      Toyota Avanza will perfectly fit your needs. Yes, some cars have insurance, but insurance in indonesia is a bit weird, ask for all details when you rent a car.

  14. Max / March 17, 2016 at 4:34 pm / Reply

    Hi thanks can you recommend a good rental company for car to be picked up and dropped off at airport, will need for 3 weeks and we are going to bring our own car seats, seems the best idea so kids are safe

    • Stella / March 18, 2016 at 9:06 pm / Reply

      Use contacts that are provided within the article. Ketut & Nyoman are privately owned balinese car rental services and they are super reliable. Email them and discuss with them the possibility to bring the car to the airport.

  15. sha / September 27, 2016 at 7:14 pm / Reply

    Really nice tips on cars thanks for sharing

  16. Ives Montes / January 23, 2017 at 10:52 am / Reply

    Thanks for the tips! Planning to drive to Bali next year and this would be so useful!

  17. Jordyn Ross / February 1, 2017 at 3:08 am / Reply

    I am an American coming to Bali for 7 days with my wife. I do agree renting a car makes a whole lot more sense than hiring a driver. I want freedom to explore all that Bali has to offer me and my wife.

    A question I must ask is what side is the driver’s seat on in Indonesia? In the US its on the left. I do uber sometimes so I must say I am a good driver but I would also like to be prepared to adapt to different things. My turns might not be so good if the driver seat is on the right.

    • Stella / February 25, 2017 at 2:52 pm / Reply

      it’s left hand side driving here, not the same as US, usually the first day is stressful but you adapt quickly

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