Let’s start with the most important thing of all…
AN INTERNATIONAL DRIVERS LICENCE
This is like a hall pass if the police pull you over – if you’re a tourist they most definitely will. It will cost you £5 and save you a lot of hassle. You can get them from the Post Office and they instantly issue you with one. All you need is a passport sized photo of yourself. In the month that we have been here, I have been pulled over four times. Last year it was a lot worse. As it was effecting the tourism, the police cracked down on this a little but unfortunately it does still happen. If you don’t have an international licence (which most people don’t because they don’t know they need one) you can expect to pay a fine of up to £5. To have this happen to you multiple times it does add up. It’s also a pain in the bum.
If you don’t manage to get one and the police mention a fine, keep saying that you will go to the embassy and get one. Ask where the embassy is. Keep on mentioning the embassy over an over and eventually they will just wave you on. Another way to deal with this is to carry a fake wallet/purse keep a 20,000 note in there, show to the police and say this is all I have. They may take it, they may wave you on.
This kind of stuff happens but not always so please don’t let it put you off! I have never paid a fine/bribe in Bali.
When renting a moped you can expect to pay 30,000 – 50,000 a day. You can rent from pretty much any where. When paying, make sure that they give you the rental agreement and the bikes registration document. This can usually be found in the seat of the bike. If the bike doesn’t have this and the police pull you over you can pretty much wave goodbye to the bike.
If you are renting and the bike is very new, make sure you take photos of the bike in front of them if there’s any damage. Otherwise you could find yourself in the position of being accused of that damage and paying for it.
If you are going to ride without a helmet you are a complete moron. Expect a fine if you’re caught and to crack your head open/take your face off/brain damage etc if you come off. I cannot express how much this frustrates me when I see people not wearing a helmet even more so when their helmet is strapped to their bike. So stupid.
If you decide to buy a helmet like I did, make sure it’s an actual helmet. If you get caught with a novelty helmet like in the photos above, expect to be pulled over and as mentioned before, brain damage/taking your face off etc. In the helmet shops they do have signs that state that the helmets are not police approved. (You can see it in the photo of the skull helmets)
Are the side venders safe to use? Is it actually petrol? Why is it in vodka bottles?!
We always use the petrol stations when we can. Just because they are easy to get to and you know what you’re paying for. The sum comes up on the screen as they fill up so it’s a fixed rate. The venders on the street will charge you 3x as much as at a petrol station. If you’re from the UK like me it is still ridiculously cheap for petrol here. I just hate haggling with people.
Can I drive on the pavement?!
Well… Of course it is illegal so no. Be aware that if you do take this risk and the police see you, you will get pulled over. Even if everyone else is doing it.
Hope this blog has helped give an insight to anyone thinking about renting a bike. As a disclaimer, you make all your own decisions I didn’t tell you or recommend you to do anything. 🙂 If you have any questions please ask and I’ll do my best to answer!
Thanks for this information! I am debating renting scooters when I go to Thailand and I feel like it’s pretty similar. Did you feel safe driving?
I feel safe driving but you have to watch out for other people. Take photos of people, glad this post helped! 🙂
Is the international license only valid in Bali, or can I make one at home (Denmark) and bring with me everywhere? Might be a stupid question 😅
I would check when applying that the licence covers all of the places you are going because some are different 🙂 They’re only valid for one year as well, hope that helps!
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Just realized we have the same theme and a similar post. The petrol from the vodka bottles should generally be ok but only in places where there are no pumps and no chances of getting in a tough situation. It would be hard if your scooter stopped working in the middle of nowhere because of poor and unofficial quality petrol!