Blog: The Wanderer’s Guide to Safe Scooter and Motorbike rental while travelling around Bali
While taking part in the local way of life can be a refreshing chance to try something new, you might appreciate a few tips to ensure that you aren’t going to be subject to local corruption, particularly if you plan on travelling in and around the Bali using a rented motorbike or scooter.
The Balinese police can be somewhat corrupt in their dealings compared to what we are used to in the western world. While it is nothing shocking or overwhelming, they are well known for requesting immediate payments from tourists for minor traffic infringements. While the misdemeanor may actually be legitimate, requests for immediate “fine” payments are not! – This is quite a common occurrence in many parts of Bali.
If you’re looking at scooter or motorbike rental in Bali and want to ensure you’re staying out of “trouble” then having the correct documentation in place, over and above following the general laws of the road such as wearing your helmet at all times, is a must. Taking care of those simple things will significantly contribute to your overall fun experience. And exploring Bali, its beautiful and colorful variety of venues and attractions on a motorbike is exactly that, both fun and interesting.
Take the necessary steps to ensure safe travel in Bali
Make sure you always have your registration and license. Allow me to spell this out for you! You will need to have the registration (STNK) for your motorbike or scooter on you at all times. Every foreigner in Indonesia, including Bali, is obliged to have an International Driver’s License. It’s easy to obtain -- you can get an international license in your home country if you still have the time, or Bali Bike Rental can organise this for you as part of your rental package.
Usually the first hurdle you will face should a traffic officer pull you over is having to deal with not having an International Driver’s License so it’s best to make sure you’re covered.
Remain calm and discreet. The best ways to address an officer on Bali is probably exactly the same as you would do in your home country. Be apologetic, discreet and calm. If you are forced to make a payment or you simply want go on with your day and get rid of him, do so without attracting too much attention to either yourself or the officer.
Cover yourself. The best way to avoid interaction with Bali’s law enforcement is simple though! They have little to no interest in you if you are not breaking any laws. While this might seem like an obvious measure, it’s easy to forget the importance of wearing a helmet and indicating your movements when so many people neglect to follow these laws. They are, however, legally binding, and riding without a helmet will likely get you pulled over. Which only makes sense if we are all being honest here.
Ask for a ticket. If you are pulled over and fined, ask for an official ticket to try and assist Bali in reducing its corruption and to legitimize the fine. Sometimes the official fine is actually lower than the amount officers might try to bribe you for :)
Leave on friendly terms. You will find that officers will generally try to make small talk and will appear friendly, even after asking for a bribe. Make small talk and at the very least be courteous in return, to help end the interaction. This is usually a far more effective tactic than threatening to report them or anything of that nature.
Book your scooter through a reputable organization. We pride ourselves on our motorbike and scooter rental service at Bali Bike Rental, where we’ll help you avoid and mitigate bad experiences with the law so that you can enjoy your time away.
When you rent a scooter or motorbike in Bali through us, we will issue you with a license that will allow you to legally drive the motorbike or scooter you choose around the island. We keep it simple for you as well -- all you have to do is provide us with a passport-sized ID photo and show your valid driver’s license from your home country and you’re good to go! Find more information on how to obtain your International Driver’s License here. You’ll also have immediate access to Bali Bike Rental representatives that are available 24/7/365 to assist with your safe, efficient scooter or motorbike travels around Bali. Plus, you can hire additional safety equipment and focus on having fun.
Minimize some of the issues you may face during your travels. Book a package with Bali Bike Rentals to explore beautiful Bali in a safe, comfortable, relaxing and fun way.