Comprehensive Guides to Driving in Indonesia

driving in IndonesiaIf you decide to visit Indonesia anytime soon, then you make a very good decision. Indonesia has all the greatness you have imagined to have in your travel life, from local culinary to massive culture attractions, from cheap to luxury accommodation, and various nature-themed destinations. Indonesia is the largest archipelago, so no matter what type of travel you’re looking for, Indonesia has it all.

If you plan to explore Indonesia by driving a vehicle by yourself, then it would not be the same with what you used to in your country. In the previous article, we have explained thorough guide on how to rent a car in Indonesia. Now in this article, whether it is a car or motorbike, if you decide to drive by yourself, here’s the comprehensive guides to driving in Indonesia.

  1. First and foremost, please understand that you cannot get vehicle for rent in every city or region. Do some research might be the best preparation before even thinking about it. And find out what requirements you have to fulfill so you can get permission to rent a vehicle and drive on the roads. There are vehicle hires in major cities such as Jakarta, Bandung, Medan, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Bali, etc.
  2. Unlike in most of western countries, you drive from the left. Most of cars have steer on the right hand.
  3. Be sure to not drive while you’re drunk, there’s no tolerance in this case. The blood alcohol limit is zero, so is the tolerance given for drink driving.
  4. International Driving Permit or Licence is required if you decide to rent a vehicle. Regular licence is required as well. If you choose motorcycle, international motorcycle licence is also required.
  5. The roads are very chaotic in big cities such as Jakarta, Surabaya and Bandung, especially on weekends. In Jakarta, it’s best to use motorcycle instead of a car. Although you’ll likely get stuck on terrible traffic, motorcycle would help more.
  6. Always bring complete documents (such as driving licence and international driving licence, passport, visa, ID Card, etc) while driving to avoid any possible issues. Traffic police would likely stop you to check them.
  7. No matter what, seat belt must be on anytime.
  8. Remember to check that you have the right insurances. Read more on these websites:
    1. Insurance for expats in Indonesia
    2. ACE Group
    3. Jakarta Post
  9. Find out if your existing car insurance also covers in Indonesia. Whether your car insurance would cover to some extent in Indonesia will depend on your insurance. Read more on these sites:
    1. Confused.com – Driving abroad (UK)
    2. Bilforsikring (Denmark)
    3. DMV.org (USA)
    4. HUK-Coburg (Germany)
  10. Always use helmet and turn on the light if you use motorcycle, no matter it is night or noon.
  11. In Jakarta, don’t cross the Trans Jakarta
  12. Watch out for the train if you cross the railroad.
  13. While driving, make sure to put away your mobile device or any kind of devices. It’s illegal. If you use mobile phone merely for GPS, just put it on the dashboard.
  14. If you ride motorbike, you can only take a person with you. More than one will get you caught and pay fine. Even if you see families of five riding a motorbike together, don’t even think to take another person.
  15. With motorbike, drive on the left will be your best choice. But beware of local angkot’s!
  16. To get a cheaper vehicle. avoid those at the airport.
  17. Major local companies will likely make you unable to rent their vehicles. So for cars, we recommend these resources:
  18. As for motorcycle, use these resources:motor bikes indonesia

If you are in Yogyakarta or Jogja, there will be easy to find motorcycle hire, and very cheap.

  1. Consider to hire a private driver. Most of car hires already provide you an option to hire a private driver.
  2. For the best choice, you can take public transportations rather than driving by yourself. It’s easier, cheaper, and there are various public transportations available to choose. In several cities such as Yogyakarta, there are traditional transportations such as Andong and Becak. Or Delman in Bandung, or Becak Motor around Medan.

If you still decide to driving by yourself to explore Indonesia, just follow all the instructions above and you’re good to go. Don’t forget about the requirements, and dig into in-depth research before you’re all set.