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Bali on a Scooter, yes or no?

If you are one of those who dare to travel to Bali alone instead of with a group, one of the first questions you will ask yourself will be about how to move around the island. If you do what I do, and search online, you will find thousands of blogs and pages that advise you that the best way is to rent a scooter because of the intense traffic on the island. Many of them even offer, for those of you who have never driven a scooter, a contact, to get a class of half an hour in a parking lot for about € 25.

Driving a scooter in Bali, if you have never done it, can be a stressful and dangerous experience for you and those around you. The traffic in the main tourist places like Ubud and Seminyak is chaotic, characteristic of Southeast Asian countries. You will have to drive among thousands of scooters, cars and people.

Based on my experience:

Renting a scooter is not an option, if:

  • Your idea is to avoid traffic. The traffic is so intense that you will also be stuck in it even with the scooter.

  • If you are not an experienced scooter driver.

  • If you stay in the center of Ubud, you can walk to the many charming cafes and some have entertainment.

  • If you stay at some of the hotels in the rice fields, as I did, they have free transfers to Ubud every so often.

  • If you want to go shopping. At any time it can rain and there are very steep hills. If you go shopping the return to the hotel by scooter may not be the best choice.

  • Some spas offer free transfer service from Ubud.

  • If you want to visit the lakes, temples and mountains of the north and east of the island. Besides being a long trip if you’re not used to it (at least 2 hours each way), in the mountains it’s cold and it can rain. Could be miserable!

Scooter is a good choice if:

  • You are a regular scooter driver

  • You want to visit places near where you are staying.

The best alternative to the scooter is to contract a driver, because:

  • They charge you per car instead of per person and for 4 or 8 hours. This makes it an option that you can afford, even if you travel alone.

  • You will have the opportunity to make contact and talk with local people and learn more about their life and culture.

  • They will give you advice on where to buy, eat and can even take you to some shops where prices are lower.

  • If you travel alone, they can take pics in places like Tirta Empul.

  • If you are doing the purification ceremony, you will not be thinking about taking photos or videos.

If you need a reliable driver in Bali, contact me.


  • Most rentals do not include any type of insurance.

  • Check that your travel insurance covers you in case of any incident.

  • You need an international driver’s license if you do not want to be fined.

  • The motorbikes you rent are usually very old with high mileage, check the brakes, lights, visibility from the helmet, etc.

  • When you are going to overtake, sound the horn as a warning. On the other hand if you hear a horn, somebody is surely about to overtake you.

  • If you are not very tall, a Honda Scoopy is a good option.

  • Some motorcycle rentals deliver and pick it up at your hotel. Ask if this service is included.

  • Even if you do not find many gas stations on the roads you will find people selling gasoline in glass bottles, although it is somewhat more expensive.

  • To avoid traffic instead of renting a scooter (although you will not avoid it completely, with so many on the road), go early in the morning and avoid the months of tourist high season (from June to September).

  • Approximate scooter price: Rs 50,000.

  • If you prefer not to worry about anything, ask at your hotel, for a little more money they can take care of everything.


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