Driving in Bali

Many of our Villas here at Gateway Villa Rentals have available a chauffeur upon request at your convenience. However, if you want to get hands-on driving experience in Bali, it must be noted with caution that rules, regulations and driving styles will differ greatly in contrast to locations such as the UK, Australia, United States etc. Before diving into the exotic jungle of Balinese traffic, I pungently recommend strong driving awareness and experience.

General Guidelines

  • Horns are not offensive and are utilised without hesitation, usually meaning ‘please notice me’.

  • In addition to cars and mopeds, drivers also share the narrow roads of Bali with dogs, cats, chickens, and even cows. So please devote extra care to avoid hurting them.

  • Changing lanes or crossing lines is very common, meaning extra care needs to be devoted driving past other motorists while blind spots should be avoided.

  • Road surfaces may be uneven, potholes can be expected, and dust may all contribute to the loss of traction. Lowering driving speed will minimise the risk of losing control. Traffic speed is usually under 25mph, not only keeping everyone safe but also giving you more chance to soak in the outlandish views.

Driving Rules

Anyone may and will make an entrance onto the road at any time. If (when) this occurs to you, one of the primary rules will apply. Whatever you see in front of you, becomes your responsibility! For example, if you are abruptly cut up by a fellow motorcycle driver, it means, he/she supposes you will notice them, and respond in slowing down, or safely over taking them. This brings me onto the second rule, you must sound your horn prior to any overtake. This will signal to the other motorist of your presence and avoid them suddenly changing into your lane. It is important to understand that Balinese’s traffic requires particular attentive care, driving must be slowed down, and drink driving must be avoided at all costs!


- Mopeds and motorcycles are often the rental vehicles of choice, appealing for many tourists for being cheap, fun, and convenient. If you are planning on renting a two-wheeled toy, it is essential you have prior experience in riding. It is not recommended for first timers to learn on public roads abroad as this can put yours, and others health at risk of injury. To avoid crashes, do not overestimate riding ability, never drink and ride.

- Always! Always! Always! Wear a helmet and shoes as the bare minimum protection. Hitting your head on the concrete even at slow speeds can be detrimental.

- Be cautious cornering as dust, gravel, and uneven road surfaces can cause your motorcycle to slip into a low side accident. Never ride in other drivers blind spots


To drive in Bali with anything other than an Indonesian license would require you to either apply for an international driving license from your home country, or a trip to Denpasar police station where you may acquire a temporary Balinese driving license. Your villa manager would be happy to direct you there. A fee of $30 following a multiple-choice test is required. Also, bring along a passport photo.

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