About Indonesia (ID)
Straddling the Equator amidst the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Indonesia is an incomparably vast country consisting of more than 18,000 islands. The archipelago is home to a staggeringly diverse range of destinations and attractions that includes the provincial groupings of Sumatra, Java, Bali, Sulawesi, and Papua New Guinea. With over 100,000 kilometers of pristine beaches, Indonesia is one of the world’s top aquatic destinations. Meanwhile, the region’s position on the Ring of Fire means volcanoes — underwater and aboveground — surrounded by dense jungle and rainforest.
Getting around Indonesia by car will be somewhat familiar to experienced drivers, particularly if they’ve spent any time in other Asian countries. If you can manage driving in Vietnam, driving in Indonesia will be a walk in the park. First and foremost, motorcycles and scooters outnumber automobiles by a large margin. Roads are crowded and frequently in sketchy condition. Traffic regulations are ignored, and law enforcement seems to be arbitrary. Outside of urban areas, service stations are scarce, and roads get washed out in monsoon season. Still, the best and most efficient way of exploring the country is by car. If you’re having doubts, consider the fact that plenty of people have done it — without much of a problem. And on an even more positive note, car rentals in Indonesia are among the cheapest in the world.
Choosing your car
Indonesia car rentals are supplied by the most trusted names in the business. Avis, Hertz, National, Sixt, and Europcar are on-call, 24 hours a day, waiting to fulfill your car hire wishes. You’ll choose from the full complement of vehicle types: minicars, compact sedans, economy hatchbacks, standard and fullsize sedans, luxury and premium SUVs, estate wagons, and 7-12 seater minivans.
Tips and advice
Indonesia is one of the few places in the world where it’s probably in your best interest to have far more insurance coverage than you ever thought you might need. Minor accidents are very common throughout the region.
Though it may sound counterintuitive, driving too slow on Indonesia roads is actually more of a hazard than keeping up with the flow of traffic.
Again, it may sound odd to drivers from Western countries, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong about pulling out in front of other vehicles. The Indonesian mindset is that you’re only responsible for what’s in front of you. Therefore, if you want to change lanes, just slowly drift over and let the car behind you adjust to your movement.
Driving in rural areas at night is expressly discouraged. Roads are poorly illuminated and marked, road services are scarce to non-existent, and cell phone coverage can be spotty.
Use of the car horn is the most common way of letting other vehicles know your position and intention.
Roads in Indonesia are unofficially classified as any pathway where wheels can gain traction. However, most Indonesia car rentals are forbidden from driving on unpaved roads. While it’s generally a good idea to discuss your travel plans with the car hire vendor, get a good idea about what they consider a “road” before heading out to remote areas.