4. Make Clear About Time-Frame & How Much You Should Be Paying For
If there is one thing you can do before boarding a private car or SUV, it involves your driver to set clear expectations about how long you expect their service and total costs.
For example, if you intend to see a waterfall on the north side of Bali, a good driver will quote for 12 hours a day. Daily car and driver hire are usually 10 hours, plus 100 thousand per hour after that.
However your driver may have a newer place, so don’t count on unlimited time. Ask clearly how many hours they expect to travel, and make a point to set a specific time you want to return to your hotel or villa.
5. Easy Communication Via WhatsApp With Driver
Download WhatsApp. Everyone in Indonesia uses WhatsApp – a free smartphone application that lets you write and make calls over the Internet or WiFi. It is very cost-effective if you bought a SIM card at the airport so you don’t have to deal with exorbitant data. Roaming charges from your home telecommunications provider.
It’s a simple learning curve and I had someone with a smartphone of all ages who could use it easily and painlessly within minutes.
The best thing is that you can be in constant contact with your driver so you don’t have to worry about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. One of the best features is to send your current location by text that delivers a GPS map directly to your actual location.
Even better – you can send a photo of what’s in front of you so there is no doubt where you are. Think about this common scenario. You shop at the Ubud markets and have agreed with your driver to meet at the north entrance if you are dropped off there. The northern end is a terrible place to be picked up anyway. So you should shop up to the southern end of the alley. Sending a photo makes it clear where you are, avoiding simple misunderstandings and mistakes when your driver meets you.
6. Plan your toilet breaks and discuss it with your driver.
Communicate with your driver in good time so that you don’t get into traffic or in a rural area without clean, maintainable toilets in one place.
A good driver will know where the best toilet stops are. Maybe at a McDonalds when you drive back from Ubud on the highways, or at a little-known warning with clean and maintainable toilets in the middle of nowhere. A good driver will know where the best bathroom breaks are. Make sure you ask for a toilet break at least 20 minutes in advance, or at least that your driver knows how to stop and find when driving through suburbs with no public facilities.
7. Go to tourist attractions or to the beach club
What most people don’t realize is that getting to a place is often quite easy. But coming home from there can be a nightmare. This is because local transportation services (think of the local taxi mafia) always charge a much higher fee to get you back than it is worth. Sometimes insolently high.
Since they have a monopoly on transportation, you’re literally at your mercy if you don’t have a private car and driver yet. Depending on the supply and demand and the way the wind blows, you may have to pay 2-5 times the amount that a normal taxi fare would cost.
For example, a taxi fare from Eat Street in Seminyak to Finn’s Beach Club in Canggu costs around 120,000 rupees. But if you want to leave, you’ll set local fixed prices from Rp250 – 350k (and sometimes a lot more at busy times at night).
8. Shopping expeditions can be fantastic with Hire car and driver.
When you go shopping in Bali, a lot of people come here. Even if you leave the souvenirs alone, the opportunity to buy household goods, textiles, and works of art that are only available in Bali is more than tempting. It’s addictive when you know where to go. In addition to shopping centers and supermarkets, there are countless local markets and some special streets for household goods and larger works of art.
If you want to treat shopping as a full-contact blood sport with bargains as a scoreboard and show it off to your friends and family at home, the idea of renting a private car and driver makes perfect sense.
It is a pleasure to charge the back of an SUV while the driver is patiently waiting for you to make the next purchase. Trying to get a taxi while standing next to the street with a few shopping bags or some seriously large art pieces in bubble wrap is not that fun.
A private car and a private driver are the most useful investment you can make to reduce the friction around getting around and shopping in Bali.
9. The waiting time is integrated into the cost of a private driver.
If you want to be dropped off at a beach club or restaurant, don’t think you can pay less because your driver is waiting for you. The time they spend waiting for you is part of the rent, and let’s face it – a big attraction for hiring a driver is getting started when you want to get started.
They’ll be waiting for you while you’re there – that’s not a problem – but the key is communication. That’s why WhatsApp is so important. Having a good time at the pool bar? No sweat, just write to your driver that you will stay a little longer. Enjoy your lunch and can’t bother to hit the next temple on your itinerary? No problem, just text your driver and let them know.
The more he knows what you think about your day, the better your service will be. Have you decided not to tell your driver that you want to miss the next stop on your pre-determined itinerary? Maybe he’s already on the way to where he thought you were going, and now it’s 30 minutes before he turns. Communication is the key.
Download and use WhatsApp, a free text and call app over WiFi, wherever possible to communicate with your driver. Give him a heads-up 10 to 20 minutes before you leave for the next destination. Depending on the availability and cost of nearby parking, he may have had to park some distance from your current location.
If you start your tour in the morning, it is assumed that you had breakfast. If you want to stop somewhere for breakfast, make this clear, although of course, this will shorten your travel time.
The same goes for lunch – it’s always best to have at least the type of food you want for lunch – be it a local Warung (restaurant) or a popular well-known restaurant.
10. How Much To Tip Bali Driver
Tip practices in Bali are very diverse, but here are some simple rules that will help you give the right amount and reward great service.
As I write above, the time available to a driver is between 8 and 12 hours. If you get a cheaper driver, it will likely take 8 hours, but my drivers work 10 hours for a full day rental or 12 hours for trips to North Bali.
Tipping is not expected, but it is always welcome and shows your appreciation in a very direct financial way while your driver feels valued. A little tip would be IDR50k. Less than that would not be an insult but could be negative in relation to the total amount paid for the day.
I recommend IDR100k if your driver has done a great job and you have had an excellent day. IDR200k is greeted with joy and is a reasonable bonus for doing a good job. In foreign currency, this isn’t much – around $ 10 to $ 20.
Considering that the minimum monthly salary in Bali can be as low as IDR2,200,000 (or lower), this is a significant amount. If you have a multi-day booking, these guidelines will continue to apply.
If your driver books tickets to attractions for trips to Elephant Park, white water rafting, or other adventure activities, he will most likely receive a ticket sales commission, usually around 15%, but sometimes less. There is nothing wrong with that because it increases their income and is a naturally accepted part of the tourism business in Bali.
11. Book Car & Driver From Hotel/Villa
ach hotel offers a booking service for a private car and a driver, especially for day trips. This is one of the many sources of income on which a hotel depends. So don’t be surprised that they get a substantial premium.
Their biggest surcharges come from short trips where they can calculate a multiple of the price a taxi would charge. A prime example is a drive from the hotel to one of the local restaurants just a few kilometers away. Since taxis or rideshare are not allowed to be your property, you are at your mercy.
I have the golden rule of never paying more than IDR 50,000 for a drive from a hotel to a local, and that’s generous. For about $ 5, you should be able to get anywhere within a 5 km radius.
If you book a private car and driver for a day tour from a hotel, expect to pay IDR800k or 1 million + for 8 hours. This includes a commission of 40-50% for the hotel. If the driver is hired directly at the hotel, the driver will likely only receive IDR100-300k.
When booking a day tour from a hotel, follow the next tips, and make sure your driver speaks passable English. The goal is crystal clear and the waiting time and the number of hours are clearly communicated to the driver.
The most common mistake is to book a driver at the hotel and expect the best. You will undoubtedly offer the cheapest driver, and while the car is in decent condition, your driver will most likely have no idea of your expectations.
Book a private car and driver for your Bali vacation safely and securely. Whether you want to go shopping, move around the beach clubs, or go on a day tour, a private car and a driver make life so much easier.
Since I started Bali Honest Driver, I have received so many requests to book some drivers and Bali Tour. I have created a secure online booking system that eliminates risk, stress, and hassle Find your own reliable, trustworthy, English-speaking private car and your own driver