13 Expert Tips for Hiring a Private Driver in Bali

Watching the Kecak Dance at Uluwatu Temple, Bali

Hiring a Bali private driver for sightseeing some of Bali’s extraordinary attractions or just to drive you for the day while visiting markets, beach clubs and restaurants for dinner is a great idea. This article will teach you how to hire a private driver in Bali, what you should pay and help you make a booking.

1. Why hire a Bali private driver?

If you are within walking distance to the beach, shops and restaurants from your accommodation, and will only be going further for the odd sightseeing day then you only need a private car and driver on an ad-hoc basis for day tours.

However, if you will be going further than walking distance for most days I highly recommend hiring a private car and driver for the full length of your stay. Having a driver on call for most if not the whole day and evening will help make your Bali holiday friction-free because you remove the hassle of getting taxi’s in Bali on a regular basis, which can be a real pain.

Whether you and your crew are looking to spend the day at a beach club, visiting the unique attractions like temples, rice terraces, the Bali swings, some of the amazing waterfalls or just spending the day shopping, hiring a car and driver can make a huge difference.

  • If you are just venturing out locally, then hire a taxi.
  • For trips to attractions further than 5 km away, then hire a private car and driver.
  • If you will be gone for more than 4 hours, then hire a car and driver.
  • Thinking of hiring a rental car and driving yourself? Just don’t. A local driver will cost fractionally more. And he will be a much better navigator through Bali traffic conditions than you ever will.
  • Want to go on a shopping expedition? Hire a car and driver.

2. How much you should pay for a private car and driver for the day?

Let’s start with the basics. A rule of thumb is the cheapest you will get a private car and driver for the day is IDR600k. That’s rock bottom. If you are offered anything cheaper then do not take it. You are simply being set-up to pay more later from the usual scams — making you wait, being asked for more during the trip, running out of petrol or just being intimidated. You have been warned.

Realistically, the lowest amount you should expect to pay for small cars is IDR600k bare minimum. Anything less and you run the risk of being taken for a ride (please excuse the pun. It had to be said.)

An experienced driver who knows their way around, can adapt to your specific needs and has a solid grasp of English in a high-quality, air-conditioned 6-seater SUV is IDR800k for travel around South Bali and 1.000k for travel to North or East Bali. I highly recommend you set this as your budget. The great private drivers (and there are many) have a solid contact list and will make over 50% of their revenue through repeat business and referrals.

The age-old maxim of you get what you pay for is never more appropriate than when hiring a private car and driver in Bali.

And be careful of the referral from a friend who has been to Bali, possibly many times before, and has their mate Ketut to look after you. I’ve heard from many people who were disappointed in the service they were provided. That’s why I only ever work with a small, knowledgable group of drivers I know and can trust implicitly.

If you would like to book one of my trusted, knowledgable, English-speaking drivers with a 6-seater air-conditioned SUV you can do so using my private car and driver booking system. Or read further below for more details.

3. Understand the basic geography of Bali.

Don’t forget that it will cost slightly more to travel to attractions on the North and East regions of Bali. Or to look at the opposite point of view, it is cheaper to book a private car and driver if you are only touring within the South Bali region. This is simply because trips to the other side of Bali takes longer, uses more fuel and is harder on vehicles than just touring locally.

South Bali includes Canggu, Gianyar, Jimbaran, Kuta, Legian, Nusa Dua, Seminyak, Sanur, Ubud and Uluwatu.

Attractions in South Bali include Tanah Lot, Ubud Monkey Forest, Ubud Art Market, Tegalalang Rice Terraces, Bali Safari & Marine Park, Tegenungan Waterfall, Waterbom Theme Park, Uluwatu Temple, Goa Gajah, Gunung Kawi, Garuda Wisnu Kencana, Bali Swing Park, Bali Bird Park, Pura Tirta Empul, Ubud Royal Palace, Tukad Cepung Waterfall, Kanto Lampo Waterfall, Tibumana Waterfall and of course, all the beaches from Canggu all the way down to Uluwatu.

North Bali includes Bedugul, Lovina, Singaraja, Plaga and Kintamani.

Attractions in North Bali include Handarah Golf Course Gates, Mount Batur – Kintamani, Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, Bedugul Market (Pasar Candi Kuning), Lovina, Aling-Aling Waterfall, Gitgit Waterfall, Sekumpul Waterfall, Nungnung Waterfall, Banyumala Twin Waterfalls – basically all the good waterfalls.

East Bali includes Besakih, Sideman, Karangasem, Candidasa, Mount Agung, Amlapura and Amed.

Attractions in East Bali include Lempuyang Temple, Besakih Temple, Amed, Virgin Beach and Tirta Gangga Temple.

4. Be clear about the destination and what you expect.

Most drivers are reactive, not proactive, so if you ask to go to a destination that is very far away or may encounter heavy traffic they will generally just follow orders. Being proactive means discussing where you want to go, understand the realistic, expected elapsed travel time, and whether that leaves you enough time for your other destinations and the trip back home.

There is a big difference between a cheap hire and a driver who actually knows the places and attractions you want to visit.

Engage with your driver before you get in the car — don’t be pressured into hopping in and getting the trip going because he is holding the door open. Engage in straight-forward terms using simple language — and I don’t mean simple because of intellect, I mean simple because of the language barrier.

Engaging early with your driver will tell you how much English he actually understands. A great driver will begin to form a rapport with you and ask what kind of things you like and make adjustments accordingly.

Pro-tip: already know the rough itinerary of where you want to go, what times you would like to be there and engage with him so you can change plans according to conditions and not be disappointed because the clock ran out and you missed something you really wanted to see.

5. Going to a beach club or tourist attraction?

What most people don’t realise is that getting to a place is often quite easy. But getting from there back home can be a nightmare. The reason is the local transport services (think local taxi mafia) will always charge a much higher fee to get you back than it’s worth. Sometimes outrageously high.

Because they have a monopoly on the transport options if you don’t already have a private car and driver you are literally at their mercy. Depending on supply and demand and which way the wind is blowing you may have to pay up to 2-5 times the amount that a normal taxi fare would cost you.

For example, a taxi fare on the meter from Eat Street in Seminyak to Finn’s Beach Club in Canggu will cost you around Rp 120k. But when you want to leave, the local set prices will knock you back Rp250 – 350k (and sometimes much more during busy times at night).

6. Shopping expeditions can be awesome with a car and driver.

Going on shopping expeditions in Bali is why many people come here. Even leaving the souvenirs alone, the chance to buy homewares, textiles and artworks that are unique to Bali is more than tempting. It’s downright addictive if you know where to go. Along with shopping malls and supermarkets, there are local markets galore and some speciality streets for things like homewares and larger artworks.

If you treat shopping like a full-contact blood sport with bargains as the scoreboard and showing off to your friends and family back home is something you like the idea of, then hiring a private car and driver makes perfect sense.

Loading up the back of an SUV while the driver waits patiently for you to make the next “it’s like saving money” purchase is a pleasure. Trying to get a taxi while standing beside the road with a bunch of shopping bags or some seriously large artworks wrapped in bubble-wrap is not so much fun.

A private car and driver is the most useful investment you can make to lower the friction of getting around and going on shopping expeditions in Bali.

7. Booking a driver from your hotel.

Every hotel provides a booking service for a private car and driver, especially for day tours. It’s one of the many revenue streams a hotel depends on, so don’t be surprised that they take a significant markup.

Their biggest markups come from short trips where they can charge many times the rate that would be charged by a taxi. A prime example is a trip from the hotel to one of the local restaurants that are only a couple of kilometres away, and because they don’t allow taxi’s or ride-sharing providers to enter their property you are at their mercy.

I have a Golden Rule never to pay more than IDR50k for a ride to somewhere local from a hotel, and that’s being generous. For around $5 you should be able to get anywhere within a 5km radius.

If you book a private car and driver for a day tour from a hotel, expect to pay upwards of IDR800k or 1 million+ for 8 hours. That will include a 40-50% commission to the hotel and if the driver is employed directly by the hotel then the driver will likely only be receiving IDR100-300k.

If you do book a day tour from a hotel make sure you follow the next tips and make sure your driver speaks passable English, the destination is crystal clear and the waiting time and number of hours are clearly communicated with the driver.

The most common mistake is to book a driver with the hotel and expect the best. They will undoubtedly be providing the lowest cost driver possible, and while the car may be in decent condition your driver will most likely not have a clue as to your expectations.

8. Be really clear about the time-frame and how much you will be paying.

If there is one thing you can do before hopping into a private car or SUV, it’s engaging with your driver to set crystal clear expectations about how long you expect their services and the total cost.

For example, if you intend to see a waterfall on the northern side of Bali, good drivers will be quoting for a 12-hour day. Daily hire of a car and driver is usually 10 hours, plus 100k per hour thereafter.

However your driver may have somewhere to be later, so don’t count on unlimited time. Ask clearly what their expected number of hours are for the trip, and make a point to set a specific time you want to be back at your hotel or villa.

Have a look at the booking forms for hiring a private car and driver plus some speciality tours to Ubud, Waterfalls, Danu Beratan, Lempuyang and more here.

9. Waiting time is built-in to the cost of a private driver.

If you want to be dropped off at a beach club or restaurant, don’t think that you can pay less because your driver is waiting for you. The time they spend waiting for you all part of the hire, and let’s be honest — a big attraction for hiring a driver is to get going when you want to get going.

They will wait for you while you are there — that’s not an issue — but the key is communication. That’s why WhatsApp is so important. Having a good time at the pool bar? No sweat, just text your driver that you will be staying a bit longer. Enjoying your lunch and can’t be bothered hitting the next temple on the tour itinerary? Not a problem, just text your driver and let him know.

The more he knows about what you are thinking about your day the better service you will receive. Did you decide not to tell your driver you wanted to miss the next stop on your pre-arranged itinerary? Maybe he’s already headed towards where he thought you wanted to go and turning around now takes another 30 minutes. Communication is the key.

Wherever possible download and use WhatsApp, a free text and calling app over wifi, to communicate with your driver, giving him a heads-up 10-20 minutes before you are ready to leave for the next destination. He may have had to park some distance away from your current location depending on the availability and cost of parking in the immediate vicinity.

If you start your tour in the morning it will be assumed you have had breakfast. If you want to stop somewhere for breakfast make that clear, although it will naturally cut into your travel time.

The same for lunch — it’s always best to have at least the kind of food you want for lunch — be it a local warung (restaurant) or a popular well-known eatery.

10. Connect with your driver using WhatsApp.

Download WhatsApp. Everyone in Indonesia uses WhatsApp — a free smart-phone application that allows you to text and call using the Internet or WiFi, and is very cost-effective if you bought a SIM card at the airport so you don’t get hit with exorbitant data roaming charges from your home telco provider.

It’s an easy learning curve and I’ve had anyone with a smartphone of all ages using it easily and painlessly in minutes.

The best thing is 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 via text which provides a GPS map directly to where you actually are. 

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 are shopping your way down Ubud markets and have arranged with your driver to meet at the northern entrance when you where dropped off. The northern end is a terrible place to be picked up anyway, so you should shop your way down to the southern end of the laneway. Sending a photo makes it crystal clear where you are and avoids simple misunderstandings and mistakes when getting your driver to meet you.

11. Plan your toilet breaks and communicate with your driver.

Communicate with your driver well beforehand so you don’t get caught in traffic or a rural area without somewhere that has clean, serviceable toilets. 

A great driver will know where the best toilet stops are. Maybe at a McDonalds if travelling back via the highways from Ubud, or a little-known warung with clean and serviceable toilets in the middle of nowhere. A great driver will know where the best bathroom breaks are. Make sure you ask for a toilet break at least 20 minutes ahead of time, or at the very least your driver knows how to stop and find while travelling through suburban areas with no public amenities. 

A massive thank you for providing us with our wonderful driver

We wanted to say a massive thank you for providing us with our wonderful driver Kadek. I am so relieved we booked a private driver for 3 days as we explored around Bali. Kadek was amazing: a superb driver, so calm and understanding when our itinerary kept changing. He was patient and kind and I felt my family were in safe hands all the time, but particularly when I directed us down a back route of a very steep, winding narrow road. Thank you for providing such a reassuring service.

12. How much to tip your driver.

Tipping practices in Bali vary greatly, but here are some simples rules that will help you tip the appropriate amount and reward great service.

As I write above, the length of time a driver will be at your disposal ranges between 8 -12 hours. If you get a cheaper driver it will likely be for 8 hours, but the amount my drivers work for is 10 hours for a full-day hire or 12 hours for trips to Northen Bali.

While no tip is expected, it’s always welcome and demonstrates your appreciation in a very direct financial way while also making your driver feel valued. A small tip would be IDR50k. Less than that wouldn’t be an insult, but it could be viewed negatively relative to the total amount paid for the day.

I recommend IDR100k if your driver has done a great job and you’ve experienced an excellent day out. IDR200k will be greeted with joy and represents a sensible bonus for a job well done. This isn’t much in foreign currency terms – around AUD$10-20.

Considering the minimum monthly salary in Bali can be as low as IDR2.200.000 (or lower), it is a meaningful amount. If you have a multi-day booking then these guidelines still apply.

If your driver books tickets for attractions for something like Elephant Park rides, White Water Rafting or other adventure activities they quite likely get a commission on ticket sales, usually around 20% but sometimes more. There’s nothing wrong with this at all, as it augments their income and is a naturally accepted part of the tourism business in Bali.

Epic day…made our holiday!

What an outstanding day. Thank you Michael for putting this outstanding guide together and to Putu the Driver for a magic day. We got some amazing photos in the hills overlooking the lake (highly recommended) and LOVED the treetops advernture. The floating temple was always on our list but there is so much more to see. Go early like we did and get in front of the traffic - and make sure you have a great driver!! Epic day...made our holiday!

13. Book Ahead.

Safely and securely book a private car and driver for your Bali holiday. Whether it’s for going shopping, getting around the beach clubs or venturing out on a day tour, a private car and driver just makes life so much easier.

Since starting Bali Holiday Secrets, I have had so many inquiries asking to book the same drivers that I use for my family, friends, and villa guests that I’ve made a secure, online booking system that takes away the risk, stress and hassle of finding your own reliable, trustworthy, English-speaking private car and driver.


Leave a Reply
  1. There is no real tipping culture in Bali, although a tip of course is always appreciated. If you’re not happy with the service the driver has provided then don’t feel obliged to tip at all. Just as an aside, I think that 500,000 rupiah for a 10 hour day is too little.

  2. Hi,
    Is it possible if the private car will pick us up at the airport, go directly to the tour then drop us after at the hotel?

  3. If you booked a driver for 4 days going from east to north Bali then back down south and that driver was staying with you how much would you expect to pay? I’d like the price to include car, fuel, driver, parking fees, and their accommodations. Thanks

    • Hi Jes,
      I’ve updated the private car and driver form, so it now displays an overnight fee option for your driver should you be doing a longer trip to North or South Bali.

      The overnight fee is IDR 300k, which includes the driver’s accommodation and meals. That way you can book a driver for several days and stay anywhere in Bali.

      Hope this helps 🙂

      Safe travels,

  4. Hi Michael,
    Please let me know the charges for private cab with driver for the following Itinerary.
    I think I would need private cab+ driver only for Day 2 & Day 4. Planning to visit mid Feb 2020.

    Day2: Pick from The Kayon Resort by Pramana, Ubud – Visit – Tegallalang rice terraces, Bali Pulina Coffe Plantation,
    Tegenungan waterfall, Lunch with Mt Batur view (The Lookout Resto & Bar – Lakeview Hotel, Kintamani) – Return to resort

    Day4: 6:00 am reach Lempuyang temple (start by 4 or 5) – The Gates of Heaven, Tirta Gangga, Lunch and Sunset at Tanah Lot Temple. Return to Hotel.

    1. Charges for Day 2 & Day 4 private cab+driver.
    2. DPS airport to The Kayon Resort by Pramana, Ubud charges.
    3. U Paasha Seminyak Hotel to DPS airport drop charges.

    • Hi Michael,
      There are changes in itinerary .
      Day 1. DPS airport to Vrindavan ubud villa.
      Day 2. Tegallalang rice terraces, Bali Pulina Coffe Plantation,
      Tegenungan waterfall, Lunch with Mt Batur view (The Lookout Resto & Bar – Lakeview Hotel, Kintamani) – Return to resort
      Day 3 – Transfer to U Paasha seminyak hotel and in evening tanah lot temple sunset tour
      Day 4 – 6:00 am reach Lempuyang temple (start by 4 or 5) – The Gates of Heaven, Tirta Gangga
      Day 5 – leasure
      Day 6 – U Paasha Seminyak Hotel to DPS airport drop charges.

      Kindly let us know the charges. We would require private cab + driver on Day1 to Day 4 and on Day6.

  5. Hi Michael,
    This is Mahesh planning to hire a cab for 3 days in Bali excluding pick up from airport to the hotel (near to airport only). we already planned a few places to visit an will let you know once I get an email from you. Please let me know the price and other details to the email I’d attached below.

      • Yeah, Thank you Michael for your kind words and happy to see your response. I was confused with the figures and deposit amount? Could you please explain to me the total amount charged and deposit to be paid? In addition, May I know whether there is any time limit like 10 hours per day? Looking forward to hearing back from you soon.

        • Hi Mahesh,

          If you are confused that means my booking process is confusing. And I want to make this easy for you (and everyone else).

          You can book a private car and driver for IDR 800k per day – which includes up to 10 hours drive time – and anything over that at IDR 100k per hour.

          While I have made the booking forms to only take a deposit, with the remaining amount payable in cash to the driver, I’m thinking this makes things confusing.

          I will amend the booking forms to charge the total amount payable – making things simpler and easier to understand.

          I hope this helps. Your comments are very much appreciated.

          Safe travels,

  6. Hi, I was wondering if 3 day car hire would fit my plan of this itinerary this december and how much would it cost?

    dec2. from sleepwell seminyak hotel to gitgit, hidden hills, handarah please advise a temple to add a temple? can we do pura tirta empul? then back to hotel
    dec 3. from sleepwell seminyak hotel to ubud tegalalang paddocks and swing with coffee break later on to try kopi luwak. , besakih temple ubud royal family temple taman saraswati back to hotel
    dec4. early check out then to uluwatu temple tanah lot bedugul market garuda vishnu kencana check in at new hotel at bukal sari villas then lunch at sundays beach club all afternoon then hotel
    thank you
    huda and gem

    • Hi Huda,

      Thanks for asking. I will send you an email tomorrow regarding the cost of your itinerary – but please know what you describe is physically impossible. Uluwatu Temple, Tanah Lot and Bedugul are literally the furthest apart attractions you could choose. I have a much easier itinerary for you, including all the attractions you mention. But right now I’m in transit from Vietnam. so cannot email immediately.

      Safe travels,

  7. hi micheal, is the price per person or per car/daily? I tried to book and look at the pricing for 3 days it summed up to 127.50 aud. However the deposit is 127.50?
    Please advise
    thank you
    huda and gem

    • Hi Huda,
      The price is per car, not per person. You are paying for the driver’s time, and unlike other services, I do not charge more for (or less) for day tours based on the number of passengers.

      The AUD$127.50 represents a 50% deposit, with the remaining 50% being paid directly to the driver at the start of your tour. I do this so you have the confidence to book, knowing that only 50% of the booking is non-refundable.

      Safe travels,

  8. Hi, I was wondering if 3 day car hire would fit my plan of this itinerary this november.

    nov 2. from sleepwell seminyak hotel gitgit, hidden hills, handarah please advise a temple to add can we do pura tirta empul? back to hotel
    nov 3. from sleepwell seminyak hotel ubud tegalalang paddocks and swing with coffee break later on to try kopi luwak. , besakih temple ubud royal family temple taman saraswati back to hotel
    nov 4 early check out then to uluwatu temple tanah lot bedugul market garuda vishnu kencana check in at new hotel at bukal sari villas then lunch at sundays beach club all afternoon then hotel

    • Hi Huda,
      Just letting you know I responded to several of your other comments and sent you an email.

      Safe travels,

  9. Hi Michael,

    I’m looking to use your service to book a driver for a few days. We’re going to be staying in a hotel in Canggu and Ubud. Is it a problem to book a driver for a day starting from a Canggu Hotel, a day from one to the other and then a day from Ubud? And should it be separate bookings if starting from different hotels or combined?

    Many thanks

    • Hi Sean,
      Just make one booking for 3 days, with the pickup from the day one hotel, and then let your driver know which hotels to pick you up from for the following day.

      Safe travels,

  10. i know its late but flying out at 11 pm tonight. i wana do a half day but will pay for full day. staying at kuta paradiso. happy to leave at 10 if that gives you time. i want to go to the monkey forest and maybe the falls. is that enough time? need to be back by 7 at latest.

  11. Hi Michael, I would like a driver to drive from Seminak to Lovina and then three days later Lovina to Legian. Is it possible to arrange that with you. What would be the cost? We will require the service in December. I can provide dates in email if that suits.

  12. Hello Michael,

    Me and my family are arriving into Bali on Sunday, is it possible to arrange a pick up from the airport and keep the car for the entire day to go to the zoo? Is it possible to get your whatsapp number? Mine is [——]

    • Hi Karan,
      You can book an airport pickup plus day tour here. That way you can get picked up from the airport and keep the car and driver for up to 10 hours to going sightseeing and shopping exactly as you described.

      I don’t publish my number for security reasons, and I’ve edited yours out of the comments so it isn’t visible to everyone.

      Trust this is what you are after.

      Safe travels,

  13. Hi Michael,
    My wife and I are taking our first trip to Bali from Australia next March. We are staying at the Melia Bali in Nusa Dua and were thinking of hiring one of your drivers for a day just to drive us around other nearby areas like Kuta and Seminyak etc just to take in the local sights at our own pace – not knowing Bali at all. Are your drivers able to do this without any real guidance from us on where to go and show us the best sights.
    Regards, Gary

    • Hi Gary,
      Absolutely. My drivers know Bali exceptionally well and will take you to see the sights with little or any guidance.

      Safe travels,

  14. Hi Micheal,
    I am plainning to visit Bali from 08th March 2020 to 14th March 2020.
    Can you please provide a cost for the below itinerary?
    8th March – pick up at the airport, Denpasar & drop to Kampung Resort, Ubud
    9th March – Visit Lempuyang Temple/ Tirta Gangga/ Tukad Cepung Waterfall and drop back at Kampung Resort, Ubud
    10th March – Morning trek to Mount Batur and then Wanagiri Hidden Hills/ Jungle Swing and drop back at Kampung Resort, Ubud
    11th March – Pick up at Kampung Resort, Ubud drop at Padang Padang Inn.
    13th March – Shopping at Kuta & drop at Maharani Beach Hotel
    14th March – Shopping at Denpasar and lunch at Mrs Sippy Bali then visit Tanah Lot and drop back to Maharani Beach Hotel.
    Appreciate if you can provide me the transport cost per day ASAP.
    Thank you in advance

    • Hi Viraj,
      Thanks for the inquiry. That’s a great itinerary! I’ll drop you an email soon with detailed pricing.

      Safe travels,

  15. Michael, You have a ton of good stuff to read. I read somewhere you mentioned “your villas” but I don’t see any listed. Do you offer villa rentals?

    • Hi Soo Ping,
      Yes, I do. You can book a private driver and 12-seat Minivan here.

      If you reply to this comment with how many days you need it for, the number of people and expected destinations I may be able to put together a quote including driver overnight charges if you plan on travelling around Bali.

      Safe travels,

  16. Thank you for all of the wonderful details provided. I am a travel writer visiting Bali for the first time in November and your information was extremely helpful. I need to hire a driver for 7 full days, but I was wondering if you have anywhere I can see reviews of your services? I am unable to find your services anywhere else and feel uncomfortable about paying up front without more details. Thank you very much for your help!

    • Hi Aimee,
      Thanks for dropping by and asking about reviews. So far I’ve only been publishing some ad-hoc reviews sent to me by customers. I haven’t yet set up a review system because as yet I haven’t needed one, nor have I been asked before, as we only take a 50% deposit on booking.

      I understand if this doesn’t inspire confidence, but I’m pleased my writing is something you found extremely helpful.

      Safe travels,

    • Hi Aimee,
      As we previously discussed, having a dedicated review page is worth the effort to make, so I did – you can read all the reviews submitted so far here.

      Great idea, thanks for the feedback 🙂

      Safe travels,

  17. Hi Michael….

    Looking for some advise.

    Are we trapped?
    I booked us into a resort, was told it was 1 1/2 hours from Kuta…. it’s not… it’s 3 hours west. Puri Dajuma… we would like to hire a driver to come pick us up and take us to Kuta/Seminyak for some shopping for a few hours then take us to the airport. On Sunday …. it would be a full day., maybe more than 10hours….

    I can’t find any local drivers and the hotel charges $80AU just to take us to and from the airport (each way). $80 for 3 hours….

    Do you know of any drivers up towards this way?

    We are feeling a little stranded and cornered to pay the hotels transfers….

    Very misled on how far away this is, as beautiful as it is! (And it is a stunning resort).

    Any advise would be appreciated….

    Kind regards

    • Hello,

      Although the website says book a day in advance, can I book from today for tomorrow? And, is there a way where I could have my driver pick me up at 2 am to start a trip to mount Batur (reach at sunrise)? How much is it if we extend till 12 hours instead of 10 (or is that possible)?

      thanks for the tips, most informative website I saw

      • Hi Dee,

        The reason we need a day before booking is to allow time to allocate a driver. You didn’t mention where you would like to be picked up from, and without that, I can’t get in touch with a local driver to ask if being picked up at 2 AM is going to be OK. Do you have a pickup address I can use as a reference?

        And as the article describes if you go over 10 hours, IDR100k per or part hour is payable directly to the driver, which is only fair for such a long working day.

        Safe travels,

  18. Hi Michael,

    I’m in bali now and we want to book a driver with you for this sunday the 15th if possible.
    > But what’s the price for a 10 hour day? I saw something of 600K?
    > And can i send you our time schedule so you can check if it’s feasible please?

    I have an indonesian phone number but my whatsapp is connected to my Belgian number..


    • Hi Phil,
      The price for a day tour anywhere in South Bali is IDR800k. You can make a booking here.

      The most efficient method for figuring out if your itinerary is feasible is to use Google Maps to plot your intended route. That will give you an approximate travel time, which is usually underestimated because it’s not allowing for traffic conditions.

      If you do book a day tour we will connect you with your driver a few days beforehand so you can co-ordinate your intentions with him, and your tour is flexible, so if you spend a lot of time at one destination you can adjust so you return home when you feel like it.

      Or if you leave a comment with your intended destinations, I’ll check with one of my drivers to see what they think regarding total trip time.

      Hope this helps!

      Safe travels,

  19. Hi Michael,
    I’m looking for a lift for myself and my daughter for tomorrow, 13th September, from Ubud to Nusa Dua. Is it too late to book? If not, what is the cost and is it worth stopping anywhere on the way?
    Best wishes

  20. Hi ,

    We will highley recommand Putu! He was our private driver for a day and did a very good job !

    Thank you !

    Lore and Louise

  21. Hi there Michael!
    My friend and I will be in Bali the second week of October. We wanted to know your availability and a quote as well if possible!

    • Hi Anna,

      What did you have in mind that I should be available for? ???

      “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain

      I hope this answers your question.

      Safe travels,

  22. Hi Michael,
    What is the best way to contact you for this service? I have a couple questions for you before booking!

    Thank you,

    • Hi Lisa,

      Feel from to leave a question in the comments and I’ll attend to them as soon as I can. Thanks for dropping by.


  23. Hi Michael,

    Thank you for all the great information! Two quick questions for you. I’m hoping to book a drive for multiple non-consecutive days (Sept 12-13 and Sept 16-17 but in different locations). Would this be 4 separate bookings (one per day) or two separate bookings? If the latter, does that mean I also pay for the overnight costs even though it’s one location?

    Secondly, do your drivers do one-way drop offs (i.e. start in Seminyak and drop off in Ubud?) I’m assuming I would pay for their time back to the original location, but I’m trying to figure out the best way to get to different cities on the island!

    Thank you and please let me know!

    • Hi Lisa,
      If I read your question correctly, you need a driver for pickup for a day tour in one location on one day, and another location on the 2nd day. That’s fine for one booking, so that way you keep the same driver. As long as the pickup is in the service area described, no problem.

      Yes, you can be dropped off somewhere other than the pickup location – as long as you’re mindful of the tour day ending with enough time for the driver to return home.

      Hope this helps,


  24. Hi Michael,

    I’m visiting Bali in October and was hoping to get a private driver who can pick me up as early as 4:30am to Lempuyang Temple from Ubud. I’m wondering if your drivers can manage that early pick up? I am solo traveler by the way. Is there any additional charge if you are solo? Thank you!

    • Hi Jannna,
      Yes, they can pick up that early. Travelling solo is to be applauded – there is no extra charge 🙂

      Hope you have a great Bali holiday!


  25. Hi Michael,

    I am traveling to Bali next month for few days, and it’s my first time being there. I am having a hard time to decide some of the better place among so many amazing destinations in Bali. Can I have some suggestions? And if I book with you, is there an option get the entrance tickets (if any) ahead of time?

    • Hi Francis,
      Thanks for dropping by. Your comment about entrance tickets makes me think you want recommendations for attractions, in which case you might want to read my article on the best tourist attractions in Bali.

      I don’t sell entrance tickets to these, but you can easily get them on the day. If this doesn’t answer your question, please let me know. I’m happy to help.


  26. Hi Michael,

    First of all splendid work on the tips & tricks for visiting Bali. I’m traveling alone so it’s really interesting.

    Perhaps a stupid question. But when you use a taxi (or private driver), when do you pay? Because if you pay at the start, they can simply disappear with the money. But if I pay at the end, they probably don’t want to drive me.

    Another question. What about renting a scooter? The traffic jams are great, I’ve heard? Perhaps good for shorter distances?
    You have some good rental companies for this?

    ps: I’ll be arriving on the 4th of September and staying for a month. Probably I will be using your services, because I don’t like to bother too much with fee negotiations or false drivers on holiday.

    Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Phil,
      Thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement, it’s very much appreciated.

      When you use a taxi – please read my article on catching a taxi in Bali – you should insist on using the meter and pay at the end.

      If you are using a private driver that you have hired yourself, its normal practice to pay at the end of the day. If you book a private car and driver online with me, by definition you are paying upfront – but the risk is removed because we are clearly and demonstrably a trusted service.

      You may want to read my article on renting a scooter in Bali for some tips and advice, and a couple of trustworthy rental companies that include insurance.

      Hope you have a great time!

      • Thanks Michael for your response!

        One more thing..How long in advance should I book a driver with you? I’m not sure what my planning is going to be. I love the “go with the flow”-vibe, you see 🙂

        Thanks a bunch!

        • Hi Phil,
          Two days minimum, but a week is optimal to make sure we can cater to your needs.

          Enjoy your Bali holiday!

  27. Hi there
    Would you have a driver available for day on 13th aug for family of 4 to travel from Legian to Ubud- to visit
    swings, rice fields, water fall and Kintamani?
    Thank you

  28. Hi Michael, I would like to book a driver for 7 days for a group of 6 pax. We will be arriving from airport on Nov 24 and traveling from Jimbaran (Nov 25) to Baturiti (1 night) to Pemuteran (2 nights) to Ubud (2 nights) & then back to airport. Would it be possible to arrange lodging for your driver in these farther away locations? We may not need a driver on Nov 17, but I am willing to hire them for the duration if it makes the whole arrangement possible. Thanks for your consideration.

    • Hi Olivia,

      I’m making arrangements with my drivers now and will email you the details shortly. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment 🙂


  29. I will be in Bali for 10 days September 25 to October 7, myself and wife want to hire driver for day, any recommendations, say from 9am till 6 pm.
    We are staying at Segara Village in Sanur.


    Tommy Nolan

  30. Is it possible to book one of your private drivers if our day tour will start from our hotel and end at the airport?

    • Hi Joshua,
      Yes is it, that’s totally ok. Just tell your driver at the beginning of the trip so he can plan on getting you there in time, and be mindful if you go over 10 hours or part thereof to pay the extra IDR100k per hour in cash.

      Enjoy your tour!

    • Hi Amritha,
      I’m afraid not. It’s a little too far from where all my best drivers are based, but thanks for getting in touch.


  31. Hi, We are looking for a driver for wedding shoot and also sightseeing and shopping, the dates are 23july to 26 july this year. How are the rates like and any recommendations. Thanks!

    • Hi Benjamin,

      Thanks for your comment. Did you read the article? It explains rates in some detail, and there is also a link to the online reservation form to book my recommended drivers directly.

      Hope this helps and good luck with the wedding!


  32. Hi Michael, I think there is an issue with the links? Can you please email me – we are a couple planning to stay from 26-Aug to 30-Aug and are exploring options on whether to book a driver for the entire duration or go day-wise. Hoping to hear from you.

    • Hi Swayam,
      You didn’t specify what links you are having an issue with. I’ll send you an email as requested. Happy to help.


    • Hi Paola,

      Thanks for the comments, much appreciated. The small number of trustworthy drivers I use for the guests in my villa prefer I make the arrangements, so there are no communication issues or double bookings. I’ll send you an email.


  33. Hi Michael, thank you for this post. It’s super helpful. I’d like to know the names of some drivers whom you’d recommend for a 8-10 hour day?

    • Hi Xiaoyun,

      Thanks for the comments, much appreciated. The small number of trustworthy drivers I use for the guests in my villa prefer I make the arrangements, so there are no communication issues or double bookings. I’ll send you an email.


  34. Hi,

    My wife and I spending a few days in Seminyak 8-13th August followed by the remaining days in Ubud 13th – 16th August. We are considering some options for tours or alternatively taking a driver and viewing the locations at our own pace. What’s the cost of a driver?


    • Hi Farooq,

      There is a whole section under # 5 in the article above dedicated to pricing. Rather than repeating the entire section here I’ll just point you towards reading it if that’s ok?


  35. Hi Micheal,

    I am going to Bali in June 2020 with my family and will be based in Ubud. I would like a good recommendation for a driver who can do a full day trip to Gunung Batur region and Jatiluwih. A large air conditioned SUV for my family of 5 would be great. Is it also possible to leave at 7am, with return projected to be around 630pm? Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Clarence,

      Thanks for the comment. They prefer I book for them so there are no communication issues or double bookings. I’ll send you an email.

      But leaving at 7 am, and returning at 6:30 pm is no problem. Just remember that over 10 hours is an extra IDR100k per hour.


  36. Hi Michael, my husband and I are coming over in August and are interested in booking a driver for a few tours, shopping, day trips and evening outings. Some days we may stay local. To be flexible, it best to book a driver for the whole trip and just pay for a day even if it’s not used?

    • Hi Leah,

      That’s exactly what I recommend to all my guests. If you book a driver for your whole trip, then you have the freedom and flexibility to go where you want, when you want. And if you miss a day, then it’s so cheap it doesn’t really matter. Although the chances are you’ll still use him for shopping or going to dinner.


    • Hi Jelle,

      Thanks for the comment. They prefer I book for them so there are no communication issues or double bookings.

      I’ll send you an email.


  37. Hi Michael
    Thanks for your post – very informative and helpful.
    My wife and i will be visiting Seminyak Bali at the end of July. 24th to 31st.We would like to look at hiring a reliable driver that knows the places to see in Bali /Udub such as Waterfalls Elephants temple etc etc and also use him for shopping trips night markets etc on an hourly basis.Could you please advise us the name of a driver and expected costs.
    Thanking you in advance

    • Hi John,

      If you want a private car and driver (6-seater air-conditioned SUV) I can book one for you at a cost of IDR800k per day.

      It’s incredibly good value and cheaper than adding up all the taxis and other transport you may need during your holiday.

      I have a very trustworthy driver that I use frequently. He makes an exceptional tour guide and gets consistent 5-star reviews. He’s available for 8-10 hours each day, includes fuel and will wait for you while sightseeing or dining.

      Booking early is important to confirm availability.

      I just sent you an email, so let me know either way.

      And thanks for the kind comments, much appreciated.


  38. Hi Michael

    Thank you for your post – very helpful
    We have never been to Bali and are heading over early August for a short trip – we only have 5 days so thought a car and driver would be a great way to see the highlights of Bali for a day. Does the driver you recommend have a sightseeing itinerary like this or would we need to specify what we would like to see? Would love the contact for your driver please – we use Whats App also if this is the easiest? Many thanks

  39. Hi
    I am leaving for Bali in August. Any good recommendation for a driver? What is the best way to book for a driver.

    • Hi Nabila,

      If you want a private car and driver (6-seater air-conditioned SUV) I can book one for you at a cost of IDR800k per day.

      It’s incredibly good value and cheaper than adding up all the taxis and other transport you may need during your holiday.

      I have a very trustworthy driver that I use frequently. He makes an exceptional tour guide and gets consistent 5-star reviews. He’s available for 8-10 hours each day, includes fuel and will wait for you while sightseeing or dining.

      Booking early is important to confirm availability.

      I just sent you an email, so let me know either way.


  40. How much a private driver charge for a day? Any good recommendation of the driver? We are going in August.
    Thank you

    • Hi Karen,

      A reliable, trustworthy, knowledgeable driver with a large 6-seater SUV will cost Rp800k for an 8-hour day (possibly stretching to a 10-hour day for no extra charge) with overtime at a very cheap Rp100k per hour.

      You can get cheaper, but you will be compromising on the vehicle, reliability, trustworthiness or knowledge.

      I’ll send you an email directly with my recommendations.


  41. Just wondering what “one day” means? 8, 10 or 12 hours or…?
    You don’t really say.
    You mention that IDR800k (a day) would be the cost for a good driver.

    • Hi Deborah,

      Thanks so much for the comment. A day generally refers to 8 consecutive hours. Some drivers include up to 10 hours in their daily rate.

      I’ll update the article accordingly, and thanks again for dropping by and leaving a comment. Much appreciated.

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