I first got my driving licence in Australia as a college student. Not sure about other developed countries, but in Australia, you can just learn to drive an automatic car and then acquire a driving licence without knowing at all how to drive manual. Such was my case, and to this day, I feel like a driver with a big handicap.
Bali is one place in Indonesia that I always, always would want to drive in, especially when I want to explore the Uluwatu area or Ubud. Motorbikes and scooter bikes are definitely popular among tourists, but I like the luxury of having the air con, as well as having music from the sound system to keep me company when I’m out exploring the island.
It’s a real shame that I can’t drive manual because many rental places in Bali charge a mere IDR 100,000 per 24 hours for a small city car such as the Suzuki Karimun. Luckily, there’s this one place that specialises in renting automatic cars and I highly recommend them.
All you need to do is call the guy, ask for what type of car you want, let him know when you want the car and for how long. He will deliver the car to you and pick it up again when you’re done. Easy. I always get him to bring the car to the airport and pick it up again from there on the day I leave. This is done at no extra cost and you will only be required to pay for the parking fee (IDR 3,000 for the first hour). Another thing you have to do is return the car with roughly the same amount of petrol the day you first got it. The cheapest automatic car goes out for IDR 275,000 per 24 hours but if you rent over 3 days, the cost becomes IDR 250,000 per 24 hours. Renting a Suzuki Swift or KIA Picanto are the cheapest; a level above that are the Honda Jazz and Daihatsu Sirion. I’m perfectly happy with a small city car that’s easy to park and feels light to steer, but if you want a bigger vehicle that’ll fit more people (or bags), they also have MPVs like the Toyota Innova or the Daihatsu Terrios for about IDR 350,000 per 24 hours. Insurance is stipulated in the rent, so if you get into any fender benders or cause any minor damage to the car, a fee of IDR 500,000 is applied, according to the contract/ invoice.
I’m pretty confident they have the cheapest rates you can find for auto car rentals in Bali. The cars are well maintained and the service of the staff (and owner) are professional and delightful. In my many experiences with them, they are pretty generous with an upgrade if the car you have requested isn’t available on the day of your request (could be because a customer decides to extend their rental period).
For more information, check their website here or follow them on Twitter @QD_Bali_Matik. The website is only available in Indonesian but it’s pretty easy to navigate even if you don’t speak the language. Just give one of the numbers a call or e-mail them and they will get back to you in English.