Getting a car in Indonesia

Hello guys,
I have just moved to Jakarta for work. I want to purchase a car to go for the convenience and it's also easier to explore around. However, I'm a little bit afraid of the chaotic and poorly marked streets in this city. My budget is no high, it's about $5000 so I consider a used car. Any suggestion for me? Where I should fo to buy a car, is there any notice about the parking lot and driving in the city?
Thank you a lot for your advice!

Don't buy a used car as the vast majority have been poorly serviced or not serviced at all. There are exceptions, usually from the better dealers but prices aren't that far removed from a new car.
That sort of cash will get you a rust bucket that'll be more trouble than it's worth.
Parking is impossible in so many places but you'll feel like you're parked up in the traffic jams that plague the city especially badly at the moment because of the MRT.
A scooter is a better bet as the things are easier to park and the traffic jams aren't as bad for them but by far the best option is public transport.
Before you can drive you'll need a licence and that can be a pain for newcomers.
Also, make sure your medical insurance covers you for traffic accidents.

Thanks a lot for your recommendation. I considered a scooter because I see that this kind of transport is quite popular here. But I honestly, I afraid of the feeling driving a bike in that chaotic street :D
I have the international driving license and the personal insurance also. So I still prefer a car to a scooter.
My friend suggested me a Japanese used car trading website … e-year2011 and I see a cheap one that fits my budget. But the importing procedure seems quite complicated in Indonesia. Everything related to the paperwork here seems intricate for a Westerner guy like me :(

Importing isn't impossible but the system is geared to make it hard work and expensive.
I think the international licence has limited use in Indonesia, maybe for  months, but that needs confirming as I have no experience of using one.

You can buy a second hand car for within your budget. Probably you can find a small Japanese car if you continue searching. Maybe try one of the car auction places.

Bikes are easier than cars but far less comfortable but you can get around the city quick if you know where you want to go but malls and things are poor catered for bikers. A car is the right way to go but you need a SIM A rather than an international licence as the police will be happier with that and as Fred said insurance.
You knock a bike and everyone will come running. They see a westerner driving then they see a cash cow. So get good insurance and be careful.

Getting a license is not hard once you have your KITAS. But u need to renew it every year.

Before using the international license ask if it’s valid to your location as some locations within Indonesia won’t accept due to not stating that particular area/ province.
Unless purchasing a new car/ bike I wouldn’t bother unless you know the previous owner etc
a new bike is well within your budget, but difficult to get insurance for a bike/ was difficult and they are different bike licenses also (3 altogether)
250cc and under is a normal bike license and you could pretty much get any bike you want and have plenty of change
Beware bike theft is common (and you probably won’t be able to get insurance for it)
If you go for a larger bike I.e over 500/600cc you would need a different license and you can usually get insurance usually from the main importers,some national bike clubs do this (I’m told but can’t confirm) also but I imagine it would be larger cc

If a scooter suits, a 125 or similar is easy enough - a big bike is a pain and should never be used on city roads.
Theft insurance for bikes is possible but that's about it.

Car insurance commonly comes without third party cover so make sure it's included in your policy.
Your biggest problem is finding a car with service history at that price and without very possibly means it's junk.

Have a page of offers … =100000000

Make sure the seller has the police book as well as the registration document and you get a receipt with a legalisation stamp.

Also make sure the vehicle is registered in your area as you'll have to re-register if it's from another place.
Immediately forget anything that doesn't have a plate starting with a B but that only means it's Jakarta or the surrounding area, not an absolute guarantee that you can tax it at the local police taxation office.

Thank you guys so much for the helpful advice. I'll take a look at the website suggested and check if my driving license works or not.

I choose to drive a light motorbike, very simple, not expensive and it gets you anywhere in Jakarta. This is much faster then any car and much cheaper.
Need a motorbike license here, can be achieved.
If not do not drive unexperienced, because at accidents: you are the pisang.

Just heard that the 1 year driving or bike license for foreigners has been abolished. You will get a five year license now.

yes correct, first time I hasd one for one year, second time now for 5 years.

Jan Roelofs wrote:

yes correct, first time I hasd one for one year, second time now for 5 years.

The law was the licence was valid until your immigration status ran out.
Good news if that's changed.

hi Jamie,

my name is Riza, with that amount of money you can buy new car .
the money is for down payment. as long you have kitas and working here, you can installment here.
the sales will help you to provide that.

i have experience help my wife friend to installment one of branded car here. and provide doc such as paspor, kitas, bank book, salary slip , and references letter from office. 
actually im indonesian, my wife is expatriate.


What brand of car did you and your wife purchase? I'm afraid that with my little budget the new car will not be sufficient enough for my purposes. Actually, I just need a small car with basic functions and economical.

The problem you will have or have seen for yourself is second hand cars keep value very well you’ll do well to find a 10 year old rust bucket for your budget and not being local your bargaining strengths have all but gone, if it’s a car you are determined to have and something maybe a little better than scrap you’ll need to up your budget or take a huge risk and blow all your money for something you may need to get repaired before driving
I’ll show you an example later if I can upload from my phone of over priced junk

Go to Mobil123 or you can check out . First China car, selling new around 100jt, pretty decent in price, you can even do installment.

Just use google maps or wake you are good to go. Parking in big malls or office is safe.

For $5000 you can probably buy a second hand Suzuki Karimun about 5 years or older. Or something  almost antique or a bit beat up. A new Karimun costs around Rp104 million. The Datsun Go is even cheaper than a Suzuki Karimun so perhaps you can try to find a second hand one.

One of the big problems in Indonesia is the lack of servicing on cars and motorbikes after the warranty period has expired.
For motorbikes, many don't see any regular servicing after the first free service but cars usually get more.
However, once the engine warranty has expired, the will to do any servicing commonly expires with it.

The upshot is, many used cars are junk with duff engines and are often in a dangerous condition.
We're talking no brakes, oil free engines and other very serious problems, but usually at crazy prices.
I would be extremely careful when it comes to the second hand car market.
That isn't to suggest all used cars are junk but there are enough bad ones around to suggest my advice is good.

Ehh, I have a KITAS for one year, but a drivers license for 5 years now.

They must have rolled it out, here is the same also but same rule applies it’s only valid as long as KITAS is valid

Is that just for a working Kitas or spousal or no one knows as it's pot luck at the SiM center?

lukereg wrote:

Is that just for a working Kitas or spousal or no one knows as it's pot luck at the SiM center?

I honestly can’t say one of the lads here (working) just renewed in November or December got 5 years, I here’d this but dismissed it thinking it was a mistake my sim is up for renewal shortly if no answers on here before hand I’ll ask the question

Just renewed car and bike license and was given 5 years on both, same rule applies if KITAS etc expires/ cancelled, something was added about about if your included on the KK and if the car is registered in your name, married , live here etc(my bahasa is p&&& poor) I presume you may get some grace time if the above applies, most likely will be enforced differently from place to place
Multi choice questions available in English, French and a few others if none of the multi choice questions are available in your native language but English as a 2nd “spoken “ language assistance is available the last Thursday of the month in afternoons, strictly by appointment only, international driving License are not recognised Batam

Just got my car and bike license last weekend . Its a straight 5 years now.

There are nothing about KITAS expiring etc on my licenses.

tiganasfx wrote:

Just got my car and bike license last weekend . Its a straight 5 years now.

There are nothing about KITAS expiring etc on my licenses.

I'm wondering of this is a new regulation or a result of the KPK going in and tidying up the old corrupt mess.
Either way, good news for expats.

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