FAQ'S CAR AND DRIVER
Drivers are available at all airports: Larantuka, Maumere, Ende, Bajawa, Ruteng and Labuan Bajo. However, not all of them speak English and not all of them are in the tourist scene.
I can help you to find a driver. Just send
me an email.
To help you adequate and you already have a rough plan please let me know as much as possible like:
- the date you want to start
- from where to where
- how many days you want to travel
- how many persons (adults/children and the amount of luggage; this can be
important to choose the right vehicle)
Agents and drivers have different systems.
Below what you can expect for a normal car like Toyota Avanza, Toyota Innova or Isuzu Panther.
- Rp 500.000 to Rp 600.000 for one day within town
- Rp 600.000 to Rp 700.000 for one day in the area
- for an overland tour (like Maumere to Labuan Bajo or vv) expect to pay an average
price of Rp 800.000 to Rp 850.000 per day. This price includes car, driver, fuel and
needs for driver (meals, place to sleep etc) and usually on base of a minimum of 5
The lowest price is around Rp 700.000, but this always involves an
additional charge for an empty leg plus they are rare. On the other hand also
prices of 1 million per day and even more are asked, but there is no need to pay
that much for an overland tour with a minimum of 5 days.
Also some drivers add an extra fee for guiding and/or empty leg and/or for some
routes like to Wae Rebo via Todo and Denge because of the very bad road.
- trips from A to B and from 1 to 3 days are almost always extra charged and/or with
a (double) empty leg.
There is no real restrictions of the amount of hours so a day can mean anything between 00:00 and 24:00. This also means that it can happen you start your trip at 12:00 or even later. However for your safety it is not wise to drive before/after dark. The exception is the 13 km trip from Moni to Kelimutu. The mainroad on Flores is ok but still with stretches with holes or not yet finished projects. Also, you don't see anything after dark. So in general a drive of 12 hours is the maximum (from 6 am to 6 pm)
Everything is possible of course but usually you will pay the same price as for a full day. This is because the driver isn't able to accept other bookings lus it is very uncommon to book for half a day. Not the distances but traveling times are long.
On Flores there are not no many (mini)buses so competition is low. Available are usually Mitusbishi L300 or some series from Isuzu. Prices for Buses for 8 to 18 persons vary from Rp 1.000.000 to Rp 2.000.000 per day. Most of them only available in Labuan Bajo or Maumere.
Stretches on Flores like Labuan Bajo to Ruteng or Ruteng to Bajawa are an average of 4 hours drive non stop. This means if you hire a car the driver has to pick you up by empty leg or there is an emptyleg at the end of the trip.
The empty leg Labuan Bajo to Maumere or vv is 18 to 20 hours non stop; most drivers do this in two days. This means in case of a 5-day trip he cannot accept other guests for one or two days. It is seldom that drivers have guests the following day after they have end their trips in either Labuan Bajo or Maumere. Also, maybe they have bookings a few days later starting in the same place where they just came from, eg at the other end of the Island.
Also driving on Flores even
for experienced drivers requires a lot of energy as the road is winding all of the time. And, at the moment the Trans Flores, the mainroad which runs from east to west in not in a very good
When you have a route for example via Riung which involves a boattrip you won't need the car the entire day. However this day is also part of the whole trip and will be charged as the driver has to be standby and he is not able to accept other guests.
Drivers on Flores do not have a fixed time of business hours. Usually when traveling from A to B guests want to leave early morning between 8 and 9 am. The big exception is for Kelimutu when many guest want to go there for sunrise. This means get up early around 3:30 am, depart at 4 am to be on time for the sunrise.
Also when you want to go out for diner at night and you are not close to restaurants, the driver will pick you up at your hotel, takes you to the restaurants and takes you back to the hotel again.
Reasonable is a standby/driving time of max 12 hours, with the exception on the day you want to visit Kelimutu when some guests continue to Riung or Bajawa. Also driving at night is not desirable, because of the poor condition of the road but you also don't see anything of the environment.
Yes, you will have to pay for a full day as the driver is not able to accept another booking for that day.
Unless offered otherwise the following is included:
car (or bus), driver and fuel, and also accommodation and meals for the driver in case of an overland trip. For a guide are additional charges.
For one day within town or the area no problem. Price will be Rp 500.000 to Rp 600.000.
In one day from A to B, for example Labuan Bajo will be very expensive. You will be chargee double as teh drivers needs to go back again. For a normal car count on 1,5 million.
For 2 days in case of overland so from A to B to C. Example Labuan Bajo to Ruteng and Ruteng to Bajawa will be expensive also. Count on 2,2 to 2,6 million. Also here, the driver has to go back again.
For 3 days in case of overland so from A to B to C. Example Labuan Bajo to Ruteng, Ruteng to Bajawa and Bajawa to Moni you should count on 3 to 4 million. The empty leg will be 14 to 16 hours non stop.
Please check this part of the website, about halfway the page in yellow
How to... where can I find... how much...(please read this if you want to hire a car with driver)
Most of the cars are Toyota Innova or Avanza, sometimes other brands like Mitsubishi and Isuzu but some models are for the Asian market only and less known in other countries. Minibuses and some larger, but still small buses are avalaible as well.
Yes you can. See Q&A 1
Some drivers speak English quite good, some just a little bit. But, this is also a part of the adventure and the charm of Flores. Most drivers learnt their English theirselves without any education.
Flores is getting more popular but cars and drivers are more available as well. For the months July and August it is wise to book ahead, 3 to 4 months before.
Some drivers ask a deposit. In my opinion if you hire a car directly from the driver there is no need to pay a deposit in advance. Travelers are not protected in case of any problem like most travelers in their western homecountries. It should be like a gentlemen's agreement.
You can agree this with your driver. Usually you can pay for the car in cash or for example via Western Union, but sometimes there are questions from Western Union which can feel uncomfortable. You also can pay by internetbanking but usually some steep costs are involved and it can take a few days. I recommend cash and on the spot. You could pay a part of the amount before departure, or halfway or the whole amount at the end of your trip. Just as you agree with the driver.
Any information missing? Please contact me.