FAQ'S CAR AND DRIVER
Drivers are available at all airports: Larantuka, Maumere, Ende, Bajawa and Labuan Bajo. However, not all of them speak English and not all of them are working in the tourist scene.
If you have difficulties to find a driver just send me an email.
To help you adequate - it helps if you already have a rough plan - please let me know as much as possible like:
- booked flights
- the date you want to start and end
- from where to where
- how many days you want to travel
- how many persons (adults/children and the amount of luggage; this
to choose the right vehicle)
Drivers have different systems.
Below what you can expect for a normal car like Toyota Avanza, Toyota Innova or similar.
- Rp 600.000 for one day within town
- 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 900.000 per day with usually a mininum of 5 days in a row. Sometimes
an empty run is added.
This price includes car, driver, fuel and needs for the driver (food, place to sleep etc)
The lowest price is around Rp 800.000, but this always involves an
additional charge for an empty leg plus they are rare. High end should be no
more than 1 million per day.
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 condition of the road.
- trips from A to B and from 1 to 3 days are almost always extra charged and/or with
a (double) empty run.
Unless offered otherwise the following is included:
car (or bus), driver, fuel, and also costs for the driver like accommodation and meals in case of an overland trip. For a guide are additional charges.
Stretches on Flores like Labuan Bajo to Ruteng or Ruteng to Bajawa are an average of 4 hours drive non stop. The trip Maumere
to Labuan Bajo is 16 hours non stop (but is usually done
in 2 days). This means if you hire there is an empty run before the start or at the end
of the trip. Also fuel is relatively expensive by Indonesian standards.
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 requires a lot of energy even for experienced drivers as the road is winding all of the time. At the moment the Trans Flores, the mainroad which runs from east to west is in good shape.
Once you get in touch with your driver you can discuss the program and the mode of payment which is usually in cash and in Rupiah. Transfers by bank means extra costs. Some drivers prefer to receive a part of the payment once you start the trip, others you can pay at the end of the trip and sometimes you can pay every day.
You don't need to pay a deposit in advance. In case you are asked for a deposit be aware that in case of a conflict you are not protected.
There is no real restriction 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 (for sunrise) for which you need to start at 4 am. 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 10 hours should be the maximum (preferably between 6 am and 6 pm).
Everything is possible of course but often you will pay the same price as for a full day. This is because the driver isn't able to accept other bookings so it is uncommon to book for half a day, but sometimes possible. Not the distances but traveling times are long.
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 overland trip and will be charged as the driver has to be standby as he is not able to accept other guests.
For one day within town or the area no problem. Price will be Rp 600.000 to Rp 700.000. However in one day from A to B, for example Labuan Bajo to Ruteng will be more expensive. You may be charged double as the driver needs to go back again. For a normal car count on at least 1,5 million.
For 2 days in case of overland so from A to B to C for example Labuan Bajo to Ruteng and Ruteng to Bajawa will be expensive also. Count on 2,5 to 3 million. Also here, the driver has to go back again (empty run).
For 3 days in case of overland so from A to B to C for example Labuan Bajo to Ruteng, Ruteng to Bajawa and Bajawa to Moni you should count on 4,5 to 5 million as the minimum of 5 days will be charged. The empty leg will be 14 to 16 hours non stop.
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 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 dinner at night and you are not close to restaurants, the driver will pick you up at your hotel, takes you to the restaurant and takes you back to the hotel again.
Reasonable is a standby/driving time of max 10 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 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.
On Flores there are not no many (mini)buses so competition is low. Available are usually Mitusbishi L300, Toyota Hiace or some series from Isuzu. Prices for buses for 8 to 18 persons vary from Rp 1.500.000 to Rp 2.500.000 per day. Most of them are only available in Labuan Bajo or Maumere.
As a foreigner and not living in Indonesia you can't drive yourself on Flores. There are no car rentals who rent cars to foreigners.
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, and now and then a Fortuner. Sometimes other brands like Suzuki APV, 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. Drivers are available at all airports: Larantuka, Maumere, Ende, Bajawa and Labuan Bajo. However, not all of them speak English and not all of them are working in the tourist
See also 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 themselves 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, 2 to 3 months before. For other months you don't need to book ahead that long 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 by law in case there is 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 (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 and in Indonesian Rupiah. No credit cards are accepted! 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.
Anne Mieke -AM PHOTONESIA©-