Driving Tips for Expats in Jakarta

Driving Tips for Expats in Jakarta

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Hiring a driver or taking a taxi may be comfortable for you, but it doesn’t give you the independence of choosing the route. It’ll be troublesome if you must run some errands or go to some places in one go. Driving by yourself is the solution.

However, driving in Jakarta is definitely a different story. You’ll find many different things that affect the way you drive. To avoid any accidents on the road, here are some tips on driving in Jakarta for expatriates.

It’s right-sided steering

Back in your country, your car’s steering wheel is placed on the left side of the vehicle. But that’s not the case in Jakarta. Here the car’s steering wheel is placed on the right side instead. Most people call it “right-hand driving”. And unlike left-hand drive vehicles that drive on the right side of the road, the right-hand drive vehicles drive on the left side of the road. So, since you might not be familiar with right-hand driving, it will take a little bit of getting used to.

Familiarize yourself with Jakarta traffic

There’s a saying, “If you can drive in Jakarta, you can drive anywhere.” It’s because Jakarta traffic is quite challenging to get through. People drive recklessly. Well, maybe not all of them, but the number is high. Not to mention the traffic jam that can make you stuck on the road for hours. It takes skill to be able to drive smoothly in Jakarta.

One driving tips you should remember is to choose the best time to go out to beat the wors of the traffic. If possible, schedule your meeting or appointment to avoid peak hours. Tune in to Sonora Radio (FM 100.9) or Elshinta Radio (FM 90.05) to get the latest traffic situation so that you can avoid traffic.

Understand the driving etiquette

Just because people around you drive carelessly, doesn’t mean you should follow them. Understanding the driving etiquette is an important driving tips you need to learn. Always assume everyone is going faster than you, so please take the left lane since the right one is for for the fast lane. Don’t forget to use your turn signal before making a turn. And please learn the traffic signs to avoid getting fined by the Indonesian police.

Don’t forget to bring the license

No matter how skillful you are at driving a car, you can’t do it in Jakarta unless you already have a license. Indonesian people call it SIM (Surat Izin Mengemudi). You can apply for one as long as you have KITAS or KITAP. What if you haven’t applied for a KITAS or KITAP? Thankfully, if you’re on a temporary visa, such as tourist visa, you can also apply for a SIM in popular tourist regions in Indonesia. Some of these include Bali, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and Manado.


Be careful

Last but definitely not least, another driving tips you should also follow is be careful. Don’t be careless. Always check your surrounding before you make a turn. Don’t run a red light. Don’t text and drive. If you really need to reply to a text or answer a phone call, it’s better to stop on the side of the road first. And please be patient since Jakarta traffic is unpredictable. If you find yourself stuck in a traffic jam, use it as an opportunity to relax and meditate.


Driving in Jakarta may give you a huge shock since the traffic and the driving etiquette is completely different. However, it could be such a valuable lesson for you. Believe it or not, when you go back to your home country, you’ll be more aware of the traffic.

After reading this article, you’ll easily swift on the Jakarta roads. Then how about the residence? Consider Prapanca Apartment. It comes with complete facilities and has a strategic location; you’ll find great comfort while living in Jakarta.

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