Jakarta - Post Report Question and Answers

What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Buy one at post. It's a pain to import and the steering wheel must be on the right side. There are many available to purchase. - Oct 2021

Probably the car will be dinged up at some point. It takes cars a long time to get import permission so the embassy does not recommend it. A car could take six months to arrive to post after the owner arrives because it cannot be shipped till the owner is in country and import paperwork is approved. - Sep 2020

You definitely need a right-hand drive car. Get something smaller, which is easier to use on narrow roads. We have a Toyota Kijang Innova, which has been perfect. - Feb 2018

Cars are tough- it takes forever for them to arrive, but if you buy one new it takes forever to get it ready to go it seems. Not fast. If you can buy from someone already there it's good, but ask around about the person first in your office as some people unloaded cars on unwitting buyers. - Jan 2015

Indonesia doesn't allow the import of cars. You have to buy in-country. Service garages are everywhere, but I would advise using an authorized dealer for the make of car you have. - Jan 2013

We don't have a car and have been just fine using taxis. People with kids have cars with a driver. - Jun 2012

Dont import one, it will sit for months on the docks until a palm is greased. Locally-made Toyotas are best, but about 20% more costly than U.S. models. Check the Toyota Indonesia website for info and diplomatic prices. In addition, driving is not for the faint of heart, roads are horribly congested. I used taxis exclusively until I got a company car/driver. - Jan 2012

We did not have a car. Things like one-way streets and other traffic regulations were often seen more as suggestions than rules, and like grains of sand filling up crevices, motorcycles will take up every inch of space between cars. Instead, we relied on the very affordable taxi firms such as Blue Bird, Silver Bird, and Express. (FYI, the CLO in Jakarta had a brochure with Indonesianphrases useful for taking taxies.)However, many other people did bring or buy cars and hire drivers. SUVs such as the Toyota Kijang were very popular, possibly because of regular rainy season flooding. - Jul 2011

You can drive anything in the city. However, if you have an SUV you will have a better time in the rain and if you try to sell it when you leave. I purchased an old SUV for a few thousand dollars and suspect I will sell it for the same amount when I leave. No carjackings but do lock your doors. - Jul 2011

There are no carjackings in Jakarta that I ever heard of, but many people do buy cars with higher clearance because of the flooding. Parts and service are readily available for vehicles that are sold in Indonesia, but it would be difficult to get parts or service for a car not sold in Indonesia. That said, it's relatively easy to find a car in Jakarta for ex-pats. - Dec 2010

Large range of vehicles to buy locally and a large Diplomatic discount is available. Buy something high off the ground as flooding is a major and very frequent problem in Jakarta due to the over-building. - Nov 2010

Roads on Java are smooth enough for any car. Bring a good radio/cd player since you'll be stuck in traffic plenty! - Jul 2010

Small SUV is best, especially if you plan to drive out of Jakarta. Most people hire a driver. - Mar 2008

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