How to Protect Your Bike from Theft: Rental Scams, GPS Trackers, Insurance

What could be scarier than dropping your bike and scratching it? Well, there's something worse. Going out from the beach and not finding your rented Nmax or PCX - that's a nightmare. If your contract doesn't include insurance for this case, you'll most likely have to compensate the owner of the bike for its full value. How to avoid this? And is it possible to completely protect yourself from thieves? Experts from answered the most important questions.
Can I Insure My Bike Against Theft?
Be sure to discuss the amount of compensation for the stolen bike before signing the rental agreement. And find out if it is possible to insure the bike for this case. Few rental companies are willing to include this clause in their insurance, which means that you'll most likely have to pay the full price if something happens. And the bill will most likely be for a new bike. Prices in reputable companies may be slightly higher, but the risks can be insured.
How Often are Bikes Stolen in Bali?
Fortunately, this phenomenon is not widespread and rather rare. However, there is a chance of losing your bike. Thefts of bikes happen more often in the low season than in the high season. Areas at risk include:
  • clients of unscrupulous landlords. As a rule, they sometimes "steal" their bike and then ask for money
  • those who leave their bike key in the ignition or glove compartment
  • those who do not lock the handlebars when they leave
As a general rule, it is difficult to single out a particular neighborhood where the danger is higher. But more often it's Ubud, Changu, Kuta, and Bukit, the parking lots of major shopping malls. Bikes are usually stolen by visitors from other islands. And thieves operate in tourist areas.
What to Do if There's a Suspicion That the Rental Company Stole the Bike for Compensation?
Yes, this happens. If you feel like you're part of a show, you need to call the police. If after the arrival of the authorities, the landlord suddenly changes his mind about making a statement, it's likely that he stole his bike and doesn't want the vehicle to be reported as stolen. If this scheme is common, then the more statements the rental company writes, the less trust the police will have in it. And given that cameras have started to appear on the roads, this will cause a lot of problems. Typically, rental companies try to pressure you morally, claim to have connections everywhere, and ask for payment right here and right now. Do not agree.
The Main Rules That Will Help Protect Against Theft:
  • Do not leave your bike anywhere overnight. Even outside the fence of your house can be unsafe. But a gesta or villa, even if it is fenced with a bamboo hedge, will be 100 times safer.
  • Never leave the key in the lock and glove compartment of the bike. If you do, you won't even get stolen. The thief will say that you gave him the bike for free. The key is a genuine key, with no signs of tampering.
  • Always lock the handlebars, even at home. There are times when a bike is stolen without starting it. Another bike arrives. A passenger gets on your bike. The driver of the other bike puts his foot on the footrest of your bike and rolls away.
  • Rent a bike from a trusted landlord, then you won't fall for a scheme to scam the rentals themselves into stealing it. As a rule, small private individuals do this. Good large companies have a better reputation.
Can I Install a GPS Tracker on the Bike Myself?
Yes, you can, but almost all trackers work with a SIM card. A device for $300 will jam the SIM card signal, and thieves know this well. Besides, the bike is usually stolen at night while you're sleeping. If the goal of the criminals was to dismantle it for spare parts, then after an hour, the tracker would be removed, and after two hours, the bike would be taken apart.
What to Do if the Bike Was Stolen?
The first thing you need to do is call the rental company and inform them that the bike was stolen. It is the rental company that should call the police to the scene to draw up an inspection report. Then you will go to the police station, where the owner will file a theft report, and you will be questioned as a witness. If the case is recognized as theft, everything will depend on the terms of the contract between you and the rental company. And no one will leave the police station until the conflict is resolved.
Which Bike Models Are Most Often Stolen and Is It Worth Conducting Independent Searches?
Most mass-produced bikes not older than 5 years old - Nmax, PCX, Vario - are primarily stolen. But if there is a chance to steal Xmax, the criminals are unlikely to refuse a large model.
You can search independently. Many people do this, traveling through all nearby areas. In 10% of cases, they even find their bike. I know cases when it was possible to find the bike two weeks after it was stolen.
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