The Complete Guide to Renting a Scooter in Aitutaki
With a small road network and hardly any traffic, riding a scooter around Aitutaki is one of the more endearing ways to travel around the island. Scooters are easy to park, easy to ride and use much less fuel than a car. What’s more, most of the vehicle rental companies in Aitutaki, as well as some accommodations, have scooters for hire. With the added advantage of not requiring to do the same convoluted scooter license process as on Rarotonga, there’s really no reason not to hop on a scooter! So, check out this guide to hiring a scooter in Aitutaki, which also goes through the cost of renting a scooter, how to ride one and more.
Before we jump in, be sure to open up The Complete Travel Guide to Aitutaki for more awesome tips.
Do You Need a License to Hire a Scooter in Aitutaki?
The first thing you need to know about hiring a scooter in Aitutaki is that you will need to apply for a visitor’s motorcycle license (unless your current overseas license is valid for riding a motorcycle). Unlike in Rarotonga, this doesn’t include a theory and practical test. Simply, go to the Arutanga Police Station with your valid driver’s license (and IDP if it’s not in English) and the NZ$2.50 fee to get your visitor’s motorcycle license.
See our complete guide on the process, How to Get a Cook Islands Scooter License which explains everything.
Where to Rent a Scooter in Aitutaki
With scooters being such as popular mode of transport in Aitutaki, most vehicle rental companies include them in their fleet. Note that not all scooter rental companies hire out helmets, as it is not a requirement to wear one on Aitutaki. See what makes each company different (or pretty much the same, as the case may be) in our scooter hire comparison below!
Offering a range of well-maintained scooters on Aitutaki, Popoara Rentals is well worth considering. Their scooters are some of the most affordable on the island. Popoara Rentals is based at Popoara Ocean Breeze Villas at Ootu Beach. Delivery and drop-off are available anywhere on Aitutaki.
Scooters are approximately NZ$25 per day. A bond is taken for all vehicle rentals. A pre-authorisation (block) of your credit/debit card is held until the vehicle is returned: NZ$1,000 for cars plus NZ$50 for petrol and NZ$500 for scooters plus NZ$20 for petrol.
Boasting the largest and most modern fleet of rental scooters and even bicycles in Aitutaki, Rino’s Rentals is an easy go-to for scooter hire. Stay at their accommodation, Rino’s Bungalows (see 10 Best Family Resorts & Accommodations on Aitutaki) and you’ll get a bit of a discount. They also have semi-automatic scooters ready to go at the Pacific Resort Aitutaki and at their depot on the main road in Ureia. However, delivery/drop-off is available anywhere on Aitutaki (except scooters are not delivered to the airport).
Scooters are approximately NZ$25 per day, while bicycles start from NZ$15. Note that Rino’s has regular three-day deals and low season discounts. Guests at Rino’s Bungalows get a NZ$5 discount on the daily rate of scooters.
Ranginui’s Retreat Rentals
Based at the budget accommodation, Ranginui’s Retreat, this scooter hire company offers a small selection of old-model scooters. Guests at their accommodation in Ootu Beach get a bit of a discount. Delivery/drop-off is available anywhere on Aitutaki. Ranginui’s also offers helmet hire!
Etu Moana Beachfront Villas
Guests at Etu Moana enjoy free use of their selection of electric scooters to explore Aitutaki. Scooters are charged while parked at the accommodation using solar panels. Check out the 6 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Renting a Car in the Cook Islands for more eco-friendly ways to travel around Aitutaki.
Abera’s Aitutaki Villas
Abera’s Aitutaki Villas is another accommodation with scooters included in the nightly rate; one scooter per villa. Check out the 6 Accommodations in the Cook Islands with Car or Scooter Hire for more details.
The Cost of Renting a Scooter in Aitutaki
How much does scooter hire cost in Aitutaki? Daily rental rates are very competitive between scooter hire companies but below, we’ve listed the average prices for all of the expenses involved in hiring a scooter. Note that prices are approximate and are subject to change (especially fuel)!
- Scooter daily rate – NZ$25
- Fuel per litre – NZ$2.60-$3.20
- Scooter license – NZ$2.50
To work out fuel costs, check out travel distances around the island in our guide, Aitutaki Travel Times & Distances: How Long to Travel Aitutaki? Bearing in mind, that scooters use around 2-3l (0.5-0.8gl) of fuel per 100km (60 miles).
How to Ride a Scooter in Aitutaki
Scooters are so easy to ride and that’s one of the reasons why they are a favoured method to get around by visitors and locals alike. However, if you haven’t ridden a scooter before, then let’s relieve some of the unknown; how do you ride a scooter?
Your rental scooter will have a side stand or a centre stand to, you know, stop the bike from toppling over. Hold onto the handlebars, relieve the pressure from the side stand and kick the side stand up. If it’s on a centre stand, simply sit on the bike and roll the bike forward until the bike is off the stand.
Get to grips with where the controls are. You should have the indicators within reach of one thumb: flick left to indicate left, right to indicate right and press to stop the indicators. Within reach of your other thumb, you should have a button or switch for your hazard lights.
Behind the handlebars are your brakes, just like a pushbike, to pull in order to slow down. One of your handlebars will twist, which is your throttle and gets your scooter moving!
Your scooter rental company will show you how to start the engine, depending on the model you have. Usually, it’s just a key-in-and-twist sort of job. They will also show you how to refuel your scooter – if they don’t, just ask if you’re unsure! You can find the gas stations listed in Information, Shops & Services on Aitutaki.
And it’s that simple!
The Road Rules of Aitutaki
It’s all well and good knowing how to ride a scooter, but you will also need to know the basic road rules of Aitutaki in order to keep yourself and others safe. The main rules you need to know are:
- Drive on the left side of the road
- The maximum speed limit in most of Aitutaki is 40kph
- The maximum speed limit on the Ootu Peninsula road alongside the runway is 60kph
- Give way (yield) to oncoming traffic
- Helmets are not mandatory on Aitutaki but recommended if you are offered one
- Only two people are permitted on a motorcycle/scooter, seated astride; not sideways. Pillion passengers must be sat behind the driver.
Check out more road rules in How to Drive in the Cook Islands + 10 Road Rules. We also give some tips specific to scooter riders in the 10 Tips for Riding a Scooter in the Cook Islands.
More About Scooter Rental in Aitutaki
That’s it for our complete guide to hiring a scooter in Aitutaki, including the costs, where to hire and more! For more scooter tips, check out the following guides:
- 10 Safety Tips for Driving in the Cook Islands
- 10 Ways to Save Money on Car Rental in the Cook Islands
- A Self-Guided Day Trip Around Aitutaki: One Day Itinerary
Finally, discover alternative ways to travel around Aitutaki in the Aitutaki Transport Guide: 10 Ways to Get to (& Around) Aitutaki.