The Complete Guide to Renting a Scooter on Rarotonga
With a coastal road that’s only 32km (20 miles) long and a cruisey pace of traffic tootling around the island, riding a scooter around Rarotonga is one of the more endearing ways to travel. 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 on Rarotonga have scooters for hire. There’s just one hurdle to jump through… We’ll talk more about it in this guide to hiring a scooter on Rarotonga, 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 Rarotonga for more awesome tips.
Do You Need a License to Hire a Scooter on Rarotonga?
The first thing you need to know about hiring a scooter on Rarotonga is that you will need to apply for a visitor motorcycle license, which includes a theory and practical examination. Luckily, we have a complete guide on the process, How to Get a Rarotonga Scooter License which explains everything.
You do not need to apply for this license, however, if your overseas license enables you to ride a motorcycle in your home country. Find out more about which overseas licenses are accepted in Rarotonga in our guide, Can You Drive in the Cook Islands With an Overseas License?
Where to Rent a Scooter on Rarotonga
With scooters being such as popular mode of transport on Rarotonga, most vehicle rental companies include them in their fleet. All scooter rental companies also hire out or include helmets. See what makes each company different (or pretty much the same, in some cases) in our scooter hire comparison below!
Polynesian Rental Cars & Bikes
Offering one of the most comprehensive fleets of scooters, bicycles and cars on Rarotonga, not to mention having a presence seemingly everywhere, Polynesian Rental Cars & Bikes is simply one of the most convenient scooter rentals on Rarotonga. Hell, they even have a depot right next door to the Police Station where you need to take your test. So, as you can imagine, most visitors simply rent their scooters from there.
Pick-up and drop-off locations include: St Joseph Road Avarua, Aroa Beach, Edgewater Resort & Spa, Rarotonga International Airport, Titikaveka & Wash Bay*, Mairie Nui Drive Avarua*, Club Raro Resort* and Muri Beach*. One-way rentals are available. They also offer free pick-up and drop-off to accommodations.
* Available depending on visitor numbers
Scooters available include:
- Yamaha Mio 125cc scooter
- Yamaha Cygnus-ZR 125cc scooter
Drivers must be at least 18 years old to rent a scooter. Third-party liability and collision damage waiver is included with an excess of NZ$500 and that can’t be reduced.
Island Car & Bike Hire
Whether you’re looking for the cheapest scooter rental on the island or a motorcycle instead, Island Car & Bike Hire has the vehicle to suit! They also have a price match guarantee. Note that they charge a small administration fee for car bookings online (under NZ$10).
Pick-up and drop-off locations include: Avarua (opposite Punanga Nui Market), Muri Beach (opposite Muri Beachcomber) and Arorangi (opposite Maniua Beach Resort). They also offer free pick-up and drop-off to accommodations. Airport pick-up and drop-off are available for a “small” fee.
Scooters available include:
- Suzuki AN 125cc scooter
- Suzuki GN 125cc motorcycle
Drivers must be at least 18 years old to rent a scooter. Third-party liability and collision damage waiver is included with an excess of NZ$2,500. The excess rate can be reduced to NZ$1,000/$0 by purchasing an excess reducer for around NZ$5/$19 a day.
A small locally owned company, Pacific Cars have all the vehicles most travellers actually need for travelling around Rarotonga including scooters and e-bikes. The scooter rentals and insurance are transparent with no hidden costs while boasting competitive prices. The only downside is that they only have one location (or the airport for a fee) and don’t offer free accommodation deliveries.
Pick-up and drop-off locations include: Muri (opposite the driveway to the Muri Beach Club Hotel). Airport pick-up and drop-off are available for a fee (around NZ$30).
The scooters available include a Honda Vision 125cc scooter.
Driver must be at least 21 years old to rent a scooter. Insurance is included in scooter rentals with third-party liability and collision damage waiver excess of NZ$2,000. The excess rate can be reduced to NZ$500 by purchasing an excess reducer for around NZ$10 a day.
Rarotonga Rentals offers scooter and motorcycle rentals among their fleet, while their depot opposite Rarotonga International Airport means that they offer airport rentals at no extra cost! Note that they charge a small administration fee for car bookings online (under NZ$10).
Pick-up and drop-off locations include: Rarotonga International Airport (located across the road) and Tapere (between Muri Beach and Titikaveka). Free airport pick-up and drop-off are available. They also offer a free pick-up and drop-off service at accommodations.
Scooters available include:
- Suzuki AN 125cc scooter
- Suzuki GN 125cc motorcycle
Driver must be at least 18 years old to rent a scooter. Insurance is included in scooter rentals with third-party liability and collision damage waiver excess of NZ$2,500. The excess rate can be reduced to NZ$1,000/$0 by purchasing an excess reducer for around NZ$5/$19 a day.
Adventure Cook Islands
Among watersports equipment for hire, Adventure Cook Islands also hires scooters. Their scooters, however, are only available for experienced motorcyclists. You must have a motorcycle license from your home country, such as class “6” in New Zealand, class “R” in Australia or class “A1” in Europe, for example. A Cook Islands visitor scooter license does not permit you to hire a scooter from Adventure Cook Islands. If you meet these criteria, you are able to hire their scooters and benefit from their daily and reduced weekly rates and included helmet hire (passenger helmets are an additional fee).
Pick-up and drop-off locations include: Main Road at Aroa Beach (about 100m/330ft away from The Rarotongan Beach Resort). No services are offered for airport pick-up and drop-off.
The scooters available include a Kymco Super 8 125cc scooter.
Drivers must be at least 18 years old and must be experienced motorcyclists. Basic insurance is included in the scooter hire with an excess of NZ$650.
The Cost of Renting a Scooter on Rarotonga
How much does scooter hire cost on Rarotonga? Of course, prices vary slightly from company to company, 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$24-$27
- Scooter daily rate (if renting for a week) – NZ$16-$24
- Helmet daily rental – NZ$2
- Administration fee – NZ$8
- Airport pick-up/drop-off – NZ$30-$40
- Fuel per litre – NZ$2.60-$3.20
- Scooter license – NZ$40
How Much is it to Hire a Scooter for a Day on Rarotonga?
Scooter rental for just one day on Rarotonga is approximately NZ$79, based on one-day rental rates, helmet rental, administration fees, scooter license and the fact that you may have to top up your fuel tank by around NZ$5 if just taking one loop (around 32km+/20 miles+) around Rarotonga. Note that this does not include an airport delivery fee.
How Much is it to Hire a Scooter for Five Days on Rarotonga?
Scooter rental on Rarotonga is approximately NZ$180 for five days at NZ$36 per day, based on discounted daily rates for five days, helmet rental, administration fees, scooter license and the fact that you may have to top up your fuel tank by around NZ$15 if taking three loops around Rarotonga. Note that this does not include an airport delivery fee.
How Much is it to Hire a Scooter for a Week on Rarotonga?
Scooter rental on Rarotonga is approximately NZ$199 for seven days at NZ$28.43 per day, based on discounted daily rates for seven days, helmet rental, administration fees, scooter license and the fact that you may have to top up your fuel tank by around NZ$25 if taking the equivalent of five loops around Rarotonga. Note that this does not include an airport delivery fee.
How to Ride a Scooter on Rarotonga
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 Rarotonga.
And it’s that simple!
The Road Rules of Rarotonga
It’s all well and good knowing how to ride a scooter, but you will also need to know the basic road rules of Rarotonga 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 Avarua and Muri is 30kph
- The maximum speed limit in villages and most of Aitutaki is 40kph
- The maximum speed limit outside of populated areas is 50kph
- At roundabouts, give way to vehicles approaching from the right
- Give way (yield) to oncoming traffic
- Wear a helmet
- 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 Rarotonga & the Cook Islands + 10 Road Rules. We also give some tips specific to scooter riders in the 10 Tips for Riding a Scooter in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.
More About Scooter Rental on Rarotonga
That’s it for our complete guide to hiring a scooter on Rarotonga, including the costs, where to hire and more! For more scooter tips, check out the following guides:
- 10 Safety Tips for Driving in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands
- 7 Best Car Rentals in Rarotonga: The Top Car Rental Companies
- Rarotonga Travel Times & Distances: How Long Does it Take to Travel Around Rarotonga?
Finally, discover alternative ways to travel around Raro in the Rarotonga Transport Guide: 10 Ways to Get to (& Around) Rarotonga.