Sumbawa’s main highway runs all the way from Taliwang (near the west coast) through Sumbawa Besar, Dompu and Bima to Sape (on the east coast). It’s surfaced all the way and in generally good shape. Fleets of buses, some of them luxurious by Nusa Tenggaran standards, link all the towns on this road as far east as Bima. Those simply transiting Sumbawa are much better off booking a seat on one of the long-distance buses crossing the island, as local buses stop everywhere.
Car hire is possible through hotels in Sumbawa Besar or Bima, but prices are higher than in Bali or Lombok at about 400, 000Rp per day, excluding petrol, but including a driver. Motorcycles are a cheaper option at 50, 000Rp a day.