Are you thinking about renting a car in India? India, with its busy, vibrant cities and genuinely insane traffic, maybe a scary place to drive. Having your own wheels, on the other hand, may be fun and liberating way to move around if you plan to explore the countryside and smaller towns and villages.
Few visitors to India rent a car and drive themselves. Foreigners are more likely to hire a car with a driver who is familiar with the backroads, shortcuts, and slightly loose traffic laws. But if you insist on hiring a car yourself, here are a few things to consider.
Essential Tips for Renting a Car in India
Book from home
Don’t wait until you arrive in India to rent a car. It will be less expensive to book your car in advance from the United States. The earlier you reserve your automobile, the higher your chances of getting a good deal because you can keep an eye out for price drops.
You need an International Driving Permit
You must be a legal resident with an Indian driver’s license or have an International Driving Permit to drive in India. This document, which may be obtained from the AAA, is merely a translated version of your state-issued driver’s license. Allow yourself enough time to apply before departing on your trip.
You’ll drive on the left
Because India was a former British colony, people drive on the left side of the road.
Pay for the rental in rupees
Although it may appear to be more convenient to be charged in dollars rather than rupees, this alternative will cost you more in the long run. To avoid Dynamic Currency Conversion costs, pay in the local currency. If you want to pay in USD, the rental car business will convert the purchase amount from the local currency on your behalf. However, this procedure is completely unnecessary because your credit card company will handle the transaction in either currency, and you will pay dearly for the inconvenience.
Double-check your insurance coverage
Before you go to India, check with your credit card company to see if it provides collision coverage on foreign auto rentals. Fire insurance and third-party liability are usually required in India while renting an automobile. These extra fees will be automatically applied to the cost of your rental.
A self-drive rental car comes with a hefty deposit
If you choose to drive a rental automobile yourself, you must pay a deposit that ranges from $750 to $3000, depending on the type of vehicle being hired. The deposit will be forfeited if there is any damage.
Rules of the road are more like guidelines
You may think you’ve seen your fair share of insane drivers in the United States, but drivers in India may take the cake. Expect your fellow cars to stay in their lanes, stop at stop signs, or simply stay on the road (sidewalks are fair game). The large deposit is for a reason.
Having a rental car in big Indian cities is a nightmare
Traffic is notorious, few vehicles follow traffic laws, and parking can be quite difficult. Be aware that car theft is more widespread in India than in many other countries, which is why such a big deposit is required. Schedule your car pickup time for when you’re ready to leave the city if you need a car for exploring the countryside.
Inspect the car carefully before driving it off the lot
Protect yourself from any bogus damage claims by thoroughly inspecting your vehicle before driving away. Every nick, scratch, or dent should be documented. Your smartphone will come in handy for photographing any flaws to guarantee you don’t have to pay for them later.
Renting a Car With a Driver in India
Is hiring a car with a driver beginning to sound appealing? It’s considerably more common than hiring a self-drive automobile in India, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. You won’t have to pay that huge deposit if you hire a car with a driver for the day or perhaps a few days, and you’ll benefit from having a local behind the wheel.
The daily pricing of the car and driver for hire is determined by a variety of factors, including the size of the car if your driver speaks English, and the number of days and distance traveled. Prepare ahead of time by conducting research and locating a reliable company. Fuel, insurance, tolls, state taxes, parking, and the driver’s food are normally included in the rate. Rates for a multi-day walk across India will include the driver’s lodging.
Tip your driver
Travelers are expected to tip their driver on a daily basis. 200 to 400 rupees per day is reasonable, depending on how satisfied you are with his services.
Your driver is not your personal tour guide
While your driver will gladly take you to each stop and answer general inquiries, don’t anticipate a personal tour guide who knows every historical aspect of significant monuments and can recommend restaurants. Your driver will not accompany you to monuments and attractions; instead, he will just wait in the car and be ready to transport you to the next destination when you are.