Car rentals in India is mandatory for tourists irrespective of whether their purpose is official or business. It is very difficult for first timers to travel in public transportation because there’s a lot of chaos to deal with – trust me!
Self driving a rental car in India
Taking a car for renting and driving yourself is not popular in India like in all other western countries as the roads will be very bad with excess traffic and not many people will follow the traffic regulations correctly.Also using Global Positioning System (GPS) is not possible in the Indian roads as it is not available.
But if you still want to try that,you should have a Indian or international driving license and above 25 years of age.The company won’t provide any insurance for the car as in western countries. If some issue happens to the car on the drive, the renter is responsible for the expenses.
So don’t even think of driving on your own in India as nowadays it has become tiresome job even for the local people.
Renting a car with driver
Mostly you can rent a car only with a driver and salary for the driver is included in the rental rate so that you don’t have to pay anything personally to the driver.Before renting a car, decide what type of the vehicle you want to rent depending on the number of passengers and the time duration for which it is needed.You may not get the same car brands as in your country. The popular manufacturers in India are Honda,Hyundai,Tata and Toyota.
Tata Indica or Honda City is a good vehicle for up to 4 persons. Toyota Innova is a good choice for passengers more than 5. Also Ambassador, the oldest model car is also available. You can use it comfortably even on very bad roads.
Rental prices vary with the size of the car and the comforts included in the car like Air conditioner. Generally rate of a car with AC is more than that of a non AC car.The rate is usually calculated per kilometer and also you may have a limitation in the number of hours and kilometers used per day. Usually it is 8 hours and 800 kilometers per day.If you use more than the prescribed km and hour, you will have to pay additional charges.The fuel cost is included in the rent.
Apart from the rent,you have to pay the toll and parking charges apart from the rental price.You can pay an advance amount,take the car and pay the bill finally after your trip is finished.Sometimes the driver may ask you money for putting the fuel in between.Don’t forget to take a receipt for the same so that you can adjust the amount later in your bill.
The procedure for renting a car with driver is very simple and you don’t need to provide any documents. Just pay the advance and book the car. You can pay the money using a credit card or cash. Some companies accept debit cards also.
You have to pay a refundable security deposit only if drive the car on your own. It is not applicable for rental cars with a driver.You don’t have to pay anything for the insurance also as it will be taken care of by the rental company.
Local travel companies
There are many local travel companies available in all places in India. Only thing is you have to find the right company. The best way is get help from a local person you know or you can get help from the hotel where you stay. These local companies are comparatively cheaper than the unbranded companies and also they will have a knowledge of the road routes of the surrounding areas.
Read reviews of fellow travelers
Visit the travel websites like Trip Advisor,MakeMyTrip and read the reviews of the other travelers who went to the destination previously.It will give you a good picture.You can also get help from your Indian friends there.
Points to note before finalizing the car
– Make sure the driver is fluent in English and communicate with you properly.
– The driver has a valid license and all necessary documents.
-If your trip involves more than one state, make sure that the car has an All India Permit so that you don’t have to pay anything for crossing borders between states.
– Clearly communicate with the driver about your travel plan and he knows all the places. If the driver does not know the correct route, he many round about long resulting in extra fare for you.
Popular Rental companies
There are many car rental companies in India and a big competition prevails among them.Both national and international companies are in the field.The international car companies will be available in only selected cities The popular ones are below:
Hi, Mani Karthik here. Having lived in USA, India & Middle East, and worked for big MNC’s to startups, I have a lot to share with you. My aim is to help people, by sharing everything I’ve learned in life, through this blog. It’s read today by more than 150K people world over! I currently live in LA, California and visit India occasionally. Here’s my full story on who I am and why I blog. Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or WhatsApp (+001-408-489-4785). Happy to help! 🙂