Car Rental Tips in India You Definitely Need To Know

by IndianAuto Team | 30/06/2020
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Are you a person renting a car in India for the first time or facing difficulties to do so? Check out the greatest car rental tips right now.

While many people strive to own a car for themselves, some feel that the traffic in Indian cities makes the roads too crowded and they choose to walk or use public transport instead. They might consider renting a car on special occasions like a holiday trip to the countryside or a date with their beloved. Else, if you are a foreigner deciding to stay a few days or months in India, pocketing a few car rental tips will make your travel more comfortable and easier. Some non-native travellers may rent a car with a reliable driver who can help them with traffic laws, shortcuts, and backroads while many explorers find pleasure in driving on their own. Briefly, no matter why you want to hire a vehicle, keep in mind these following car rental tips in India to boost the fun of your experience on the Indian roads.


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Research online and book from home 

We’ve been in the era of Industry 4.0 for quite a long time, so many of us know how to make use of the Internet for our benefits. Because e-commerce is growing and every market is becoming more challenging day by day, you'll easily find many good deals and sale-offers online. By this way, you can usually get a lot of promotions and better prices compared to booking right at the place you’re going to stay at. Just google the things you want to know and “boom” bunches of results will be shown at your screen. Here are some helpful keywords that you can type in the search box:

  • Car rental India

  • Self-drive car New Delhi

  • Rent car online

  • Rent car in Mumbai

  • Monthly car rental

  • Daily car rental

  • Where to go in India

  • Self-travel to India

online booking

Online booking often offers good deals.

Simply think of the things you question and type in the search box. Moreover, there’s a very important car rental tip that you must know. When you drive in India, or in any other countries, driving permission is compulsory. If you’re born in India, you should know how to get a driver’s license. However, if you are a foreigner, you can apply for a translated version of your driving license, which is called International Driving Permit. Therefore, make sure you have the permission to drive before packing your bag around India in a rented car.


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Prepare for deposit

Deposits are required in any rental agreement to ensure that people who rent will pay rent and follow the lease. Depending on whom you rent from, the cost may vary, some might charge up to a deposit of USD 3,000 (roughly about INR 226,500). In case the car suffers from damages of any incidents, the deposit will be forfeited (meaning that you lose the deposit).

paying deposit

You can pay for deposit using either credit card or cash.

Check the rented car carefully

Because some car owners take your deposit by pointing out false damages existing before you lay your hand on it, inspect the vehicle carefully. Another great car rental tip is to take pictures of the car, especially of any imperfections (scratches, dents, or nicks), and check them with the owner before driving the car. This car rental tip will save you a lot of money in case you face a wicked car owner.

imperfections on a blue car

Such imperfections can cost you your deposit.

Traffic in India can bring you big troubles

There’s a reason for car owners to charge such a high deposit. Traffic in India is a real headache. When you try your best to keep the rules and drive as safely as possible, don’t expect other drivers to do the same as you do. Many careless drivers often change lanes without warning, some can even jump the traffic lights, stop abruptly, or park their car in the roadway (or on the sidewalk). You will find it hard to keep your rented car from harm when other people manoeuvre in an unfathomable way.


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Careless drivers are not the only ones who can potentially frustrate you. Road rage has become a cultural norm in India as many drivers want to vent their anger on the road. Some may keep honking, some may shout at you through their windshield, and some may even have a physical or verbal fight with you if you’re both involved in an accident, even a minor one. Hope you prepare yourself to be calm in India.

The causes of trouble don’t stop there. There is a long list of things that can bring you troubles and lose your deposit. Among the causes, potholes are a serious dilemma, and they are also one of the factors that make the deposit so high. Frankly to say, if you are not familiar with the holes, you can get the rented car damaged, and of course, you will suffer from an additional charge.

Drive on the left

Just like many other British colonies, India is where you have to drive on the left. Therefore, if you are a foreigner who hasn’t been to India before or hasn’t driven in this beautiful country, spend a couple of time practising before jumping into the road. Please also note that you should pick up your rented car whenever the traffic is clear because you surely don’t want to be stuck with bad traffic.

traffic in India

Besides travelling on the left side, you also have to face traffic jam in big cities.

Have sufficient cash in Indian rupee

Paying your rental in rupees will, to some extent, be cheaper than paying in USD via credit card. Not only does paying in rupees can help you avoid dynamic currency conversion fees, but it will also help your further purchases easier. When you buy things from local vendors, credit cards are not preferred as cash, especially street food vendors. However, if any online purchases give better discounts and deals, go ahead, but you still should have Indian rupees in your pocket to fully enjoy the whole trip. There are also insurances for your rented car, check with the contractor to see which it covers. Normally, insurances will add extra cost to your total rental.

INR - Indian rupees

It's helpful to hold some Indian rupees in your pocket.


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You will have a lot of fun travelling in India. However, don’t let any minor situations ruin it. Pocket the above useful car rental tips for your trip to be enjoyable. If you have a local friend or don't mind hiring a reliable local tour guide who can help drive you around, the journey should be more fun as two is better than one. However, if travelling alone is your hobby, you only need to be well-prepared. We hope our car rental tips can truly bring you convenience in India.

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