Travel By Road
India has 3.32 million kilometers of road network, which is the second
largest in the world. Roads occupy an eminent position in transportation
as they, as per the present estimate, carry nearly 65% of freight and
85% of passenger traffic. Traffic on roads is growing at a rate of 7 to
10% per annum, while the vehicle population growth, for the past few
years, is of the order of 12% per annum.
If you are new to India, it is important to familiarise yourselves with
rules and regulations of the roads if you wish to drive. We drive on the
left-hand side of the road, and the cars, including the rental cars are
right-hand drive vehicles. All distances, speed limits (and
speedometers) are in kilometers. While driving on the road, wearing of
seat belts is compulsory and usage of hand-held phones is banned.
Petrol (Gas) stations are situated on both main and country roads. It is
advised to fill up the tank before it starts giving warning signals, as
sometimes there is a considerable distance between the towns. Indian
petrol stations are not self-help. A helper will check tire pressure,
oil and water, and fill the car, and if necessary, clean the windscreen.
After the railways, surface transport is the chief means of travel in
India. It is a viable option to rent a car in cities, and fares are
charged on a kilometer basis. In Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and
other major cities, metered taxis, as well as luxury cars are easily
available on hire. There are many rent-a-car services, with prominent
international companies tying up with Indian firms to provide these
services. You can hire a car for a full day or for a destination.
The states and union territories of India operate their own road
transport corporations and transport undertakings, which run under the
care of the respective state governments. Usually, the tickets to travel
on the state road transport buses have to be acquired at the ticket
counters in the respective bus depots. However, many of the state road
transport corporations have their own websites, which provide
information to citizens about bus schedules, bus fares, bus routes, etc.
and some of them even offer the facility to book tickets online. For
more information about state road transport corporations and transport
undertakings, and the services provided by them, click on the respective
states and union territories.
possibilities of exploring India by Road. It explains the types of vehicles available for
self drive or with driver.
The three most common
types of Tourist Vehicle given below :
A. Toyota Innova
B. Tata Indica C. Tata Indigo
people bring their own vehicles to India. If you do decide to bring a
car or motorcycle to India it must be brought in under a carnet, a
customs document guaranteeing its removal at the end of your stay.
Failing to do so will be very expensive. However driving in India
requires lot of patience because of extreme congestion in the cities and
highways which are always busy with trucks.
rental in India is not wide-spread, but it is possible. If you don't feel confident
about driving on Indian roads, or if self-driven rental is unavailable, it is easy to hire
a car and driver, either from the local station tourist authority or privately through
your hotel. By western standards the cost is quite low. In India you can get rental taxis,
for nationwide TATA INDICA indicative rates refer Rental Rates. The oldest and reliable vehicle
available across India is Ambassador. However the other most popular vehicle in North
India and in Gujarat is Maruti-Van for which performance is good driving on hills with
very little maintenance and fast pick-up, however if not driven carefully, it is accident
prone. Jeep is the most common vehicle in Rajasthan. The deluxe versions of Jeep with
closed bodies vehicles are Toyota Qualis , Sumo, Armada and Trax most commonly used in Western India as vehicles can accommodate more
people and very good pickup and stability. They are mainly plying on Mumbai-Pune,
Mumbai-Aurangabad, Mumbai- Nasik- Shirdi and Mumbai-Mahableshwar and interior
parts of Maharashtra.The other types of owner driven vehicles which are most common in
India are Maruti-800, Maruti-Esteem, Maruti-Zen. Other new vehicles are Fiat-Uno,
Deawoo-Cielo, Opel-Astra, Ford.
Fuel : Petrol
is expensive compared to the West and when compared to the cost of living in India but diesel is much
cheaper. Petrol is usually readily available in all large towns and along the main
roads so there is no need to carry spare fuel.
Maintenance: In India, anyone who can handle a screwdriver and a spanner can be
called a Mechanic, so be careful. Also if you are getting repairs done by someone, don't
leave the premises while the work is being done or you may find that good parts have
ripped and replaced with old parts if your vehicle is new. Punctures are most common on
highway, however lot of puncture repair stalls are available on Indian Highways mainly
dominated by Keralites.