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The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in India

Sira Anamwong /

India has a rich history and a fascinating culture, and it is no wonder why so many people want to visit. There are many different things that you can enjoy when you visit India. Some might want to visit the beautiful Taj Mahal, while others will want to check out the Amber Fort in Jaipur. Head to Radhanagar Beach, the Kahjuraho Temples, Agra Fort, the Ajanta Caves, and more.

Renting a car in India

Many who visit India will want to rent a vehicle. It can be nice to have your own rental vehicle so you can visit places on your own timetable, and it is more comfortable than taking taxis and public transportation. When you rent a vehicle, be sure to get the contact information from the rental agency so you can contact them if you need them.

Road conditions and safety

The road conditions in many parts of India are very poor. There are roads in disrepair, and many of the roads are not paved at all. Expect bad road conditions and bad traffic during your travels.

When you first start driving in India, it is going to be quite a shock. The drivers in the country do not often pay attention to the lanes of the road. They do not use turn signals, regularly cut one another off, and most of the traffic tailgates constantly. Drivers will sometimes head into oncoming lanes of traffic to try to overtake other vehicles in their own lane. It is very dangerous to drive in India unless you are used to it or you are willing to be very patient and very careful. In many locations, animals will cross the roads and can make traffic slow to a crawl. You also need to watch for pedestrians and carts.

Even though the driving is chaotic, there are still laws in the country. You are required to wear seatbelts when in the vehicle, and you need to pay attention to the signs. You need to slow down when approaching an intersection, and you need to turn your lights on as soon as the sun sets. It is illegal to use the phone while in the car, and you are not allowed to smoke while you are driving. In addition, you are not supposed to listen to music while driving.

Speed limits

In India, the speed limits vary based on the state as well as the type of vehicle. Below are the speed limits for passenger vehicles in different areas.

  • Andhra Pradesh/Telangana State – 65 km/h

  • Maharashtra – 200 km/h

  • Delhi – 20 to 40 km/h

  • Uttar Pradesh – 40 km/h

  • Haryana – 40 to 65 km/h

  • Karnataka – 60 km/h

  • Punjab – 50, 70, or 80 km/h

  • Tamil Nadu – 60 km/h

  • Kerala – 50 km/h in the city, 85 km/h on two-lane highways, 90 km/h on four-lane highways

Even though it can be dangerous to drive in India, renting a vehicle might be a good option for your next vacation. Just expect to experience the unexpected while on the road.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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