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Car Rental in Bangalore

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Car Rental in Bangalore: from the Garden City to Silicon Valley

Officially known as Bengaluru, this city was once known as the Garden City of India but is quickly becoming India’s Silicon Valley and was recently voted the most livable city in the country. Although Bangalore is not a major tourist destination, there’s still plenty to see, from historic to modern government structures, such as Vidhana Soudha and Bangalore Palace, and from historic to modern sites of worship, from the Bull Temple to the Shiva Temple to Holy Trinity Church. Rent a car to make the most of your trip to Bangalore and the Karnataka region, and mix the business of your trip with the pleasure of getting to know your surroundings!

Bangalore is particularly livable because it doesn’t get the extreme summer heat of most other regions in India. Monsoon season runs from June to October, with the heaviest rains coming before September.

Bangalore’s official language is Kannada, though Tamil, Hindi and English are also widely spoken. Most financial transactions will take place in English throughout the city, and signs are typically written in both Kannada and English.

As in the rest of India, the currency is the Indian rupee. Because Bangalore is not yet a major tourist destination, currency exchange is most available in banks, though you may find that travel agencies will offer a more competitive exchange rate.

The time zone is the India Time Zone, UTC+5:30.

If you’re arriving in Bangalore by air, you’ll likely fly into the KempeGowda International Airport 40 km northeast of the city. Rental or zoom cars are available for pick up in or near the airport, as well as throughout the city, including at the Yeshwantpur Junction, one of two major train stations in the city.

Some excellent day trips outside of the city include a trip to historic Mysore, the second largest city in Karnataka, located 140 km from Bangalore. The spectacular Shivanasamudr Falls are also just around 130 km south of the city. Alternatively, head out to Lepakshi, 120 km from Bangalore, and one of the most important sites of heritage of the Vijayanagara Dynasty. Each of these drives takes between 2 and 3 hours, and for each of these drives outside the city, you should be aware of swiftly changing road conditions, whether due to weather, road maintenance, or other drivers.

Visa Regulations

Many nationalities can now travel to India via an e-Tourist Visa, which you apply for online at least four days before your scheduled arrival and which allows you to stay for up to 60 days. The fee for the e-Visa depends on your nationality. Double check regulations before you leave, as some nationalities must apply for a visa before they arrive.

Driving in Bangalore

Just as in other Indian cities, driving in Bangalore is not for the faint-hearted. Roads are crammed with people, whether in cars or not, traffic conditions often turn to congestion for no apparent reason, and other vehicles on the road change their paths often and without warning. With that said, driving can make your travels in and around Bangalore much more independent and intimate, and if you don’t feel comfortable driving yourself, hiring a driver is a viable and often inexpensive option!

Left-Hand Driving

  • Traffic drives on the left-hand side of the road.

Speed Limits

  • The speed limit for the entire city is 50 km/h for passenger cars.
  • Traffic is generally bad in the city from 7:30am to 10pm, though traffic jams are particularly bad during morning and evening rush hours.

Other Regulations

  1. If you are having trouble finding street parking, there are typically parking garages located near major bus stations, such Majestic, Shivajinagar, Shantinagar and the traffic transit management centers (TTMCs).
  2. You will need an international driver’s permit in addition to your domestic driver’s license in order to drive and rent a car in Bangalore and in India more generally.
  3. At the time of writing, there were not yet any toll roads in Bangalore or in close vicinity, though the city is planning to build a toll road soon to help combat the growing traffic congestion.
  4. The minimum driving age in Bangalore is 18 years old, though you will likely have to be at least 25 years of age in order to rent a car.

Other Tips

  • Indian drivers honk their horns often, so feel free to participate in the cacophony, particularly to alert drivers of your position whenever you feel worried that they’re unaware of your presence. Maps of the city will be necessary to your travels, and Waze is a great navigation app for Android smart phone users. Ultimately, however, you’re likely to have to ask for directions – which is a great way to really get a feel for living in this busy and exciting city!

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