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Car Rental in Mumbai: driving the largest city in India
Mumbai, once called Bombay, is one of the most important port cities in India and is the largest city in the country. The city is the commercial capital of India and the state capital of Maharashtra and is perhaps most well known for picturesque Bollywood appearances. Make the most of your visit to Mumbai by also driving beyond the city limits and exploring the city’s surroundings in the comfort of a rental car. Book your car today.
Mumbai experiences three distinct seasons, summer, monsoon, and winter. Winter—from November to February—is the most comfortable time to visit the city, when the heat and humidity are milder.
The official language of the city and state governmental offices in Mumbai is Marathi. Due to its large population of immigrants from within and beyond India, however, Mumbai’s lingua franca is now Bombay Hindi. Regional Indian languages, such as Gujarati, are also widely spoken. Most residents of Mumbai speak some English, particularly those involved in the tourist, banking, and trading industries.
Mumbai is in the India Time Zone, UTC+5:30.
As in the rest of India, the currency is the Indian rupee. Currency exchange is available throughout the city; remember to always keep a receipt for your exchanges! While larger shops and restaurants will take most credit cards, be sure to have cash on hand for all other financial transactions.
Automobile hire is available in 2 locations throughout Mumbai, the Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM) and downtown.
Head to Lonavla, about 86 km southwest of Mumbai, for some excellent views along the way as well as upon arrival.
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 are required to apply for a visa at a consulate or embassy before they arrive.
Driving in Mumbai
Just as in other Indian cities, driving in Mumbai is not for the faint of heart. 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. If you don’t feel comfortable driving yourself, hiring a driver is a viable and often inexpensive option!
- Traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road throughout India.
- The speed limit throughout Maharashtra is between 50 and 65 km/h for passenger cars.
- Roads will certainly be even more densely packed during morning and evening rush hours, though traffic congestion occurs often in and around Mumbai with no real understandable reason for its occurrence. Have plenty of water in your car in case you have a long wait while on the road, and be patient!
- Though the Mumbai government recently added some parking spots throughout the city, finding a spot is still highly competitive. Parking typically costs at least 20 rupees an hour.
- You will need an international driver’s permit in addition to your domestic driver’s license in order to drive and rent a car throughout India.
- Some Indians claim there are more toll plazas in Mumbai than in any other city in the country, so be sure to have cash on hand! Cars are typically tolled 30 rupees at each toll plaza.
- The minimum driving age in Mumbai is 18 years, though most rental companies will require that you are at least 25 years old to rent a car.
- Indian drivers honk their horns often, so feel free to participate in the cacophony, particularly to alert other drivers of your presence.
Cheap Car Rental in Mumbai
Automobile hire in Mumbai typically starts at around $40 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Mumbai:
- Hyundai I10 or similar (mini class) – $40/day
- Ford Figo or similar (economy class) – $41/day
- Suzuki Dzire or similar (compact class) – $47/day
- Honda Amaze or similar (intermediate class) – $54/day
- Suzuki Ciaz or similar (standard class) – $59/day
Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.
Tips for Renting a Car Inexpensively in Mumbai
While there is no seasonal variation in price for rental cars in Mumbai, be sure to book your rental car at least 4 months in advance of your arrival to receive the most inexpensive prices.
Rental companies such as Instant Cabs in downtown Mumbai and Avis at the airport typically offer rental cars for around $35 to $50 a day. Myles Drive Yourself’s car rental location at the airport routinely beats these prices by at least $10. With discounted prices of around 8%, you can rent for as low as $20 a day!
You can also typically save at least $1 a day by extending your rental period to over a week.