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Car Rental in New Delhi

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New Delhi

Car Rental in New Delhi: Fascinating District of the Capital of India

New Delhi is sometimes interchanged with Delhi, India’s sprawling and fascinating capital city, though geographically, New Delhi is just one of Delhi’s eleven districts. Hire an automobile and take to the streets to get to know the frustrations and splendor of city living in India most intimately, with visits to the old city markets, colonial-era government buildings, and the Gurgaon.

Avoid the extremes of summer heat (from April to June) and monsoon season (July to September) by visiting New Delhi in early and late winter. February, March, October, and November are particularly comfortable times to visit the city.

The native and official government language of Delhi is Hindi, though many official proceedings also take place in English. Punjabi and Urdu too are official languages of the city, and many locals have a good command of English, particularly taxi drivers and people involved in the tourism industry.

As in the rest of India, the currency is the Indian rupee. Currency exchange is widely available throughout the city. Note that you should exchange your remaining rupees back into your domestic currency before you clear security for your return flight.

If you are flying directly to Delhi, you are most likely to land at Indira Gandhi International Airport, located along a very busy series of streets 15 km southwest of central New Delhi. There are a number of car rental companies that serve the airport, if you’re interested in booking a car immediately. Otherwise, numerous car rental companies are located in the streets around Connaught Place.

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 New Delhi

Driving in Delhi 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. It is absolutely necessary to drive defensively in Delhi! With that said, driving can make your travels in and around Delhi much more independent and intimate, and if you don’t feel comfortable driving yourself, hiring a driver is a viable and often inexpensive option – particularly if you’re willing to haggle.

Left-Hand Driving

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

Speed Limits

  • The speed limit for the entire city is 40 km/h for passenger cars, unless otherwise marked. The speed limit for some streets will be set as low as 20 km/h.
  • 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. Be aware of the odd-even rule! Ask you car rental company whether the rule will be in effect during your rental period. If it is, note that on even days, only cars with registration numbers that end in an even number will be permitted on the roads, and vice versa for cars with registration numbers that end in an odd number. Violators will face a fine of up to 2000 rupees.
  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 Delhi and in India more generally.
  3. There are numerous toll roads in Delhi, including the DND Flyway, Delhi Gurgaon Expressway, Taj Expressway, Ganga Expressway, and Delhi Faridabad Skyway. Waiting to pay tolls can significantly add to your driving time.
  4. The minimum driving age in Delhi 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

  • If you are flying directly to Delhi, try to arrive in the early afternoon to avoid traffic jams, both inside the airport and on the way to your hotel. If you aren’t planning on picking up your rental car immediately at the airport, ask your hotel to pick you up. It’s well worth the extra cost to be guaranteed a driver who will both wait for you in arrivals and knows exactly where they are headed.
  • 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. Be wary of tourist offices around Connaught Place – many will claim to be the official government tourist office of India, but will in fact be aiming to sell you grossly overpriced tickets for the region’s sights and activities.

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