Driving a car in India
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| Member

Driving a car in India

Hey people all over the world!

I´m used to drive a car, and each year I drive a lot of km also for business. I´m used to drive on the right side of the street, like in Germany, Italy or America.
In India all people drive like in England, on the other side, they drive left.

Has anybode have some experiences to drive a car in India?
Is it hard to train the other direction?
Also the rules on the street should be horrible, some people told me this.

I will stay more than a year in India and don´t want to take all the time a taxi for moving. I will stay near Delhi. Please give me answer what I have to do to drive cars in India.
Which kind of driving licenze I need? Which training is necessary? How often you find a gas station? What´s about the roads, highways?

Thanks a lot for your good INFORMATION!
:) [maryjane] :eek: cool:

12 Replies

| Lost in translation
Who told you that we (indians) drive on the left side?? :D

We drive left, right and centre....where ever a gap is available:)

I could see a lot of foreign nationals (mostly students) drive car/scooters here. So i presume it's not a big issue to get a licence.
It's more of a nerve game.. but start driving you would learn the trick fast....
| Maha Guru Member
Apart from coming across other vehicles and pedestrians on the road, you will also encounter cows and dogs, and elephants on rare occasions.
| Maha Guru Member
That was funny beach :D

I drive when I go to India. You have to use the horn a lot and watch out for a lot of other dangers. e.g. recently a relative told how he was driving one day and a big tree branch from an overhanging tree fell in front of his car. Luckily he was able to apply the brake in time. If he had been a second earlier the branch could have seriously injured him or even killed him. He got out the car and noticed a woman sitting in the tree who was calmly chopping branches of the tree without any regard for the traffic.

So it not just about keeping your eye on the road but also watching above for stupid idiots chopping down trees branches.

I just take an IDP (Internatioal Driving Permit) together with my UK licence. The IDP I get form the RAC in the UK lasts for a year.

You need to be really attentive to what is going on around you as most drivers on Indian roads lack basic driving skills. Lane discipline is nowhere to be found, bus and truck drivers think they can ovetake at any time without regard to oncoming traffic.
| Member
You should rent a car with driver in monthly basis (driver does not cost much). and i quess you don't want to drive yourself, when you have seen that chaos.
In Gurgaon there is not taxis available in the way you might think taxis in europe, there is only car companies where you can order cars with driver, for minimum 4 hours.
| Member
try to be ware of headlights from the opposite direction while driving in india .more accidents happen due to glaring light on vehicle headlights.
dont try to overtake on highways ...do it only if driver in front of you gives you side...because in india it is said only a good and sensible driver will give you side...when there wont be any vehicle from other side.
| Survivor
I'm getting my new car next week. :D The first thing I'll do is remove the offside headlamp ;)
I was in Malta and the question was which side do they drive on.
The answer..............

In the shade [shock]

GoanGoan......here & there:unsure:..Goacool:
| Member
you may drive to ...any side with that that one headlight off.....
| Mr. 200 ...and counting.
honestly, i really do not think you should be driving in india. just get a driver :)
"Human Life without happiness or hope of happiness is not a life, but rather a death in life" - David Swenson The Dignity of Human Life

"History is always a perspective; but numbers never lie"
| Maha Guru Member
I have driven several times. Relaxation and the touring "experience" was not part of the experience. Many times I thought I had hit someone and one time I did graze a kid. If you want sheer terror and tension its great. I hire a driver/car now and enjoy my travel..
| Maha Guru Member
A diplomat friend of mine lives in Delhi and bought a car while I was travelling down south. By the time I visited again he was happily driving around with no problems (this was a month later) while I as a passenger was amazed every time he overtook someone, to the point that I was applauding! :p
| Maha Infrequent Member
Driving in India is stressful and I would have someone drive for me.
If you are going to work in Delhi, your employer would/should provide you with a car and a driver. This is part of a standard expat package in India.
If not, maybe you'd like to re-negotiate with them.
If Life is a journey....travel on...and on..on..on.....
driving is easy in india. well, at least for me it is. sure you have to pay attention, but is that such a big deal? switching from left-side to right-side of the road happens effortlessly. the only hope is that during the transition time (a month or so) you don't face a head-on collision situation that requires you to instinctively pull to one side (as i faced in my first month on a motorcycle).

int'l driver's licenses are req'd, but it is rare that they ask for anything beyond your home country's DL.

drivers are cheap- 3000Rs per month, give or take a thousand. yet, every employee in india becomes a liability, a potential headache. the less you have, the better.

i love having a car here though. it feels safe, as i have a sturdy old Benz. my car might get scratched or dented, but i will likely be fine, especially in city driving. so who cares?

i completely advise ignoring indian advice to buy something small, economical, and easy to park, and to instead get a hefty, beefy, smooth riding machine. buy foreign. best is german for these roads. an used Benz, or even the surprisingly agile Opel.

don't be afraid of driving. the roads are like a river, just go with the flow.
India is the great Yin-Yang. Amazing lightness, equally amazing darkness. Wrapped up to make one complete whole.

Revised Version: 1/2010 :
India is the great Yin-Yang. Amazing lightness, equally amazing darkness. Wrapped up to make one messed-up whole.

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