- Search and book your driver before arriving in India
You can find plenty of options for hiring a driver and car in India, though finding a good one is not easy. In peak travel season, they are super busy and in low season, they go on holiday. So it’s always better to make sure a good driver and car are pre-reserved before trip starts. A pre-booked driver will meet you ready on the first day saving lot of precious time during the trip.
- Look for advice from friends and references as well as on online travel forums
As is true with travelling, we always find good tips from our friends and relatives about real time problems as well as about dos and don’ts. So it’s better to ask our contacts who already traveled on similar trips we plan. Travel forums also provide good insights about important aspects so better to get some ideas. Though don’t follow the advice as it is because most of the time its based on personal experience and liking which may differ from person to person. Also situations vary all the time so be cautious in following the advice. Sometimes luck also works. So if our friends had great trip, it doesn’t guarantee the same to us.
- Make sure your driver understands English well
Most important aspect to consider while hiring a driver in India is language. If you don’t speak local language, check if your driver understand English. Its not normal that all drivers can understand English well. Hiring an English speaking driver can make a big difference to your experience during the trip.
- Ask complete details of condition of car/vehicle
It’s a rare combination to find a good English speaking driver with a good car. In car rental and taxi hiring sector, its still not a custom that you will be provided complete details about condition of the car. So it’s better to ask details about the manufacturing year, kilometres done, condition of tyres, insurance, tourist permits, luggage space, and roof carrier. Try to get latest pictures to have idea.
- Check in detail inclusions and exclusions in prices on offer
Before paying advance, always go in details to check inclusions in the prices on offer. Normally the total prices should include fuel charges, driver salary, accommodation and food during the trip, state taxes, toll, parking, government taxes. Its good to make sure that there are no hidden charges which pop up during the trip as surprise.
- Never take a walk in taxi yourself
With current systems, one can’t make sure that any driver and car can be safe for the trip. A good agency does this job and can be responsible for providing safer options doing background checks of drivers. Walk in taxis are always much more expensive and less reliable for longer trips than booking from an agency.
- Repeat your questions to drivers and recheck by cross questions if he/she understood you
Starting an answer with “Yes” is quite cultural in India. So if your driver replies with “Yes” to any of your questions, don’t assume he/she understood well. Always ask a cross question to verify if your point is understood well.
- Ask to drive slow and your preferences
It can be quite an adventure to drive on Indian roads. With frequent bumps, over speeding vehicles crossing you, cows and animals on road and no traffic rules, it can be a shocking feeling. The driving style differs for each driver plus the road condition matters a lot. Your driver might not understand that you feel afraid with the speed and way of driving. It’s always normal for them. So be proactive in telling your points to drivers and asking to speed up or down whenever you feel.
- Discuss your plan of the day in the morning or previous evening
During longer trips, drivers are always following your schedule. It’s always good to discuss in brief the following day plan in the evening to make sure your driver is starting the day with a plan and direction. Accordingly, drivers can schedule their own timing for food, relaxing and personal tasks. Drivers can also help in providing feasible options for visits within towns according to location of monuments so it will help in avoiding backtracking.
- Prefer to book through an agency instead of directly with driver
While talking to our contacts and checking on travel forums, we could find lot of contact details of drivers and good feedback. Though booking directly with individual drivers may put us at stake of relying on a single person and car for the trip. Especially for longer trips, if anything goes wrong with car or driver, it becomes very difficult to change. You may end up fixing a problem with vehicle or driver during half of your trip. So the best way is to find an agency who can provide a back up in unforeseen situation and can save lot of precious time during the trip to fix a problem. A good agency can also help in planning a feasible route and booking additional services required during the trip.
Hope above point will be helpful for anyone thinking of hiring a driver and car in India for a holiday trip. For more assistance, feel free to contact our advisors!!