When you first land in India, the driving system admittedly does seem completely bonkers! However, we assure you that there are logic and system in place.
To start with, all our drivers at Indian Excursions have full clean driving licenses and years of experience. They are incredibly skilled on the road and know the routes like the back of their hand. However, India is a big place and not well sign-posted, so it’s not uncommon for drivers to ask for directions along the way. Please don’t be alarmed if your driver winds down the window and asks a local for directions at a fork road; this is common practice in India and not a sign of your driver’s inadequacy. He is doing it to ensure he takes you to your destination as quickly as possible.
Indians drive on the left side of the road. However, if there’s space on the other side (right side) and it’s safe to drive, it’s very acceptable and even expected for the driver to use this lane. Your driver will move back to the left lane in plenty of time if there’s any oncoming traffic.
You may at first be irritated by the constant horn honking. Surprisingly, it’s usually not a sign of aggression; in fact, we believe you will find the majority of Indian drivers to be very patient. Honking in India is a defensive move, it’s letting other vehicles know they’re there. It’s saying “hey, I just want you to know I’m here and I’m overtaking you”. Your driver will limit his honking as much as safely possible for your comfort, though it is the norm in India and your driver needs to honk.
You’ll see a lot from your window while driving to your next destination. You’ll catch sight of local villages, busy towns and much more. At any time, you can ask your driver to stop the vehicle, so you can get out and stretch your legs, photograph an exciting scene, use the bathroom or have a refreshment. Your driver will point out suitable places to break along the way.
The speed limit is 80km (50 miles) per hour. That’s slower than some countries, but appropriate for Indian roads.
Do your drivers speak English?
Our drivers have an intermediate understanding of the English language. They can certainly hold a conversation with you and understand when you want to stop for the bathroom or arrange a time to start sightseeing the next day. Their vocabulary is limited, though, so you might sometimes find their choice of word strange. If you ever have a problem communicating with your driver, we are always a quick call away on the complimentary phone we offer all our guests (or WhatsApp, if you prefer).
Is my driver also my guide?
No. Your driver’s role is to transport you safely and comfortably from A to B and to keep the vehicle clean and tidy each day. For sightseeing, we include experienced guides to introduce you to the sights of each city. Rather than including one guide to accompany you throughout, we include different guides in each city who’re native to that particular place. We feel this provides our guests with a much richer understanding of history and culture. It also allows you to meet a range of friendly and interesting people during your stay in India, rather than having the same person accompany you. Besides, we find that having different guides in each city (rather than one guide throughout) affords you more freedom and flexibility.
What kind of car will you provide?
The Toyota Crysta is our most popular vehicle and the one we most recommend for a tour through India. It’s spacious, with plenty of room for two adults, their chauffeur, and their luggage. It’s also popularly known as a ‘Toyota Innova’ which is the earlier model.
Our Toyota Crystas are well maintained, less than three years old, and come with all the safety features one expects; such as ventilated brakes, ABS, airbags, and of course – fitted seatbelts. Our drivers also carry a first-aid kit and fire extinguisher in the vehicle at all times.
Our drivers keep the vehicle neat and tidy and replenish your complimentary bottles of mineral water.
The car is air-conditioned in both the front and back, so guests can control the blower speed and direction.
The drives through Rajasthan can be long (averaging at about five hours per journey). The Crysta ensures you’ll be both safe and comfortable when on the road. We find that driving is the smoothest and quickest way of travelling in the region. Furthermore, driving allows you to set off when you like rather than being restricted to flight or train timetables, as well as stop the car en-route to visit places of interest or to take a refreshment break.
For parties of four or more adults, we recommend our spacious mini-coach – the Tempo Traveller. This vehicle is so comfortably sized that you can just about stand up in it, so it’s great for stretching your legs on longer journeys. There’s a massive boot (trunk) at the back of the coach for storing luggage, and – like the Crysta – the seats inside are individual bucket seats.
What do past guests think of our drivers?
“We must make particular mention of Madan, our driver, who was a shy, but charming, caring and courteous chap (as well as an excellent driver!). He provided bottled water on each day, as well as a selection of fruit, biscuits, nuts and other goodies. He had a fantastic knowledge of the region, culture, and was a constant source of information, advice and help.”
– wrote Robert Smith, from the UK.
“Our driver Bora we loved was with us for the duration and we were saddened to say good bye. We arrived not sure if India was a place we would like and we left India and its people with a very different outlook.”
– wrote Catherine Neville, from Canada
“Sanjay, our driver was amazing – knowledgeable, on-time, friendly, and an excellent and safe driver in the crazy traffic. We loved getting to know him over the entire trip. If he is available, I recommend him highly!!”
– wrote Trish Hayward, from the USA.
If you’d like to visit Rajasthan on a private, tailor-made tour, do get in touch. We’d be delighted to assist with the planning of your journey.0