There isn’t any better way to enjoy the trip to the Himalayas than driving or riding yourself in a self-drive car or self ride bike and especially to the adventure destinations like Leh – Ladakh or Spiti Valley or other parts of trans – Himalayas.
There are so many adventure lovers like me out there who are always looking out to live the passion of driving along with traveling to the Himalayas now and then. Sitting idle in a taxi driven by a chauffeur and just enjoying the journey is never a cup of my tea and never will be.
UPDATE from 20th July 2015
Starting this year, Rented Self Drive Cars in Leh – Ladakh Banned & Other Updates.
Self-drive trip to the Himalayas
Once in a while, it is fine to relax a bit, but making a habit withdraws you from your other passion, that is, enjoying the pleasure of a self-drive car as you travel to the Himalayas. And I believe all such self-drive adventure lovers will agree with me in totality 🙂 🙂 …
However, all of us aren’t blessed to own a self-drive car, and many times people traveling from different parts of the country cannot drive their vehicles to the far North and carry on with the self-drive further to the Himalayas.
This inability for a self-drive trip is especially true for places like Himachal, Uttarakhand, where people travel from other parts of India for a short vacation of 4-5 days. Even on the longer journeys to Leh – Ladakh or Kinnaur Valley or Spiti Valley or Kashmir, sometimes due to lack of leaves or time, it does not make sense to drive from down south or east or west coast of India even if you own a form of self-drive. So, what is the solution other than relying on taxis for traveling to the Himalayas??
In the past few years, I used to get several types of queries like “How to get a Self Drive Car on Rent for Ladakh or Himachal or Uttarakhand,” “Where to find such self-drive cars on rent?”, “What is the procedure to get a self-drive car on rent for Ladakh trip or Spiti Valley trip?”, “What is better between self-drive car to Ladakh or a taxi to Ladakh?” etc.
Since there wasn’t much available off the shelve for a self-drive car on rent for Ladakh or Spiti Valley or many remote/tribal parts of Himachal and Uttarakhand because most established rental services were reluctant to offer their services to these remote corners of Himalayas. Some who offered had a difference in prices or a huge amount of security deposits or a complicated procedure to get running on the road. Hence, the choice was almost non-existent, and it forces people to opt only for taxis. But, not anymore.
A solution to Self Drive Car on Rent for the Himalayas !!
Zoomcar has recently launched its Self Drive Car rental services in Delhi/NCR starting from Gurgaon after making immensely happy customers in many parts of Pune & Bangalore. They have launched around 50+ cars, including Ford Figo and Ecosport, Mahindra XUV 500, and Honda Amaze in their fleet. Soon they will have other SUVs too in Delhi/NCR fleet, which will interest many more adventure lovers seeking a self-drive car on rent through the rough terrains of trans-Himalayas.
However, for a weekend getaway from Delhi in Himachal and Uttarakhand or lower hills of Himalayas, I believe even the likes of Ford Figo and Honda Amaze will be an apt vehicle. For all details, you can always refer to their official website: Zoomcar – How it works?
The best part I liked about the Zoomcar is low-security cost and a simplified booking process. Plus, they will soon be providing a hassle-free delivery too with features such as Keyless entry, where you can unlock the car you have booked by just sending a unique code via SMS (a feature just launched in Bangalore).
Though all the details regarding the booking process and how everything works, etc.. can be found on their website, for a quick reference I am enlisting a summary of the booking process below:
- Go to the Zoomcar website or mobile application.
- Input the desired pick up date and time and drop off date and time. This step will direct you to a list of available cars and sites.
- Choose your car, location and click checkout.
- The tariff will be displayed. They also charge a fully refundable deposit of Rs 5000/- at the time of booking. This amount is refunded after the booking concludes. In case of damages, the liability is limited to Rs 5000. Make sure you read their policies in detail on their website.
- Make the payment using Net banking, credit, or debit cards, and you’re ready to Zoom on a Self Ride Car trip to the Himalayas.
- Arrive at the pickup site before your booking commences, their fleet executive will be available to help you out. No payments need to be made at this point.
- Drop the car back after you complete your booking.
Also, another good part is that you need not carry any map or GPS with you. They provide GPS enabled tablets in all of their cars, which never let you lose the track along with music system with AUX cables that keeps you entertained all around the trip with your music from phones or iPods. Sounds interesting so far, right?
Where Can I take this Self Drive Car on Rent in the Himalayas?
Now the biggest question which I asked Mithun from Zoomcar was: “Do you guys have any limitation on the places where your cars can be driven in the Himalayas? Any hidden Charges?” The answer was simple and honest, “As long as one can bring our cars back in the single piece there isn’t any restriction and cars can be taken to any remote corners of the Himalayas including Ladakh, Spiti Valley or other parts of trans-Himalayas :)…”
Such assurance is the real difference with Zoomcar as most other car rental services either do not provide cars for such remote places in the Himalayas or have price discrimination or very high-security deposits. Such constraints force many of us to opt for a private taxi rather than a self-drive car and the bargain/plead with the taxi drivers to let us drive their vehicles. But, with Zoomcar this is not the case, and hence, I feel it may prove a great helping hand in time to come as we plan for Self Drive trip to various parts of Himalayas…
And in case, if it interests you straight away, you can always check out 5 Must-Visit Offbeat Places in Himachal Pradesh and roll on a Self Drive trip to Himachal. Also, the Snowfall season will soon be knocking the doors in various parts of Himachal and Uttarakhand, and who knows you will be looking out for Self Drive trip to see snowfall near Delhi.
In case you are planning for a Self Drive Trip to see snowfall, then you can check out these 15+ snowfall destinations near Delhi listed under the series of articles starting from the link: Snowfall Near Delhi | 7 Places to Visit in Himachal
So, with no limitation on taking the car anywhere in India, Zoomcar will help many people coming from different parts of the country live their passion for driving with a Self Drive car to various parts of Himalayas.
Pricing for a Self Drive Car on Rent for the Himalayas?
Hey, wait, but what about the pricing of a self-drive car on rent for Ladakh or other parts of Himalayas? Guys, I think, if you will do the maths and compare the rates of the taxis on rent and with above rates of Zoomcar Rental Services where an XUV or Ford Ecosport is offered for Rs 99 per / hour, I am sure the prices will be more or less equal or less. However, the true return on the money spent is surely the pleasure and enjoyment of the self-drive as you travel with complete privacy with your loved ones.
Hence, it is the true experience for which you pay for rather choosing between cheaper options. But, still, for the sake of it, let’s take a short example. Say, you want to hire a self-drive car to Munsiyari in Uttarakhand for eight days (187 Hrs of booking) trip, which is approximately 600 KMs from Delhi, and you are coming from Mumbai or living in Delhi but do not have a car to drive.
So, what you do?
Considering a small family, you hire a Self Drive Ford Figo from Zoomcar, which is priced at Rs 60 / hr for weekdays and Rs 100 / hr for weekends. The total will come out to be Rs 14200 as rental only in which you will be given fuel price of 1870 KMs too. If you fill any fuel during the trip, please provide the receipt and Zoomcar will reimburse the entire amount to you. Hence, I think it should not go beyond 15-16K including the fuel prices too.
Travel Tip: Did you check my must-have list of things to carry on a self-drive trip to the Himalayas?
Now, considering the taxis which are charged for a minimum of 250 KMs a day for Rs 9-10 for Indica and Rs 12 for an Innova, these taxis will cost you about Rs 2000-3000 per day. About Rs 200-250 per day is charged for driver’s accommodation, food, and night halts. Hence, the figure of a self-drive car for eight days will be approximately similar or less than a hired taxi. Plus, you get the advantage of living the passion of a self-drive to the Himalayas along with having complete privacy with your family or loved ones too. So, all in all, a better bet unless you are one of those who refrain from self-drives 🙂
To make the pricing concept very clear, an example can be illustrated as if you rent a Figo for 10 hours, you get 100 km of fuel-free. Suppose you drive a total of 140 KMs during your 10-hour booking, you will be charged an extra amount of 40*12 Rs per km = Rs 480. Suppose you had to fill fuel of 1000 Rs, upon producing the bill, we will refund you Rs 520 (Rs 1000- Rs 480 for extra km).
Travel Tip: If you are planning first trip to the Himalayas, then do check these 7 important tips on planning a self-drive Himalayan trip?
Also, the key point is that all this does not have any discounted pricing put in place in comparison which is sometimes offered by Zoomcar like if you rent a self-drive car for more than 7 days then a 10% discount is there OR Up to March 2015, you can use the coupon code “ZOOMGGN01” and get 20% off on your first booking in Gurgaon. You can read the terms of this offer here.
You can always check with support email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call center number 011 30018027 at Zoomcar to see if they can offer any special price to you being an avid reader or member of DoW Travel Platform and for this, you can refer my name or Discover with Dheeraj™ Website. Special offers for all DoW Members or readers will be available soon in this article 🙂
You can also check this less than 3-minute video on Discover With Dheeraj YouTube Channel about some practical tips for making a self-drive trip to Leh Ladakh. If you like my video, please do not forget to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel.
I am sure with the introduction of Zoomcar in the Delhi / NCR, the adventure lovers looking out for a Self Drive Car on Rent for various parts of Himalayas, will surely be able to live up their passion of driving while enjoying the drive with their loved ones to these magical places in the Himalayas.
The prices are quite competitive, including a low-security deposit along with a simple and easy booking process plus no limitation on taking the cars anywhere in the Himalayas as long as you have a valid license and bring the car back in a single piece. Don’t forget; you need not carry any map with you as they provide GPS fitted cars, which never let you lose the track along with the music system to keep you entertained all around the trip.
In the coming season, when the roads to many remote places will open, I am sure many of you will be looking out for such opportunities of Self Drive to the Himalayas and can test the services of Zoomcar. And of course, all around the year, you can always zoom on a self-drive to different parts of Himachal and Uttarakhand that remain accessible always.
In the end, please, in case you opt for these services, it will be a pleasure to read about your experience with it so that it also helps other fellow self-drive enthusiasts too. Hence, do leave your feedback as comments below in this article.
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