Car Rental in Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the home of many of the country’s finest cultural attractions, while the many beautiful natural areas around the city have made it a popular base for ecotourists. Your trip to Islamabad will be a lot more enjoyable with a rental car given the dated public transport system and the many excellent attractions outside the city limits.
Where to rent a car in Islamabad
In Islamabad there are many car rental agencies situated across the city, so you have many providers available to choose from. Islamabad International Airport is still relatively new so car rental counters at the airport are limited, but in the future it is likely that many leading providers will be situated at the airport. There are numerous car rental providers in Islamabad itself - all the companies are local agencies so you won’t find any of the usual international providers in the city. It is uncommon for rental cars to be on a self-drive basis, so you will find that almost all providers will provide a driver along with your rental vehicle.
Driving in Islamabad
It is difficult to negotiate the roads in Islamabad if you have little experience of driving in the country. Traffic is often heavy and local driving habits are unruly which means being cut off frequently and hearing horns blaring at all hours of the day. However, after a period of acclimatization you will get used to driving on the roads. Most rental companies will insist on providing a driver with your vehicle due to the difficulties that foreign visitors have on the roads in Islamabad, although it is usually possible to find a couple of companies offering self-rental contracts. Don’t forget that in Pakistan traffic is on the left-hand side of the road.
Parking in Islamabad
The state of parking in Islamabad isn’t too bad compared to other cities in the region, with plenty of official car parks available across the city. As well as this, you will find that many of the hotels in the city will have their own car parking facilities to take advantage of. If you do end up parking on the street like many of the locals do, be sure to check whether or not payment will be required or you could end up with a hefty fine.
Where to go around Islamabad
The city of Islamabad is officially split up into five different zones and is laid out in a grid system which can make it easier to follow directions. Along with the many museums, art galleries and historic buildings in the city, Islamabad is known for its beautiful parks and other family-friendly attractions like the Islamabad Zoo. The city is also an excellent place for outdoor adventurers as it is within close proximity to the Margalla Hills which are the perfect landscape for hiking, rock climbing and camping.
* This information is correct as of December 2018