Car Rental in Karachi
Karachi is a sprawling city comprised of five different districts with close to 15 million inhabitants. Renting your own car is the optimum way to explore Karachi and the surrounding region due to the poor quality of public transport in the city and the many wonders to be explored outside the city limits.
Where to rent a car in Karachi
There are a couple of car rental providers at Jinnah International Airport, the main airport serving Karachi. Europcar has a car rental counter located on site in the arrivals hall of the airport, while Avis offices are located only a short distance from the airport. If you would rather settle into the city first you will find plenty of agencies located across the city. The majority of these providers are local companies but there are a few international agencies operating in the city including Hertz.
Driving in Karachi
Driving around Karachi is a difficult experience for anyone who isn’t familiar with the city. Expect plenty of traffic jams and poor driving etiquette from locals who won’t hesitate to cut you off and drive aggressively. Traffic is especially problematic in the morning and evening rush hours so it is advisable to stay off the roads. The majority of foreign visitors to Pakistan will opt to get a driver with their vehicle to make things a lot easier, but there are self-drive rental options available if you would prefer this. You should avoid traveling around late at night outside of the city limits which can be unsafe for foreign travelers.
Parking in Karachi
Finding parking in Karachi is problematic most of the time as there are few official parking lots and most locals will recklessly park up on the streets. Don’t take your cue from locals and do the same as traffic police in the city are diligent and you will end up with a hefty fine. Be sure to check with your hotel whether they can make parking arrangements for you, or look for a private parking lot/garage to keep your rental vehicle in safely. Although plans are underway to construct more underground parking lots and increase traffic police numbers, these changes have yet to be implemented on a wide scale.
Where to go around Karachi
In South Karachi is where you will find many of the city’s finest architectural and historical landmarks and this district is also home to the downtown district. If you are interested in Karachi’s family-friendly attractions then head to East Karachi where many of the best amusement parks and museums are located, or head north outside the center into Malir which is known for its many waterparks. There are plenty of interesting daytrip destinations within easy reach of Karachi by car such as the historic city of Thatta and the UNESCO-listed Makli site, or make the 2 hour drive out to the stunning Keenjhar Lake.
* This information is correct as of December 2018