Car Rental in Mumbai
Mumbai is the largest city in India and is split into distinct districts each with their own unique atmosphere. With your own car exploring Mumbai becomes a lot easier if you don’t want to rely on public transport or taxis, while the many excellent travel destinations outside of Mumbai are also just a car ride away.
Where to rent a car in Mumbai
There are a few local car rental companies at Chhatrapati Shivaji International, the primary airport serving Mumbai, if you want your own vehicle soon after touching down. Alternatively, there are a small number of car rental offices located across Mumbai if you want to get settled in first. Along with the counters at Mumbai Airport, there are several more agencies with offices just a short distance away from the airport. If you are renting a car in Mumbai you will find that most companies will offer a driver with your vehicle due to the difficult nature of the roads in India, especially in a bustling city like Mumbai.
Driving in Mumbai
The roads in Mumbai can be very hectic just like most other major Indian cities, so first-time drivers in the country may find the experience daunting at first. It is the norm for car rental contracts to come with a private chauffeur but it is still possible to find self-drive options if you would prefer. You will want to avoid central areas of Mumbai at all costs during the weekday rush hours (07.30-09.00 and 17.00-19.00) as you can end up stuck in traffic for hours. Local driving habits aren’t the best in Mumbai so you can expect to be cut off regularly – it is best to drive defensively if you aren’t familiar with the roads in the city. Given the sprawling nature of the city, it will be far easier to get a satnav system to help you navigate the city and avoid getting lost. Remember that in India traffic drives on the left-hand side unlike most other countries in the world. You will also need to apply for an International Driving Permit which will be valid for up to 12 months.
Parking in Mumbai
Parking in Mumbai can be a nightmare in certain areas but is usually available if you are willing to pay for it. Exclusive areas of South Mumbai and the leading modern malls will all offer ample parking, but in other areas you will need to rely on street parking which can be impossible to find during peak times. If you are staying anywhere centrally you either need to ensure your hotel provides parking or find a private parking lot to leave your vehicle overnight. Check out Mumbai hotel options across the city to make the most of your stay. One option to avoid the scarcity of parking spaces in the city is to park up on the outskirts before catching the metro into the center.
Where to go around Mumbai
Having your own rental vehicle is definitely the most comfortable way to explore Mumbai, a huge city with numerous districts and lots to see and do. The most modern and high-end attractions are found in South Mumbai which also contains many historical landmarks, while in North Mumbai you will find many of the city’s most ancient attractions and plenty of beaches. Within close traveling distance of Mumbai there are many beautiful hill stations offering some respite from the bustling city atmosphere like Daman, a popular romantic retreat, or take the 90-minute drive north to the stunning Kanheri Caves.
* This information is correct as of December 2018