Car Rental in Thiruvananthapuram
Thiruvananthapuram is a diverse city most noted for its ancient landmarks, but offers far more for the modern traveler with its excellent museums, beautiful beaches and thriving local markets. With a lot of ground to cover to see all the best attractions coupled with unreliable and crowded public transport, Thiruvananthapuram is a city that can well be explored with your own rental car.
Where to rent a car in Thiruvananthapuram
Most of the car rental companies available in Thiruvananthapuram are located around the city itself rather than on site at the airport, but many providers will be able to offer drop-off services if you need your vehicle immediately from the airport. None of the usual international car rental agencies operate in Thiruvananthapuram but the many local companies available are reliable and affordable. The easiest way to travel into Thiruvananthapuram from the airport is by taxi but there are also local buses available if you would rather save on money. Be advised that it is common practice in India for rental cars to come with their own driver rather than “self-drive”, but a few companies in the city do offer self-drive contracts if you would prefer this.
Driving in Thiruvananthapuram
It can be a daunting experience driving in a busy Indian city like Thiruvananthapuram where there are very few rules and etiquettes of the road adhered to by local drivers. This is why most visitors to the city are advised to get a local driver with their vehicle who will know the subtleties of navigating the local roads. Expect heavy traffic jams and hectic conditions if you travel on weekdays during the morning and evening rush hours. Remember that in India driving is on the left hand side of the road and the majority of local car rentals will be manual transmission and not automatic.
Parking in Thiruvananthapuram
There are several parking lots and garages located around Thiruvananthapuram which can make parking a lot easier as street parking can be a pain in the city. Many of the car parks in the city are available 24 hours a day so you can come and go as you please. Dedicated parking facilities are much more secure than street parking but will cost more by the hour – however, many will offer full-day parking or even long-term parking options to suit your needs. Parking availability is known to be lacking in the city so it can be difficult to find spaces, even in the dedicated parking facilities due to high vehicle numbers and scarcity of spaces.
Where to go around Thiruvananthapuram
It will be possible to explore many of Thiruvananthapuram’s centrally located landmarks on foot after parking up, but to get the full experience of the city it is best to have your own rental car. The most famous attraction in the city is undoubtedly the Padmanabhaswamy Temple which is located centrally and easy to access. Other excellent destinations to visit by car include the stunning beaches of Kovalam which are less than 20 km from Thiruvananthapuram and the resort getaway of Ponmudi located high up in the hills around 60 km from the city. If you're looking to explore truly further afield in this huge country, check out our guides to the top 10 attractions and tourist places in the country as well as the best places to visit in India month by month.
* This information is correct as of December 2018