Namaste India Tours

Namaste India Tours

Car and Driver Hire for Independent Types

 

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Rajasthan by Car

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"But we want to make our own hotel arrangements and set our own itinerary!"

If you just can't tolerate somebody else making decisions for you, maybe you'd prefer to just hire a car and driver from Namaste India Tours. We prefer you purchase one of our packages. Why? Because we make a more reasonable profit from your trip that way. And because we often spend hours and hours working with a client just to end up with an itinerary nearly identical to one we already have posted.

But it's your trip and, hey, if you'd rather do the hotel work yourself, here's what we need from you in order to prepare a quote:

1. EXACTLY when do you arrive? Date and TIME. It would save us an email (and that means rupees) if you would just go ahead and give us your flight details. If you don't require airport pickup, then exactly what day and at what time on that day do you want to leave Delhi with our car, and where exactly would be pick you up?
2. How many are in your party?
3. Which car?
4. Your itinerary: a list of all the cities you want to cover with dates attached. Yes, it matters.

At our discretion, we'll add Rs 300 to the price of your trip to work with you on a personalized itinerary. It'll cost you about the same as a super grande double mocha decaf latte with sprinkles.

Gentle reminder: If you decide to make your own hotel arrangements, then you have to make your own hotel arrangements. We won't be suggesting hotels at each station for you and please don't ask us to call and check on availability on your behalf. If you get in trouble out on the road, of course your driver or Jawahar will find a hotel for you, but beyond that, if you want us to help with hotels, then you need to purchase a package from us that includes hotels. New to India and want to read the truth about India hotels? See this.

"How much does it cost to hire a car and driver?"

Here's how we charge for our cars and drivers. (These figures aren't negotiable. We periodically adjust the price for our cars because the price of fuel is ridiculous, so if you are reading an old post on some message forum, these prices will look different.)

We charge for a minimum of 200 kilometers per day. This is industry standard--well, actually most companies charge for 250 km per day. Even if the car does not leave the hotel parking lot that day, you still pay for 200 kilometers. No company can afford to have a car hundreds of kilometers away that isn't earning money. Some days you'll travel more than 200 km and some days you may travel less. (By the way, we are the ones who decide how many kilometers in a day are reasonable for the safety and comfort of our clients and drivers. That's one reason we require your itinerary before we will do a quote.)

There are pesky, hefty, taxes to get in and out of Uttar Pradesh, or to cross any border for that matter. You won't ever be asked for money when you get to a toll booth when you travel with us. Our price guide below is figured to absorb all border taxes. Plus all the seemingly random "I'm a guy who might be in a uniform standing next to an iron bar that I've pulled across the road and I am collection money from cars that pass by me" taxes.

Now: you want a well-rested and well-fed driver. Happy driver--happy life. Our drivers do not sleep in our cars. The daily rates below also include your driver's food and accommodation.

So, except for the more unusual itineraries, we'll be charging you a per day fee. You can do the math yourself if you really want to. If your itinerary requires you to be on the road more than five hours a day, leave at an ungodly hour, or anything else that WE consider unusual, then this formula may not apply.

Google Maps Warning: Great little tool. Horribly, horribly inaccurate for times between cities. I mean, if the Google directions say "head southwest on unknown road", how do they possibly know how long that will take?

Rates for our all-AC Cars* (includes all fuel, road tolls, border taxes and even parking fees)

AC Swift Dzire or Etios
Rs 3700 each day out of Delhi

AC Innova
Rs 4500 each day out of Delhi

AC Tempo Traveller Van
Rs 6700 each day out of Delhi

We only offer AC cars. It is a prudent defense against the dust and pollution, especially in a city. The VERY few people who ever requested Non-AC cars in back in the early days of our company often had a change of heart on the road. Air-conditioning also keeps our drivers happy. Happy drivers are important.

More information about our cars.

*If your itinerary requires you to be on the road most of the time (and we'll do our best to talk you out of that) then the formula above may not apply. (Just in case you didn't hear us the first time.)

We DO require payment in advance before you leave Delhi with one of our cars and the driver. You may be able to find a company that doesn't, but we do. This is true for our package tours as well. By the time we are ready to confirm your travel plans, if you aren't comfortable enough with us to pay us before you leave Delhi, then we are not the company for you. Remember, we never ask for any money in advance of your arrival in Delhi no matter how complicated our services for you may be or how many months we have spent in email communication with you. Even when we have to pay in advance ourselves for extra services like train tickets, or for your hotels that require advance payment in order to hold a room.

Another gentle reminder: If you want to dismiss the car in, say, Udaipur, you have to pay for the car to return to Delhi empty. This is industry standard and you can't get around it.

"But my Lonely Planet says on page 178 that we should be able to rent a car and driver in Rajasthan for 4.5 rupees per km!"
Read it again. First of all, you've got an old edition. Second of all: It says STARTS at 4.5 with a 250 km minimum and that's for NON-AC. We've done mystery shopping in Rajasthan and the going rate is more like Rs 15 for a non AC car with a 300 km per day minimum if you are a seasoned bargainer. And that is for a car from within Rajasthan that doesn't have to pay any border taxes because it isn't crossing any borders. If you are leaving from Delhi you will not find a car to hire at any where close to that rate. If someone besides Namaste India Tours gives you a per kilometer quote, be darn sure it includes the border taxes, which differ depending on the seating capacity of the vehicle and which state lines you are crossing.

"Do your cars go places other than Rajasthan?"
Yes.

"Does the driver act as our guide?"
In a general sense, yes. But he cannot accompany you into monuments and act as your guide inside attractions. He would get in big trouble. There are unions of certified guides and they will not tolerate any encroachment. It is even difficult for him to accompany you inside if you have hired a guide, so it is better if you do not ask him if he'd like to come along. We can send a certified guide along with you, but honestly it isn't necessary. It is more cost effective to grab a guide when and where you feel you need one.

$$Need a currency converter? Go here, but come back soon. $$

See this page if you'd like to see some references.

Want to see a Road Distance Chart for Rajasthan?

Ready to make a reservation? inquiry@namasteindiatours.com

Think maybe our most popular tour, the Rajasthan Legacy Tour, will work for you?

Note: We will not accept services that we feel are unwise or unsafe. Examples: driving overnight, driving a 14 hour day between cities. At our discretion, we require a break of journey between some cities for the safety and comfort of our guests, drivers, cars and other people on the road. It is not negotiable.

And BTW, it's not arrogant or rude to refuse an unwise service; it's prudent.

Get me outta here! Bumping along those Indian roads.... Avoid the feeding frenzy at the airport... We know where the best juice stands are.... Make a reservation with Namaste India Tours Free advice!