Close

Driving in India

Recommend

Can foreigners drive in India? Is the International driver's license valid in the country? Find out in this article. 

Traffic conditions can often be chaotic in India. Roads are frequently overloaded with trucks, buses, rickshaws, bicycles, motorcycles, pedestrians, cows and even elephants. Traffic rules are mostly not respected and it is not so unusual to see vehicles driving in the wrong way, or drivers ignoring traffic lights. Accidents are frequent, so caution is highly advised if you still need to drive in the country.

Road infrastructure

Indian roads, including highways, are generally very poorly maintained. Highways are often jammed with buses and overloaded trucks. People drive very fast, ignoring traffic signs, and mostly without lights. 

If you have to drive in India, bear in mind that Indian people do not drive like in Europe or Northern America, and it is virtually impossible to anticipate drivers' reactions. It is strongly advised to show your presence, even if you have to toot !

They drive on the left side of the road in the country.

Accidents

Sometimes, when a vehicle is involved in a traffic accident with a pedestrian, a cow, a biker or a cyclist, it is fairly common that the driver is assaulted by bystanders and eyewitnesses. Should this occur, even if you're a passenger, you are advised to stay away from the scene of the accident, leave the car as soon as possible, and immediately go to the nearest police station.

If you plan to stay in India for a few days or weeks, note that renting a car is practically impossible. You  may, however, rent a car with chauffeur. This solution, rather cheap, will enable you to drive around relatively safely.

If you still need to drive, the International Driving License is recognized in India. However, if you have a long-stay visa, you have to apply for an Indian driving license.

Applying for a driver's license

Most foreign nationals can obtain a probationary Indian driving license, valid up to three months, before obtaining their full Indian license. The full Indian license is subjected to theoretical tests. Nationals of several countries must also take driving tests. 

Visit the nearest Traffic Branch in your area, bring your passport, two passport-sized photos, proof of residence and a medical certificate (if required). Charges apply.

You will then have to take theoretical tests, and, if successful, you will be delivered your probationary license. Then, apply for your full Indian License within three months (at least 30 days) after obtaining your probationary license.

  Useful links:

Government of India – Transports Department megtransport.gov.in
Driver's license in India – General information www.indiandrivingschools.com

Recommend
HERVER contributor
Member since 28 July 2008
Évian, France
Write a comment

See also

Located in North India, in the State of Rajasthan, Jaipur is an ideal destination for expatriates looking forward to discover a folk and culture.
Goa has a heavenly atmosphere and environment which you are definitely going to enjoy if you are relocating there, especially due to its beautiful beaches.
Located in Southeast India, Pondicherry is a top destination in terms of expatriation, providing different types of accommodation.
Located in West Bengal, Kolkata is a developed city that hosts several pleasant and appropriate residential neighborhoods for expatriates.
Tamil Nadu is divided into some thirty districts and consists of several major cities, namely Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore and Trichy.

Questions and answers about transports

Ask your question
Guest
property
By Guest
kenjee
Buying a car in India
By kenjee
swaroopa
Bus Journey from Chennai to Madurai
By swaroopa
Guest
Living cost in metro cities in India
By Guest

Expatriate health insurance in India

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in India

Moving to India

Find tips from professionals about moving to India

International Money Transfer

Currency Exchange and Money Transfer Specialists

Travel insurance in India

Enjoy a stress-free travel across India

Flights to India

Find the best prices for your flight tickets to India