How to self drive a rental car from Delhi to Leh?

After seeing this hub request on my favorite topic "visitingLeh", I sent a mail to Pankaj asking for all the questions he has asked in this request, as the hub question was incomplete, so Pankaj mailed me the list of questions he was asking and I have tried to answer them below.

Here were the questions asked by Pankaj.

I am planning to rent a self-driven car in Delhi and drive to Leh via a halt in Manali. This will be in June end or July first week. I have a couple of questions on this:

1. Is this a feasible drive for a moderate driver? I can drive more or less okay in the hills, but do the Leh roads require specialized drivers?

2. Are cars like Swift, Ikon okay for these roads, or do I need a 4x4 or a jeep? Currently Hertz or Avis are not renting SUVs.

3. Anyone here has done a similar trip before? Any tips? 4. Any experience on self-driven car rentals from Delhi?

The main reason I want to drive is because I want to be flexible about my schedule, and sometimes I spend hours in photographing and it would be spoiled if I rent a sharing jeep (or even the exclusive ones). I can typically drive for 10 to 12 hours per day in moderate lands, in mountains say around 8-10 hours would be fine.

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Here are the answers to Pankaj's questions.

1. Is this a feasible drive for a moderate driver? I can drive more or less okay in the hills, but do the roads require specialized drivers?

I think it is not too difficult to drive, you just need to be careful and drive slow if you ae not too sure. Some of the roads are very high almost 5000 meters above mean sea level. It requires a lot of effort, both mentally and physically. If it starts to rain or so, then it might get a bit difficult.

2. Are cars like Swift, Ikon okay for these roads, or do I need a 4x4 or a jeep? Currently Hertz or Avis are not renting SUVs.

4X4s are not required. The basic rule is to take a vehicle with high-ground clearanceand a large tank, as there is no petrol station beyond Pangi which is approximately 75 kilometers away from Manali towards Leh, so carry extra if required. Best Indian vehicles for this trip are Safari, Mahindra jeeps, Innova, and Scorpio, though I know many people driving Maruti 800, Zen, Honda City, etc. over there and other cars, but it is not advisable.

3. Anyone here has done a similar trip before? Any tips?

I have gone once last year and going again this year. Keep some warm clothes, as weather is very unpredictable. You should not be afraid of heights and keep stuff to eat as you would not find anything before Leh and after Manali, except for tea, Maggie noodles, and eggs.

4. Any experience on self driven car rentals from Delhi?

No idea. My problem is that I hate being driven in chauffeur driven car and since it's the snow melting season, I think it is better to take either a self driven SUV or a typical driver driven jeep from Delhi, and self-driven SUV rentals are highly expensive, for example7000/- INR per day plus fuel.

Why don't you go to Manali by a bus from Delhi and then rent a car/shared jeep. I think that will be more cost effective and less stressful. Also, alternatively you can take a bus until Leh and then share a SUV there to visit Pangong Tso and other sights. The cars have a fixed price and you can easily find other groups traveling and can share a trip. Your hotel will help you find a group too. Also, in this way you will add to the local economy by employing a local driver plus you get all the little insights on the place through a local person. This is just my point of view. Think about it.

Have a nice trip.

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Comments 22 comments

rahul 6 years ago

a group of employees wanting to go on a self driven delhi khardung la pass himalayan expedition. Do we require any permissions of defence or home ministry, medicals etc


soni2006 profile image

soni2006 6 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

Rahul, I suggest you to go through this site for permissions for your expedition, http://www.expeditiontohimalayas.com/expedition.ph...

and this article of mine for carrying medical supplies, etc.

http://hubpages.com/hub/Leh-Ladakh-trip-tips


sumeet 6 years ago

i wanna go leh by car its safe to go


soni2006 profile image

soni2006 6 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

Yes it is safe to go but it is better to check all the details about the condition of roads around the time of your proposed travel. Also check out for landslides or any known problems that can occur in your journey.


Pramod 6 years ago

We do self drive trips in premium 4X4 vehicles with expert escort. Contact at mailtopps@gmail.com


soni2006 profile image

soni2006 6 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

Thank you Pramod for the assistance. There are many people searching for this information.


kinoshika 6 years ago

This is a wonderful opinion. The things mentioned are unanimous and needs to be appreciated by everyone. It’s perfect thought from my side.

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Rental Cars America


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soni2006 6 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

Thanks for expressing your views about this article kinoshika.


Rental Cars Sale 6 years ago

it is a very useful to article to increase our knowledge about rental car.


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soni2006 6 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

Thanks a lot rental cars sale.


Mithil 6 years ago

We are 3 very young couples and one 6year kid and 2years infant, we want to visit shimla kulu manali & rohtangpas. we are coming from mumbai.

actually one of my friend is coming with us for his honeymoon.

can u please suggest us how should we plan our trip with my following querries-

How many days should we spend there?

we are planning to go there by 22nd or 25th feb 2011. i know this is not the best season to go there but still we have these dates only. can u pls tell us what are the problems we have to go through?

we dont want lot of sight seeing just few famous places which u can suggest us

what precautions we have to take for kids?

Can we get a self drive car from delhi? or should we take it from manali or shimla?

(we can spend 2000 to 3500 daily for car)

or should we go for a car with driver


soni2006 profile image

soni2006 6 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

Actually one of my friend is coming with us for his honeymoon.

No probs. There are many couples who visit these places for honeymoon.

How many days should we spend there?

It depends on you but the whole tour will take a minimum of seven days.

we are planning to go there by 22nd or 25th feb 2011. i know this is not the best season to go there but still we have these dates only. can u pls tell us what are the problems we have to go through?

You can go in that month to Shimla and Kullu Manali but you can find some difficulties in Rohtang pass with closing down of roads by the army but don't worry it is totally unpredictable and you will get all the information from Manali or Kullu wherever you are at that time.

we dont want lot of sight seeing just few famous places which u can suggest us

Why not hire a guided tour as you have kids with you.

what precautions we have to take for kids?

Take heavy woolen clothes and also carry a first aid box for kids consisting of all common cold flu, diarrhea, constipation related medicines you use at home.

Can we get a self drive car from Delhi? or should we take it from Manali or Shimla?

It's better to hire a car from Manali or Shimla.

We can spend 2000 to 3500 daily for car or should we go for a car with driver.

It's better to hire a car driver. Hire the driver from Shimla or Kullu or Manali and should be a trusted and reputed one.

Best of luck for your journey.


Mithil 6 years ago

Thanks a ton dear.


soni2006 profile image

soni2006 6 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

It's my pleasure Mithil.


Chirag 5 years ago

Hi, Soni it is gr8 to read such a detailed informative mail on Leh Road travel.

me and a friend are planning to visit next June. we would like to make our selves sure of the trip.

thanks/Chirag


soni2006 profile image

soni2006 5 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

Best of luck for your Leh trip, Chirag.


Prasad 5 years ago

Hi Soni,

I am looking for a self drive from delhi to Leh this june. Can you please suggest travel operator which provides cars for self drive. I am looking for self drive only :)


Aniket Navghare 5 years ago

Hi Soni,

We are a group of 10 friends from Mumbai and are planning to tour Leh in the first week of May. We are planning to take a rented car (with driver). We would be travelling from Delhi to Leh via Manali and then back to Delhi via Srinigar.

I have following questions:

1. Is this time of the year good for a road trip to Leh.

2. What would be the expenses of the rented car..Is it calculated on per kilometer basis or a fixed amount per day.

Thanks in advance.


MJ 5 years ago

Hi Soni,

Very informative article - thanks. I am planning to do a self drip trip to Leh this June/July with a few friends. Can you share any info on the following please?

1. What is the ideal time to visit Leh (when are all the passes open)?

2. Would you have any recommendation for an ideal itinerary for a 9 day trip (Delhi to Leh and back)?

3. Would you have any suggestions for car rental companies who provide self-driven SUVs (Scorpio and the like)? I don't want to take a chauffer driven vehicle. (I found that companies like Avis/Carzonrent do provide self driven SUVs but I don't find their insurance plans adequate, e.g. the insurance cover for a Tata Safari is merely Rs. 20,000)

Thanks much in advance!

MJ


Sanjay MADAN 5 years ago

Hello All,we organise self drive expedition trips for leh and 5 trips are lined up for this season(2011)from 18th June onwards.For more details contact me at expeditiononwheels@gmail.com and these are guided trips if you plan to drive your own vehicle or wish to hire one.We also drove first Tata nano to Leh last yr via manali-Leh-srinagar route.

Cheers,

sanjay MADAN

Expedition on Wheels

09717080066


amarnath yatra 5 years ago

I agree with soni. It is better to take a SUV on this route. This is because the road is quite bad. I did this road trip in my scorpio way back in 2007 and I was stranded on this route for 3 days at a stretch because of bad weather. I will advice you to take the Srinagar Leh route as it is much better.


sanju 5 years ago

dude i want self driven car from delhi to leh ,, please let me know ,, if any

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