Overland India Travel
Currency to display:
 Entering India with a Car or Motorbike
Correct as of: July 2013
 Required Paperwork
Without a Carnet de Passage its virtually impossible to enter India with any kind of motorized vehicle. And they are strict about it!! Besides the Carnet de Passage you obviously need your car Vehicle registration, in the same name as the Carnet de Passage and a passport with a valid Visa. I have crossed into India many times and never been asked for insurance. The Indians check your papers thoroughly, specially when entering at Whaga/Atari border from Pakistan. From Nepal or Bangladesh things are bit more relaxed.
 Process at border
(For people, see India Visa and Passport requirements at the World Travel Guide)
Briefly describe the process at the border to enter with a vehicle
 Cost of entry
 Permitted length of stay
India has the rule that a foreign car can be in the country for a maximum of 6 months. After this your car should leave the country for at least 6 months! If you return before these six months the Indian customs will continue counting as if you have never left. Some travelers solve this by going to Nepal. But officially you can only stay there for 5 months so you're always a month short. Usually if you keep moving between India and Nepal there is no problem since these border crossings are easy but once you want to ship from India or leave India to go to Pakistan, the customs might check. If you have stayed to long and they find out, you might have to pay a heavy penalty or even have your car impounded.
 Extension of stay
It is possible in extreme situations to get an extension of stay but it involves a lot of paperwork. you will have to visit a custom office in a major town and explain your case, probably also in writing. permission will then be applied for. it might take some time so arrange in advance.
 Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country
Describe if/how a vehicle can be stored, and for how long.
Also mention if the owner / temporary importer can leave the country while the vehicle is in storage.
 Exiting with a vehicle
Describe the paperwork requirements and process at the border to exit.
 Driving in India
 Insurance requirements
Insurance in India is a bit of a problem. When entering from say Pakistan, you can buy insurance at an insurance office in Amritsar town. But later I heard that it is really worthless since insurance firms are legally not allowed to sell insurance on foreign cars. But I guess it's always good to show your good intentions and at least have a ( worthless) piece of paper, just in case. And it costs near to nothing.
 Cost of insurance
State the price of insurance and a time period.
 Where to purchase insurance
Describe where insurance can be purchased.
 Driving license
State the kind of driving licenses required. i.e. International Driving Permit.
 Driving side of road
LHD vehicles can be driven in India
 Mandatory items in vehicle
State any mandatory items that must be carried in the vehicle. (i.e. safety triangle, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, etc.)
 General Road quality
India has some of the most horrible roads in Asia. Due to a lack of maintenance, money disappearing in pockets instead of repairing, combined with heavy heavy truck traffic and heavy rains, roads can be a disaster. Potholes so deep, your whole car can disappear in one. Having said this, the government is working hard on improving but the extensive road system makes it nearly impossible to keep up. And many times the improvements make the roads worse. The main triangle, the so called golden triangle, between Delhi, Calcutta and Mumbia should now be finished but expect the worst. Local roads can surprise you, as India will never be what you expect.
 Road signs
On the main roads there will be signs, usually in English. Off the main roads do not expect any, nor in towns. If you do find signs they might be in Hindi or pasted over with posters.
 Toll roads
There are more and more toll roads in India. Usually you pay Rs50.00 INR to Rs100.00 INR depending on the size of your vehicle but prices seem to be going up. As a foreigner they are likely to overcharge you so inspect you ticket!! Mostly the toll roads are the only decent roads in India but its not guaranteed. I once had a bypass for a small city which was so badly potholed it took me 2hrs for just 2 km. At the end of this they demanded a toll which I blatantly refused. In India there is also the practice for small villages to (illegally) construct a toll barrier where you have to pay local taxes. Bridges are also sometimes toll and prices are dependent on your negotiation skills.
 Bribery in India
Briefly describe how common bribery is and whether it should be expected, and the best way to deal with it.
There are not so many checkpoints in India. Mostly there will be checkpoints crossing from state to state. Some of these checkpoints are horrible with often ques of some kilometers with trucks. You can just pass them but often the road is blocked and you will have to fight your way thru. Other then that, checkpoint wise India is easy.
 Traveling with pets
It should be no problem entering India with a pet as long as you have the proper papers, e.g. Passport with all vaccinations. I have traveled to India with my dog and experienced no problems at the border. Do remember that India is not a pet friendly country. Except in the big cities like Delhi, Mombay and Calcuta, as well as the Goa region, it will be hard to find pet food.
 Gas and Diesel price in India
Last updated: October 2012
Currency and unit to display:
|Unleaded||€1.06 EUR per Liter|
|Diesel||€0.63 EUR per Liter|
 Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency
I have never experienced fuel shortages in India.
Every town will have a gas station so you should never be to far from a gas station.
 Gas and Diesel Quality
Discuss if gasoline / diesel considered "clean" or "dirty", and generally high or low quality.
State the sulfur content of diesel, if known.
 Safety and Security Considerations
 Driving at night
Discuss driving at night and if it should it be avoided. Mention why.
 Vehicle parking
Discuss if vehicles can be parked on the street, if they are considered "safe" at night. If vehicles can not be parked on the street, list the other options that exist.
 Special driving considerations
India is the hardest country to drive in, often a nightmare. The average Indian driver has no feeling for traffic, safety or common sense. Trucks and buses are a real danger and will easily push you off the road if it is to their advantage. The common driver has never had any traffic lesson and will do as they please. Stopping in the middle of the road, just past a sharp and dangerous curve, overtaking without watching traffic ahead, speeding, anyway, you name any dangerous situation and you will find it in India. This combined with the huge amounts of trucks and buses, the chaotic situation in cities and the poor road signs make driving in India a real challenge. Expect the unexpected and drive very very defensively. In my opinion, if you can drive in India, you can drive anywhere in the world.
Watch out for speed bumps in the most unexpected places without any warning. Watch out for slow traffic like rickshaws, oxen carts, bicycles and lots and lots of pedestrians on the road. in India the road is for everyone, not just for cars. and take special care of cows. hitting one will give you a lot of problems. And please, never drive at night!
 Security advisories and information
- Country Specific Information - U.S. Department of State
- Travel Reports and Warnings - Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
- Travel advice by country - Foreign and Commonwealth office (U.K.)
- Travel Advice for India - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
 Camping in India
There are no known campsites in India. There are some favorite spots where Overlanders meet like in Agonda (Goa) or Varanassi.
It is usually safe to camp wild in India but its extremely hard to find a quite place. Expect a lot of nosy visitors who will stare at you until you go bananas.
 Camping guide books
List and link to books specifically for camping.
 Drinking water
Describe if the regular tap water is safe to drink. If not, describe where safe water can be purchased and the approximate average price range.
 Paper maps
Description of the best paper maps and where to purchase them.
 GPS Maps of India
Review different GPS companies, quality and coverage (Tomtom, Garmin, OSM, Tracks4Africa). (with links to each).
 GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in India
Link to sites that have a list of GPS co-ordinates (or directions) for camping locations (including "wild" campsites), propane filling, gas stations, repair shops, places of interest, etc.
 Special Overland Travel interests
List any special items / places that are popular with Overlanders
 Travel Guide Books
List good travel guide books (not necessarily Overland related.
 Vehicle Maintenance
4x4s / Trucks
- Toyota Global Dealer Locator
- Land Rover International Dealer Locator
- Mercedes Benz International (select country on bottom right)
- Jeep International site locator
 Local Garages
Add known good mechanics here.
 Buy or sell a car or motorbike in India
Describe how a foreigner can buy a vehicle. List any difficulties or limitations on where the vehicle can be driven.
Describe how a foreigner can sell a foreign-plated vehicle, or list not possible.'
Links to the source of any information - blogs or discussion forums, etc.
Add any helpful external links here.