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General Rules and Guidelines for Reserving a Transport in India

Whom to reserve the Transport - Transporter is either booked by us Direct or booked via the hotel. Hotels booking the transport is a good idea for pickup and drop services where the guests get a one point contact and also hotel has the additional responsibility of serving their guest. Transport Tariffs quoted by Hotels (Typically 4-stars and 5-stars) direct are sometimes higher than what is offered by the direct transport in this case its better to opt for a direct transporter to save some money.

Which Vehicle to Reserve - Its important that the car for traveling around the area is a "Tourist" Vehicle and not any good vehicle. There are companies who offer good cars which are prominently used for corporate services and their drivers are not well versed with the route. As this is an additional income for them they may come a little cheaper than the regular tourist car providers. "Tourist" cars are the ones which only ply on the tourist circuits and their drivers know the routes well and often double up as some sort of local information guides and effectively act as an interface for local language communications .

Different Types of Transport That can be booked:

Category Generic Type / Brand / Model
Car (AC or Non AC) Indica, Indigo, Esteem, Ambassador
Luxury Car Mercedes S Class, Mercedes E Class, Mercedes C Class,  Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Toyota Corolla, Mitsubishi Lancer, Ford Icon
Van (AC or Non AC) Maruti Suzuki Omni
SUV Tata Sumo / Toyota Qualis (Single AC / Double AC) / Toyota Innova / Chevrolet Tavera
13 Seater (AC or Non AC) Tempo Traveller
18 Seater Bus / Coach (AC or Non AC)  
27  Seater Bus Non AC  
35 Seater Bus / coach (AC or Non AC)  
49 Seater Non AC Coach, Bus, Volvo

Chargeability for a Transport Reservation

Per Km Rate This the base rate to be taken for calculation
Min No of Kms to be Done Per day (Avg) Min. Avg. Kms that the guests pays irrespective of actual usage
No. of Hours 8 hours for Full day city tour, 4 hours for half day city tour, 12 hours for outstation (On disposal) service.
Driver Charges (Termed as "Driver Bata") Per day charges for Driver accommodation and meals
Service Tax Levied by Central Govt. (4.95%)
Interstate Tax Levied by a state when an another state registration vehicles crosses boundaries. Some States are better than others. Some charge on per day basis and others on per week and per seat basis.
Toll Some Roads require you to pay a fee for for accessing it and that's called a "Toll" and this is payable at the "Toll Booths" that come enroute.
Parking Fees These are levied wherever the vehicle is parked in a "Pay and Park" kind of a system. Typically at parking lots in cities and at various monuments
Entry Fees Jungles, Park Gates etc. charge entry free for the vehicles. This is similar to a parking fee.
Calculation All kilometer calculations are from Transporter Garage to Transporter Garage i.e. For Delhi Airport to Corbett drop (280 kms), the calculation is from Delhi Transporter Garage to Delhi Transporter Garage (which would be about 580-590 kms)

Note

  • As Transporters anyway charge from Garage - Garage basis, its always cost effective to do a circular itinerary (i.e. Delhi to Delhi) Than a straight line itinerary (I.e. Delhi to Udaipur).
  • Guests are required to pay a min avg. kilometers per day irrespective of weather they utilise the kilometers or not. Some sectors like Goa don't allow for Averaging over a few days and all Min kilometers have to be used on the same day or its forfeited.
  • Driver Duty hours are 8 AM to 8 PM.
  • Try not to reserve transport on fixed itinerary basis and if done please ascertain kilometers of travel that are included in it. Most fixed itinerary transport would now allow for flexibility to travel at your schedule and sometimes drivers have resisted any deviation from the fixed itinerary plan.
  • Some sectors like Sikkim allow for Point to Point Transportation Only or may require to change the car at every destination due to local union issues.
  • AC Cars in Port Blair are at a premium and Quality of Cars in Havelock Island are below par but accepted by guests on account of remote nature of island.
  • Drivers are expected to be uniformed and having a cell phone access. Most sectors have Drivers that understand English and transporters now training Driver in speaking in English. Despite these effort their accents are sometimes difficult to comprehend. Always request for an English speaking driver.
  • Prepaid services are available outside Railway stations, Airports and select temple towns and monuments. These are ok for point to point transfers but may require to queue up sometimes to avail it and therefore a little cumbersome and not worth the money saved in hiring a pickup.
  • Railway Station Pickup is always tricky at larger railway stations. Metros and Mini-Metros have more than one terminus and so its important to communicate which is the exact terminal to pickup from. Given the correct terminal, its still difficult considering so many exits at the stations. A good idea would be to give the Bogey / Coach number in advance so that driver can stand with a placard right at the point to get down instead of any exits.
  • Airport Pickups are easier than Station pickups and driver standing with a Placard at the exit of the terminal does the job. In case of any delay in baggage clearance its important to communicate that to the transporter as otherwise the driver may not wait beyond a few hours.
  • Concept of self-driven cars is in its infancy and therefore all vehicles states above are accompanied by services of a driver.