1. Chaotic Traffic
Driving in New Delhi can be quite chaotic and stressful, especially for newcomers. The traffic is often heavy and the driving style of locals can be aggressive and unpredictable. It’s not uncommon to see vehicles ignoring traffic rules, such as driving in the wrong direction or not stopping at red lights. Therefore, it’s important to be extremely cautious and alert when driving.
2. Car Recommendation
Considering the heavy traffic and narrow lanes in some parts of the city, a small, compact car is recommended for driving in New Delhi. It’s easier to maneuver and park. Automatic cars are also a good choice as they can make driving in stop-and-go traffic less tiring.
3. Parking Difficulty and Cost
Finding parking in New Delhi can be challenging, especially in crowded areas. While there are paid parking lots, they can be quite expensive. It’s advisable to check the parking situation of your destination before you leave. Some residential areas require a parking permit, so make sure to check the local regulations.
4. International Driving Permit
Foreigners can drive in India with an International Driving Permit (IDP) along with their home country’s driving license. The IDP is valid for one year. After that, you will need to get an Indian driving license.
5. Getting an Indian Driving License
To get an Indian driving license, you need to apply through the local Regional Transport Office (RTO). The process involves a written test on traffic rules and signs, and a practical driving test. You will need to provide various documents, including proof of residence, passport, visa, and your home country’s driving license. It’s advisable to check the specific requirements with the local RTO as they can vary.
6. Hiring a Driver
Given the challenging driving conditions, many expats choose to hire a local driver rather than driving themselves. This can be a more stress-free option and local drivers are familiar with the city’s traffic rules and road conditions.
7. Use of GPS and Maps
Using a GPS or map app can be very helpful when driving in New Delhi. It can help you navigate the city’s complex road network and avoid traffic jams. However, be aware that not all roads shown on the map are in good condition or suitable for all types of vehicles.
8. Patience is Key
Patience is key when driving in New Delhi. Traffic jams are common and it can take a long time to reach your destination. It’s important to stay calm and patient, and allow plenty of time for your journey.