Nepal is an incredible country with beautiful natural and cultural landscapes. There are various means of traveling in and around the country. Renting a car is one of the best ways to travel around Nepal. You can travel on your schedule and not worry about hectic bus rides and crowded stations.
A car rental reservation must be easy and swift. You can select the ideal destination, travel dates, and pick and drop off timings, before approaching the dealers to get the best deals and vehicles. These rental services provide you with 24/7 pick-up and drop-off facilities too.
Moreover, car rental companies provide hassle-free services in Nepal. The rates of car hire depend upon facilities like air conditioning, drivers, unlimited mileage, and others. The magical Himalayan vista, scenic routes, and rugged roads make trips around Nepal a great adventure. You will get a premium quality service with maximum comfort and satisfaction.
Driving around Nepal and exploring its beauty is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This complete guide provides you with everything you need to know more about car hire services in Nepal. Read further for a detailed description of car hire in Nepal and other relevant information in detail.
Documents Required For Car Hire in Nepal
The tourists need to carry a few documents to rent a car in Nepal as per Nepalese Immigration law. Read on to know more about them:
- A Driving license (from your country)
- Passport with visa
- Government-issued I-card (for Indians)
- Proof of age (22 is minimum but not enforced)
- Amount in cash as most prepaid rental services do not accept cards or cheques.
Where To Get A Car Hire Service In Nepal?
Various reliable car rental services provide you with the best rental car and other facilities. You can get 4x4s, jeeps, sedans, sports cars, SUVs, compacts, convertibles, and others in these rental services.
The Durbar Marg area in Kathmandu and Lakeside in Pokhara has many of these car rental services that offer great deals and services. You can also search for the best car rental deals online that will help you to find these services near your location. There you can select pick-off and drop-off time along with your destination.
You can choose from their various brands and models to get a great car hire in Nepal with a driver. These car journeys are ideal for a vacation, a business trip, a special event, or a weekend getaway. Luxury models are also available and these luxury models will cost you a little extra.
Where To Go With A Rental Car In Nepal?
You can go to various landmarks in Nepal in a rental car. Some of the most famous places that you can visit with a hired car are as follows:
The ancient landmarks of Kathmandu valley will enchant any traveler. There are mystical Durbar Squares of three cities that have amazing heritage palaces and temples. Patan has an incredible Golden Temple, and Patan museum that is widely renowned for being the best museums in the world.
Kathmandu durbar square has a 9-storeyed palace, Kumari Ghar, Taleju temple among others. The square turns into a bustling place in the evening. The religious temples of Bouddhanath Stupa, Swayambhunath, and others are another attraction of the place. Thamel is the most happening melting point with many cafes, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and others.
The lake city of Pokhara is one of the most scenic places in Nepal. Pokhara is just 5-6 hours away from Kathmandu. There are many sightseeing points including Tal Barahi Temple, Lake Phewa, Mahendra gufa, Chamero gufa, Davis falls, World Peace Stupa, and others.
The Lakeside area has many cafes, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and others. The International Mountain Museum displays the mountaineering heritage of the local people. You can also take part in various adventure activities like paragliding, bungee jumping, zip-lining, and others in Pokhara.
The Chitwan national park region is just 6 hours drive from the capital city of Kathmandu. You can explore rare and endangered birds and animals including one-horned rhinoceros, royal Bengal tigers, elephants. Chitwan is ideal for those who want to get away from the urban lifestyle to the beautiful, natural landscapes of the region.
Besides that, you can also visit various places including Nagarkot, Lumbini, Manang, Mustang, Bardia, and other spectacular places during your trip to Nepal.
When Is The Best Time To Travel Around Nepal?
You should select the best time for your travel around the country in a rented car. A 4×4 vehicle is ideal for traveling through off-road tracks in rural areas around the country. The rough terrains can get easily accessed through these big vehicles although they are comparatively expensive.
Summer-monsoon means heavy rainfall and slippery road conditions along with a chance of avalanches and rainfall. While an experienced driver can maneuver a wheel easily in these conditions. However, a newbie will find it difficult and might cause accidents. So, you should plan your trip accordingly.
Spring and autumn is the peak season for travel and touring around the country. A normal sedan is ideal for traveling around in Nepal. Stable weather conditions and moderate temperatures will make your travel a great experience. Spring is also a great natural beauty as wildflowers bloom all over hills and turn them into a colorful garden.
Factors To Consider Before Taking A Car Hire Service In Nepal
There are various factors that you should consider before car hire in Nepal. Some of the important factors are as follows:
A driver’s license is essential for car hire in Nepal. A US license or International Drivers License also works. However, you should have a license in English or at least have an English translation. You also need to get a photograph attached to your license. Also, you should be 21 or older. However, this rule is not enforced generally.
Getting to Know the Car
Travelers should get to know before starting on a trip. It will ensure that you will remain safe, and comfortable. You should also check the basic components including headlights, windscreen wipers, hazard lights, indicator lights, and others. You should learn how to open the trunk, how to open the gas flap to refuel, and others.
Inspection and Taking Pictures
You should also inspect vehicles for dents and damage as you don’t want to pay for other people’s doing. Therefore, you should check both the interiors as well as exteriors. You can take photos of scratches or any damages and keep them until you have returned the car.
Make sure that the rental company knows about the car and its condition before you start on this trip. The rental company will charge as per its policy which differs according to each company.
Getting a Car Insurance
Comprehensive Third Party Liability (CTPL) is essential for every vehicle in Nepal. The registration provides protection depending upon the size of the vehicle for legal liabilities bodily injury or due to death to third parties. It is legally required for a car.
There is Damage Waiver (DW) insurance which will reduce your liability if you damage the rental car. It is also ideal if you lose your car or become a victim of car theft.
Nepal has a system of measuring distance in kilometers and speeds in kilometers per hour. There is constant traffic in the cities and highways are in bad condition which might lead to confusion.
The poorly marked roads and transit systems lack names and distance of destinations. A built-in GPS navigation system in a rental vehicle is quite rare. Some rental companies offer GPS devices at an additional cost. Navigation devices take the stress out of driving on a new road whether you are traveling alone or in a group.
You can also use your cell phone apps like Google Maps to give you the additional advantage of knowing road conditions, minute traffic, and others. Make sure you download the maps ahead of the trip for offline use in rural conditions where you cannot find mobile networks.
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Road Safety Precautions In Nepal
There are a few road safety precautions in Nepal that you must consider for safe and comfortable travel. Some of them get listed below:
- The rule of driving in Nepal gets based on British traditions, and hence you should drive on the left-hand side of the road. The right side steering wheel might be a little uncomfortable for some Europeans and Americans.
- Most roads in Nepal are not in good condition. 60% of Nepali roads remain graveled and hard-surfaced. Roads in the rural countryside are practically non-existent. Therefore, you should be careful while driving across rural and rugged terrains of the country.
- You need to keep right when driving and overtake on the left which is the opposite of what you do in the right-handed driving rule.
- You need to drive slow and cautiously. You must also learn about the terrain that you will be traveling.
- You must be good with driving and have good hands on the wheels. The narrow roads in hilly regions are quite challenging and will test your driving skills to the core. If you are a newbie to driving, then it might be too risky for you to travel alone in Nepal.
- The headlights need to be on at all times while driving at night. This also needs to get done when the visibility drops down to 100 meters or less. Fog and mists are very common especially in months from October to March, reducing the visibility and increasing the risk of accidents and mishaps.
Things Not To Do On A Car Hire In Nepal
There are a few things that you should not do while taking a car hire service in Nepal:
Drink and Drive
Drinking and driving are not allowed and traffic rules are quite strict in Nepal. There is no specific amount of maximum legal BAC, so you should not have any alcohol in your body. If you have an amount of alcohol present, it will lead you to DUI and huge fines.
Also, DUI checks are regular in major cities. Never mix alcohol with driving and stay away from mishaps. This is quite important and the first major rule while driving in and around Nepal.
Break traffic rules
You should not break traffic rules while driving in and around the country. These traffic rules can range from wearing seatbelts, turning on headlights, not overspeeding, and others. You should follow these traffic rules at all times as they are quite strict and if you get caught you might also have to pay fines or even spend time behind bars. Hence, you should not break traffic rules at any time during your travel.
Crossing the international border on a rented car is not allowed. There is an open international border in the South that leads to India. However, you should not cross the border due to various reasons. The rented vehicle is generally registered in Nepal and the insurance company does not cover damages across the international border.
Rental agreements do not allow you to drive across international borders. Attempting to cross the border to India might lead to serious consequences and you might even need to spend time behind the bars. So, you should not try to cross the border while driving a rented car in Nepal.
Tips For Driving In Nepal
- Drivers need to wear a seat belt at all times and you might face fines if you don’t.
- You should drive on the left-hand side of the road in Nepal.
- You should not use a cellphone while driving.
- You should not drink and drive at any time.
- You must possess a driver’s license and show your license at various checkpoints along the journey.
- You can dial 100 for calling the police and other emergencies which is equivalent to 911 in Nepal.
What To Do Before Landing In Nepal?
You should plan your trip before landing in Nepal. A rough idea of where you want to travel is essential. You can hire a car easily and also plan your finances. The travelers can research regions, terrain, territory, weather, and other details about the destination.
Your starting and ending points should get mapped out as there are not many fuel stations and car servicing centers in rural areas. After arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport, you can take a rented car, as there are travel companies present at the airport as well.
Alternatively, you can also hire a car later after arriving in Nepal. However, if you book in advance, you get to choose the type, size, brand, along with a price. Last-minute planning will lead you to higher pricing and lesser quality cars. Therefore, you should book your trip before arriving in Nepal.
What Are The Costs Of Car Hire In Nepal?
If you want to get a rental car onsite, it might get quite expensive. However, if you book your trip early, you can get special discounts. Hiring a car for a long duration like a month also gives you more discount. Check out and compare the prices with various companies to get the best deals.
The seating capacity, model, transmission system, and other factors also play a role in the price of car hire. Fuel charges are also your responsibility. The price of fuel or petrol is generally 1 USD per liter and 1 gallon = 3.7 liter.
Finally, you can also get unlimited mileage options for car rental if you want to drive extensively across the country. However, you should also read about company policies before starting on a trip.
What Should Be Correct Response To An Accident/Mishap?
A car accident can be quite stressful. Following the correct protocol is essential to deal with the situation and keep paperwork to a minimum. Some of the steps you should take if you get into a mishap with a rented car in Nepal are as follows:
- Make sure the passengers are safe.
- Clear the area for vehicles to pass.
- Call 100 for an emergency like an injury.
- Treat the car as your vehicle and not as a rental.
- Exchange contact and insurance information.
- Call traffic or police personnel to direct traffic and pedestrians.
- Take pictures of vehicles and scenes and keep it safe on your device.
- Leave the scene when it’s safe.
- Contact the rental company and inform them of the accident in detail.
- Contact your insurance company and inform them of the accident in detail.
FAQs – Car Hire in Nepal
Why should you rent a car in Nepal?
Renting a car is a great way to travel as it is quick and easy. You can travel on your own without restrictions on local transportation and have a safe and comfortable journey. You can also travel with family and friends for a weekend getaway.
Where to get a car hire in Nepal?
You can get a car hire in various locations in Kathmandu and Pokhara. You can search online with a specific pick-up location, and explore different prices to get the best deals at car rental companies. You can also provide pick-up and drop-off locations for your ease and comfort.
How to get the best car hire deals?
You can get the best car hire deals online by googling for the same. You can select the trip dates along with pick-up and drop-off times. Then, you can select the best car based on your desired requirements. There are exclusive offers and discounts available as well.
Can you cancel your rental car booking?
Yes, you can cancel your booking at 10% a day ahead of the trip. You can cancel on the same day at 40% of the advance. However, some prepaid bookings are not subjected to cancellation and will not refund any advance. Hence, you should read the rental company policy thoroughly and in advance.
How long can you rent a car in Nepal?
Yes, you can get the best long-term deals for up to a month.
What cars can you rent in Nepal?
Various cars are ranging from budget to luxury that you can rent in Nepal. You can get compact, sedans, midsize, trucks, SUVs, hybrid vehicles, convertibles, and others.
Can you get Car Rental Insurance in Nepal?
Yes, You can get car rental insurance with damage Protection in Nepal.
Can you spot wildlife along your journey in Nepal?
Yes, you can spot wildlife on the road in Nepal. This includes sheep, deer, goats, rhinos, and others. You should make way for them when you come across them during your journey.
The car rental services are ideal for traveling in and around Nepal. Whether you want a car for a casual trip, business, or a weekend family getaway, you can always hire a car. Rental companies provide you with different types, brands, and sizes of cars. Proof of identity, driving license, a valid credit card is all you need for car hire in Nepal.
Renting a car is safe and comfortable in comparison to local means of transportation. A car rental reservation will allow you to select the ideal destination, travel dates, and pick and drop off timings. Besides that, you will also get facilities like air conditioning, drivers, unlimited mileage, and others at an added cost.
The scenic views of snow-capped mountains and beautiful routes make driving around Nepal a great adventure. You should look out for high-quality service with comfort and satisfaction. We hope you learned about car hire in Nepal in detail through this complete guide. Happy Travelling!