Goa is the 7th smallest state in India by size. But it is still a considerable distance from the northernmost beach of Querim to Polem in the south. The interiors are worth visiting too. There are several wildlife sanctuaries and waterfalls, including the spectacular Dudhsagar Falls. The top beaches, restaurants, cafes, markets, and nightclubs are spread out throughout Goa.
The best way to explore Goa and enjoy your vacation is by renting a car. Luckily, car rental in Goa is easy. There are all types of vehicles available throughout the state – sedans, hatchbacks, and SUVs. There are both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned vehicles. Choose from luxury or non-luxury automobiles. You will find them throughout the state, at the airport, railway stations, markets, resort areas, and close to the beach. Your hotel or villa in Goa can also help you find a self-driven car.
You can rent a car in Goa for the entire day or just for a few hours. You will get a dry car. Just fill up and you are ready to hit the road. Car rental in Goa is the best choice for those who want a comfortable vacation and a convenient way of traveling in the state.
There are chauffeur driven cars as well, but this is costlier. Why spend more if you have a valid driving license and are confident of your driving skills? A self-driven rental car is the better option. You can go anywhere you want with your vehicle.
Car Rental In Goa – Booking Procedure
You can book a self-driven car both online and offline. In Goa, the offline mode is vastly more popular. However, if you prefer to have a car on rent right at the airport instead of hiring a taxi, then you can pre-book online before arrival.
The offline booking process –
- Find a car rental agency in your neighborhood. There are quite a few in most places in Goa. You can ask the reception of your hotel or your villa manager if you cannot find out.
- Speak to the agency person who comes to meet you.
- Ask about the type of vehicles available.
- Place a request if you have a special requirement.
- Make the security deposit. It is usually a small amount, around 5000 INR. However, the actual amount you pay depends on the value of the car.
- Provide necessary documents – ID proof (original).
- Show your driving license.
Note: The security deposit is refunded at the time you return the car. But the agency can deduct money if there is some damage caused by you.
Documents – The ID you have to submit for car rental includes your voter card, PAN card, passport, or Aadhaar card (any one). However, some rental agencies don’t accept PAN cards. Foreign tourists need to provide their passport.
- It is safe to give the original document for renting a car in Goa. This is the normal practice. Thousands of tourists are doing this, and the agencies too are renting out many cars to tourists in this way. However, always make sure that you have a photocopy before you give the original document.
- Your original ID will be returned at the time you return the car.
The agency person won’t ask you where you will be visiting with the car. However, you cannot leave Goa with the vehicle.
Once the booking is done, you will get a receipt. This is the confirmation. Also, make sure that the agency gives you in writing that they have your original ID, which will be returned to you once you return the vehicle.
Precautions To Take
Always check the car thoroughly at the time when it is given to you.
Take a picture of the person who is giving you the car keys.
Take pictures if you see any bumps or scratches. You may be charged a damage fee (or your security deposit may not be refunded) if you cannot provide proof while handing over the car that the damage was not caused by you.
Check the car’s papers. Make sure that the environment clearance certificate is recent (in India, it has to be renewed every 6 months, otherwise you can be fined), and that the road tax has been paid.
Make sure that the brake and horn is working.
Check whether the airbags are working.
Note: Only rent a car from a registered, verified, and recognized car rental agency.
Just be a little bit careful, and everything will go smoothly.
Usually, car rental agencies make sure that all insurance measures are taken so that the user’s liability is reduced if there is an accident. However, most don’t provide theft insurance. It is thus best to ask while renting the automobile. Don’t get off the track to avoid accidents, damage or scratches.
Some rental agencies will provide reimbursement if your car breaks down only from an authorized car dealer. But there are others that will just replace the car.
Fuel & Spare Parts
Fuel is not included. You will get the car with almost an empty tank. So you have to fill up the tank at your own cost. For spare parts, don’t do this yourself. It is best to inform the agency about the breakdown. You will then be asked to go to an authorized car dealer, and the cost of your purchase will be reimbursed. But more commonly, the rental company will just replace the car.
- Fuel prices change a little bit frequently as the price is market-driven.
- There are many fuel stations in the main towns – Vasco da Gama, Panaji, Margao, Ponda, and Mapusa.
- You will also find pumps close to the more popular and busier beaches.
- There are not so many frequent pumps outside the tourist areas.
- However, many general stores sell fuel by the liter. But the petrol in plastic bottles is sometimes diluted with kerosene.
Car Rental In Goa – Cost
Car rental prices in Goa vary from 1,100 INR a day to 4,500 INR depending on the make and model. You can also rent a car for the entire week. Suzuki Swift, Suzuki Alto, and Wagon R are the most common vehicles. But you will also get hind-end luxury cars like Volkswagen, Toyota, Honda, and Ford.
The cost will also vary depending on the season. In peak season (November – February), the prices may go up somewhat.
Car Rental Companies In Goa
- Urban Drive
- Vailankanni Car Hire
- ECO Rent A Car
- Reliable Rides
- Joey's Goa Car Rentals
- Gogoa Car Rentals
Road Condition, Safety
The roads in Goa are generally good, especially in the touristy areas. They are a bit narrow though at times. There can also be a few bad stretches, and water logging too, especially during the monsoon. Don’t worry if you do not know how to reach a particular beach or attraction. Just follow Google Maps. You will also find milestones and directions everywhere to help you.
Look out for speed breakers and also hairpin bends.
- India and Goa follows the British system. So driving is on the left side.
- Have the seat belt strapped. This is mandatory. You can be fined otherwise.
- There are road signs and pictorial signs.
- Traffic police will often give directions by hand at busy intersections.
- Horn if you have to. This is common.
- Many roads have speed limits.
- Driving under the influence is a strict offense.
Violating traffic rules is a serious offence in Goa. The police can stop you on the road and issue a challan (bill) for a fine. You may also receive a mobile message later, which informs you about an offence and asks for a fine. Cameras are installed at many places taking pictures of cars.
Here are some fines –
- Breaking the speed limit – 300 INR
- Second offence for breaking the speed limit – 700 INR
- Driving recklessly – 600 INR
- Illegal racing – 300 INR
- Causing noise and air pollution – 500 INR
- Driving without pollution control certificate – 1800 INR
- Head light not working – 1800 INR
- Driving vehicle without registration – 2000 INR
- Not wearing a seat belt – 1000 INR
- Riding a two-wheeler without helmet – 1000 INR
- Driving while talking on mobile phone – 600 INR
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