Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?
Driving your own vehicle in Colombo can be very challenging especially during peak school and office hours. Driving can be quite frustrating because many drivers do not maintain basic road etiquette.
Expatriates generally prefer to move around in chauffeur driven vehicles and most of them prefer to listen to e-books or music. Some even do their emails, browse the net or attend to calls while on the move.
How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?
A foreigner can drive up to two months on a driving license issued in his/her own country but should also carry a passport at all times. It is advisable to obtain an international or locally approved license, which can be obtained from the local Department of Motor Traffic. Carrying an insurance (minimum third party) and a revenue license issued by the relevant authority is a must.
What side of the road do people drive on?
In Sri Lanka, we drive on the left side of the road. If you are not familiar with this, please drive with extreme caution!
Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city.
Auto rickshaws: These are three wheelers which carry a sign “Metered Taxi”. You should be familiar with the roads to use this mode of transport else it is possible that you are quite literally “taken for a ride”. Usually most of the three wheeler drivers do not have road manners or etiquettes and travelling in one of these can be disturbing at times.
Taxis: There are no flagged down taxi services available but there are many call cabs. It they are not on a scheduled trip you might be able to flag them down. The fare is metered.
There is an option to take buses and local trains, but it is not greatly advisable for expatriates.
Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.
It is possible to take public transport but not recommended for solo trips.
In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of?
Driving rules should be followed at all times, and during peak hours there will be lots of traffic police officers on duty. You should be careful not to use your cell phone while driving, although a hands free set is permitted. It can be chaotic at times and it can be quite frustrating especially during peak hours.
Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?
At train stations and when you get on the bus.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.