Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?
Driving your own vehicle in New Delhi can be very challenging and most opt not to. Some of the main roads are wide but the inner ones can get quite congested. During off peak hours, driving is not that bad, but during the day it can be quite frustrating because many drivers do not maintain basic road etiquette. Also, Delhi has one of the highest road accident rates in India so if you can avoid driving, it is recommended that you do. Expatriates generally prefer to commute in chauffeur-driven vehicles.
How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?
Yes, if you have an International Driver's License (IDL), you can legally drive in India. Do note, if you plan to rent a car, it is advised that you rent one with a driver because this is much safer.
If you plan to reside in India for an extended period of time and hold a valid driver's license (not an IDL) issued by a competent authority of another country, you are eligible to apply for a local license to drive a car or motorcycle. If the IDL expires, a local driving license can be obtained by submitting the expired license and a letter of introduction from the Embassy.
A driver's manual providing information about the driver's license test and traffic laws is available from the Automobile Association of Upper India, f-14 Connaught Place, New Delhi 110001, or call 2331-4071 or 2331-2323. It is recommended that you obtain one of these manuals if you plan to drive in India.
What side of the road do people drive on?
In Delhi, 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.
As described above, public transit in Delhi is generally quite poor. However, private taxis are available on call. The Delhi Metro is also a great option, but please check the Metro network first as it is being built in phases and the whole of Delhi is not yet fully covered by Metro.
Auto rickshaws: Three-wheelers are available all around and are supposed to be metered, but the drivers usually charge their own rate.
Radio Taxis: Often the best option for expats, radio taxis charge per the meter; various service providers have different meter rates based on comfort and quality.
Cabs: They are a better option when compared to auto rickshaw. They are better-looking cars equipped with GPS, AC and English-speaking drivers; naturally these are expensive than auto rickshaw. You need to book these cabs by smartphone apps or through internet. Uber and Ola are the most common online cab aggregators.
Although the bus is another option, it is not advisable for expats.
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 transit out of the city, though buses are frequently overcrowded and unpleasant. For short journeys, taxis are a much better choice and in nice weather they can be fun!
In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of?
Like any other big city in the world, New Delhi faces heavy traffic flows during certain hours of the day. Considering the number of vehicles on the road, with trucks, buses, motorcycles, auto and pedal rickshaws and pedestrians all using the same roads, traffic rules are often flouted. Given such circumstances, it would be advisable to drive your car only when experienced enough to understand the driving patterns.
Please be equipped with a good first aid kit; you should be able to clean and dress scrapes and cuts if an emergency occurs.
Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?
Tickets for local buses can be bought on board. Trains can be booked at the station or online. If intercity transport is required, you may wish to use online booking or have a travel agent assist.
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.