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Driving in Srilanka

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Driving in Srilanka

Hello all,

I have read and heard a lot about trveling in srilanka with a driver.

I really prefer driving by myself.

Does any one have any experience or knowledge of driving in srilanka.

Is there s trustworthy gps navigation system for srilanka .

Any good reason why not to rent a car?

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
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52,034 posts
176 reviews
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1. Re: Driving in Srilanka

Hi Gabriel,

Search the forum with keywords like 'self drive'. All DE's find 10+ reasons NOT to selfdrive but won't repeat them here as they are all in those discussions. And some stubborn people do selfdrive, some regret it a lot afterwards and some don't so it's all subjective...

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Fredericia, Denmark
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37,532 posts
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2. Re: Driving in Srilanka

The price for self drive is about the same as having a driver due to high insurance premiums.

GPS is available in Sri Lanka.

Hans

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3. Re: Driving in Srilanka

Thanks a lot for the information

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4. Re: Driving in Srilanka

Thanks a lot for the information.

I guess that driving in paris or create is about the same.

Colombo
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26 posts
30 reviews
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5. Re: Driving in Srilanka

It is a bit like in Paris indeed - but people drive on the other side here and plenty of cars have no breaking lights while ignoring all the "road surface markings". If you are aware of that, you will be fine.

Colombo
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1,372 posts
327 reviews
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6. Re: Driving in Srilanka

Take a tuk tuk ride and gauge the "madness" before you actually decide whether to self drive.

We have mastered the art of driving, answering calls and applying lipstick all at the same time! ;-)

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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4,938 posts
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7. Re: Driving in Srilanka

While I fall into the lobby that says "driving around your own car is the best way to tour a country", the main reason I wouldn't advocate it in SL is because of the risk factors involved in it.

It's not about the car handling skills. Drivers with good reflexes who have had experiences in South India, Paris and Italy will be fine maneuvering about lankan roads. But the bad case scenario, as to what will happen on the occasion of an accident, has the potential to be much worse here.

The "risks" are in the legal and social implications. The human factors in SL will be different to what they are in France.

There are so many stories of unlucky tourists getting scammed for entrance fees, taxi negotiations, gems, tours , tourists traps and so on. And given a bad combination of circumstances, what are the chances of them escaping a road-accident related scenario hassle free ?

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
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52,034 posts
176 reviews
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8. Re: Driving in Srilanka

Well yes that was what was described by one of those " regret it a lot afterwards" people. And it wasn't even scamming as far as I read it, it was just a tourist-unfriendly law and the available car insurances just not upto touristy standards. In an accident he was involved in a pedestrian got hospitalised, probably caused by another car but still he and his rental car were also a suspect. He had to hand over his passport and stay in the country for many months during the (slow....) trial, _or_ pay a considerable amount - quite a few hundreds of USD - to the victim to have him swallow his police report against both car drivers as the money was enough compensation. You do NOT want to be in the shoes of this tourist...

Tnx,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Hannover, Germany
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9. Re: Driving in Srilanka

The last two post are so right.

One more aspect, in case of accident, the car will be confiscate by police until end of trial. So long the tenant/driver has to paid for the rented car.

Fredericia, Denmark
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37,532 posts
7 reviews
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10. Re: Driving in Srilanka

Sufficient insurance coverage is available, but prohibitively expensive.

Hans

Edited: 27 February 2014, 11:42