When hiring a car in Goa, it’s important to note if you’re not an Indian citizen, then you’ll require an international driver’s licence to hire a vehicle. As a UK citizen, these are known as International Driving Permits or IDPs, you can apply for them over the counter at your local post office. Once you have hired the vehicle, keep all the necessary paperwork for the hire at hand, as you may need to present them to local traffic police. The police in Goa regularly stop hired vehicles (identified by black number plates) to ensure they are driving safely and know of the strict drink driving laws.
Once you have collected your vehicle, it’s recommended you familiarise yourself with the local driving rules in Goa. Wearing a seatbelt is mandatory by law, and you will be fined if you are stopped by the police and not wearing one. Violating traffic laws is a serious offence in Goa, and the police keep a watchful eye on hired vehicles being driven by tourists. So, drive safely and stay within the speed limit, and you’ll have nothing to worry about.
It’s likely, at some point, you will want to cross state borders from Goa to Karnataka or Maharashtra. Firstly, it’s extremely important that prior to arranging your hire vehicle you have checked with the hire company that you are permitted to drive across borders. Many hire cars don’t have the necessary permits to leave the state, so your hire company will have to confirm with you if the vehicle can legally cross state borders. If you attempt to leave the state without the correct permits, then you could risk being fined, especially as a lot of companies have GPS trackers installed in their vehicles.
Book your rental car in Goa at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price
Economy rental cars in Goa are around 21% cheaper than other car types, on average
FAQs about hiring a car in Goa
Hiring a car in Goa is the best way to get around and explore this beautiful region of India. There is a lack of reliable public transportation in the region, so hiring a car completely alleviates the reliance on bus schedules and gives you plenty of freedom. You’ll be saving a lot of time, and you can plan your day trips without having to worry about catching various buses to several locations. Places such as Anshi National Park and Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, though close enough by car to Vasco de Gama, are both located in remote areas that aren’t serviced by buses or trains, and so only getting there by car is possible. Furthermore, driving along the iconic Goan coast is something not to be missed, an experience that you can’t get riding on crowded and uncomfortable buses.
Goa is a very touristy region, so the roads are generally modernised and safe in most areas. Be careful on the beach roads, as they are very narrow, so hiring a large vehicle and getting down these roads may be a challenge. There are some areas to avoid if you can, the road linking Calangute, Candolim and Baga is known to be a difficult section of road, especially if you’re not used to the driving conditions. Be mindful of the speed limits: 60 mph on freeways or two-lane highways and 37 mph on one-lane highways and rural roads; on urban roads, you must drive a maximum of 25 mph.
The minimum age you must be to hire a car in Goa is 18 years of age, and you must provide government issued photo identification and a driving licence, to prove you are 18 or over and legally permitted to drive in your country of residence. Note that if you are under 20 years of age, some hire companies may apply an additional daily charge. When booking your hire car, make sure to check the hire company’s policy regarding young drivers and the potential charges involved.
Economy (Volkswagen Polo or similar) is the most frequently booked car hire type in Goa.