Chennai

By | 16th January 2018

Should you hire a car in Chennai?

Do you need a car in Chennai > Should you rent a car in Chennai India > Chennai ( MAA )
Car: Do you need a car in 2? No car: Is it worth hiring a car in 2? Slider: Should you rent a car in 2? Should you rent a car in 2?

Chennai car hire quick facts

Cheapest rate for one week Based on cheapest economy car hire deal with no added extras. [full notes - basic costs]

60

 #33/300

  • Price alone isn't the only factor in determining whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Chennai but clearly it's an important one. See our "why" section for more figures.
How much should I expect to pay in the peak season? Based on cheapest deal during the summer holiday season. (Unless otherwise noted) [full notes - seasonal variations]

 €

345

 220/300

  • During the peak holiday season, public transport is often better value, as many train and bus fares are fixed throughout the year. See our "whynot" section for more suggestions.
Free parking score Based on the number of hotels which offer free parking.Total 320 - of which 219 have free parking. [full notes - parking]

68

%

54/300

  • During the peak holiday season, public transport is often better value, as many train and bus fares are fixed throughout the year. See our "whynot" section for more suggestions.

Chennai public transport quick facts

"Top trumps" train score

Higher scores go to the systems which take you to the most amazing places.

45%

#126/300

  • [full notes - top trumps trains]
  • A good rail system doesn't mean you shouldn't hire a car, but it often means you have a decent range of options.

Overall public transport score {coming shortly}

This is a more practical rating based on bus and rail travel.

--%

#---/300

  • [full notes - overall transit] buses | trams | metro | local & regional rail | national rail
  • Is public transport in Chennai good value, or is it worth hiring a car just because it is cheaper overall?

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score {coming shortly}

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around Chennai

--%

#---/300

Need, worth & should!

Whether you have come here asking "do I need a car in Chennai", "is it worth hiring a car in Chennai", or whether or not you "should" hire a car here, these are all slight variations on a similar theme:

Do you need a car in Chennai?

This is essentially based on whether or not public transport and other "non car" options are good enough to get around and beyond the city.

Is it worth hiring a car in Chennai?

Is car hire good value, especially during the peak season? How does this compare with transit fares?

Should you rent a car in Chennai?

Weighing up the above questions, if you are here for the first time AND asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?

Generally speaking, hire cars don’t make much sense when visiting India, partly because many visitors are not comfortable with local driving conditions, but also because large Indian cities tend to have extensive public transport, and taxis are cheap and plentiful. Furthermore, because India is so densely populated, it’s also relatively easy to move between major Indian cities by train, and this is especially the case in and around cities such as Delhi and Mumbai.

Do you need a car in Chennai? Introduction

When someone asks "Do you need a car in Chennai?", this often breaks down to two key questions:

  1. Can you actually get around using public transport, or is a car all but essential?
  2. Is it worth hiring a car in Chennai? Is it good value for money, compared with non-car options?

Over the next few sections, we wil look at the pros and cons of driving in Chennai as a tourist, and ultimately weigh these up, so we can answer the key question of Should you rent a car in Chennai?

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments


Why should you rent a car in Chennai?

What are the main reasons for hiring a car here? Do you just want to drive locally? Do you want to go further afield, or should you even look at taking a road trip?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Chennai?


However our advice is that Chennai is somewhat different to what we would recommend in many other Indian cities. This is partly because, relatively speaking, the city of Chennai itself doesn’t have anything like the same level of stunning architectural quality that might be found, for example, in Rajasthan. Yet what the area around Chennai does offer in abundance is a huge range of national parks and other scenic locations, but these are all well away from the urban area.

Why not? Visiting Chennai without a car

What is public transport like in Chennai? What about local conditions for walking or cycling? Can you rely on public transport and maybe a few taxis for most or all of your trip? Are there some times of year when it's easier to get by without a car than others? When should you rent a car in Chennai?


A recommendation therefore is certainly to consider getting a car in Chennai, or at the very least arranging some sort of private tour. Some visitors might prefer to hire a car with driver – this is a matter of personal choice, but either way, it’s well worth getting out of the city here.

Should you hire a car in Chennai? Verdict – yes (with driver)

Ratings

Our slider ratings range from 0 (it isn't even possible to hire a car, e.g. Hong Kong) through to 10 (you really must rent a car here, e.g. Phoenix, Tampa). However, most places are somewhere inbetween these extremes, and this is where it gets more interesting! Further ratings breakdowns, including a much more detailed public transport rating, are currently being added. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

Would you hire a car in Chennai?

Have you driven in Chennai? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Chennai?

Do you need a car in Chennai? For some or all of the time? 

Tell us what you think using the comments section below:


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