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 )

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

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?

Chennai Car hire summary

Overall drive rating

Based on a weighted score across all cost and quality factors. [Full notes - drive rating]



Cheapest rate for one week

Based on cheapest economy car hire deal with no added extras. [full notes - basic costs]




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]




Free parking score

Total 320 - of which 219 have free parking. [full notes - parking]




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

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Chennai public transport quick facts

Train score



Water travel score


Overall public transport score



Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around Chennai. 



Car rental in - Chennai Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Chennai?

  • Based on comparison with transit and walking/cycling?

Is it worth hiring a car in Chennai?

  • Based on value for money?

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?

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Chennai if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

What about for families?


Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Chennai if we are staying in the city centre / main resort area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the urban area?

What if we are staying in a rural area?


What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Chennai if I prefer not to drive?

What if we are easy either way?

What if I prefer to drive?



What is our final score for Chennai on the Carornocar scale?


Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

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)

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?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:

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