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Old Nov 15, 11, 11:06 am   #1
 
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Deli-Agra driving at night

Hi, my flight from LHR is due to arrive at around 1:25am and I was hoping to hire a car to take us to Agra.
This is my very first trip to India (planning to spend another 11 days touring around Rajastan), and my travel agent is strongly advising me from driving that route at night.
Any thoughts / suggestions?

Many thanks
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Old Nov 15, 11, 12:24 pm   #2
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Originally Posted by latinrusso View Post
Hi, my flight from LHR is due to arrive at around 1:25am and I was hoping to hire a car to take us to Agra.
This is my very first trip to India (planning to spend another 11 days touring around Rajastan), and my travel agent is strongly advising me from driving that route at night.
Any thoughts / suggestions?

Many thanks
i've driven this route at night a bunch of times....never had a problem....
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Old Nov 15, 11, 5:34 pm   #3
 
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Driving in India at night is usually not a good idea. Its a lot safer during the day. That said the Delhi-Agra road is one of the better ones.
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Old Nov 16, 11, 1:31 am   #4
 
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Be prepared for lots of severely overloaded small trucks and regular big trucks that ply the road, many of which carry a "honk to pass" sign at the back. It was quite a scene as a passenger already.
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Old Nov 16, 11, 3:11 am   #5
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Originally Posted by Derrico View Post
Driving in India at night is usually not a good idea. Its a lot safer during the day. That said the Delhi-Agra road is one of the better ones.
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Be prepared for lots of severely overloaded small trucks and regular big trucks that ply the road, many of which carry a "honk to pass" sign at the back. It was quite a scene as a passenger already.
i can understand how this can be discomforting for someone who is not used to driving conditions here....i would also never recommend driving yourself but the taxi drivers here have grown up with these driving conditions & are experts on indian roads....there is no problem driving at night....

i have been driving here for many many years & have a driver who has driven me on the delhi-agra & many other highways a number of times....these is no problem driving at night....
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Old Nov 18, 11, 8:58 am   #6
 
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thanks for the reply, so a suggestion would be for me to call Hertz and just reserve a car for the transfer? I really would like this drive to be safe and comfortable, and don't mind paying a bit of upcharge, any other suggestions?
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Old Nov 18, 11, 3:03 pm   #7
 
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Originally Posted by Keyser View Post
i can understand how this can be discomforting for someone who is not used to driving conditions here....i would also never recommend driving yourself but the taxi drivers here have grown up with these driving conditions & are experts on indian roads....there is no problem driving at night....

i have been driving here for many many years & have a driver who has driven me on the delhi-agra & many other highways a number of times....these is no problem driving at night....
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Originally Posted by latinrusso View Post
I really would like this drive to be safe and comfortable, and don't mind paying a bit of upcharge, any other suggestions?
While Keyser certaintly has vastly more experience at this than me, our one daytime Delhi-Agra trip by car was scary enough that I would never make this trip at night. Traffic is horrible and there appear to be no rules of the road, or if there are, no one really obeys them.

While Indian drivers may have grown up with these conditions, India leads the world in road fatalities. From the New York Times:

India Steadily Increases Its Lead in Road Fatalities

If you do decide to do this, I'd find a driver from a reliable TA rather than relying on a car rental agency. PM me if you want the name of the TA we used; the driver we had has been driving tourists around India for 15+ years. Keyser may be able to recommend someone as well.
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Old Nov 18, 11, 3:53 pm   #8
 
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It has been conventional wisdom for many years that one should not drive outside major cities at night in India. This is still correct in most cases, but the Delhi-Agra road is now a good road, generally well-lit and largely pothole-free, so conventional wisdom is less applicable. Of course visibility is lower at night, but traffic is lighter too.

But Hertz? One of the things that makes India so difficult for newbies is that there are multiple prices for everything, determined not so much by the quality of the product but by who is buying it. Hertz is priced for the tourist who wants the comfort of the familiar---who (for the same reason) carries dollars rather than local currency. The same franchisee will sell the same service without the brand name for much less to others.
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Old Nov 19, 11, 1:04 am   #9
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If you do decide to do this, I'd find a driver from a reliable TA rather than relying on a car rental agency. PM me if you want the name of the TA we used; the driver we had has been driving tourists around India for 15+ years. Keyser may be able to recommend someone as well.
i completely agree....let me know if you want info regarding a good ta....
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Old Nov 19, 11, 2:02 am   #10
 
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You come in at 1:30AM. Just sleep. Find a hotel and sleep. If you are flying from Europe you will be tired, and if you are coming from the US you will be exhausted. Catch a two hour train later in the day. The drive is like 3-5 hours ling.
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Old Nov 21, 11, 10:16 am   #11
 
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You come in at 1:30AM. Just sleep. Find a hotel and sleep. If you are flying from Europe you will be tired, and if you are coming from the US you will be exhausted. Catch a two hour train later in the day. The drive is like 3-5 hours ling.
Usually I would totally agree and do the same. Even the probability of something bad happening on the road is making me feel a bit nervous. And yes, I'll be flying from NY. However, I am going to be flying on BA first class (miles), hoping to get to the Concord room in NY a bit before the flight, have dinner there, and sleep most of the flight to LHR. While I do plan on watching some movies on the LHR-DEL flight, I am also programming a decent nap, so I expect to arrive quite refreshed, if a bit dehydrated.
This trip has begun with my bidding and winning at a charity auction, a 5 night stay at two Aman's (Amanbagh and Aman-I-Khas, 2/3 nights respectively), and we added another 5 nights and hoping to do the Rajastan "circle" Jaipur and Udaipur, and Agra. We are limited in time, and this is as much ree time as I was able to come up with.
I have plans on going to Delhi for work next year, so would like to avoid staying there if at all possible.
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Old Nov 21, 11, 7:11 pm   #12
 
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Staying the night at an airport hotel doesn't count as visiting Delhi, does it?
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