Car Rental in Sri Lanka: Exploring the Magnificent Landscapes
Sri Lanka is undeniably a stunning destination. With eight World Heritage Sites nestled on the island, a trip to Sri Lanka means immersing yourself in one of the most breathtaking landscapes on Earth. Experience the remnants of a rich 2000-year-old culture and encounter a diverse population. To make the most of your visit, why not explore the countryside and cities at your own pace and in the utmost comfort? Renting a car is the perfect way to make your journey truly memorable.
Discovering the Splendor
Being situated close to the equator, Sri Lanka welcomes visitors year-round with its pleasant climate. The east coast offers the best weather from December to March, while the west coast boasts favorable conditions from April to September.
While the official languages of Sri Lanka are Sinhala and Tamil, English is commonly spoken in major tourist areas and Colombo.
Sri Lanka Standard Time (UTC+5:30) is the local time zone.
The currency used in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan rupee. It is advisable to carry enough cash for your daily transactions as credit card acceptance is not widespread. Beware of credit card fraud, which has become more prevalent. ATMs are readily available in major cities, with Commercial Bank ATMs being the most likely to accept international credit and debit cards.
Car Rental Locations
Car hire services can be found in four cities across Sri Lanka: Colombo, Ragama, Negombo (in the west), and Hambantota (in the south). The most convenient and cost-effective location to rent a car is typically Colombo International Airport.
With the exception of citizens from the Maldives and Singapore, travelers from all other countries can apply for a visa online. This grants a maximum stay of 30 days and remains valid for six months from the approval date. Upon arrival, present the Electronic Travel Authorization and pay a fee of $20 to $35 for the visa. It is advisable to submit the online application at least 48 hours prior to your departure.
Driving in Sri Lanka
Driving in Sri Lanka requires confidence and alertness. City roads can be congested, and traffic conditions can become unpredictable. Defensive driving is crucial, whether you are navigating Colombo or the countryside. Remain vigilant for potholes and rapidly changing road conditions. Opting for driving yourself provides a sense of independence and a chance for intimate exploration. However, if self-driving makes you uncomfortable, hiring a driver is a viable and affordable alternative.
- Left-Hand Driving: Similar to neighboring India and other surrounding countries, Sri Lanka follows left-hand driving.
Adhere to the following speed limits:
- Towns and cities: 56 km/h
- Open roads: 72 km/h
- Highways: 120 km/h
Take note of the following regulations:
- Parking facilities are available in larger cities, while most small towns offer free street parking. For the utmost safety, seek recommendations from your hotel, especially in Sri Lanka’s major cities.
- An international driver’s permit expedites the validation process of your license by the Automobile Association of Sri Lanka. This permit is necessary to drive. Agencies in Sri Lanka can validate your license in advance for an additional fee, saving you time upon arrival.
- Highways and motorways throughout the country are tolled but are generally worth the minor extra cost.
- The minimum driving age in Sri Lanka is 18. However, to rent a car without a driver, you must be 21 years old with at least one year of driving experience. Drivers under the age of 25 may face surcharges.
- Exercise caution when encountering pedestrians. They will typically cross when it is safe to do so, and stopping abruptly for them may lead to accidents.
- Many rental cars come with drivers, providing you with an excellent opportunity to relax and enjoy the scenic views. Often, these drivers also act as tour guides, enriching your journey with valuable information.
Affordable Car Rental in Sri Lanka
Car rental in Sri Lanka typically starts at around $32 per day. Here are some of the best deals:
- Hyundai E-On or similar (mini class) – $32/day
- Suzuki Alto or similar (economy class) – $33/day
- Nissan Sunny or similar (compact class) – $46/day
- Hyundai Elantra or similar (intermediate class) – $54/day
- Nissan Sylphy or similar (intermediate class) – $65/day
Please note that prices may vary based on the availability of specific car models and the rental season. For the most accurate and up-to-date offers, utilize the search bar on our website.
Tips for Affordable Car Rental in Sri Lanka
Booking your rental car one to three months prior to your arrival date often guarantees the lowest prices, regardless of the tourist season.
EconomyBookings’ locations in Colombo, particularly at the airport and the Hilton Hotel, typically offer the most competitive prices in Sri Lanka. These rates often beat those of other regions, such as Negombo, by more than $17 per day.
By extending your rental contract for a week or more, you can save over $4 per day on your rental.
Remember, with DHPL Travels, you can embark on an unforgettable journey through Sri Lanka at your own pace and convenience. Book your rental car now for an experience of a lifetime!