Important advice on on renting a taxi in Sri Lanka
Chauffeur-driven cars are to be considered if you have a limited travel schedule in Sri Lanka (under two weeks). They can work out to be less expensive than you think if you are travelling in a group of four or more.
If you do not require a chauffeur for your whole trip, you can rent a car with a driver for a specific itinerary. For example, from Kandy or Colombo, you can rent a driver for a three or four day trip to visit Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Matale and Kandy. This will allow you to avoid waiting for trains or buses and carrying your luggage everywhere around. You will also gain time as you will not need to take tuk-tuks to and from your hotel all the time.
Apart from Sinhalese, your chauffeur usually understands English (do not expect him to speak any other language!). Some companies offer the service of a guide on top of the chauffeur but it you read through our website carefully and check out all that is to be done in a specific place, you probably will not need to pay for a guide.
Choosing a chauffeur-driven car is not very complicated. There are a hundred different agencies that provide the service. WioWiKi has accepted to list all of those who wish to cater to you but it is your responsibility to choose one that meets your requirements.
In your dealings with a car hire company, verify that the quote you have been given includes details about:
- Driver’s pay
- Driver’s boarding fees (most hotels where you stay offer this free of charge)
- Driver’s food (restaurants where you stop will generally provide for driver’s meals)
- Fuel costs
- Insurance cost
- Replacement vehicle in case of accident or repair
You can expect to pay anywhere between Rs.5500 to Rs.6000 (all inclusive of the above mentioned details) per day with 100 km mileage included for a comfortable six-seater van with reclining seats.
Try to establish the right relationship with your driver right from the beginning.
If you invite him to have a meal at your table, you will be expected to do so all through the trip.
Get his mobile number and register it on your telephone.
Allow your driver to rest after a certain hour of the evening especially if there is a long journey ahead the next day.
Your driver is not supposed to use the vehicle for any purposes other than your own. If you have rented your vehicle for a specific mileage, it is advisable to keep a track of the odometer readings every evening.
Remember to tip your driver at the end of your trip.