Car rental in Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka - an island with ancient temples, golden beaches and green hills, the famous Ceylon - has recently become very popular. To fully experience the flavor of the country, you can rent a car and enjoy an unforgettable journey! At the same time, it is necessary to take into account the peculiarities of car rental in Sri Lanka.


What do you need to rent a car in Sri Lanka?


  • Passport is a mandatory document.


  • An international driving permit is also a mandatory document for renting a car. National driver's license is not valid. In this case, international driving license must be registered with the local Automobile Association of Ceylon (AAC). Usually  car rental companies take care of this. If you don’t have an International driving license, you can get them from the International Drivers Association.


  • A credit card is also often needed for rent. Most often, international rental companies block a deposit on it.


Where is the best place to rent a car in Sri Lanka?


There are many options - you can choose both from international companies and local ones. Upon arrival in Colombo, you can find offices of companies such as Sixt, Hertz, Budget. They usually have fresh cars in good condition. The cost of rent is higher than that of local companies. During the season - from mid-December to the end of January - the cost usually increases by 20-30%.


From local companies, you can consider Shineway Rent a Car, Queens Rentals, Casons Rent a Car, Malkey Car Rental. You should keep in mind that cars are usually with high mileage. Payment is most often made on the spot in cash. Cards and dollars are not always readily accepted.


Car rental tips


  • Upon receipt, be sure to thoroughly inspect the car. Even better, if you shoot a video where you go around the car from all sides to fix any damage that is present. It is necessary to check the level of gasoline, oil, water in the washer, check the brakes, whether the lights, air conditioning, window regulators work. All shortcomings must be written on the defect sheet, which is usually attached to the contract. This procedure will help you not to be deceived when you return the car.

  • Please note that you drive on the left side of the road in Sri Lanka! Therefore, it will be easier to drive a car with an automatic transmission, because out of the habit of shifting gears with the left hand is not very convenient.

  • For trips to the mountains, it is better to take cars with a more powerful engine.

  • Traffic in large cities is quite chaotic and tense, so you need to be very careful on the roads.

  • For some reason, it is not customary to let pedestrians pass at pedestrian crossings. It is important to consider, because the drivers behind you may not react to your stop.

  • Traffic police in the city treat tourist drivers quite leniently, but not always. Outside the city, they can sit in ambush and you can be fined for exceeding the speed limit, crossing a continuous line, not having the necessary documents, and for improper parking.


Of course, each country has its own things to consider, but the most important thing is the right attitude and your trip will be pleasant and unforgettable!