To be able to drive hired cars in Nepal, you will be required to show a certified driving licence from your country of origin, and you will most likely be asked to provide a passport as well to confirm your data. Some companies may also require you to present an International Driving Licence and so we recommend that you get one and bring it with you during your stay in Nepal. It is normal for the company to ask that you pay the deposit in advance, and you will need a credit card to do so. While it is not illegal for tourists to drive in Nepal, there are currently no car hires in Nepal that offer self-driving deals, so you will need to check the paperwork and clarify who will be driving as it may change the price. It is typical that you are required to pay for a driver when using car hires in Nepal.
If you are looking to use a hired car in Nepal then it is important that you know that you drive on the left-hand side in Nepal. The driver’s seat is typically on the right of the car and overtaking happens on the right. When using Nepal car hires, all passengers are required by law to wear their seatbelt and the driver is not allowed to talk or text on the phone, nor should they be wearing earphones or headphones that may prevent them from hearing well. Drivers are advised to take care when driving as it is very common for pedestrians and animals to cross busy streets without waiting for traffic lights, or in areas where there are no traffic lights. We recommend that you check with each city’s department of motor vehicles for recent law changes, to make sure that you are up-to-date with the current laws, and to keep yourself safe during your time in Nepal.
While there certainly are good offers for some cheap car hires in Nepal, we recommend that you use cars that will be well suited for the landscape and terrain of the country. There are some companies that offer economy car hire options, but we suggest that you try and hire 4x4s or SUVs, as the road quality is generally quite poor in Nepal. There are plenty of potholes and landslides are common. There may even be frequently closed roads during your time in Nepal, particularly during the monsoon season from June to August. Not only will 4x4s and SUVs make your journey safer, especially if they have appropriate tyres, but they can also be fitted with air con and SATNAVS to fight the humidity and heat of Nepal, and make sure you know where you are going on the winding mountainous roads.
When visiting Nepal, it is typically cheapest to hire your car in Kathmandu where rental cars typically will cost around £66/day (0% less than the country average). The absolute cheapest car hire price in Nepal was found in Kathmandu for just £55/day.
In Nepal, drivers are expected to drive on the left side of the road.