Self Drive SUV For Ladakh

If you love driving, then there is no better destination then Ladakh to drive an SUV. Complete wilderness, breathtaking landscape and crisp fresh mountain air which will leave you totally rejuvenated

Self Drive SUV

It is important that the vehicle is checked thoroughly before it is driven on the ladakh terrain. Most Self Drive Rental companies as a standard practice only follow manufacturers guidance for service. But in case of Ladakh, this is grossly inadequate. Before every Ladakh road trip, the vehicle must be checked thoroughly and preventive maintenance done to avoid breakdown. It is almost impossible to recover from vehicle failure if it happens in a remote area.

The Operational teams from Self Drive Companies like Zoom / Myles / Voler have never driven in these terrains and neither understand the demands of this terrain. Even Car Manufacturer Service Managers are not aware of the demands of the Ladakh Region.

All SUV must be thoroughly inspected at the Service Station before and after Ladakh Trip

Before you book from these companies demand/insist that you get a properly serviced/inspected car before it is delivered to you for Ladakh Trip

Following options are generally available for rent

SUV Options available on Rent

  • Toyota Fortuner AT 4×4 or Manual Transmission
  • Ford Endeavor
  • XUV 500
  • 4×4 Scorpio or 2 Wheel Drive Scorpio  ( New generation also available )
  • Old Model Innova ( Not recommended due to low ground clearance ) – The New Innova Crysta has higher ground clearance and is highly recommended as well for comfort and power both ( It comes with 2.4 L Diesel Engine which produces 150 PS power and give you a torque of 343 Nm @ 1400 – 2800 rpm which is better then XUV 500  )
  • Nissan Terrano / Renault Duster
  • Hyundai Creta

Only the following Manufacturers have their Service Station in Leh, so its important to pick a vehicle from following manufacturers

  • Hyundai
  • Toyota
  • Maruti
  • Mahindra
  • Tata ( But not reliable )

Though Duster / Terrano are perfectly fine to drive in Ladakh but neither manufacturer has any presence in the region so a minor fault can also leave you stranded

Unwind Outdoor specialises in Self Drive Road Trips to Ladakh

Driving your own SUV ?? Check out the following resources … 

SUV Driving Tips For Ladakh Terrain

Self Drive Expedition -Sept 5th

Self Drive Expedition -Sept 5th

Most Comprehensive Day Wise Plan from Delhi to Delhi For Ladakh Road Trip

Day 8 : Nubra Valley to Pangong via Shyok

Route : Hunder – Diskit – Khalsar – Agyam – Shyok – Durbuk – Tangste – Lukung – Spangmik 

Attractions : Wilderness Drive to Agyam, Drive through Shyok RIver Bed  

Distance : 155 kms 6 hrs ( 1 hrs of stoppage time, total 7 hrs )  

Road Condition : Bad after Agyam ( Lot of slides , dry river bed , etc If its raining then this section is very tricky 4×4 preferred if not dry )  

Food Recommendation : Dhabas are only available near Durbuk ( You wil find an odd tea shop on way before that ) – Khalsar has some Dhabhas ( Pack your food from the camp / hotel in Nubra and then have it at a place of your choice ) 

Self Drive SUV Packages For Ladakh

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara – Multi Activity Trip to Ladakh

Meandering in Ladakh From Srinagar to Delhi

Meandering in Ladakh From Manali to Srinagar

Round Ladakh Road Trip From Delhi

Ladakh Taxi Union

Ever since individual without any prior knowledge of the dynamics of the region started visiting Ladakh, they have created such a turmoil within the region. Locals rely on tourism for livelihood and self drive vehicles was threatening their income. So the union got together and ban the entry to local sites around Leh

Nubra and Pangong are now out of bound for Self Drive Vehicles. You can still drive your own vehicle and go to these places but not rented Self Drive Vehicles

Ladakhi ( local person ) will not cause any damage to you or to the SUV. Please have no apprehension. Just don’t pick up a fight for no reason

Is 4 Wheel Drive A Must

90% of the time you wont need to engage 4 wheel drive. By and large you can do this trip by following simple principles of hill driving. Only in case of unexpected scenario will 4 Wheel drive be engaged and will be useful. For example, while crossing a stream if you are stuck and your main wheel has no traction then by using the 4 wheel option you will be able to recover.

In the same scenario, if you have tow strap and D- Shackles, you can ask for help and the cars/pick up truck on the other side can provide a little pull and you will be out as well. Or you can try doing the reverse and trace back the route and then try again but this time inspect the stream again and try a different path

In our experience

A tow strap and D-shackle is a must for your Ladakh trip

To know more about SUV driving tips check the blog.

Can I Drive my own Sedan

Yes, you can. If you have a Sedan with lower ground clearance and are waiting for SUV then don’t wait .. Just go but go in Aug and Sept. This is because most of the Ladakh region is dry by this time. The snow around the high passes has mostly melted, the streams have less water and chances of slush are also low.

What we mean is that the chances are less but they are not zero. Weather is unpredictable and you can encounter unpredictable scenario but the chances are less. in Sept, the chances to encounter unexpected scenario are even lesser. But bear in mind that any rain/snow during your trip and your skills will be tested. So a stronger vehicle comes handy. If weather holds out and there is no rain/snow then you will have a perfectly smooth trip

Plan a trip in Sedan after mid Aug and Sept only. Definitely not in June or July

 

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Ladakh Road Trip ( FAQ ) Most Commonly Asked Questions related to Ladakh Road Trip
  1. Vikas Garg says:

    I need one SUV for Leh Ladakh tour from 15 July to 26 July.

    I need to know the rent expense details and from where do i take the vehicle.

    I am starting my trip from Chandigarh

    • Sunil says:

      Hello Vikas,

      We do not rent out the SUV alone, we do it as part of the complete package. For renting SUV alone, kindly contact SUV rental companies like carzonrent, zoom, voler, revv

      Thanks

  2. Shantam Malviya says:

    We group of 5 are planing to visit Leh from 13 to to 23. So can u provide the details for the package…

    • Sunil says:

      Hello Shantam,

      You can check the details of the package @

      shop.unwindoutdoor.com/self-drive-ladakh-road-trip-nature-lovers.html

  3. Vinay Patil says:

    we would like to know about your packages in Leh. we are starting the trip from delhi on 3rd september with a self drive car. kindly reply asap

  4. Hi

    We are a group of 6
    Pls suggest the best time we just want to go driving for a single direction.

    Pls give me the price of the pakage

    • Hello THleep,

      Thanks for writing .. Have you seen the packages listed on http://shop.unwindoutdoor.com .. Almost any package can be made for 6 people .. Kindly let me know which one suits you the most and we will be happy to create the plan for you .. Feel free to write an email or call us on the numbers mentioned on the website ..

  5. ABDUL MUNAF says:

    Hi,
    We are 3 persons(family) wish to make a trip for 7 days on august 2017
    1. Delhi, Agra and Jaipur
    2. Jammu and kashmir
    3. Manali, Shimla
    please mention the price and details of above three options.

    • Hello Abdul,

      Thanks for writing to us .. because of various spam messages, the comment got mixed with it .. The various holidays that we have are listed in the link below, kindly take a look and let us know if anything appeals to you ..

      http://shop.unwindoutdoor.com

  6. Vijay Ramachandran says:

    hi
    we are planning a road trip to ladakh in Sep 2017 from Delhi for 7 days.
    We are fine with a Scorpio. total pax will be 6 and 2 kids. please let me know the costs

    • Hello Vijay,

      It is not advisable to do a 7 day road trip from Delhi to Ladakh for 7 days .. there is too much of driving and you will be tired .. Our one way trip also which starts from Delhi and ends in Leh is for 9 day .. If you are short of time then the only option for you is Srinagar to Leh or Leh to Leh and around Leh .. Kindly check the packages like that on our ecommerce portal .. http://shop.unwindoutdoor.com

  7. hiren shah says:

    what are the charges of government that we need to pay while driving our own car. As we are planning from mumbai to leh. Is there any prior permission need to be taken from any state or local authority?

    • There are no prior permission required for driving own car in ladakh region for Indian Nationals .. For visiting places like Nubra / Pangong / Tso Moriri Indian Nationals need Self Declaration which acts as Inner Line Permit .. All travellers to Ladakh must carry a Valid Govt ID (DL / Voter ID / Passport / Aadhar Card ) ..

  8. Ignatius says:

    Hi,

    Me and my brother are planning a trip in July 2017, by ur Maruti 800.
    Our itenary ; Pune – Delhi – Srinagar – Leh – Manali – and back to Pune
    Planning to Leave on the 7th July and be back by 25th July.
    How do we work on it.
    Hope to hear from you.
    Regards
    Ignatius

    • Hello,

      Please do not go in the month of July … As the chances of you getting stuck on the road are high since you have a low power and low ground clearance vehicle .. You can go in Aug End or Sept without any issues .. The Roads are dry and much more stable ..

  9. Ignatius says:

    Hi Sunil.
    Thanks for u reply since we have aleady booked our holidays do u recommend any other mode , but I really don’t want it to be too expensive.
    Regards
    Ignatius

    • I understand your concern about prices .. But in July you will definitely need a Good SUV just to ensure that you are able to negotiate any unexpected changes in the terrain .. Hiring an SUV will definitely add up to the cost .. What I recommend is the following :

      A) Carry a good two strap and D Shackle : Just in case you are stuck in a tricky section : Take help of near by vehicle to pull you out ..
      B) Raise the height ( Ground Clearance ) .. Try fitting Spacers on the shock absorbers ( By 1 or 2 inches is good enough )
      C) DO not load the vehicle fully ( Go only 2 people )

      This way you can reduce the odds .. It will be a thrilling ride .. If you need any information .. Call 9560830414 …

  10. Yogesh says:

    Hello Sunil Sir,

    We are 8 persons & wish to travel in the 2nd week of Aug 2017..
    Gone through your packages , just wanted to ask that really leh local taxi unions wont allow to drive the SUV provided by you in Nubra and Pangong & around ?

    • Sunil says:

      Hello Yogesh,

      Local Taxi Union wants that there taxi only are taken to Nubra & Pangong .. So it applies to all external Vehicles and we have to follow it .. Remainder of the trip happens in Self Drive vehicle ..

  11. hi,
    how many should be the minimum heads to be booked to get an suv exclusively for us in your package ?

    • Even 2 can book the SUV as well … The price is higher .. Most cost effective is 5 … 4 is ideal in one SUV .. Check our packages @ shop.unwindoutdoor.com

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