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

FACEBOOK REVIEWS


  • 5 star review  We are back to our busy life but thank you so much for arranging this wonderful flawless trip for us. We were not sure what to expect from this trip but everything was just perfect , hotels /tents/ vehicles/Permits everything, we were not bothered about anything, Unwind took care of everything.All the information provided by unwind was very useful, appreciate their prompt response whenever contacted. Waiting for our next trip, hope it comes soon and needless to say will contact unwind either for another Ladakh or Spiti trip. Wish you all the best !! hope you provide packages for other exotic places as well!

    thumb Kaushikee P Pal
    6/20/2018

    5 star review  Sunil had planned our trip to Lahaul and spiti very meticulously. Every day was different and our stays very memorable. A trip that is unforgettable.

    thumb Srinivas Vittal
    6/11/2018

    4 star review  We are back to our busy life and we want to say thank you for such an amazing trip. All the arrangements including tents, meals and tour guides were awesome. We had a very good time there. And we’d like to share some beautiful moments with you.... Once again, thank you for organizing everything professionally. Best regards, Team Natasha Enterprises. See more

    thumb Anshu Sethi
    4/03/2018
  • 5 star review  Sunil had planned a self driven trip for us from Delhi to Leh in June 2017. It was very well planned and was perfect!! Sunil had multiple discussions with us to understand what our interests are and changed the itinerary accordingly. We had a great time and made some nice memories. Definitely looking forward for my next trip with Unwind outdoor.

    thumb Vinutha Nagarajaiah
    3/12/2018

    5 star review  Sunil we enjoyed a lot . thankyou for nice memories ...

    thumb Chaitanya Turakhia
    9/13/2017

    5 star review  Sunil is the best in business.. Planning is spot on and execution is even better. Nothing can beat his recommendations, be it for tourist spots or food outlets. Right from the moment we got our car in Srinagar to the drop at Delhi airport, everything was just perfect. Everything was so seamless that helped us to enjoy the beauty of Leh/Ladakh even more. Due to road blockage, we had to adjust our itinerary and at a single phone call Sunil made it look so easy to change the accommodations. Thanks for helping us create beautiful memories for a lifetime..Looking forward to the next trip with them.

    thumb Ashish Garg
    9/12/2017
  • 5 star review  We had a self drive from Delhi to Spiti Valley in August 2017...and it was an amazing experience. Special thanks to Unwind and Sunil for making this happened. All the arrangements including Car and Hotels were superb. Also the instruction call by Sunil just before the tour was very much helpful. Looking forward for the next trip with Unwind....

    thumb Hiren Thakkar
    9/08/2017

    5 star review  We had the most wonderful time on our trip and we have you to thank for that. You really made this leh ladakh self drive road trip, it’s sights and history, come alive and be very meaningful for each of us. We really enjoyed every moment, even when there were tensions in J&K. 🙂We appreciate your knowledge, expertise, kindness and sense of humor. The arrangements made from your end were extremely perfect and in timely manner.This trip has become a life time memory for us.We all friends are thankful to you.

    thumb Mehul Jhaveri
    9/07/2017

    5 star review  Thank you Sunil for the lovely trip you arranged for us and our family....everything was well organised and according to the plan....we loved the cars and the hotels given to us..There were no delays and Every thing went smoothly.

    thumb Abhishek Mitra
    7/19/2017
  • 5 star review  Had one of the most memorable and wonderful Leh to Srinagar trip organized by Sunil and team. All intricate details were well taken care of to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Right from the choice of hotels to the vehicle quality and the warmthness of the drivers, everything was top-notch. Strongly recommended. Looking forward for the next one. Cheers! 😀

    thumb Karanraj Churiwala
    7/10/2017

    5 star review  We did a road trip in June 2017 covering Delhi- Srinagar-Kargil-Leh- Nubra- Pangong- tso moriri-Sarchu-Manali-Narkanda-Sangla-Delhi, completely planned and organized by Sunil. With Amazing stays and a great vehicle we completed the trip with mesmerising memories and Awe by the Nature. We shall definitely return to Unwind outdoor for more trips in future.

    thumb Arvind M Gowda
    6/26/2017

    5 star review  My family and I vacationed in Ladakh with Unwind Outdoor in May 2017. It was a magical experience. Sunil's arrangements were excellent and the memories will last for a lifetime. We flew to Leh and visited Nubra , TsoMoriri and Pangong.Firstly, the driver for our trip, Namgyal was super. Very safe and totally professional. The accommodation organized in Leh, Pangong , Nubra and TsoMoriri was very good - with exceptional service and often very good food. Also, Sunil prepared us well for potential altitude sickness.Of course, Ladakh itself is pristine and not overly commercialized yet. We have traveled on vacations across the globe and this trip was undoubtedly one of the best . Thanks to Unwind Outdoors for facilitating this

    thumb Gopal Rangachary
    5/31/2017
  • 5 star review  Unwind Outdoor has helped us to realize our dream !! Like anybody we were little skeptical in the beginning with the whole Leh ladakh plan but Sunil ensured it to be as perfect as it could be. It was a 12 Day road trip from Delh to Delhi( via Manali-Jispa-Leh-Nubra Valley-Pangong tso- leh-tsomoriri-sarchu- manali- chandigarh) on Scorpio 4X4 S4+. The itinerary which he provided had all the required information including the journey time, places to eat and visit . Also the vehicle was in very good condition. Sunil was constantly in touch with us and made sure that we have comfortable & memorable trip. Looking forward to have another road-trip next year with Unwind Outdoor. 🙂

    thumb Aditya Kiran
    9/16/2016

    5 star review  Sunil is a spectacular trip planner. Given the uncertainty that generally prevails during a Leh trip, Unwind takes care of all last minute modifications with panache. There is no better way for you to enjoy Leh than with Unwind. And after all the excellent service, their pricing is still very competitive. Thank you unwind for that spectacular trip.

    thumb Mohan Karthik
    8/17/2016

    5 star review  Sunil, after I ran 21k Marathon I bragged about it for years. The same is being repeated again, with my ambition to drive across the Himalayas, which was almost faded with Srinagar under curfew. You and Chetan were the spark to our fire that we could do this drive and without a single trouble. Driving is a passion but driving thru places where there are no roads is trouble, but your breakup of program and awesome car condition helped us actually sail thru. Three cheers and five stars.

    thumb Jignesh Shah
    7/30/2016
  • 5 star review  Hi Sunil; The trip for 11days was life time memorable. Thanks a ton for adjusting the last moment changes.You are the best. Do keep up the good work.

    thumb Pius Noronha
    7/29/2016

    5 star review  hi Sunil you made our trip memorable after chaos of srinagar and specially for me you are really a perfect for Travel Industry where people see Dreams and you Really convert them in to Reality Sunil i am also from travel industry but i learnt a lot from you during our entire booking your patience and your solutions outstanding you have selected all the hotel camps were fantastic and gave us a real adventurous fill specially in sarchu camp with 1 degree cold and really thank ful to you and all my friends for me it was ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA EXPERIENCE Diving from raft in 3 degree chilling water amazing Thanks once again .......... any query to me for adventure you are only in my list.cheers Sunil..

    thumb Chetan Soni
    7/29/2016

    5 star review  We leveraged on unwind outdoors for our Leh self drive trip. Extremely good experience. Due to Srinagar situation, we changed our plans just 1 day before travel date and Sunil accommodate perfectly. All the location stays were par excellence with breathtaking view. Best choice of hotels and camps. Simply wonderful.

    thumb Suyog T Saraiya
    7/28/2016
  • 5 star review  Sunil Kapoor is one of the best person i met in travel industry.We had booked our tour of self drive cars from Srinagar to Leh - Manali - Chandigarh of 11 days, just one day before we came to know about unrest in Srinagar, and we thought it would cancel our trip, but to our surprise Sunil Kapoor changed our whole itenery with all hotel bookings, and gave the cars from Delhi. We had paid the full amount to Sunil then also he changed the route and the hotel bookings, no other travel agent would do and that also in Delhi it truly surprising. Sunil has full knowledge of the route and the hotels he selected was also the best in that place. I highly recommend Sunil Kapoor & Unwind Outdoor tours to all my Friends,Regards, Shalin Gandhi

    thumb Shalin Gandhi
    7/28/2016

    5 star review  Wow. wow, wow. What a experience! We took the route of Delhi - Jammu - Srinagar - Leh - Sarchu - Manali - Delhi. Sunil Kapoor gave us excellent service which includes his next to new 4WD in immaculate condition and all hotels were top class. Coming from Australia, we were bit nervous in start but when we met Sunil, we had full trust and all went very positive. Sunil gave us perfect instructions and everything was according to plan.I would very highly recommend Sunil's Unwind Outdoor to any tour you are planning to go with.His company's website unwindoutdoor dot com is very good with so much information that you don't have to go anywhere else.Thank you Sunil and your team for our one of the best experience in life you have provided us. Looking forward to send many people through your company.Cheers.

    thumb Jignesh C Patel
    7/19/2016

    5 star review  It was a great 10 day itinerary for Chandigarh-Manali-Leh-Kargil-Srinagar stretch. We soaked in the beauty of Kashmir and the Himalayas all along the way. Great tips on must-to-visit places. Sunil gave us meticulous instructions on vehicle, trip preparation and risk management. The lake boat stay at Srinagar was a pleasant surprise to top it off! Those who visit Leh should try to read and know more about the place before visiting. Plan your "Hall of Fame" visit at Leh early, if you don't do this preparation 😉 ! Had a great Leh Ladakh experience with friends. Loads of thoughts and memories along the way. Thanks to Unwind Outdoor for a well managed tour!

    thumb Naveen Karnam
    6/29/2016
  • 5 star review  We had a wonderful 8 day trip from Srinagar--> Kargil --> Leh --> Nubra --> Pangong --> Leh arranged by Sunil. All the arrangements were executed flawlessly. Sunil managed a few last minute changes which is well appreciated. I had no hesitation in suggesting Sunil to folks we met during our vacation and colleagues in office.This is a "must do" trip one should experience in their lifetime.

    thumb Rajiv Rao
    5/27/2016

    5 star review  I would like to thank Mr.Sunil for arranging our Chopta trip and the bonus of Auli.Our family had a great experience living one with nature.We were well taken care of and pampered by great food.Looking forward to other trips that Unwind Outdoor has to offer.

    thumb Sangeeta Sangameswaran
    4/05/2016

    5 star review  We are sure if it was not with Unwind Outdoor, our trip might not have happened. Living overseas we have been planning this journey for some time but never got the right contact until we came across Sunil. I was able to relive the memories of my first encounter with this landscape 19 years ago. The whole journey from Jammu to Leh and beyond is a weird concoction of feelings. There is chaos, isolation, excitement, calm, mood swings(due to AMS).....nevertheless this is one place which every Indian must have on their bucket list. Having said that I would also emphasize on preparing yourself for this trip. It is not just any other hill station but this can give you an experience of a different world altogether (If you were stuck like we did at 18000 feet high K-top for almost 5 hours due to an avalanche. Mind you.. recommended stay is not more than 20-25 minutes). So prepare well and be safe. Sunil will be there to look after you. Good on you Sunil. You will hear from us again...soon.

    thumb Deepak Varma
    7/20/2015

Related Post

SUV Driving Tips For Ladakh Road Journey Learn how to handle Slush / Streams while driving on Ladakh Terrain
How to Plan For Srinagar Leh Trip Leave the paradise on earth behind and discover something truly Magical !!! Learn all about Srinagar Leh Journey ..
Ladakh Road Trip ( FAQ ) Most Commonly Asked Questions related to Ladakh Road Trip
  1. Rashid says:

    Hi team ,
    I need suv vehicle delhi to leh
    August 17th to 22nd
    Please send me all suv car quotation

  2. anurag singh says:

    sir we need self drive suv for 8 persons from delhi to leh from 29 july to 5 august

  3. Akshit says:

    We are a group of four persons and are planning to vist ladakh in the mid of july for a week..our trip starts from manali.. I wanted to know the daily costs of hiring a self drive suv..
    If any of your package includes self drive suv +additional things..

  4. 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 ..

  5. 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 …

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