15 Aug Rent a car for expats in Pakistan
Usually when expats visit Pakistan, they face difficulties in renting a car in a foreign land of which they don’t speak the language of, and coming from a first-world country to a third-world country, there will be quite a few shocks as to how things are done around here. They might be good or bad shocks, but you’ll have to figure that yourself. For starters, do sort of compare the way rentals work in your own country and then in Pakistan. Just to get a feel of it.
Of course the very first thing that would want to know is that will the language barrier be much easier to overcome, well fortunately most businesses here work on the basis of English so the language barrier here shouldn’t affect you much, especially if you have a local accompanying you then he can bargain on your behalf even and translate anything that the agency may have problems with. But even without a local to translate, you will have no problems when it comes to conversing and haggling for a rental car in Pakistan.
Well for a third world country, Pakistan’s rates are going to be much cheaper, all those extra costs and its generally cheaper to live in Pakistan so the cost of rentals is quite cheap as well, although there are a few more ways to reduce the price, different vehicles, different options as to what is agreed on for the service, no insurance etc. However, the cost will still be much lesser as compared to other countries, well much lesser, since the motor tax on import cars is 100%, import cars usually cost double. Unless it is locally manufactured, rental agencies have to pay double for a car if they buy import, so their rents for rent-a-car becomes much more expensive.
Usually some people hurry over the procedure because they want to be somewhere on time so they usually let the rental agencies decide as to what insurance they want and they, being the owners of the rental cars,
usually make you opt for the most expensive insurance so it’s better to investigate as to what you are being charged for rather than blindly agreeing to a trap, it is your right after all to know.
Rules of the road
This may be imperative as you may come from a country where left hand driving is common but in Pakistan, most driving is done on the right hand side. So the rules and regulations might be different when you rent a car in a country situated on other side of the world. Given, that you have an international license that allows you to drive in many countries. It’s important to check if the country in which you are renting your car from allows you to drive, pre-research can go along way as to help you out in what rules you have to abide by, since getting fined can be quite troublesome if you lose your license which would hinder your travel plans.
Automatic vs Manual
This is purely preference based but in Pakistani, most rental cars you will find will be manual by default so if that is a setting that you aren’t too comfortable with then you will have to book in advance rather than show up and expect an automatic to be there. Since manuals also cost less for agencies and since most Pakistani’s know how to drive a manual, most of the stock these agencies keep are manual so it’s better to pre-book or end up spending a whole day, travelling around the city trying to find an automatic.
Drinking while driving
In case you somehow missed the fact that Pakistan is an Islamic state and people here are predominantly Muslim which means that alcohol is not permissible in the religion of Islam. So the notion of ‘permissible alcohol limit while driving’ isn’t non-existent here. Since the laws here are lax when it comes to non-Muslims and expats, you are still not allowed to drink and drive here in any circumstance, so it’s better to avoid the whole mess anyways. Nothing ever good comes out of driving drunk and anything severe would mean getting deported.
Well that was our guide on how expats can navigate Pakistan and try to gain a rental car. It may be a bit confusing at first, with it being a new place and all but the wonders of Internet never let you down, most car rentals are on their and with decent reviews with google maps integrated to give you the exact location, you can easily take an Uber to one of Car rentals and go through the procedures fairly quickly and be on your way.