Traveling by rental cars saves time and enhances comfort but drivers could be a big nuisance. Do not give them plenty of rope and money in advance.
On April 2, 2010, we hired an Indica for Kharapathar, Himachal Pradesh (HP),Indiafrom Raja Tourist and Taxi Service,Chandigarhfor INR 4140.00. The deal covered distance of600 kilometersat the rate of INR 6.5 per kilometer, INR 100.00 per day towards driver’s allowance for two days and toll tax of INR 40.00 to be paid at the state border between Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Driver took INR 200.00 from us before reaching Kharapathar as he did not have any money for food. The car was in bad shape and required tire change and repair work twice, which took at least two hours. At Kharapathar, we also paid his dormitory bill worth INR 220.00.
On arriving at Kharapathar, he replaced his mobile SIM with local SIM without informing us so we could not reach him until dinner.
OnApril 4, 2010, we stopped for lunch at Peach Blossom, Fagu, HP while returning from Kharapathar. He demanded two hundred bucks more citing same lame excuse of not having money for lunch. This time we ignored and did not pay him, but he took lunch break at Karol. He was throughout on his mobile talking to some one or other making arrangements for a “bottle” (liquor) for the night.
And at the end of the trip, he demanded two hundred rupees towards his daily allowance. When we refused to pay, loud-mouthed driver argued why we stayed at government-run hotel that did not offer drivers’ facilities and claimed food was expensive at the destination. Therefore, we should pay him two hundred more. We scolded him, asked him to shut up and complained to the company.