The best place to rent a car in Sri Lanka is in Colombo or near the airport. And there is a lot of paperwork involved. For example, your international driver’s license must be converted to a Sri Lankan document.
Traffic in Sri Lanka is left-hand driving, as everywhere in Asia. In the capital Colombo there is traffic chaos, but otherwise you can drive around without problems. And the traffic participants look at each other. In addition, there is a lot of honking. Not out of aggression or to get priority, but more like “watch out, I’m behind you” or “I’m going to overtake you”. You can get an impression of the traffic via the clip below.
Travel guides and blogs always advise against driving yourself. I do not share that view, with the exception perhaps of India. It is important that you can easily switch to left-hand traffic, but that also applies to England. With a car where the steering wheel is on the right, this goes quite quickly.
There are two important traffic rules to keep in mind:
- Take each other into account, in other words common sense always takes precedence.
- Buses (and trucks) always have right of way; they run according to a tight timetable and really push on. Breaking and accelerating simply takes too much time for heavy crowded buses.
… and you need to learn some new road signs …
The comfort of a rental car is of course that you never have to drag a meter with luggage and can stop wherever you want to look around or take a photo.
Stop where you want to take some pictures
And you can dry the laundry. In Haputale we were completely rained out. So, we tensioned some washing lines in the car and turned on the air conditioning and the heater. The resulting dry air caused the wet clothes to dry quickly.