Car Rental in India: Avoiding Tourist Scams for a Safe Journey

Traveling to India is always an amazing experience for tourists across the globe. Tourists here have a magnificent opportunity to enjoy India’s unique cultural, geographical, regional and natural diversity. But sometimes this unique magnificent experience can turn into a bit of a disappointment due to the common scams which one may face as a tourist.

This article will help readers to identify some common scams which a tourist might face while exploring Incredible India. From hiring cars to booking hotels in India, we will look forward to all the scams and how these scams can be avoided.


To help avoid falling for the common scams one faces as a tourist in India, we have listed a few of them that might help them to not to be a victim of one of these.

  1. Overcharges - Tourists can rent or hire cars in India but can fall for the scams by the drivers or car rental companies .It is the most common scam done by the ordinary taxi and auto-rickshaw drivers. How this scam is done - The local drivers may take longer routes, say that the price offered is fixed and no one will take you to your destination for less than the price they are offering. The local drivers have knowledge about the area, therefore they might deceive the passenger taking longer routes so that the fare increases.
  2. The tour guide scam - When visiting a historical site, tourists will notice there are few folks who claim to be professional local tour guides and may ask for a higher price in the name of VIP entry, which is less crowded. They often do not show around all the places and say that the remaining locations/spots are closed due to some or the other reason.
  3. Pickpocketing - It is the most common scam in areas which are usually crowded. Pickpockets usually work in groups, one might distract the victim by grabbing their attention while the other one will pick.
  4. Fake goods and handicrafts - There are shops which sell overpriced and fake goods and handicrafts while claiming for their authenticity. They deceive tourists so confidently that they might not be able to identify if they are actually stating facts or just faking them.
  5. Touts and commission agents - Touts and commission agents are people who earn commission for bringing tourists to specific shops like restaurants, hotels,etc, which charge high prices from tourists as these shops give commission to the touts and commission agents. These touts can be the local drivers or the local guides.
  6. Hotel booking scam - End moment cancellation of hotel booking can be a scam too. The reason given is usually overbooking which is prepaid and then they suggest some other accommodations which they claim to be their own property but at a higher price.
  7. Free public wifi scam - These free public wifi networks are set up by the hackers and once a device is connected with it, permission to access all the personal and sensitive information of the owner is granted to these hackers.
  8. Toll and fuel scam - Local drivers may ask to give money for toll and fuel claiming that only a few tolls are included in the travel package.


Going through the above mentioned scam, one thing that comes to mind is how to avoid them and how to look for authenticity. Here we are listing a few tips to avoid these scams and not to fall for them and be a victim.  

  • To avoid overcharging, opt for renting or hiring taxis through a credible app or company. As per the itinerary, pre-book a journey to avoid any last minute hussle. Acquaint oneself with the route, general distance between the current location to the drop point using maps.
  • A professional tour guide has to register to the Department of Tourism in Form 1. To ensure that a tour guide is legitimate, check for the following documents like official certificate issued by the Ministry of Tourism, verify the information provided by the tour guide from the local tourism office or the Ministry of Tourism, also check if the tour guide is a member of a recognised organization for the tour guide of India.
  • Be alert and don’t let people distract you. Do not leave your belongings here and there. Be mindful of your belongings.
  • Don’t get trapped by the shopkeepers or folks who claim that the products they are offering are rare and antique. Bargain potently in the market and look for government approved shops for a fair price.
  • Constant and determined recommendation of some company, service, brand or business are usually the tactic of touts and commission agents. Prevention from this can be politely denying the person or planning the itinerary in advance to avoid any on-the-spot help.
  • Confirm the hotel booking one day prior to the trip or arrival directly with the hotel staff by contacting them. If a third party website is used, make sure that it is credible and known and keep possession of all the reservation related mails and messages.
  • Avoid giving access to sensitive and personal information to public networks. Always use VPNs while joining any public network.
  • Confirm with the company through which the hiring or renting of taxi service has been made about whether all tolls and fuel charges are included in the package or not. If still by any chance the driver asks to pay for the toll or fuel, contact the company and register a complaint regarding the matter.
  • Carry a list of emergency contacts which have contact details of local embassies, helpline numbers, car rental company, etc.


Falling for scams and being its victim can be a stumbling block of a trip. This can turn a joyful trip or journey into disappointment. What can significantly reduce the risk of falling for these scams is taking precautions and being prepared beforehand. To travel and explore this beautiful country, being vigilant and staying informed can result in confidence and peace of mind.