At Stayfari, we work with over 100 drivers and local fleet operators throughout India. Each partner is thoroughly vetted and continuously monitored to ensure they adhere to our standards. The quality and selection of vehicles is an important component of our standards. This article identifies the vehicles that we are able to reliably procure throughout India.
Sedans: The economical option
Though they can seat up to four passengers, these small vehicles are best used for local travel because of their limited luggage capacity. There are a range of makes and models, but the most popular are the Toyota Etios, Tata Indigo, and Maruti Dzire. At Stayfari, we consider these models interchangeable, as availability of specific models varies throughout India.
SUVs: Toyota Innova and Innova Crysta
These are the most popular vehicles rented by travelers to India. Depending on whether the middle row has captain or bench-style seating, they can fit either up to six or seven passengers. Once popular because of the extra seating capacity, bench-style seats are now rarely found in the newer Innova Crystas.
The back row in any Innova can squeeze three passengers, but those seats are typically pulled up to leave room for luggage. Check out this article to better understand the difference between the standard Innova and the Innova Crysta.
Premium, luxury, and executive vehicles: For additional comfort
Demand for premium, luxury, and executive vehicles is growing fast in India. Perhaps the most popular vehicle in this category is the Toyota Fortuner, which is larger and sportier than its Innova counterpart. Unlike the Innova, the Fortuner comes only in a six-passenger configuration, though each seat is considerably roomier than in the Innova.
In the luxury segment, the Mercedes Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series are especially popular for business meetings and can now be reliably sourced in most major metros throughout India. Finally, for those seeking the ultimate VIP treatment, there's the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series.
A/C Vans: The Force Traveller
Force is an Indian manufacturer of vans, known locally as "tempos". These come in various sizes and the seating is very customizable. At Stayfari, we offer the three most popular configurations:
- Small 7-seater van
- Medium 9-seater van
- Large 11-13 seater van
Note that the large van is not actually bigger than the medium van. The extra seating is provided by fitting more seats in each row. The small and medium vans are said to come with "Maharajah" seats because each seat (except the middle seat in the very back) is a window seat with wide arm rests.
A/C Buses: For large groups
The smallest of these are minibuses which can seat between 14-21 passengers. Though all minibuses are comfortable and air-conditioned, most are made by local manufacturers.
Full-size buses, also known as touring coaches, come in two broad categories. Regular-sized coaches can seat between 22-35 passengers whereas the largest coaches can seat between 36-45 passengers. Popular brands include Isuzu, Volvo, Bharat-Benz, and Cerita, among others.
Luxury Vans & Minibuses: The Toyota difference
Many people find Toyota's Commuter and Coaster models appealing as a more luxurious alternative to the standard set of A/C vans and minibuses available in India. The Commuter seats between 7-10 people and often comes with especially wide and plush seating. The Coaster seats up to 18 passengers and though the seats aren't as wide as in the Commuter, they're wider than other minibuses and plenty comfortable.