Renting a car in Sri Lanka

Renting a car in Sri Lanka

As we have traveled Mexico, Guatemala and Belize with car, we decided to do the same in Sri Lanka. Well, we wanted to rent a tuk tuk, but we would not fit in one 🙂

Here are a few things that we gone through when renting a car in Ceylon.

We rented A Suzuki which to our surprise was a hybrid (the gas price in Sri Lanka is 365 rupees per liter (a little over 1$ US for a liter), so hybrid part was a nice surprise for sure).

The car rental place was through a local tour guy, who also rents tuk tuks. We paid 26 euros per day plus left a 150 euro deposit. It was a very good price, as I did a research before coming and knew that the prices, especially for the foreigners are exaggerated. As we got a recommendation from another family that rented a tuk tuk, we took the deal. The only limitations for the rental are: you can drive up to 100 km per day – anything extra will be charged 10 rupees per 1 km. insurance covers all the damage from 20000 rupees and above – so you are liable for the damages that cost less than 20000 rp. Pretty straight forward.

It can be a bit confusing but here are the documents that you need in order to be able to rent and drive a car in Sri Lanka:

  1. Your country’s driver’s license
  2. International Driving Permit- we got ours online at this site: – which got the IDP within 1 day and we got it in Lithuania after 4 days of ordering them (it was shipped via FEDEX and it requires a signature for delivery – so it is very safe and guaranteed delivery to the right person).

You can also get IDP at Your country’s Driver’s license facility or at least inquire where you can get it locally.

Here are the prices for the International Driver’s permit on IDA webpage (picture on the right ; website link: ), but you would get 15% discount if you whatsapp them via their number and they will send you a coupon. So total for 3 years we paid around 67$ each. The process on IDA website is very easy, and takes only a few minutes, just have your country’s license ready as you are required to submit a copy and also be ready for a picture to be taken. I was not ready and I look like I am photographed for a mugshot.

3. Passport – a copy of it.

4. Sri Lankan Driving Permit/ License – This is done at The Automobile Association of Ceylon that is located in the heart of Colombo – and it costs around 20 euros.,79.8481125,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m6!3m5!1s0x3ae2593f1ec64757:0x6088fc503ea30568!8m2!3d6.9216234!4d79.8481125!16s%2Fg%2F1tgr_c6p?entry=ttu – our tour operator that we rented our car from got it for us (he came to our hotel, got all the copies of the documents and was back with the Sri Lankan Driver’s Permit within few hours).

Our car rental guy charged total of 12000 rupees (around 35 euros) for everything. We saved time and it was done very professionally- and most importantly we supported local small business.

5. A passport type photo – if you do it through a person – it is enough to have a picture taken by a phone, but If you are going to get Sri Lankas driver’s permit yourself- you need a physical picture to bring to a facility.

Save this list for your future travels if you are planning on renting a car in Sri Lanka.

Thank you for reading!

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