Hiring a car in Mumbai International Airport
Car rental desks at Mumbai Airport (also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport) can be found in all terminal arrivals halls. For Domestic Terminal 1A, it’s Mauli Enterprises, for Domestic Terminal 1B it is Rohan Travels and Shree Sai, and the International Terminal is serviced by Akbar Travels.
It is highly recommended that you organise a rental in advance of your trip to India, as this is the best way to ensure you have the car you want for your stay, and that you secure the best price.
There are a range of car types available, from luxury vehicles, to compact hatchbacks and larger sedans. Please note that booking an automatic will cost you more, and you should budget with that in mind.
Leaving Mumbai International Airport
The airport is almost in the centre of the city, so if that is where you are staying it isn’t a long drive to downtown. Take Santacruz-Chembur Link Road to the CST Road in Kurla West.
If you’re staying in the popular area of Mount Mary, in the little Peninsula where the popular Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and the famous Land’s End Café are situated, you will need to get onto the NH8, and continue straight to Mount Mary, continue onto the Western Express Highway, and take the exit towards KC Marg. Continue on this road until you reach your destination.
If you are required to fill up your tank before returning your vehicle, you can find many fuel stations near Mumbai Airport, and on NH8 on the way to the airport.
Driving in Mumbai
Though Mumbai is one of the safest driving cities in India, this is a huge metropolis, and driving here can be very overwhelming. It is highly recommended that if you have not driven in India before that you use a chauffeur service, which are often very reasonable, and come included with many rental deals. You’ll find parking in Mumbai is a lot better than it used to be, with designated parking lots and fairly cheap rates of stay.
If you do not have a driving license issued by the Indian government, you must carry an International Driving Permit (IDP) along with your domestic license.
What can you see and do in Mumbai?
Mumbai is all at once glamorous and poor, flashy and humble. Visit one of its most iconic monuments, the Gateway of India, built for King George V and Queen Mary, it is a great place to start exploring the Colonial heritage buildings this city has. Or shop in the colourful and fun Chor Bazaar, also knows as Thieves Market, where bargain hunters can pick up wonderful antique and vintage items.
Drive north of the city to Juhu where locals go to enjoy the coast, and watch the sunset. If you’d rather stay closer to home, visit the popular Marine Drive Chowpatty Beach, where you can stock up on Mumbai’s famous chaat; street snack foods, renowned in India for their flavour. Try the local favourite, pani puri.
Driving further north than Juhu, about 40 km from the city centre, will lead you to the Kanheri Buddhist Caves at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, this is a stunning protected forest, and a great way to see what India is all about outside of the busy city.
Please note all information is current as of October 2015.