The idea of booking a taxi (car and a driver) for a few days or weeks seem quite strange to someone in England. Once when I missed the last bus home from the local town it cost 20 pounds to travel the six miles, so how much would hiring a driver for a couple of weeks cost?
With the help of Indiamike.com I gathered together a list of reputable companies and eventually decided which ones to contact.
Aided by information provided by Namaste India Tours, I'd done my homework first, knew my exact route, when/where I'd arrive, what sort of hotels I preferred and what sort of vehicle was most suitable.
So a couple of emails to a few companies and I had quotes for the cost of the travel. All of the operators offer a travel+hotels option where you say which class of hotel you prefer and they come up with a list of suggestions. Some of them don't define the actual hotel you'll be in and that was fine with us, after all we've got a driver to take us wherever we want, so as long as the hotel is okay, we'll be fine.
The best thing about this service (from any of the operators we got quotes from) is that you pay absolutely nothing up-front, you just have to pay before the trip actually commences. Some don't even worry about this, you pay part way through your tour.
For those cynics out there, the cost of the trip includes wages, food and accomodation for the driver, he doesn't sleep in the car!
And the cost of all this:
- 10 nights hotel, 10 days touring around including petrol/parking/taxes/driver: about £800
- That's for all of us, not one of us. The hotels all have air-con, some have pools, some don't.