Are Self-Driven Taxis Allowed in Ladakh?

by Vargis.Khan

Are Self-Driven Taxis Allowed in Ladakh?

Are self-driven taxis allowed in Ladakh? This is one of the most common questions I get asked by people wanting to drive to Ladakh on their own rather than hiring a taxi with a driver. In this article, I will provide some information on the topic and help answer any questions you may have.

Most people would want to drive to Ladakh on their own rather than hiring a commercial vehicle or using public transport services. In my opinion, it is completely justified. Ladakh is not a place that you can enjoy to the fullest while sitting inside a bus that takes limited stops.

Ladakh and both the highways leading to it are full of awe-inspiring vistas. The scenery would change at every turn inviting you to stop often. Apart from this, there is also the feel of adventure while driving on a terrain where the word road is sometimes just a relative term.

There are several other reasons as well like privacy, comfort, cost which would have you rather sit on the driving seat yourself.

What is a Self-Driven Taxi?

I know the answer to this question is a fairly obvious one. But let me still mention it for the sake of clarification and staying on the same page. Any self-drive is a car rental service that allows you to rent cars by the hour or days. You can take a cab, drive it on your own anywhere you want. At the end of your trip, you can return the car back to the agency.

What to check and verify when you rent a self-driven taxi?

If you planning to hire a self-drive cab, then please make sure that you take the following documents along,

  1. Registration Card (RC)
  2. Insurance documents
  3. All India permit (National Permit DL1N Specially registered for Self Drive service)
  4. Rent-a-cab license

 Most of the cab services have an All India Permit. So you are free to drive them anywhere in the country. While booking the cab, please make sure that it has a yellow plate with black numbers. You do not need a special license to drive such vehicles and your regular driving license would do just fine. You would, however, be required to pay the permit charges while crossing the border into a different state.

Are Self-Driven Taxis Allowed in Ladakh?

Now the big question, Are Self-Driven Taxis Allowed in Ladakh and the nearby areas? The answer to that question is that they legally are. As long as the vehicle is registered as a self-driven cab and has an all-India permit, you are free to drive it anywhere in the country.

But then there is a twist in the story as well. You can safely bring a self-drive taxi to Leh, using any of the two highways. But things get a little tricky when you want to take it to nearby areas like Pangong and Nubra. For that, you will have to park your car in Leh city and rent another local cab from there to show you around.

Why this Rule?

First of all, it is not a legal rule. It is rather something that the locals and the Leh taxi union have agreed upon to impose. They have been successful in implementing it for the last several years now.

Ladakh is a cold desert, a barren wasteland and the livelihood of the people here depends a lot on tourism. Some of these folks are Taxi drivers. So imagine if everyone started to hire a taxi elsewhere and drive it to Ladakh on their own. It is a direct hit on the income of the taxi drivers here due to which you may get into trouble with them.

There have been reports of tourists in self-driven taxis being harassed by the taxi union and local taxi drivers and these are in fact true. There also have been instances where the vehicles were even attacked and damaged in stranded areas where there was no help available to the tourists.


So the bottom line is, self-drive taxis are allowed but it is a risk to drive them around in areas near Leh. No one is going to bother you until Leh, no matter which road you take. As long as you have the proper papers with you, you can conveniently drive to Leh.

Once you reach there, my suggestion is to hire a local taxi driver to show you around to places like Nubra Valley, Pangong, and Tso Moriri. Rent a hotel for your entire stay in Ladakh and hold the room even when you are gone sightseeing.

That way you can leave your car parked at the hotel, in their care; and be sure that there is no risk of it getting stolen. Hire a local taxi while you are in Ladakh and then you can drive back home in your own cab.

I hope this information was useful. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below or at our Community Forum, and I will be glad to answer.

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Alankar May 24, 2023 - 4:04 am

We plan to drive in our private number car registered in the name of my mother. I will be going with 3 other friends in that car. Can that be a problem?

Vargis.Khan May 24, 2023 - 7:46 am

Not really. Just carry documents that prove that the car belongs to your mother and is not a rented one

Md Iftekar June 20, 2022 - 10:25 pm

Hi Vargis
Your videos n blogs are awesome, really informative.
I’m planning a trip to leh via Chandigarh – shimla – manali. Just wanted to know if there’s an option to rent a self drive car only one way till leh so that I can take a flight back to home from leh airport .

Dinesh August 27, 2021 - 3:51 pm

If I borrow a friend’s Ladakh/ j&k registered personal car to drive around Ladakh, will the taxi union guys still cause problems?

ADITYA July 23, 2021 - 8:57 am

Hi Varghis,
I’ve been following your blog for quite sometime, and really appreciate the gamut of information already available here.
I am planning to drive to Leh with my wife in early September 21. We will be driving in our TATA Harrier.
Would request you to kindly help with my below queries.
1. Is September a good time to visit – considering the road conditions.
2. We have 5 days in Leh so the itinerary is
D1 – Leh
D2- Leh local site seeing.
D3 – Leh-Nubra-Dishit.
D4 – Dikshit – Pangong – is this route in good condition or it is better to go back to Leh and then come to Pangong from Changla.
D5- Pangong – Leh
D6 Leh-Jispa – How will the road conditions be in September.
D7 – Jispa- Manali – back

Are there any good self drive group trip organizers that i can join during September – Pls suggest.


Vargis.Khan July 25, 2021 - 6:56 am

Hi Aditya,

1. September is a good time to go
2. Diskit to Pangong via Shyok is Ok to drive on, should not be a problem
3. Leh to Jispa is a mix of good and bad but should be better in September
4. Sorry I do not know of any good self drive group trip organizers

preetham March 2, 2021 - 1:47 pm

cant we change the number plate to white board while entering leh with same regstration no

Anand September 25, 2020 - 8:44 am

We are planning to rent a car from Delhi to Leh via Srinagar. Then take a taxi to Pangong. After we come back to leh, can we continue travel to Manali on my rental car ?

Gaurav Shaw March 4, 2020 - 1:34 pm

Hi Vargis, still zoom car/revv car not allowed for sightseeing at Nubra, Pangong & tsomori ? I am planning to visit in June 20

Vargis.Khan March 4, 2020 - 5:37 pm

Hi Gaurav – Correct, still not allowed

Sushil July 11, 2019 - 4:13 am

Hi Vargis,
This is Sushil we are group of seven members all male travelling to Leh from Goa, we are reaching to Delhi on 24/08/19, and planning to leave for Manali same night and stay for one day in Manali and next morning to Leh, as I see there is no HPTDC bus on 26/08/19, so please suggest me other option to move to Leh from Manali on 26/08/19, need to travel with sightseeing and reach by 27/08/19

Vargis.Khan July 11, 2019 - 4:41 am

Hi Sushil – You can board the HRTC Bus. Please see the post below.

Sanket Jain April 28, 2019 - 11:38 am

Hi Vargis,
My private car (White number plate) in on company lease of my father. Note that he does not own the company, just an employee. Also, he will not be accompanying me on the trip. Can I still take the car to all the places in Ladakh?

Vargis.Khan April 28, 2019 - 4:10 pm

Hi Sanket, Is the car registered to your father or the company?

Sanket Jain May 1, 2019 - 9:59 am

The car is registered in the company of my father.

Vargis.Khan May 1, 2019 - 1:49 pm

Then yes, it would be a problem Sanket. Those guys will not let you use it for sightseeing in Ladakh

Faizy June 12, 2018 - 5:41 am

Hi Vargis.
Thank you for your post and the comments in helping everyone have a better understanding about the trip to Leh.
It would be great if you could help me with your suggestion as well.

We are a group of 10 planning to visit Leh between Aug 3- Aug 15 2018.

Our itinerary initially planned is (Delhi – Manali – Jispa – Pang – Leh – Nubra Valley – Pangong Tso – Leh – Pang – Jispa – Manali – Delhi). A complete Roundtrip.

I also came across an itinerary you had shared in one of the comments (Delhi – Jammu – Srinagar – Kargil – Leh – Nubra Valley- Nubra vallley to Pangong via Agham Shyok road -Pangong to Pang – Jispa – Manali – Delhi)

Which of these two itinerary you suggest is good for us to take? Also We are aware of the local taxi restrictions and we are planning to hire taxi or motorcycles to visit Nubra and Pangong.

Also let me know about the weather restrictions in the month of August. I read its monsoon but how much of an impact would it have on road and is it safe for us to hit the roads?

Thank you in advance 🙂

Vargis.Khan June 12, 2018 - 1:33 pm

Faizy – Do the second itinerary that covers the entire circuit, that would be better. 12 days is sufficient enough time so cover as much as you can. August is Monsoon season so be prepared to face rains specially in Kashmir and then as you return to Manali.

sandeep June 8, 2018 - 6:08 am

Hi Vargis,
As we are travelling in self drive cars, we will park our vehicles in Leh as u had advised. But to go to Nubra and Pangong, Do we need to book the vehicles online? If so can u give me some information on the same? Or is it ok to go there and check for the vehicles? And what will be the average cost of the vehicles over there.

Vargis.Khan June 8, 2018 - 11:50 am

Hi Sandeep – Talk to Nasir in Leh at 9906229203. He runs his own taxi there and is a reliable person. If the price works out then you may book him for your trip.

sandeep June 8, 2018 - 11:56 am

Thank you so much Vargis for the help.

Sandeep June 5, 2018 - 3:02 pm

Hi vargis, I am travelling from Delhi to leh in self drive car, do I need to take any permit in Manali ?

Vargis.Khan June 5, 2018 - 4:12 pm

Hi Sandeep – If you are going via Manali then yes, you will have to get the Rohtang permit to cross the pass over. See the link below please for more details,

Sandeep June 7, 2018 - 2:45 am

Thank u so much vargis for the reply. Can u plz tell me if it is possible to travel from nubra to kargil in 1 day? I mean, if I leave nubra in the morning, will I be able to reach kargil by the night?

Vargis.Khan June 7, 2018 - 11:30 pm

Hi Sandeep, No its not possible. You will probably reach Kargil by 10 PM.

sandeep June 8, 2018 - 6:05 am

Oh!! okay.. we will revisit our itinerary then. Thank u so much Vargis. U really are of great help

Vargis.Khan June 8, 2018 - 11:51 am

You are welcome brother !!!

Dilip singh May 19, 2018 - 8:32 am

Hi Vargis ,

Can we hire self drive car in Leh or self drive bike in Leh

Vargis.Khan May 20, 2018 - 7:10 pm

Hi Dilip – There are no self drives available in Leh. It comes with the driver.

idrish nagori May 17, 2018 - 11:04 am

hey varis ,thanks for replying each and every one, you are doing fantastic job.
is taxi union still not allowing out side taxi?
we are planing leh by zoom car on 17/06/18 our plan is like delhi-srinagar-kargil-leh-nubra-pangong-tso moriri-sarchu-manali-delhi.
we have planned in such a way that we are not coming back in leh once we leave it. we are very tight on our schedule our flight tickets are alredy books.
what do you suggest we do? i am asking about changing taxi from leh.

Vargis.Khan May 17, 2018 - 6:06 pm

Hi Idrish – Yes your Zoomcar will not be allowed for Nubra, Pangong and Tso Moriri; that rule still applies. You will have to leave it parked in Leh and rent another taxi from there for local sightseeing. There is no other way around it brother.

idrish nagori May 18, 2018 - 2:24 pm

ok ,we will take bike for 2 days for nubra and pangong , but will they allow us for tso moriri bcoz we then have to go for manali from there,we cant come back to leh and then go back for manali from leh we will miss our flight. and where can we park our car?

Vargis.Khan May 18, 2018 - 3:18 pm

No, not allowed for Tso Moriri as well. The safest place to park your car will be to keep a room in any of the hotels and leave it in the hotel parking.

Sandeep April 13, 2018 - 3:08 am

Hi vargis, thank u so much for helping people by replying to each n every query they have..
We are 14, have planned to visit leh in June. Out of which, 4 of us can drive and remaining can’t. We are from Bangalore and will be reaching Delhi on 22nd June morning 7am and the return flight from Delhi is on 1st July 2018 at 10.45pm.
Please help me with the itinerary and I want to have at least 1 self drive car to have some driving experience.
This is the first time m doing it and there r some ladies in our group so please help me out plan the trip.


Vargis.Khan April 13, 2018 - 7:06 pm

Hi Sandeep – If there is just one self drive car then will rest of the group travel?

Sandeep April 16, 2018 - 5:14 am

Yes.. they are ok with it.

Vargis.Khan April 16, 2018 - 10:55 am

No my question is how will they travel? Do you want me to suggest an itinerary just for you traveling by self drive or the group as well?

Sandeep April 17, 2018 - 5:13 am

Hey actually it will be like 1 self drive car n 2 chauffer driven so dat interested guys can drive the car.. so please suggest an itinerary for the whole group.. including the information on getting permit..
Thanks a lot

Ayush faugat March 25, 2018 - 2:37 pm

I am planing a trip to leh Ladakh around 25 April is it a good time to visit.
We have 5-6 days, traveling from Delhi in Zoomcar. Will hire a local taxi once we reach there.
Could you suggest a route map

Vargis.Khan March 26, 2018 - 4:01 pm

Take a look at the post below please. I have posted a detailed map here.

Ayush faugat March 26, 2018 - 4:22 pm

Thanks for your help this map will surely help me a lot.
Can tour be completed in 6 days.
And are there any prior permission which need to be taken before driving on these road will travel to Leh first time. It will be a great help if u could tell that
Thanks for your help

Vargis.Khan March 26, 2018 - 4:35 pm

You are welcome.

Delhi to Ladakh and back in 6 days is extremely tough and not recommended at all. You must add at least 3-4 days more.

No permission needed to reach Leh. Inner line permit is required after you reach there to visit other areas of Ladakh.

If you are planning to rent a taxi from Ladakh, then you can only use it to reach Leh. After getting there, you will have to rent another local taxi.

Ayush faugat March 26, 2018 - 4:42 pm

Thanks a lot for all the info n suggestions

Vargis.Khan March 26, 2018 - 5:30 pm

You are welcome brother !!!

Anirban De January 6, 2018 - 6:50 pm

Hi Vargis, what would be the cost to hire a ford figo zoom car from Delhi to Leh and Back? I understand I shall keep it parked in a hotel in Leh and take a local transport to look around.I am planning to travel alone this summer.

Vargis.Khan January 12, 2018 - 4:46 pm

Hi Anirban – I am not really sure about the Zoomcar rentals, best to give them a call and inquire.

Prasad Deopurkar June 9, 2017 - 2:34 pm

Dear Mr.Vargis,

Can we take Renault Duster owing by self and traveling to leh Ladakh?
Any issue with can union? And Duster is ok to drive in Leh Ladakh?

Vargis.Khan June 9, 2017 - 3:40 pm

Hello Mr. Deopurkar, As long as the vehicle is registered your name, you are free to drive it anywhere in Ladakh, Just carry RC, PUC, Insurance and DL and no one will bother you. Duster is good enough for the journey.

Rakesh June 6, 2017 - 7:31 am

hi Vargis,

you are doing great job by helping all the travelers!!! Thanks very much for that. would you please suggest if I can take my friends’w white place car?


Vargis.Khan June 6, 2017 - 1:38 pm

You can but it is a risk. Just carry all the required documents, your DL, vehicles RC, PUC, Insurance and if possible an NOC from your friend authorizing you to drive his car. The taxi union in Leh acts like a mafia and only allow personal vehicles. If you are coming by your friends car, they force you to rent their taxis for local sightseeing in Ladakh. Because your vehicle’s number plate is white, it would be very rare if someone stops you to check but if that happens, do not argue, avoid any sort of confrontation, tell that you were not aware of any such rule and return to Leh.

Rakesh June 7, 2017 - 10:57 am

you are the best Vargis! thanks for useful comments. Will definitely carry some risk, but sure will stay away from troubles. thanks again!!

Vargis.Khan June 7, 2017 - 4:39 pm

You are welcome Rakesh and thank you for your appreciating words. Last year there were barricades just before Khardung La road and at between Karu and Sakti where they were checking private vehicles as well. There can be similar barricades this year too so just practice caution.

Vijay gulani May 26, 2017 - 5:10 pm

Thank you so much vargis! So kind of you for helping me ! Thank you ☺️

Vargis.Khan May 28, 2017 - 1:32 am

You are welcome Vijay

Nimish singhal May 26, 2017 - 5:48 am

Can we travel in another white number plate car for traveling to nubra and pangong lake…..

Vargis.Khan May 28, 2017 - 1:33 am

another white plate meaning? belonging to someone else?

Vijay gulani May 22, 2017 - 9:01 pm

Hello vargis , it’s great the way you are helping

I hope if you can help me out it would be good

WE ARe planning to visit ladak in June ,

Thinking to rent a car from Delhi mostly zoom car or some other company probably !

Can you please suggest some good itneriay from Delhi to ladak via manali n in return some other route because I wanna shoot all the beautiful landscape

Can you please suggest were we can take car in ladak n were we should taxi to go

It would be grateful if you can help out

Thank you !

Vargis.Khan May 23, 2017 - 2:40 am

Hello Vijay,

A taxi hired from Delhi or aywhere outside Ladakh is only good enough till Leh but cannot be used for any other place like Nubra or Pangong. For this you will have to hire another taxi in Ladakh. Let me know your dates of travel, number of days u have in hand and I can suggest an itinerary accordingly.

Vijay Gulani May 23, 2017 - 9:48 am

Hello vargis , thank you for your precious time !

Approx 2nd or 3rd June

Number of days would be 9 or 10 !

Please suggest some good things too

Vargis.Khan May 23, 2017 - 2:53 pm

Hi Vijay – You can follow this itinerary.

1 – Delhi to Jammu
2 – Jammu to Srinagar
3 – Sringar to Kargil
4 – Kargil to Leh
5 – Leh (local sightseeing, arrange permits, hire a local taxi)
6 – Leh to Nubra Valley
7 – Nubra vallley to Pangong via Agham Shyok road
8 – Pangong to Pang
9 – Pang to Jispa
10 – Jispa to Manali

When you rent a local taxi in Ladakh, ask the driver if you can follow his taxi in your Zoomcar. If he says yes, then travel in his taxi and have one person drive the Zoomcar following the taxi. This way, you won’t have to leave it parked in Leh for which you will have to keep a room at any of the hotel. Secondly, this way you can just leave Leh on Day 6 and head straight to Manali after sightseeing without needing to come back to Leh again to pick your zoomcar.

Let me know if you would like me to provide you the number of a driver in Leh that I usually hire.

Vijay gulani May 23, 2017 - 5:32 pm

Sure if he won’t mind taking car with him it’s okay then it would be great!

Can you suggest me some affordable hotel in leh even !

Vargis.Khan May 23, 2017 - 7:38 pm

For hotels, please check the following post.

Vijay gulani May 25, 2017 - 11:14 pm

Please share me the driver number which you told me abouve thank you !

Vargis.Khan May 26, 2017 - 1:04 am

His name is Sonam Angdus. Number is 9469272773

Vijay Gulani May 23, 2017 - 5:35 pm

Thank you so much for interiary that sounds great to me !

And can you please tell me how much total km it would be !

Thank you so much !

Vargis.Khan May 23, 2017 - 7:39 pm

About 2300 – 2400 kilometers, give or take a little.

Syed Kabir Mustafa May 20, 2017 - 8:36 pm

i Own a Ford Fiesta Classic . The car has a stock ground clearance of 168 mm. I have increased it to 185 mm. Is it advisable to drive it from Manali to Leh and then be back to Srinagar and then Chandigarh??
As I have seen many people using there sedans and hatchbacks to drive on this stretch.

Vargis.Khan May 22, 2017 - 2:01 am

Yes, you should be able to drive it without any problem. Someone I know drove to Ladakh last year in SX4 without any problem.

shubham May 10, 2017 - 6:08 am


I will be travelling next month to leh and other areas around in my personal car. Will there be an issue taking it to pangong lake or nubra valley keeping in mind its my own car with white number plate registered in UP.

Thanks for your valuable feedback in advance.


Vargis.Khan May 10, 2017 - 5:24 pm

Hi Shubham – As long as the car is registered in your name and you care carrying all documents including, DL, RC, PUC and Insurance, there will be no problem. You are free to drive your car to any place of your liking in Ladakh.

Prasad May 1, 2017 - 2:35 pm

Dear Mr. Vargis,

I am planning to visit Shimla , kullu , Manali, rohatangpass, and leh ladakh in middle or end of the June 2017.

We are going to hire self driven car Chandigarh and ready to get local cab from leh for ladakh region.

Can you please suggest most appropriate rout to leh from Chandigarh ? And best vehicle to drive?

Will anyone stop us at kulu Manali or Shimla regarding local taxi and self driving car issue?

We will be thankful if you help you out with this questions.

Thank you

Vargis.Khan May 3, 2017 - 2:52 am

Hello Mr. Prasad,

1. What route to take depends on how many days you have in hand? Please let me know and I can suggest an itinerary.

2. You must hire an SUV, more the ground clearance the better. Go for a Scorpio or Innova.

3. You will not be stopped at Kullu / Manali or Shimla but you will have to get a permit to cross Rohtang Pass.

Prasad May 3, 2017 - 5:46 am

Thank you Mr. Vargis,

I am planning for 6 night​ 7 days, start and end point will be Chandigarh.

We want to visit Shimla, kullu, Manali, rohatang pass and leh-ladakh.

If you think 7 days are not enough then please suggest itinerary according to you , we will try to extend Trip.

We will hire local cab from leh to ladakh and will take self driven car else where.

Vargis.Khan May 4, 2017 - 3:08 am

Hello Mr. Prasad,

7 days is way too short for covering Shimla, Manali and Ladakh. You will need more time definitely. You can do the following.

1. Chandigarh to Shimla
2. Shimla to Manali
3. Manali to Jispa / Sarchu
4. Jispa / Sarchu to Leh
5. Leh to Nubra Valley and back
6. Leh to Pangong Tso
7. Pangong Tso to Leh
8. Leh to Kargil
9. Kargil to Sriangar
10. Srinagar to Jammu
11. Jammu to Chandigarh

This is the minimum time if you want to cover this entire route.

Prasad May 4, 2017 - 3:39 am

Dear Mr.Vargis,
Do you mean 11 days?
Can’t we come back Chandigarh directly via leh-manali highway by skipping Srinagar?
Will it be time saving?

Vargis.Khan May 4, 2017 - 3:50 am

Hello Mr. Prasad – Yes you can do that but it will save one day at most.

8. Leh to Jispa / Keylong
9. Jispa / Keylong to Manali
10. Manali to Chandigarh

If you have to drop one more day then I will recommend skipping Shimla.
For one more day, I will suggest going straight to Pangong from Nubra Valley but for this you will have to find a driver who is ready to take you on this route. If you are interested, I can give you the number for the driver I have hired a couple of times in Ladakh. You can talk to him and see if he agrees. He is a good fellow.

Kiran Pujari April 5, 2017 - 9:29 pm

Are there any self drive rental car agencies in Leh? i understand that there are plenty of bike rental options but want to know if there self drive rental car agencies in Leh


Vargis.Khan April 6, 2017 - 3:38 am

There are no self-drive rental agencies in Leh

Rajnish April 1, 2017 - 7:34 am

Could you please provide any contacts for self drive bikes or cars specific to Leh and Ladakh only? I hope that shouldn’t bother them. We just want to book it in prior.

Vargis.Khan April 1, 2017 - 4:23 pm

I am sorry but I do not really have any contacts with self drive rental agencies.

Anish Gupta March 19, 2017 - 8:07 pm

I am planning trip to Leh ( using Zoom car).
As u told nubar valley & pangon lake outside Rented vehicle not allowed.
If I use Zoom car for Tso moriri while returning from Leh to manali via Tso kar , is that possible ?

Vargis.Khan March 20, 2017 - 1:25 am

No it is not. You just cannot take non-local taxi anywhere except the Manali Leh or Srinagar Leh highway

Pawan Singh March 17, 2017 - 6:56 am

Hello Mr. Vargis Khan,
Do we still (June 2017) have this situation mentioned above ?
I mean I want to go to leh by zoomcar this June 2017, So can I take zoom car to internal leh areas ?
Or I have to just take zoomcar till leh city ?

Also can we rental a bike in leh which we can drive to Nubra or inside leh ?


Vargis.Khan March 18, 2017 - 3:07 am

Hello Mr. Singh – You can only take Zoomcar till the city of Leh. For local sight seeing, you will have to rent another cab from Leh. Please do not take Zoomcar towards Nubra Pangong or any other area for that matter. Just drive it on the highways and park it at the hotel. There have been incidents when non-local taxis, specially Zoomcars, have been attacked, vandalized by locals to the extent of piercing the body of the vehicle by metal rods.

Vargis.Khan March 18, 2017 - 3:08 am

And by driving it on the highways I mean Manali Leh highway and Srinagar Leh highway.

Tim Kaschura March 19, 2017 - 4:15 pm

Dear Mr. Vargis Khan,
Can I go (in July 2017) with a Zoom car from Manali to Nubra Valley via Pangong Lake Road avoiding Leh or do I have to expect trouble on this road as well.

Thank’s in advance
Tim Kaschura

Vargis.Khan March 19, 2017 - 4:56 pm

Hello Mr. Kaschura – You will get in trouble at both Pangong and Nubra valley so please do not attempt to do so. Reach Leh directly in your Zoomcar. Do not take any diversions towards anywhere. From Leh, hire another Cab and then go towards Nubra and Pangong.

Tim Kaschura March 21, 2017 - 2:56 pm

Thank you for your fast reply even when I am still not clear where the “check posts” of the “drivers” are. When I have to avoid Leh and Nubra when going in a self driven rented car, can I go from Manali to Kaza via Kunzum Pass or do they control the Manali-Leh highway on its entire distance ? Is even Rothang Pass under their control ?
(Studying your great advises about Spiti Valley now instead of Nubra Valley).

Tim Kaschura

Vargis.Khan March 21, 2017 - 4:12 pm

There are no set check posts or barriers as such. It all depends on the taxi union people. They can stop you anywhere. Or worse, let us assume you made it to Nubra and you cab is parked there, they may just show up there and start asking you questions. It is the entire local community.

No they do not control Manali Leh highway, it is just the local areas in Ladakh. You can take your Zoomcar to Spiti without worrying about anything.

Tim Kaschura March 25, 2017 - 1:09 pm

Thank’s a lot. I understand better now and I am planning for Spiti valley instead of Leh. Also for this destination you gave valuable recommendation which I am going to follow. So many thanks for that also.

Tim Kaschura

Vargis.Khan March 25, 2017 - 1:58 pm

Thank you for your kind words. I am glad the information was helpful.

Jay July 31, 2016 - 6:20 pm

Hi there
I’m planning to drive my personal car from Mumbai to Leh and back. It is white number plate. Would I face the same problems like the zoom car and myles.

Vargis.Khan August 1, 2016 - 1:31 am

If it is your own car then there should not be a problem. Just carry all the necessary documents and you should be ok

Ami June 9, 2016 - 12:42 am

Will there be problems in zoom cars to take into leg city till reach inside air force station…

Vargis.Khan June 10, 2016 - 2:32 pm

No problem to drive until Leh city but do not take those to visit nearby areas like Pangong and Nubra

Abhi June 3, 2016 - 6:59 pm

Is this problem still going on in LEH

Vargis.Khan June 3, 2016 - 11:42 pm

Yes it is

Anupam Singh April 20, 2016 - 8:54 pm

Is there any kind of bike rental service in Leh city ?
So, person who came to Leh with Rented self driven vehicle (which are not allowed to drive around near by areas as you mentioned above) can rent the bikes and drive them to other near by places like nubra, khardungla, pangong etc.

Vargis.Khan April 21, 2016 - 1:39 am

Plenty of bike rental services in Leh, should not have a problem finding one

shaar July 17, 2015 - 9:51 pm

We are a group of bikers from delhi planning a trip to ladakh in august on our own motorcycles.
We are also planning to take a HP number loading vehicle with us to load our bikes in case of emergency.

But we are receiving the information that no outside yellow number plate vehicle is allowed in leh, is it true for a loading vehicle also (there will be no tourists in it)

We will be covering following route from Leh
Leh-Hunder-Agham-Wari La-Pangong-Merak-Chusul-Tsaga La-Tso moriri-Tso Kar-Pang-Sarchu-Manali

Can we bring our HP number loading vehicle for above route?

Vargis.Khan August 24, 2015 - 11:10 am

Until Leh it wouldn’t be a problem but for nearby areas, yes even a loading vehicle could run into trouble.


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