Tourists Driving in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka may be a small country when compared with the other Aisan countries. But it offers good roads, Express ways along with latest cars and motobikes for rent. The country uses the Right hand drive system. So if you are a native of a country that uses the Left hand drive, take much care while turning on junctions.
As a foreigner you must have a vaild driving license according to the Sri Lankan class of vehicle or motorcycle.
Motorcycles are classified as less than 100 CC and more than 100 CC.
It is against the law to ride a motorbike on the public roads, if they have more than 250 CC engines.
To drive a Motor Tricycle (Tuk Tuk) you must have special license.
Foreigners can get a temporary one month driving license in Sri Lanka. (Conditions Apply)
Also those foreigners who have International driving license can get a temporary one here, if they can proceed with the application one month prior to their arrival date. Your travel agent or the tour guide can assist you, where extra charges may apply.
Plenty of tourists who have motorcycle driving license prefer to self-ride on Bajaj Scooty through the city roads while expert riders are used to hire Honda Baja XR 250 motor bikes here. You need to deposit a refundable fund with the rental service provider other than the daily rental fees. Most of them offer unlimited KM basis.
In most cities in Sri Lanka peak hours are morning 7 - 9 and evening 4 - 7 pm, and on holidays most of the roads are free. On the local New Year days in April and during the Vesak holidays in the month of May, there used to be lot of vehicles on the road day and night.
During the cool season the hill country may experience fog (heavy mist) on the days and distract your visibility. So you have to drive slow and carefully.
Expressways will allow four wheels only to ride over there with the toll post service fee. It is prohibited to ride 3 wheel or two wheels.
You can find filling stations on the main roads while they used to carry the details of the next filling station. Likewise flat tires can be repaired in road side shops that are special for motor bikes and cars.
People here are very friendly and can help you whenever you need any assistance. Also many of them speak English language very fluently. If you like to provide some donation they may decline it or very few accept it them. You can move freely anywhere as people may look at you but won't bother you asking for help. In some popular beach areas you may encounter like these people. Avoid them by simply saying that you don't have enough funds at the moment.
People don’t honk here a lot and if you hear it, look through the rear mirror to find whether you are obstructing any one or going to hit backwards.
Latest Apps are available for the Srilanka road users while the popular mobile phone service provider offers GPS service to their clients. Book shops used to sale the latest printed road maps.
If you need any more information on a particular place in Sri Lanka, just write to me so that I can make an article on it and can post it here, for the benefit of other travelers too.