Tips for Driving Around in Sri Lanka

Driving in Sri Lanka is by no means a cake walk. You need to pay constant attention to the road to steer clear of accidents. If you drive around in rural areas, expect to find potholes in the middle of the road. However as of late following several road building projects, the road network has improved. Here are some tips to help you navigate the roads of Sri Lanka.

  • Get comprehensive insurance
  • Expect pedestrians and animals to appear on the road out of the blue and without warning.
  • Many drivers in Sri Lanka opt for offensive driving and it is up to you to take care of your vehicle.
  • Take extra care when you overtake or when another driver tries to overtake.
  • You may come across sudden road blocks and one way streets which may or may not be clearly marked ? be watchful.
  • Buses are the worst offenders. Try and stay clear of those.
  • Get GPS with Sri Lankan maps but you may have to stop and ask for directions too.
  • Use the express ways to drive to and from Katunayake and to drive down south towards Matara.

To be permitted to drive in Sri Lanka, you will require an International Driving License (if you don?t have a Sri Lankan one), preferably with endorsement from the Automobile Association of Ceylon (AA). Before you visit the AA to get the endorsement, check a Sri Lankan calendar to avoid going there on a national holiday.

If you intend to drive towards more rural areas, don?t forget to fill your tank with 95 octane petrol whenever you see that it is available. Some service stations will not have 95 octane petrol. When you are at the service station, check tyre pressure.
Finally, don?t expect other drivers to follow road rules. Simply rely on your common sense.

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