Renting and driving tuk tuk in Sri Lanka

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Tuk-tuks or three-wheeler used to be everyone's favorite way of getting around Sri Lanka before the buses and taxis took over. A tuk-tuk is essentially a rickshaw with a small engine fitted in. Tuk-tuks have become one of Sri Lanka's most recognizable transportation features, and are still popular among tourists and visitors. Riding a tuk-tuk is more of an experience rather than a practical way to get around.

This transportation method is the easiest way to get around in Sri Lanka and to be connected with the local life is to travel by local tuk tuk. You can strap your surf boards on the top (some areas around the island it is illegal on a moped now) and take up to three people plus the driver. Perfect for getting between breaks and maneuvering around down the coast or the inland back roads. Is you go by the Galle - Colombo road, for instance you can get in and out for Midigama to Weligama surf breaks in 10 minutes. It may takes 50 minutes from Galle to Weligama, so advisable to stop off in a cafe and enjoy the journey.

This is our preferred method of transportation as it offers you a lot of freedom and comfort.

Below things you need when driving a tuk tuk in Sri Lanka.

- Travel insurance for the traveler
- Valid tuk-tuk driving license
- Valid revenue license for the tuk-tuk
- Valid insurance for the tuk-tuk

Advantages and disadvantages of driving your own tuktuk

If you are still in doubt whether or not to rent a tuktuk, we listed all advantages and disadvantages we could think of.


- Freedom! By far the biggest advantage. You can stop or continue your journey whenever you want. You can drive where public buses don’t drive.
- A once in a lifetime experience! Admit it, how cool is it that you can say that you explored a country with your own tuk-tuk. Not many people can say the same.
- It is cheap. Renting a tuk-tuk is not that expensive, but also the price for gas is cheap. And it allows you to do other activities for a cheap price as well. We did different safaris with our tuk-tuk, without any guides or jeeps. A lot of main roads go through national parks. So just taking those roads means you are on a safari for free. We saw almost the same mammals and birds that safaris in Sri Lanka promise as well.
- Local contact, everybody is interested! Driving your own tuk-tuk is highly appreciated by the locals and they think it is really funny. Even tuk-tuk drivers are friendly when they see you driving, waving and taking pictures of you.


- The traffic in Sri Lanka. As previously mentioned, the traffic in Sri Lanka, especially near big cities, is crazy. You have to drive aggressive defensive. You have to claim your place in traffic, but always be aware that they might not have noticed you or are not willing to give you right of way.
- Limited space. A tuk-tuk is not an enormous vehicle, so keep in mind that there is only room for two adults, two large backpacks and two daypacks. That’s it.
- You are allowed to drive 40 kilometers/ hour. We managed to get a fine for driving too fast with our tuk-tuk  (42 kilometers/ hour). Keep in mind that if you have a lot of kilometers ahead of you, it might take a while. Luckily, Sri Lanka is not a large island, so it’s probably the best country to discover with this type of vehicle.