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Friday, May 09, 2014

Interstate tourist taxi permit fee mafia

If you’re traveling on a rented car (yellow board) and it had to cross a state border, you might remember your driver asking for extra money as permit fee. Almost all states charge a fee for tourist vehicles registered in other states to enter. It is a source of revenue to many states, particularly touristy states and a way of protecting commercial interests of local taxis.
Pay more if you're travelling in yellow board
This post shares some of my observations in this regard.

Different states have different rate structures. While most states offer daily/weekly/monthly charges, some states only offer long term tax (like Himachal Pradesh, which charges Rs 610 for 2 month entry permit- even for a 24 hour visit, one has to pay Rs 610)

The tax rates often depend on how many seats are there in the vehicle. For a 5 seater vehicle (Such as Indica or the likes), permit fee as I know is as below:
  • Pondicherry: Rs 28 per day
  • Punjab: Rs 200 per day
  • UP: Rs 120 per day
RTO checkpost at HP border
Himachal pradesh entry fee for tourist taxi
UP tourist taxi entry permit fee
What happens if you don’t pay the taxes? RTO officials are authorized to seize the vehicle and fine up to 5000/10000 Rs. But this check rarely happens. That is probably because taxi drivers do not have any motive to skip paying the tax, as they pass on the entire burden to their customers. The fear of seizure and fine also forces them not to take any chances. Also if the customers are unsuspecting, a taxi driver might add another 100 Rs to the actual amount, while collecting money from the customers. 

During my 5 day, 5 states, 2000kms road trip in North India, I wasn't ever asked for permit details. While returning to Delhi our car was stopped by Punjab police- they asked me to open the boot, which I complied- we had over a dozen bag and asked if we should open it and show- they just let us through, without asking for permit or checking the bags. I’ve never seen an RTO official asking for permit receipt from a tourist vehicle. (But this is NOT a reason NOT to pay permit fee).

There’re lots of practical challenges in this concept of Interstate permit fee or tax for tourist vehicles (Yellow board):
1. When a state has multiple entry points, a check post or booth to pay entry tax may not be available on all roads that lead to the state. These check posts often exist on main entrances. Taxi drivers are familiar with these points, hence make a point to go through them and pay the tax, but those using unconventional routes may often miss these check posts. It is not fair to expect a driver to always know where exactly is the check post and then drive several of extra kms to visit that post and pay the tax.

While going from Delhi to UP, I was told that the booth to pay UP road tax is located near Anand Vihar bus stand. This meant about 5-6kms detour and 30 mins of extra time (this was at midnight, expect more time in day time). If I was to enter Haryana and then enter UP from a different road, where do I supposed to go to pay the tax? Of course lots of states offer online payment facility for the permit fee.

Similarly, if we're going from Chennai to Tirupati on the conventional route, we find a check post to pay permit fee. But if I am to go to Sriharikota, then to Venkatagiri and then connect to Bangalore-Tirupati road, probability of finding a check post is very low. If there's no place to pay tax on the route I am taking, why should I travel extra, wasting time, fuel etc to pay tax?

2. Lot of time customers end up paying double tax- for example, if we’re going from Delhi to Himachal Pradesh via Punjab, say you start from Delhi on Friday morning, pass via Punjab and reach HP border by evening, spend 24 hours in HP and return to Delhi on Saturday/Sunday- in this process, we’ll have to pay Punjab tax for 2 days (though total time spent in Punjab is less than 24 hours, pay 600 Rs to HP Govt, just to be in for a day etc. I feel this tax should be abolished if a driver can prove that he is only passing through the state and doesn’t intend to stay (such as showing hotel confirmations etc)

3. It is very common for people manning permit booths to demand 50 Rs or so extra than the receipt amount. If questioned, they might let you pay only the receipt amount. At HP border, the guy asked me to enter my name in his computer, because he had left is spectacles back home. As I typed my name, he asked for Rs 650, while the print out showed Rs 600. When I demanded why extra, he pointed to a text which said “Processing fee Rs 10 extra’. Then I paid only Rs 600 and another 10. He murmured something but accepted the money.

4. As a customer, if you go near the officials who print the receipt, you might be asked to go away. This is often a ploy to ensure that you don’t see the receipt amount.

5. If I pay for a day, assuming that I will return before midnight, but a major traffic jam or pathetic roads on the way delays the return, whose fault it is? Is the taxi driver and customers expected to factor such delays and pay for an extra day?

6. Please note that this permit fee amount is in addition to 100s of rupees charged by numerous toll booths.

7. During 2010, when we toured 6 states for over 26 days as a part of Tata Nano superdrive, we had an events team which was going a day ahead of us in a tourist bus. (their task was to reach the next city, prepare for hotel events etc). During 26 days road trip, the bus had to pay Rs 1.6 lakhs in permits and tolls. Yes, it is 1.6 lakh rupees in interstate permit and tolls. (Bus has much more seats compared to a taxi, so permit tax for a bus will be much higher)- this is about Rs 6200 a day OR Rs 27000 per state or Rs 29 per km.


8. Lots of taxi operators arrange white board vehicles for interstate travel, to avoid this hefty permit fee and often expect customers to shell out 50% of the permit fee they ‘saved’ because of this genius arrangement. This is illegal, but very difficult to enforce. Passengers are trained to say “this is our relative’s vehicle” and nothing much can be done to prove otherwise.

9. Tour operators in Mangalore often arrange for alternate vehicles at Kerala border and ask their passengers to get down and board another bus- to save 1000s of rupees otherwise had to be shelled out on interstate permit.

10. The interstate permit tax is applicable to self drive vehicles as well. Bangalore based Zoomcars reimburses AP state permit to its customers, as a policy. Carzonrent doesn’t have such a policy.

11. These days toll and permit fees add up to as much as diesel cost or even greater.

12. When new states are created, travelers burden doubles. Now that Telangana is being created, will AP reduce its permit fee by Half since half of its land is gone? Will Telangana stop charging those who’ve already paid AP entry permit? For no apparent logic, travelers now need to shell out twice the money.
Pondy Entry fee
 13. In hill stations, space is at premium. Lots of parking spaces are grabbed by local taxi unions and outside vehicles are not allowed to park there (see sample image below, clicked in Dharmashala). If an outside taxi pays permit fee, then it should get full access to all parking spaces otherwise illegally protected by local taxis.
14. If I am not using all the seats in the car, I still have to pay full tax. For example, say I've removed last row seats of Innova and made it a luxury 4 seater. Still tax needs to be paid as per RC book. Similarly, even if a taxi driver wishes to go to other state for his personal work or to take his family for an outing, tax still needs to be coughed up.

56 comments :

The wild said...

Regarding point 3 ,abt the clerk asking you to enter your name -you should ask him for 650 for doing his work -guess after you got the receipt.

We are still living in the era of british raj,there has to be some rationalization of permits to ensure seamless travel and middlemen.

Dont know why the tata nano bus didnt have national permit,that they would wouldnt have to pay such hefty permits.

Same is the case of toll roads where there is no end date or how much of money has been collected ,toll should be ended after a certain date once costs are recovered / money reduced to only maintain the roads.

There are hundreds of illegal bridge tolls in several places in india collected by local panchayat ,in some cases the bridges are crumbling.

All thanks for the useless union govt which doesnt have a comprehensive road policy

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Yes, I should have thought about it..


Agree. There has to be a rationale to determine how much should be the tax, what are the benefits etc.

Thanks for the detailed comment

Rajbharath M said...

hi Shrinidhi,
i have been an regular reader to your blog post and the recent one which is "interstate tourist taxi permit fee mafia " is a eyeopener for many travelers who take taxi services to other states. i often take self drive cars to Tamil nadu a 4+1 seater car where i am asked to pay 150 totally at the hosur check post. is it possible for me to get details on fee policy in tamilnadu for suv class of vehicle

kiranv said...

Hi,

I am travelling to Tamil Nadu(Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari, etc.,) from Bellary(karnataka) along with my family members in 28seater Swaraj Mazda.

Does anyone know how much tax or state permit i need to pay ?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@KiranV

I do not know the exact amount- but should be around a thousand rupees. Ask for receipt and check the amount as driver might quote few hundred rupees more.

If you're entering Via AP then you'll have to pay for AP also.

If possible take a train till some city in TN and rent a vehicle from there.

@Rajbharath: I remember paying around Rs 600 for a Tavera..should be around that.

Ghanshyam Sharma said...

If I'm traveling to himachal from Delhi for 3 days how much the toll tax and permit will cost for yellow plate .tell me anyone asap

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Rs 610.. Permit valid for 3 months though

Car rental jammu said...

You are absolutely right. In himachal Pradesh they force you for a quarterly tax if you have 7 seater commercial vehicle even if u spend one day. Govt have to device some rational formula.
Thanks

Safe Line Fleet said...

I had once sent a suggestion to the Union Minister of Road Transport, to rationalise this whole Tax and Permit system, by introducing a simple Toll booth sort of thing at every entry point to the state, where every vehicle, irrespective of it being a private car, or a taxi, or a bus or whatever, thats concerned with movement of people and not goods, and then to charge a nominal amnount per seat of the vehicle, occupied or not, every time the vehicle crosses the border. Lets say Rs. 25/- - 50/- per seat. So a sedan would pay for 5 seats, a big car like Innova would pay 400/- and a bus , Rs. 2000/-. Makes sense ?
Now this will remove all the vagaries associated with the process, and rationalise the whole system, while also ensuring the state is not deprived of its revenue required for the upkeep of the infrastructure.
I'm still waiting for even an acknowledgement.
Can I request comments on this arrangement ?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Good idea. But why charge private cars also?

Anonymous said...

Sir, we are planning to visit kerela via Valparai - Athirapally - Munnar on Dec 25 & 26th What will be State Permit of a Mini Bus have Seating Capacity of 21.


Shrinidhi Hande said...

Don't know exact amount. This article claims Rs 600 per seat, which puts the amount at 12000-13000 Rs for a 21 seat minibus. It might be cheaper to take a bus/train to Kerala and then hire a local vehicle

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-kerala/tamil-nadu-trips-hit-entrytax-bump/article3334527.ece

Jijesh Bhaskaran said...

Hi, as all said above, system is very ridiculous, I had travelled to kerala from Mumbai via bangalore Mumbai highway, this year Feb, Inc Xylo 7 seater tourist Permit vehicle from Mulund to at the end of golden quadrilateral, I payed 1200 for Toll, the main thing is when we reached karnataka border from Mumbai, the officer told us to pay 16500/- for Permit that too for 1 year, and they take that in cash, they will only accept demand draft, at 2:00 am where will we make a demand draft.they told us to halt at a nearby hotel and instead morning when banks open we have to make a demand draft.we talked very politely to the officer, because we doesn't know about this DD, we can give cash, but he didn't take cash, and said if anything happens when we were passing through, the are not responsible, we left there and at morning, we reached kerala border, they only charged 2000/- for 3 month, we only need one month stay, but they told that it's the minimum charges.

And recently i heard that karnataka had reduced there charges to 2500/- for 7 days or 15 days.

Really the Toll charges are too high and 16500/- for just passing through karnataka to reach kerala.......!!!!!!!?????? About approximately 6 to 8 hours running from maharashtra border to kerala border... We have to pay 16500/- Permit, plus 1200/- Toll, plus 5000/- Diesel.

I was noted down all the detail from start to end of my trip.each minute detail. But that paper missed, after the trip.

Anyway salute to Indian government

Average middle class man cannot afford this hectic amount, but what if, if there's an emergency situation.....

Thanks.

I was surfing thru interstate Permit on Internet, because I have to go bangalore for some work.
Somebody said the fee was reduced.

amit said...

hi i am travling in haryana , delhi,panjab,himachal pradesh and j&k for 9 days tour with yellow plate tavera. will you plz find me the tax amount for this ?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Amit

Punjab Rs 120 per day, HP Rs 610 (valid for 3 months), If you rent in Delhi it is likely to have Haryana permit by default (as they often go to Gurgaon).. J&K I am not sure... Overall it should cost a few thousand rupees easily.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Jignesh
Thanks for sharing your detailed experience. Yes everyone wants to look commercial vehicles. There is no clear logic, process or uniformity among states. Everyone is free to charge whatever they feel like

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Jignesh
Best is often to take a train and hire local vehicle, or drive in your own white board vehicle. I am not sure about Bangalore rates-never had to try

Deepak Raju said...

Some states have a temporary entry tax based on the vehicle type and number of days stay. Example TN is Rs. 60 below 7 days.

Often can guys quote the permit amount. That is different.

Better to refer to each states' RTO before traveling and take s print out. That way nobody can cheat you.

On a side note, vehicle taxes, this one and the lifetime tax for new vehicles is higher than even the excise taxes collected. And the easiest in terms of cost of collection.

Excise or sales taxes are often litigated. Plus you need large number of staff to ensure compliance. Usually the cost of collecting such tax per 1/- is almost 50 paise.

sam said...

Hello,
Today I just found your blog and this is really helpful.
We are planning to go to pune from Bangalore this December end by carzonrent self drive vehicle. I am worried about the entry tax for Maharashtra. I heard it is approximately ₹200 for a week,but I am worried about where to pay the tax. Where is the toll booth in between nipani to Kolhapur. Can anyone help me out on this?

Anonymous said...

@Sam - for the 2 locations you mentioned, Kognoli is the toll plaza.

Its Rs. 40 per car.

You can check by yourself for other places.

Go to: nhtis dot org. Click the map link. Enter your source and destinations.

I heard that the highway authority has an app for this. You may search on play store if you wish.

Cheers.

Deepak Raju said...

Here is the toll plaza and rates if you like.

Fee Effective Date : 01-Apr-2015
Type of vehicle Single Journey Return Journey Monthly Pass Commercial Vehicle Registered within the district of plaza
Car/Jeep/Van 40.00 65.00 1460.00 20.00
LCV 90.00 140.00 3125.00 45.00
Bus/Truck 190.00 290.00 6460.00 95.00
Upto 3 Axle Vehicle 190.00 290.00 6460.00 95.00
4 to 6 Axle 325.00 485.00 10750.00 160.00
HCM/EME 325.00 485.00 10750.00 160.00
7 or more Axle 390.00 5

sam said...

Thank you everyone..

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Deepak n Anon for helping out

nishant9110@hotmail.com said...

plz let me know road tax details fr tourist cars frm maharashtra entering karnataka fr 15 days to 1 month

Deepak Raju said...

750 per passenger. It's valid for a year.

You could just stop 100 meters away from the check post. Ask all adults to walk across the border. Then get back in a bit past the post.

Deepak Raju said...

Here is the reference:
http://rto.kar.nic.in/MV%20Taxation%20Schedules%20amended%20upto%202010[1].pdf

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Deepak for stepping in and sharing right info

Anonymous said...

hi thanks fr ur input,is it confirmed coz earlier till 2014 it was approx 9000 fr cars an 16500 fr innova fr 1 year i myself had an experience tourist taxis frm maharashtra entering karnataka....plz let me know the exact amount an period,coz i will be going 2 kerala in tourist car in april 2016.....frm mumbai..... plz let me know................ thanks..

Deepak Raju said...

It's dependent on the floor board area. Above 6 m square or below. Plus # of adults.

All have different rates. Please refer the linked PDF above. It has the exact values.

Deepak Raju said...

There is one thing though. Since it's valid for a year, if a cab or innova has paid once, he does not pay again that year.

I have a strong suspicion. Seems to me, cab guys take full cash from passengers on all trips and just pretend to pay.

They'll just keep the money for themselves. Maybe the border guards are privy to it? I don't know.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Deepak- very likely. I have noticed customers are discouraged from going near the counter while this fee is paid and if proof is not asked, drivers usually collect more money from customers than actual fee. So one should check receipt before paying the driver

Gopalakrishnan said...

Plz let me know the interstate permit fee (entry tax) for entry Into Andhra pradesh from Karnataka in a tourist taxi. Gopalakrishnan.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

I think it is about Rs 200 or so for small cars. Do not know the exact amount, but it is not huge. Zoom car says it will reimburse Andhra permit fee.

nishant nair said...

hi plz let me know exact amount of road tax in karnataka fr TOURIST CAR TATA MANZA, frm maharashtra....

noor patel said...

Pls let me know exact amount of tp tax in Karnataka for Ertiga 7 seater

Marcus said...

Hi Srinidhi,

Am planning to use the self drive car from revv for the first time... drive between bangalore & hyderabad for the weekend. This will mean I cut through AP and the new Telangana. Am looking for some inputs on the documents that are required for paying the taxes/entry fees/permits. Along with that would you know where these payment counters / check posts are ?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Marcus- sorry for late reply

You don't have to worry about the documents- rental agency will have all the documents needed. You just need to pay the amount- they are usually located just after the state border- you will see many yellow board taxis parked around it.

Try online too.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Noor patel
Checked a few links, couldn't locate exact amount. Should be similar to what Innova guys pay. Pls check at border.

@Nishanth-again, sorry don't have exact amount- check at border.

http://rto.kar.nic.in/permit-fees1.htm
http://rto.kar.nic.in/sta-permits.htm

Deepak Raju said...

If anyone is good with excel a chart can be made showing the matrix of inter state costs.

As far as Karnataka goes, it's dependent on:
1. the base area of the vehicle >< 5m square approx. 1000/-
2. Vehicle on road Cost >< 15 lakhs - approx. 500/-
3. the number of passengers - 500 per head

So if you are 5 passengers + driver = 4000/-

If you're a foreigner, the amount you pay the driver for hire charges must be in foreign currency. Not the interstate tax though.

I'm think a simple 2-3 screen app can be provided by the central govt. for efficient collections.

Even a cheap phone transmits its location to the nearest tower. No need to trouble the GPS satellites.

That can be deducted from the drivers prepaid phone currency. Or added to his post paid bill.

In both cases, the hiring party transfers the amounts to the driver's phones. Or pays directly and forwards the confirmation SMS to driver.

Telcos must be arm twisted to enable free usage. Banks must enable the payment gateways as an essential service.

It's got a 1000 times more value than a face-tube freebie.



Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Deepak Raju for detailed explanation.

I think 4000 for a 5 seater is steep- a short trip to Karnataka won't be viable at that amount- it is got to be more sensible.

Yes, it is possible to simplify and automate this, but the transport department is a money making machine- automation will reduce corruption which some people don't want.

Deepak Raju said...

To know the entry tax for cabs for every state you may use this string.

Copy to google and hit the enter button.
entry tax motor cab site:*.in

For bing replace "site" with "domain".

Have fun.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Deepak

Bhaskar Sivanathan said...

Thanks to find a active group, who could answer my Qs

1) I am planning to take my family members to Tirupati from Bangalore in Tempo Traveler (12 Seater) - Karnataka Vehicle. I would like to know what is the Permit fee for Tempo Traveler to be paid @ Andhra check point ?

Bangalore to Tirupati - Permit Fee ?

2) From Tirupati we continue to travel to Tirutani, TamilNadu, what is the permit fee to be paid for the same Tempo Traveler entering Tamil Nadu?

Tirupati to Tirutani, TN - Permit Fee ?

Appreciate your prompt

Thanks,
Bhaskar

Admin said...

Hello.
I'm going to Maharastra from Rajasthan via Madhya Pradesh for a tour in a 52 seater non a/c bus. I know the border tax rates of MP. Anyone have any idea about the border tax per seat for Maharashtra?? Please tell me asap.

Sanil said...


Hi, Can someone help?


I have a yellow board taxi registered in Karnataka with national permit, wish to travel from Karnatak to Kerala(via Tamilnadu).

The travel is towards my hometown in kerala with family for two weeks.

1. Do I need to take any permit to enter Tamilnadu and kerala?

2. Do I need to pay any state entry tax in kerala and Tamilnadu

3. Can I pay online?

4. What is the meaning of National permit if we need to pay for each state?


Regards,
Sanil

BABAXXXBXBX said...

What is tax for innova 7 seater for one day andhra tax

punith cm said...

Pls Let me know the interstate tax for Ford Figo to tamilnadu and kerala

Prince Henry said...

Kerala and TN both charge 250. It's valid for 1 week.

You also have to carry your originals of the DL and vehicle RC.

This rate is for 4+1 vehicle capacity. Innova type 6+1 it is appropriatey double.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Prince Henry- thanks for sharing the details

@Punith- You got the answer now. Ask for receipt if officials at the counter quote a large amount

Vikas said...

I'm planning to start a taxi business. I would like to know what is the tax per day for a 4+1 taxi entering Maharashtra from Gujarat? Can I pay the tax for the whole month, if yes, what is the amount? Also, is it possible to pay online? Thanks.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Vikas- I don't have those information- fellow taxi drivers in your area should be aware of this information. Best wishes for your new business

chodagam nageswara rao said...

Iam planning to visit ganagapur in karnataka and parli vaidhyanadh in maharastra in the month of august by 12 seater travel bus how much tax i have to pay in karnataka and also in maharastra ??????

Anonymous said...

Planning for 3 days trip from Bangalore to Wayanad(Kerala) in an Innova.
we checked with a travel agent, and they are saying Rs6000/- for the interstate permit.
Also saying the amount has increased few days back.

Please help me to get the exact amount need to pay from Karnataka to Kerala trip.

Senthil said...

Planning to hire a yellow board Innova to travel to Shirdi from Coimbatore- Tamilnadu .Can you please help me with the entry tax details of Karnataka and Maharashtra. I know that for Karnataka i can pay the entry tax before entering Bangalore somewhere after Hosur. but where should i pay for Maharashtra..Can these entry taxes paid online for both Karnataka and Maharashtra..Is there any other issues like driver badge etc...Please help...

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Anon- I paid only Rs 150 for Scorpio at Kerala border. Amount should be similar for Innova as well, may be another 50-100 more if there is some increase, certainly NOT Rs 6000, which is a rip off.

Inform operator that you will be happy to pay the amount as per receipt at the interstate border- once driver shows the receipt pay that amount. Nothing extra, nothing less, else try booking self drive or with some other operator

@Senthil- answers are already given in above comments I guess, but will be within a thousand or two. If you have an option take a bus/train/flight to Mumbai/Pune and then rent a car.

@Nageshwar- sorry, I don't have the amount handy. Best wishes

Anonymous said...

There is an article mentioning the Kerala entry tax has been increased. But apparently if you are in a state permit taxi the fees is lower than national permit. The national permit taxi needs to pay tax for the year. State permit taxi has to pay for shorter duration. Could anyone confirm this please? Also any idea, what the amount is likely for Kerala for state permit taxis.