- What if we get lost?
- What kind of paperwork is required?
- What does my fee cover?
- What is the deadline for the entrance fee?
- How many people can be in a team?
- Where are we going to spend the night(s)?
- What types of roads will we be driving on?
- Help, I’ve never driven a rickshaw before…
- What if I don’t want to drive a rickshaw?
- Do I need to get coverage in case of an accident?
- How much will an rickshaw cost to rent?
- Can I buy my teams’ rickshaw? Or can I buy an auto rickshaw without participating?
- What if I want to buy a different model and make insane customizations?
- Can I donate my rickshaw to a charitable cause?
- I’m a foreigner. What kind of visa do I need to bring?
- Should I bring a GPS?
- What about vaccines, medical issues, and general health during the event?
- How much money should I bring?
- Will I be able to keep my valuables somewhere?
What if we get lost?
You will be driving an unfamiliar vehicle in unfamiliar territory. You will get lost. A lot. Luckily help is on hand in all sorts of ways. There are your fellow participants who in the spirit of the event will always lend a helping hand (or occasionally completely stitch you up and send you the wrong way). But who better to point the way than the friendly locals. Savvy rickshaw teams know that the best way to get back on track is during a chat while sampling the wares of a local coconut or tea seller. If you really are hopelessly lost you have the back up of the Rickshaw Challenge Team. Part of your support pack is a pre-paid mobile phone which you can use to summon the team for help and if required, rescue!
And finally, before you consider coming armed with GPS and sophisticated mapping equipment just remember that technology can’t tell you if the road was washed away during the last monsoon or if the road contains potholes the size of moon craters!
What kind of paperwork is required?
Once your Team Registration Form has been processed by us you will know your place is confirmed and can set about planning for the trip. You will need all the usual documentation you would expect for a holiday as follows:
- Passport (with visa where applicable)
- Travel insurance
- Driving licence
- International Driving Permit (for non-Indians)
- Vehicle registration document*
*this will be provided to you by the Rickshaw Challenge Team
We strongly suggest you make copies of all your essential documents. You are able to drive autorickshaws on a licence with either car or motorcycle entitlement. If you intend to only be a passenger you will not need any licence.
What does my fee cover?
Administration of the Rickshaw Challenge is a full time, year-round job for organizers and the additional support staff in multiple offices internationally. We work hard to make things as easy as possible for participants to sign up and have a great time. Your fees enable us to carry out all the route planning, research, logistics and administration whilst providing an earning for our hard working staff.
In addition to the “background” work, your fee also covers the inclusive features of your trip package such as:
- Rickshaw Training
- Rickshaw vehicle, permit and documents
- Vehicle insurance
- Support crew and vehicle
- Luggage handling
- Organiser assistance through the event
- Survival kit
What is the deadline for the entrance fee?
The deadline for the entrance fee is 30 days before the start of the respective challenge.
We encourage you to send it in early to guarantee your place in the event.
- 40% of the registration fee is payable on sign-up to secure place
- balance 60% is due 45 days before start of event
We try to be as flexible as possible but please be aware that if full payment is not received on time we reserve the right to reallocate your place to another participant.
How many people can be in a team?
Typically teams consist of two people. This provides ample room for both you and any additional gear you may wish to carry such as cameras, water etc… A rickshaw can easily take 3 people and this is also a common team format but your space is then limited.
We also have some hardy solo competitors. You choice of course but doing all the driving alone can make it tiring and restrict your ability to take in the views and soak up the experience.
If you cannot persuade a friend to join you then we are happy to assist pairing you up with another lone traveler. You never know, you might just end up with the person of your dreams!
Where are we going to spend the night(s)?
Accommodations are the responsibility of participants. In the roadbook you get a list of hotel/hostel options with as much information as possible. You can choose based on your priorities, though keep in mind that we are traveling during tourist season in some places that have very few options to start with. To make things easier for participants we offer limited accommodation packages before the start of the event.
What types of roads will we be driving on?
The Rickshaw Challenge organizers have researched and planned the route based on roads marked on common maps, however this is a big cultural shift from developed highways. Expect dirt roads, potholes within potholes, landslides, and the possibility of roads not existing anymore! The route is designed so that any rickshaw can participate, no matter its age or model. Of course, we’ll all be expected to get out and push at some point.
Help, I’ve never driven a rickshaw before…
Worry not. The organizers of the Rickshaw Challenge will provide a crash course (ahem) for all participants. We think you will find the vehicles surprisingly easy and fun to drive.
What if I don’t want to drive a rickshaw?
Not all participants in the team are required to drive. If you’re not interested in being a driver in the event, you can still enjoy the journey from the back seat and take on the important role of being official filmmaker, photographer or navigator for your team.
Do I need to get coverage in case of an accident?
Your basic vehicle insurance is automatically covered once you are entered in the race however we strongly encourage all participants to have appropriate travel insurance to deal with medical and other costs.
How much will a rickshaw cost to rent?
The cost of the auto rickshaw rental will be included in the entrance fee. However, you are responsible for paying a €900 deposit upon receipt of your rickshaw to cover any damage to the vehicle, this deposit also covers a mobile phone for the event. The deposit will be returned to you in full if the condition of your vehicle at the end of the event is very similar to its condition at the beginning. If you’d like to make any customizations to your rickshaw, our “Pimp my ‘Shaw’” team will be excited to add your requested features to your autorickshaw. This is priced separately, please see Pimp My Shaw for details and a price list.
If I fall in love with my rickshaw can I buy it?
Yes! If after the trip you just can’t bear to part with your trusty rickshaw we can come to an arrangement. You will be responsible for all costs associated with the purchase beyond the sticker price including: taxes, shipping, customizations, rush and service fees We will be glad to assist.
We also offer a search and buy service for both participants and non-participants so if you want to return home with a momento with a difference just say the word! And if you really want to go for it check out our “Pimp my Shaw” service.
What if I want to buy a different model and make insane customizations?
Sure! You can do anything that’s legal & considered roadworthy in India so basically pretty much anything goes! We’ve had rickshaws done up as mobile discos, giant rabbits, and with luxuries like flip down flat screens and on board fridges! You dream it, we’ll Pimp it!
Can I donate my rickshaw to a charitable cause?
Provided our own costs our covered then yes. We’ve already had teams successfully donate their rickshaws to worthy local causes. Our partnership with the Round Table India means that we will easily be able to find a grateful home for your rickshaw and provide you with any necessary donation receipts or philanthropic support. New, used or just funny looking someone will be happy to accept it.
I’m a foreigner. What kind of visa do I need to bring?
A tourist visa is sufficient. Contact your local embassy for more information and any needed application processing. We encourage you to apply early (30 days before departure) in case of delays.
Should I bring a GPS?
GPS units are not required for this event, it’s completely optional. The route can easily be followed and accomplished by the use of the paper maps and navigational guides we will provide.
What about vaccines, medical issues, and general health during the event?
We highly suggest contacting a traveler’s clinic in your home country or your personal doctor to find out what kind of vaccinations you might need or medical precautions you should consider before traveling to India. Though our support vehicle will be prepared to deal with minor emergencies, we highly recommend you bring a medical kit with you, which should include the following:
- Pain killers
- Ointments for insect bites
- High SPF sunscreen (You’ll be in India, so good chance that it will be sunny.)
- Insect repellent
- Tweezers and needles
- Antiseptic alcohol
- Eye drops
- Generic antibiotics
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- First-aid supplies Please remember, you will be responsible for bringing your own prescription medication as needed.
How much money should I bring?
That is entirely up to you, but here’s what you should keep in mind.
First of all you need to bring the 900 Euros for the rickshaw deposit in cash (we don’t accept cards, checques and IOU notes).
You will have time to tour in India, which also means you will have time to gather a few souvenirs should you choose to do so. You’ll want to bring enough money to cover your food and drink costs, nightly housing costs, etc. for a week as well as some coverage in case of an emergency. ATMs and currency exchange will be available throughout the course of the event, but we also advise you have access to funds from home. After many years of great challenges with international participants we have found that most people are happy with €50 per day. Your preferences may be more or less expensive.
Visit this page for information on the current exchange rate. The currency used in India is the Indian Rupee (INR).
Will I be able to keep my valuables somewhere?
There will be a safety deposit box in the support vehicle of the event. If there is anything you do not wish to carry with you in your auto rickshaw for any reason, you can trust your possessions with our team. You will be given a detailed receipt of items placed in our possession. It will be your responsibility to hang on to this receipt in order to have your belongings returned to you.
If you have any further or specific questions about the Rickshaw Challenge, please feel free to contact us.
We’re totally serious about this. You didn’t think that you could go on an exotic and life-changing vacation without there being some real danger? India is a country like no other and you’re driving a vehicle not well regarded in safety crash tests. The good news is that because auto rickshaws have low maximum speeds they’re not likely to get into major crashes. We train you on how to drive safely and what to look out for on the specific roads you’ll be on. However your personal danger quotient is directly relational to the choices you make. In the history of the Rickshaw Challenge we’ve only had two accidents that were the direct result of participants not obeying our rules or the local laws.
Always remember that you’re in a foreign country with different rules and ideas about what’s acceptable (don’t interrupt weddings or cows, even if they’re sunning themselves in the middle of the road).