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This is an email I received from Zoom Car on July 28

Dear Zoomer, This is a follow-up on the Ladakh Travel Advisory (about ban of non-local vehicles including self-drive rented cars) we had issued earlier. It has come to our notice that the situation has aggravated and all outside vehicles (even personal cars) are being restricted from entering Leh. Cases of violence, including manhandling and stone pelting, have also come to light.

In view of these unfortunate events, we would advise extreme caution to anyone who is planning to take any personal or rented vehicle in the region.

I would like to know from fellow travelers currently in the area or from those who have faced trouble in the past to tell me more about the "ban of non-local vehicles" situation.

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Driving to Leh in your own vehicle can be dangerous. Have a read through this post about how people are being attacked in Leh for bringing their own cars.

Leh is not a safe place even for those who go in their own cars. Self drive rental cars are being lined up and burnt on road sides with occupants left stranded and any opposition is met with violence.

The only reason for this mess is that taxi unions who do not want outside cars coming into the region as it affects their business. They charge a lot more then the price you would pay else where in India.

I was due to leave for Leh myself but have dropped the idea.

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I had recently been to Leh-Ladakh bike tour. Few of the friends were touring the same way by a car. We had first thought of taking our own vehicle there, but then eventually dropped the idea after receiving various reports of undue issues caused by Taxi drivers union in Leh.

As per their say, it hampers their business and the safety as well. And, I don't see how.

They claim that they are the only people capable of driving on the tough roads of Leh-Ladakh and other drivers are not skilled enough and that may lead to accidents. I din't quite comprehend this claim at all.

Secondly, they think that personal vehicles would mean a loss of their business for transport and hence asked (or I should say forced) to be banned from the region. While doing that, once they are the only option there, they charge you more than what you should be paying.

Only work-around solution to this situation is, either make it a bike tour or get in touch with your hotel guy who could definitely bargain rates for you.

After the tour, I have finally managed to tally the expenses only to find out that the car that we arranged through the Hotel manager was affordable as compared to the one that we had to take as in a prepaid taxi thing.

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