Whether you are planning a trip to Goa or you are already in Goa, do not ever hire the vehicles with white number plates, (private cars/vehicles) If you do so then you will have to pay the fine for no fault of others, because as per the regulations, private car owners are not allowed to rent out their vehicles for commercial purposes. It is punishable under the MV Act. 

The private cars are meant to be used only for the personal purpose, and giving it out on rent is the violations of the traffic norms, and the people who give such vehicles on rent are violating that law, but unfortunately, the tourists who hire these vehicles have to pay the fines.

This article about his experience in Goa was written by Mr Joseph Zuzarte for the MID-DAY, and according to him, If you’re going to visit Goa, and have plans to rent a bike or car, keep this in mind: Don’t hire a vehicle with white number plates. In case you need to hire the self-driven vehicles always go for the yellow number plates.

Now the question here is, why did he say that? What was the reason that compiled him to make such statement? This information will be very helpful regardless of the fact whether you stay in Goa or visiting it for the first time.

Many tourists domestic as well as foreigners who visit this tiny beautiful state, which is also known as the pearl of the east, have been taken for a ride by the people who rent the vehicles out on the daily or weekly basis. 

The tourists coming to Goa on a short visit regardless of the fact if they are Indians or the foreigners, rent a self-driven vehicle in the state to move around, But they are now aware that renting a car or bike with white number plates are completely illegal? Yes, many a time the person you rent vehicles from may not even tell you the consequences attached to it.

According to Mr Zuzarte, Apart from the tourist taxis and rental self-drive vehicles that have yellow number plates, there are private two-wheelers and four-wheelers with white number plates, which are illegally rented out by some people in Goa.

Most of the people who rent out the two or four wheelers with white number plates are not the part of Tourist Taxi Owners Association and the work is carried out by them is illegal in nature.      

According to the sources, Once tourists on a vehicle with a white number plate are stopped by police, the attempts to contact the owners of the vehicles go in vain, and the vehicle gets seized.

The new development has taken place due to a moratorium on new rent-a-bike and rent-a-car licenses by the Goa government following pressure from the tourist taxi owners’ association.     

The problem is directly related to the high fares charged by tourist taxis in Goa, as there is no public transport in Goa after 7 pm. Also, locals prefer to buy and operate tourist taxis which operate without meters, charging ‘fixed fares’. All kinds of cars, from Maruti Swifts to Mercedes, and even Audis, are used as tourist taxis.

The rates vary accordingly, and overcharging is common as the owners of rental vehicles steps in. Over the years, with the rise in tourist arrivals, the number of vehicles rental has swelled and has the number of tourist taxis, which means more people have bought cars to rent them out.

According to Mr Zuzarte, there is two groups or association that exists in Goa. The North Goa Tourist Taxi Owners Association (NGTTOA) and North Goa Rent-A-Cab Association and both have their point own point of view on this issue.

Mr Ravindra Vengurlekar, vice-president of the influential North Goa Tourist Taxi Owners Association (NGTTOA), says, “We have been protesting against the illegal renting out of private cars as it is affecting our legal taxi business.” while, Mr Nitesh Chodankar, vice-president of the North Goa Rent-A-Cab Association, said, “We want permits for our private rental cars so that we can earn a livelihood.”

Meanwhile, the RTO does not have the provision made for the white number plates cars or bikes to used commercially for renting out. Despite the fact that the business runs under the nose of the system no one others to stop it, but once the tourists get stopped by the traffic police for the scrutiny the real problems start.

If you have faced any such problems in your trips to Goa, please do share with us here and we will take up your story online. You can also leave your feedback on this story.   

Source: MIDDAY

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