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India car: Castle & King vs TGS Travel

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Oct 19th, 2012, 10:16 AM
  #1
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India car: Castle & King vs TGS Travel

I got couple of quotes for hiring a car & driver in India and need some input. These itinerarres are all with a Toyota Innova.

Itinerary 1:
Day 1: Delhi -> Jaipur
Day 2: Jaipur
Day 3: Jaipur -> Udaipur
Day 4: Udaipur
Day 5-6: Delhi -> Agra -> Delhi
Castle & King quote is $699

Itinerary 2:
same as itineary 1 but adding a second day Jaipur and second day in Udaipur
Castle & King quote is $699

I am puzzled how I could get more service for the same price! It is about 37,000 INR.

I decided to contact TGS Travel based reccomendations by julies and others.

Itineary 3:
same as itinerary 2 plus:
airport transfer from/to Delhi airport
airport transfer to Udaipur airport
one day car/driver for Delhi
TGS Travel quote: 52,000 INR + 6.5% tax

TGS did provide a note about their pricing sayng that they fulfill all government requirements including: taxes, car insurance, and health insurance & pensions for employees. The implication is that other agencies do not fulfill those requirements.

So I am concerned that:
- the C&K quote is too low and too good to be true compared to TGS
- the TGS quote is too high
- both quotes are too high based on comments about the C&K price that I got on other threads (assuming those comments were based on current prices with current fuel costs)
mrwunrfl is offline  
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Oct 19th, 2012, 02:02 PM
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I can't answer your question, but it's quite a differential!

I'm curious about it, too, as I'm working with Nikhil, who has been wonderful in responding and following through on requests for our upcoming trip in January.

So I wondered if you were to write back to TGS and ask them directly why the difference? Maybe we're not seeing the whole picture? Or, it could simply be that people charge what they can and that's the nature of business. But I am interested to know more about that cost difference.
progol is offline  
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Oct 19th, 2012, 02:46 PM
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Mr. W, I think that C&K's quote being the same for the trip adding two additional days may reflect that most of the cost is in getting from Delhi through all of those places and back. Having the car and driver there for an extra day in two places incurs negligible costs.

I remember somewhere (but I don't remember where) getting a pair of quotes similar to your situation, and when I asked why they were the same I got that answer.
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Oct 19th, 2012, 04:20 PM
  #4
 
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on my first trip i was concerned about the same thing. imade my comparisons and decided on C&K . they proved fabulous and well worth the money. everything worked perfectly and as promised, plus their driver was fab.. ask for khrishna to be your driver.
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Oct 19th, 2012, 07:03 PM
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I will also have C&K quote my itinerary as well. The Indian Panorama (agent recommended here) quote of $365 is for transit:
Delhi airport pick up and drive to train station
Delhi - Agra by train, then pickup in Agra(one or two nights in Agra)
Agra - Jaipur (2 nights, with car for sightseeing in Jaipur included)
Jaipur - Jodphur (2 nights in Jodphur, sightseeing transit included)
Jodphur - Udaipur (3 nights in Udaipur, one day drive to lake palace etc included)
Udaipur transit to the airport.

This also included: "All Expenses related to vehicle (Fuel, Toll Tax, State Tax, Permit, Parking Etc.)"

I'll let you guys know how C&K compares.
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Oct 20th, 2012, 09:34 AM
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Hi mrwunrfl

The itinerary we quoted for was this -

Dec 24, arrive DEL at 23:20 from Bangkok
Dec 25, Drive Delhi -> Jaipur
Dec 26, Jaipur - Sightseeing Amer Fort, City Palace, Observatory
Dec 27, Jaipur - Sightseeing Galta, Jaigarh & Nahargarh Forts
Dec 28, Drive Jaipur -> Udaipur via Chittorgarh
Dec 29, Udaipur - Sightseeing City Palace, Jagdish Temple, Saheliyon ki Bari, Eklingji, Sajjangarh
Dec 30, Udaipur - Trip to Ranakpur & Kimbhalgarh
Dec 31 - delpart UDR 07:25, Jet Airways to DEL, arriving Delhi at 09:35 and then drive from Delhi airport to Agra + Agra sightseeing - Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Fatehpur Sikri
Jan 1 - Drive Agra -> Delhi
Jan 2 - Delhi - Sightseeing Old Delhi (Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Chandni Chowk, Raj Ghat) & New Delhi (Humayun's Tomb, Qutab Minar, Lutyen's Delhi, Lodhi Garden)
Jan 3 - Depart DEL at 09:20

Hope you will get a quote for this itinerary from C&K and then compare
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Oct 20th, 2012, 10:37 AM
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Turns out the $699 quote for Itinerary 2 was in error and that the correct price is $799. I do believe that it was an honest mistake and not a case of "if the customer expects to pay more then I will charge more".

I got another quote from TGS for an itinerary that was more in line with the itinerary I gave C&K. The prices are now in the same ballpark. I've been using the mustseeindia website to see what that ballpark should be and I am now comfortable with the offers that both C&K and TGS made.

I inadvertently left off the second day in Udaipur when I got the new quote from TGS. To add a second day for Udaipur the cost would depend on whether or not I want to spend the day going to Ranakpur/Kumbhalgarh. The fact that I can't make that choice yet means that I really have to do some more research on the places that I am visiting. I've mostly been focused on logistics up to now.

But I still have a transportation question. I definitely want to ride the train at some point. Both agents are pointing me towards AC First Class trains, e.g. Shatabdi trains. Riding in AC 2 Tier from Agra to Delhi was discouraged.

What are the negatives about riding in AC 2 Tier on a daytime trip? How do you secure your luggage?
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Oct 20th, 2012, 11:24 AM
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TGSTours, you posted while I was writing. And your quote included the airport transfers on Dec 24 and Jan 3 as well as Udaipur->UDR on the 31st.

I may send that itin to C&K but wanted to go the other way and get your quote for something more like the itin that C&K quoted. That is why I asked you about Dec 25-29. Your 31,000 INR quote for that is comparable.
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Oct 20th, 2012, 01:24 PM
  #9
 
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Mr W, below is best site for questions about Indian train travel (with pix). Also check Indiamike for similar queries. Then, makemy trip is great for booking.

http://www.seat61.com/India.htm#classe
CaliNurse is offline  
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Oct 20th, 2012, 05:02 PM
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I'm glad it was clarified. Makes more sense now.
progol is offline  
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Oct 20th, 2012, 05:50 PM
  #11
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CaliNurse, thanks for the link. Is the advice for using a lock and chain only applicable to overnight trains? I would only be taking a train during the daytime. I expect that I will need to use a toilet during the trip and would like to find that my bag is still at my seat when I return. Common sense tells me that my bag would be ok unchained, but I just don't know.
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 11:05 PM
  #12
 
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FYI...I still haven't heard back from C&K as for my itinerary, so will probably go with Indian Panorama as their prices seem fair.
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Oct 23rd, 2012, 09:48 AM
  #13
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Fair compared to what? You emailed to castleandking at hotmail? I suggest that you contact TGS.
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Oct 23rd, 2012, 02:57 PM
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MrW, i traveled solo day and overnight and didnt put lock/chain on suticase...but i would loc the suitcase itself. By the time i needed to leave the seat for the bathroom, i haed "made friends" with other travelers and felt fine leaving the bag under their watchful eye.
You will be fine not chaining your bags.

tansmets, i can't comment on TGS although they get great reviews, but i have used Indianpanorama three times and like you, found the prices to be fair compared to other companies I checked.
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Oct 24th, 2012, 07:51 AM
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i have found C&K to be superior on two trips
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