Thursday, December 7, 2023
HomeSurvival GuideTransportTuk tuk in Sri Lanka

Tuk tuk in Sri Lanka

The three-wheeler we all know, or Tuk Tuk, was formerly known as the auto-rickshaw. The history of three-wheelers is somewhat controversial, with some claiming that the first three-wheeler was built in 1947 and others in 1934. But a look at the historical records reveals that the history of the first three-wheeler goes back to 1886.

auto rickshaw

The Piaggio Ape three-wheeler is believed to have been manufactured in Italy in 1947 as the first three-wheeler. However, 61 years before the creation of the Piaggio Ape three-wheeler, there was a three-wheeler. Some say the first three-wheeler was made in 1934 by the Japanese. Three-wheelers were exported from Japan to Thailand in 1934, but it is still a question of whether they are three-wheelers. According to reports, they are designed to be three-wheeled motorbikes, so these are a bit difficult to consider as three-wheelers. However, the basic premise of today’s three-wheelers was this vehicle.

What is a tuk tuk?

A Tuk-tuk is a small vehicle that has three wheels. There are several other names for this car, of which trishaws, three-wheelers, and autorickshaws are the most commonly used. This has been a very popular taxi vehicle worldwide in recent times.

tuk tuk in Sri Lanka

It has been used in many countries, including Asia, Africa, and Europe, and is still used in some countries. Three Wheelers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, giving us the right to choose the one that best suits our needs. This small vehicle is often the family vehicle of a middle-class family. People with financial difficulties use three-wheelers as their travel companions and life partners. and also This vehicle is widely used in many Asian countries like India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand and mainly for urban transport. The rickshaw, now known as the tuk-tuk, was born wherever but is now mass-produced in India and exported.

Why is a three-wheeler called a tuk tuk?

This vehicle got the name tuk tuk because of the sound of the car. The name comes from the fact that small motorcycle engines have been improved to 2 strokes and 4 strokes and used the noise caused by small silencers. Excessive pressure in the small silencer tube causes a tuk-tuk sound as the exhaust air escapes.

Sri Lanka tuk tuk Taxi

What type of vehicle is a three-wheeler?

The three-wheeler is a non-motor vehicle and does not belong to the motorcycle category. Countries that have three-wheelers have special categories.

How fast do three-wheelers go?

Three-wheelers have variant speed limits in each country. the car can reach a top speed of about 80 km / h with a 4 or 5-gear small engine. But the safe speed limit of three-wheelers in Sri Lanka is about 40 km / h.

What fuel does a three-wheeler use?

Petrol : tuk tuk fuel

No matter what type of fuel is initially used, there are tuk-tuks in Sri Lanka that are running on petrol and diesel engines. Petrol is mostly used for passenger transport but a three-wheeler with a diesel engine is more suitable for heavy transport. Three-wheelers with diesel engines are also very popular with small business owners and farmers in the highlands. This is because it is easier to run with more weight and has more space. If you like to do a tuk-tuk tour in Sri Lanka, a petrol three-wheeler is more suitable.


How to drive a three-wheeler?

Have you ridden a motorcycle?

If you had, Then three-wheeler riding is so simple. The main controller here is not a steering wheel but a handlebar. However, unlike motorcycles here, there is no lever for the front brakes but there is a brake system that can be applied to both the rear and front using legs.

When you sit in the driving seat you will see the handlebar, meter panel, and other buttons.

1 – You should start the vehicle using the key or starting button.

2 – You can apply the 1st gear push the clutch and rotate the gear lever to the backside. (To Your side). You Should hold the clutch when you rotate the gear lever.

3 – Now smoothly release the clutch and apply gas as you do with a motorcycle.

4 – When you feel like moving the vehicle you can try second gear. As for the first gear should push the clutch and rotate the gear lever to the front side. you will feel one stop but it is not the second gear, it is neutral.  after that one is second gear. You can apply the second gear at one time rotating the gear lever to the second stop.

5 – Until the 5th gear, you repeat the same method. Making gear neutral is a little bit hard because it is in the middle of the 1st and 2nd gear stops.

6 – To stop or slow down the three-wheeler you can press down the brake paddle.

7 – The rest of the control buttons you can see on the lever and you can use them for your needs.

8 – To reverse the vehicle there is a lever under the handle and between your legs. Neutral the gear and then Put the lever down. Then Apply the first gear and release the clutch slowly,  looking at the back mirrors. to move front pull the lever up and follow the above steps.

Do you need a license to drive a three-wheeler in Sri Lanka?

Yes of course. You can not ride a three-wheeler with your light vehicle license but you can upgrade your license to ride three-wheelers in Sri Lanka. You have to face an exam and a practical exam. That means after you pass the exam you have to prove that you can drive a three-wheeler.

Are foreigners allowed to drive tuk-tuks in Sri Lanka?

Yes, foreigners are generally allowed to drive tuk-tuks in Sri Lanka, but there are some important considerations:

  1. International Driving Permit: You typically need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to legally drive in Sri Lanka as a foreigner. Ensure you have the correct category on your IDP that allows you to drive the type of vehicle you intend to rent, which includes tuk-tuks.
  2. Local Regulations: Familiarize yourself with local driving regulations and requirements, including traffic rules and road signs. Sri Lanka has its own traffic laws, and it’s essential to follow them.
  3. Rental Agency Rules: Check with the rental agency about their specific requirements and policies for renting a tuk-tuk to a foreigner. Some agencies may have additional conditions or restrictions.
  4. Safety: Be cautious when driving in Sri Lanka, as road conditions and traffic can be challenging, especially in urban areas. It’s advisable to have some prior experience driving in similar conditions.
  5. Insurance: Ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage for the tuk-tuk, as accidents can happen. Verify the insurance details with the rental agency.

Always prioritize safety and responsible driving when operating a tuk-tuk in a foreign country like Sri Lanka.

What are the disadvantages of Tuk Tuks?

Tuk-tuks are a popular mode of transportation in many parts of the world, including Sri Lanka, but they do come with some disadvantages:

  1. Limited Comfort: Tuk-tuks are not known for their comfort. They usually have minimal padding and can be quite bumpy, especially on rough roads. Long rides can be uncomfortable.
  2. Exposure to Weather: Tuk-tuks are open-air vehicles, which means you are exposed to the elements. This can be a disadvantage during heavy rain, strong sun, or cold weather.
  3. Limited Space: Tuk-tuks have limited space compared to other vehicles, which can be a challenge if you have a lot of luggage or if you are traveling with a group of people.
  4. Safety Concerns: In some areas, tuk-tuks may not be as safe as other modes of transportation, especially on busy highways. Seatbelts are not always available, and the open design offers less protection in case of an accident.
  5. Noise and Pollution: Tuk-tuks are often noisy, and the two-stroke engines used in some models can contribute to air pollution.
  6. Limited Speed: Tuk-tuks are not known for their speed. They are slower than cars, which means longer travel times, especially for longer distances.
  7. Negotiating Fares: In some places, negotiating fares with tuk-tuk drivers can be a hassle, and tourists may sometimes be charged higher prices.
  8. Traffic and Congestion: In crowded cities, tuk-tuks can get stuck in traffic congestion, leading to delays.

Despite these disadvantages, tuk-tuks can be a convenient and fun way to explore certain areas, especially for short trips and in places where they are a common mode of transportation. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons and consider your specific travel needs when deciding whether to use a tuk-tuk.

Is tuk tuk safe?

The three-wheeler is not a safe vehicle at all. Because it is a small and soft iron mixture. That’s why three-wheelers in Sri Lanka are cheaper than other family vehicles and taxi vehicles. The Three-wheeler has no airbags yet but has seat belts. Even though we see it as easy to control, It is not true because the vehicle you have to control has just three wheels and just a handle to control the tuk-tuk. For example, If you forget to control the speed when you take a bend, a three-wheeler would be rolling on the road. Most accidents recorded in Sri Lanka are tuk tuk accidents.

If you wish a tour in Sri Lanka, we can help you arrange a Three-wheeler. Contact us


  • What are tuk-tuks called in Sri Lanka?

In Sri Lanka, tuk-tuks are commonly referred to as “three-wheelers.”

  • Are there tuk-tuks in Sri Lanka?

Yes, tuk-tuks, also known as three-wheelers, are a popular mode of transportation in Sri Lanka. They are widely used for short-distance travel and are a distinctive part of the country’s transportation landscape.

  • Can I rent a tuk-tuk Sri Lanka?

Yes, you can rent a tuk-tuk in Sri Lanka. Many rental agencies offer tuk-tuks for tourists who wish to explore the country at their own pace. However, make sure to check the local regulations and requirements for renting and driving a tuk-tuk in Sri Lanka, as they may vary.

  • How much to pay for tuk tuk?

The cost of renting a tuk-tuk in Sri Lanka can vary depending on several factors, including the duration of the rental, the type of tuk-tuk, and the rental agency. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 Sri Lankan Rupees per day (approximately $5 to $15 USD) for rent. Prices may be higher for longer rental periods or if you opt for a more modern and comfortable one. It’s advisable to compare prices from different rental agencies and negotiate if needed to get the best deal.

Reviews (0)

Still doesn't have any reviews

Leave a review

I am a certified tour guide in Sri Lanka. I have a 5-year experience as a tourist guide lecture for whole Sri Lanka


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here



Most Popular

Recent Comments