17 Types of Auto Rickshaw Drivers You Meet in Bangalore

Pretika Menon Photography/Model: Aditi Sharma

As a well-traveled Indian who has lived in Bengaluru for over 3 years, I have zero reservations claiming that the auto rickshaw drivers here are truly one-of-a-kind. Here are the 17 different types I have had the privilege to meet:

1. The Educated, English-speaking Rickshaw drivers

And the award for the most tech savvy Auto Rickshaw drivers goes to Bangalore!! Picture courtesy: Reuters Blog
And the award for the most tech savvy Auto Rickshaw drivers goes to Bangalore!! Picture courtesy: Reuters Blog

I have not seen auto rickshaw drivers as educated and tech-savvy as in Bengaluru. From opening their English newspaper during a traffic jam to expertly using Google maps for navigation, I have seen them do it all with amazement.

2. The Super-helpful and Nice Ones

The smiling Auto Rickshaw driver
Picture courtesy: Amit Basu

Yes, they exist! I won’t forget that one night when an autowallah came to my rescue when I was being followed by 4 “over-friendly” drunk men. He dropped me till my doorstep without putting on the meter and just said, ‘aapko jo thik lage, woh do’ (pay whatever you like).

3. The Interior Decorators

All right, this picture is bit of an exaggeration but you get my drift. PC: Pinterest
All right, this picture is bit of an exaggeration but you get my drift. PC: Pinterest

The insides of their auto look oh-so-colourful and oh-so-sparkly, like some kind of a gypsy bride 😀

4. The Hafta-vasooli (extortionists) guys who ask 20 rupees over and above the standard meter charges. #LikeABoss

Let’s not even get started on those who ask for 1.5x without batting an eye. 

5. The Honest Ones who tell you, “Madam, meter not working.”

6. The Team Players who quote the same inflated rate when you’re at the auto stand.

7. The Cat-Got-The-Cream Ones: Don’t have the exact change? Never do they. Surrender the round figure to them.

8. The Naysayers: No matter where you want to go, their answer is no!

9.The Rainmakers: Want to experience blasphemy? Hear the prices they quote to take you home on a rainy day.

10. ‘No meter, Life’s Sweeter’ Guys: Now pay what they ask.  And if you have no idea about the distance, May God (or Google) save you.

11. The Defaulters – ones with the faulty meter


12. Jalopy Drivers: You know that passenger seat you’re sitting on is staying put only because of you.

13.The Wanderers/lost ones: They insist on taking shorter routes and finally you’re lost.

The chance of meeting these auto drivers is especially high when your phone’s battery is less than 5% or dead.

14. Road Kings: They drive in the middle of the road and drive so fast that they increase your faith in God.

15. The Ignorers: When you really, really need an auto, you meet these kinds who ignore you like anything.

16. The Snoopers: You’re taking an aimless stroll and one after the other, the snoopers halt near you, asking if you need a ride. And now it’s your turn to ignore them. #savage.

17.Music Lovers: Their blaring regional music can give you a headache.

Thankfully, most of them are sweet enough to turn it off if you request it.

Got an interesting autowallah story to share? Drop it in the comments below! 🙂



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Aparna Ghildiyal
I’m a true blue gypsy at heart. YES is my buzzword. Planning a travel adventure? You can always count me in. Treat me to good food, and you can be my friend forever. Fashion has been my guilty pleasure ever since I was a little girl who loved poring over the sparkling jewels and opulent gowns of Disney princesses. Keeping fit and showing love to my body is what keeps me feeling good. I LOVE those looooong discussions and stimulating experiences concerning spirituality, religion, and things beyond – the explorer in me is forever fascinated by these. A neuroscientist-turned-writer-turned-online marketer, my little 5-year-old career has seen me wearing multiple hats. In my world, there are no rules chiefly because I ain’t got no motivation to make or break ‘em.

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