Hi, we are planning our trip from Delhi to leh-ladakh via manali. Would it be ok if we go in Ford Figo. I am asking this in respect to ground clearance.figo has ground clearance of 168 mm. Would you be able to share some insight on this ?
And would we need any permits or permissions for going there ?
For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway, Spiti Valley and Ladakh, I will say Possible = Yes, Difficult = Yes, at quite a few place:
You will indeed face few tough challenges on the route. The hatchback/sedan will increase the level of every challenge even further, sedan is the worst candidate. My suggestion will be to go via Srinagar route as it will help you feel comfortable with the driving, provide more acclimatization and then once you have done the local Leh-Ladakh, then come back via Manali side. Secondly, since you are in hatch/sedan, then you need to drive with extra care as well. There will be some sections on the Manali – Leh highway in which you might need to sacrifice some scratches on the underbelly. Just make sure you do not bump the engine sump (know it before where it is placed in your car). You need to protect it all around the trip. Thirdly, whenever in doubt do not rush into the section rather park aside and feel the section with your foot, see how other vehicles are crossing it and make a planned route in your mind to cross that section. You should carry some important essential things for a self drive trip to Ladakh and for it, do read reference my 40 Must Have Things to Carry on Ladakh Self Drive Trip
Also, I will strongly suggest that you go through and read my series on Spiti / Ladakh Self Drive tips at the links below:
You will need Beyond Rohtang Pass permit to cross Rohtang Pass after Manali and once you reach Ladakh, you will need Inner Line Permits for Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso moriri
Thank you for your response. I really appreciate that. And in regards to the highway we preferrably want to go via manali because of the adventures. As you suggested, I will look into our car’s underbelly so that we can better understand that aspect. As you have advised we will make sure not to rush at such places. What I am Keen to know is about these permits. The one which is from Manali to rohtang passing, would we be able to get it once we reach or can we get that online ? I will go through your forums for more information. Thank you once again.
Yes, you can get that online or using the mobile app: Rohtang Pass Permit Mobile App & Other Updates 2018-19
You need to get Beyond Rohtang Pass permit of Rs 50. The Rs 500 one does not apply to you.
Regarding Ladakh permits, you can read: Ladakh Inner Line Permits Available Online
Thank you once again for your help. I would go through these and apply for the permit on time. Will bother you again if I would need any other advice 😁. Thank you once again
Feel free to post any questions you may have for the trip
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