Hire a car and driver only through your hotel or tour operator; UP Tours, the government of Uttar Pradesh's tour arm ; the Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation ; or a recommended local travel agent.
For trips to Agra from Delhi, contact Dhanoa Tours and Travels. Rates start around Rs. 9,000 and go up to Rs. 10,000 for a day trip, depending on the size of the vehicle. The price includes tax, a driver, and a guide. Expect to pay about Rs. 500 extra for a worthwhile detour to Fatehpur Sikri.
Prices in Agra are generally Rs. 8–Rs. 10 per kilometer. A non-air-conditioned car for four hours or 40 km (25 miles) should cost about Rs. 1,200–Rs. 1,400—the minimum charge. For overnight excursions, add a halt charge of Rs. 600. The standard charge for a trip to Fatehpur Sikri is Rs. 1,800, but prices are always negotiable. You can hire a taxi at the train station under a fixed-rate system. If you'd prefer not to be taken to the driver's choice of stores, restaurants, or hotels (where he gets a commission), say so firmly up front.
In Khajuraho, a hired car can be convenient if you want to wander outside town or can't walk the 3 km (2 miles) to the most distant temples. An air-conditioned car should cost about Rs. 800 for four hours or 40 km (25 miles). You can hire a taxi for about Rs.7–Rs. 9 per km.
Dhanoa Tours and Travels. Dharam Marg, near Malcha Marg Market, Chanakyapuri, Central Delhi, Delhi, National Capital Territory, 110021. 011/26886051; 981/0058913.
Touraids Travel Service. One of the largest travel agencies in Northern India, Touraids Travel provides hotel bookings, train and bus tickets, and travel advice. Behind Hotel Trident, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, 282001. 0562/2230741; 931/9100644; www.touraidsi.com.
Touraids Travel Service. Moti Mahal, Moti Palace, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. 751/232–4354; 751/232–0758.
Touraids Travel Service. Jai Complex, Civil Lines, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. 517/233–1760.