Auto Rickshaw Permit Price in Kolkata

Positioned in the eastern stretch of India, Kolkata, once Calcutta, is not just a hub of cultural richness and colonial structures but also an epicenter of dynamic public transportation. Dominating this landscape, auto rickshaws have become synonymous with the city’s pulse, offering both ubiquity and convenience.

Tracing back to the mid-20th century, autos marked their entry into the Indian streetscape. Kolkata, riding on its prominence, rapidly integrated this novel mode into its transportation fabric. Such rapid proliferation underscored the need for a structured system – leading to the advent of permits.

Auto Rickshaw Permit Price in Kolkata

Official Pricing:

The standard cost for an auto permit, stamped by Kolkata’s transport authority, is INR 15,000. This price, reflective of administrative costs, regulatory intents, and economic shifts, is what every applicant hopes to pay.

The Unofficial Market:

However, the official numbers tell only half the story. A thriving black market, spawned by the vast demand-supply chasm, has inflated the prices unrealistically. It’s not uncommon for permits to exchange hands at INR 150,000, a whopping ten times the official price. This is because of a cap on the maximum number of auto rickshaw permits that can be issued per area. Such disparities pose multi-fold challenges, from deterring potential drivers to stoking fare disputes and even legal entanglements.

Check the maximum number of permits for each area here.

The Application Process

For those gearing up to dive into the auto realm, here’s a succinct guide:

Step No. Process Stage Description
1 Eligibility Valid driving license, age proof (20+ years), medical fitness certificate.
2 Document Submission Submit the Application Form, ID, address proof, vehicle specifics, and driver’s license.
3 Payment Pay the permit fee after application scrutiny.
4 Issuance Receive the permit after verification and payment.

Understanding the Permit System

The essence of the permit lies in its regulatory nature:

  • Control Traffic: Ensuring roads don’t get choked with autos, the permits restrict their numbers.
  • Safety: Safety standards and emission norms are upheld with mandatory permits.
  • Regulate Fares: No more arbitrary fares. Permits ensure passengers are charged correctly.

The Evolution of Auto Rickshaw Permit Prices in Kolkata

Initial Pricing: In the auto’s nascent stages, permits came cheap. The low cost was aimed at promoting novel, affordable means that smoothly navigated through Kolkata’s tight lanes.

The Impact of Market Dynamics: With autos gaining traction as Kolkata’s favorite commute, permit demand skyrocketed. But, with limited permits available, prices inevitably shot up, driven purely by supply-demand dynamics.

Governmental Oversight and Interventions: The West Bengal state government, sensing the soaring prices and potential burdens on its citizens, stepped in. Through periodic interventions, they either flooded the market with more permits or capped the soaring prices. All of this, to ensure a commoner’s dream of owning an auto didn’t remain just a dream.

The Situation in Recent Times: The price tag for a new auto permit in Kolkata read between INR 10,000 to INR 15,000. But, a parallel black market mushroomed, selling these permits at prices often tenfold the official rate.


While the auto rickshaw permit landscape in Kolkata is laden with complexities, it’s an essential framework that governs the city’s iconic autos. Amidst the interplay of supply, demand, and regulatory nuances, the permit’s journey from being a mere regulatory document to a valuable asset continues. And as stakeholders grapple with official and unofficial realities, the hope remains for a streamlined, transparent, and equitable future.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is there a difference between official and black market prices for the permits?
    The difference arises due to the huge demand-supply gap. While the official price is INR 15,000, the black market, capitalizing on this disparity, often sells permits at around INR 150,000, which is ten times the official rate.
  2. What are the primary requirements to apply for an auto rickshaw permit in Kolkata?
    To apply for an auto permit, one must have a valid driving license, age proof showing 20 years or above, and a medical fitness certificate. After verifying these documents and paying the permit fee, the permit is issued.
  3. Does Kolkata have an auto rickshaw?
    In 2021, the number of registered auto-rickshaws in the Indian city of Kolkata was over 46 thousand.