Lately I have been getting a lot of queries from people, wondering whether or not cars and motorcycles from outside Leh-Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir are allowed to travel to Ladakh and visit places like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Hanle etc..
If you were wondering about this restriction, then the answer is no. There is absolutely no restriction on private vehicles traveling to Ladakh and exploring various parts of it, irrespective of what a handful of travel agents or hotels might tell you, in hopes of profiting from you hiring a taxi from them or their affiliated taxi operator!
Taxis from outside Leh aren’t allowed to go on the tourist circuit i.e. Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso etc., however this restriction does not applies to personal vehicles or even self-drive rental cars and motorcycles hired from outside Ladakh. In fact, each year several thousand road trip enthusiasts visit Ladakh in their own or rented vehicles and fulfill their dream of riding/driving to this heavenly abode.
There are rules and regulations that we travelers have to adhere to and we do need to obtain permission for visiting or crossing certain areas eg. in order to visit Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso etc. you need Inner Line Permit from the DC Office in Leh, while for crossing Rohtang Jot from Manali side, you will require a permit from the SDM Office or Green Tax Barrier in Manali.
So if you too were worried about the misinformation spread by a few, then worry no more and start planning for your trip to Leh-Ladakh :).