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Vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETS) are self-organizing communities of wheeled mobile units consisting of large numbers of trucks, cars, buses and a small number of static infrastructure nodes such as traffic signals, highway rail grade crossings, and informational signage within radio communication range to each other. VANET is a promising approach for facilitating road safety, traffic management,and infotainment dissemination for drivers and passengers.Key characteristics that distinguish VANETs from other networks are time-varying nature of vehicle density, high mobility, and time-critical safety applications. Hence, devising protocols for VANETs may not be successfully accomplished by simple adaptation of protocols designed for wired networks and mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs). In this paper, we compared and evaluated the performance of following routing protocols: AODV, DSR, and SWARM intelligence based routing protocol. A variety of VANETs, characterized by the mobility, load, and size of the network were simulated. Simulation results shows that AODV and DSR may not be suitable for vehicular environments. SWARM intelligence based routing protocol showed promising results in VANETs in terms throughput, latency, data delivery ratio and data delivery cost.