The Philippines boasts stunning natural beauty, so consider renting an SUV or 4x4 for better access to rural areas and off-road adventures. However, in cities, smaller cars are more practical for maneuvering through traffic and finding parking. Major international airports, like Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, provide easy access to cities, with airport-to-city distances varying depending on your destination. When driving in the Philippines, make sure to explore beautiful places like Palawan, Boracay, and the rice terraces in Banaue.
Some Helpful Information re the advantages of hiring a car , driving regulations, practices, and the overall safety of driving in the country.
Advantages of Hiring a Car and Driving in the Philippines:
- Flexibility: Having your own vehicle allows you to explore the country at your own pace and on your own schedule.
- Reach Remote Places: Some of the Philippines' best attractions are in remote areas that are less accessible by public transportation.
- Comfort: Personal vehicles can offer a higher comfort level, especially on longer trips, compared to crowded public transport or tricycles.
- Cost-effective for Groups: If traveling with a family or group, renting a car can be more cost-effective than buying multiple bus or ferry tickets.
- Driving Side: Drive on the right side of the road.
- Speed Limits:
- Expressways: 80-100 km/h
- Open country roads: 50 km/h
- Within cities/towns: 20-40 km/h
- Seat Belts: Mandatory for the driver and front-seat passengers.
- Children: Children under 6 years of age are not allowed to sit in the front seat.
- Driver's License: Foreigners can drive using their valid foreign driver's license (in English) or an International Driving Permit (IDP) for up to 90 days. After that, you'll need to obtain a local license.
- Alcohol: Driving under the influence is illegal, and penalties can be severe.
- Traffic Congestion: Major cities, especially Metro Manila, often face traffic congestion. It's advised to plan your routes and avoid peak hours.
- Horns: Horns are frequently used, not always as a sign of annoyance but often as a way to communicate presence, especially on curvy mountain roads.
- Jeepneys and Tricycles: These are common modes of public transportation in the Philippines and can sometimes make unpredictable stops or turns.
- Pedestrians: Be cautious as pedestrians might cross the road unexpectedly, even if there's no crosswalk.
- Road Conditions: While major highways and roads in urban areas are generally in good condition, secondary and rural roads can be poorly maintained.
- Night Driving: It's generally advised to avoid driving at night, especially in rural areas, due to poor street lighting and potential hazards.
- Weather: The Philippines is prone to tropical storms and heavy rainfall, which can affect road conditions. Check the weather forecast before long drives.
- Security: While the Philippines is generally safe for tourists, there are areas in the south, especially parts of Mindanao, where travel might be advised against due to security concerns. Always check for the most recent travel advisories.
- Parking: When parking in cities, use guarded parking lots whenever possible, especially overnight.
While driving in the Philippines can provide great freedom to explore the archipelago's beautiful landscapes and hidden gems, it also requires caution and preparation. Familiarize yourself with local driving habits, be patient in traffic, and always prioritize safety.
*average daily rates based on 7 day rental, search for today's best prices.