Dos of renting a car in the Philippines
1. Do plan your itinerary:
Before renting a car, it’s crucial to plan your itinerary thoroughly. The Philippines consists of over 7,000 islands, and each has its own unique attractions. Decide on the places you want to visit and determine the duration of your trip. This will help you choose the right rental period and ensure that you make the most of your time in the country.
2. Do research different car rental agencies:
Take the time to research and compare car rental agencies in the Philippines. Look for reputable companies with positive reviews and a good track record of customer service. Check if they have a wide range of vehicles to choose from and if they offer insurance options. Prices may vary between agencies, so it’s advisable to get quotes from multiple providers to find the best deal.
3. Do consider your budget:
Set a realistic budget for your car rental, taking into account not only the rental cost but also additional expenses like fuel, toll fees, and parking charges. Keep in mind that rates can be higher during peak tourist seasons, so plan accordingly. Look for any discounts or promotional offers that rental agencies may have to help you save some money.
4. Do check the vehicle condition:
Before signing the rental agreement, thoroughly inspect the vehicle for any existing damages or issues. Take note of any scratches, dents, or mechanical problems, and make sure the rental agency acknowledges them in writing. This will help protect you from being held responsible for pre-existing damages when you return the car.
5. Do familiarize yourself with traffic rules:
Familiarize yourself with the traffic rules and regulations in the Philippines. The country follows right-hand driving, and the rules may differ from what you are accustomed to. Research common traffic signs, speed limits, and parking regulations. This knowledge will help you navigate the roads safely and avoid any legal issues.
6. Do have the necessary documents:
When renting a car in the Philippines, you will need to provide certain documents. These typically include a valid driver’s license, passport, and a credit card for the security deposit. Make sure you have these documents with you when picking up the rental car to avoid any delays or complications.
Don’ts of renting a car in the Philippines
1. Don’t neglect the rental agreement:
Read the rental agreement thoroughly before signing it. Pay attention to the terms and conditions, including fuel policies, mileage limits, and penalties for late returns or damages. Understand the terms of the rental and ask the rental agency for clarification if you have any doubts or concerns. Ignoring the rental agreement can lead to unexpected charges or disputes later on.
2. Don’t ignore local driving habits:
Driving habits can vary from country to country, and it’s important to adapt to the local norms. In the Philippines, traffic can be chaotic in cities, and drivers can be more assertive compared to other countries. Be patient, practice defensive driving, and stay alert to the unpredictable traffic conditions.
3. Don’t forget to secure your belongings:
When you park your rental car, especially in tourist areas or crowded places, ensure that you secure your belongings and lock the car. Avoid leaving valuable items visible inside the vehicle to reduce the risk of theft or break-ins.
4. Don’t neglect fueling up:
Keep an eye on your fuel gauge and plan your refueling stops accordingly. Gas stations may be scarce in remote areas, so it’s best to refuel whenever you have the opportunity. Many rental agencies provide cars with a full tank, and it is expected that you return the vehicle with a full tank as well. Failing to do so may result in additional charges.
5. Don’t park illegally:
Be mindful of parking regulations and avoid parking in no-parking zones or blocking other vehicles. In major cities, parking spaces can be limited, so look for designated parking areas or commercial parking facilities. Illegally parked vehicles may be towed or fined, leading to unnecessary complications and expenses.
6. Don’t rush your journey:
While it’s tempting to cover as many destinations as possible, don’t rush your journey. The Philippines offers breathtaking landscapes and cultural experiences that deserve your time and attention. Allow yourself to explore each destination at a leisurely pace, giving you the chance to fully appreciate the beauty and charm of the country.
Renting a car in the Philippines can offer you the freedom and flexibility to explore this tropical paradise at your own pace. By following these dos and don’ts, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience on the roads. Remember to plan ahead, choose a reliable rental agency, drive responsibly, and make unforgettable memories during your trip to the Philippines.