Home » Cars » Car Rental in Guatemala

Car Rental in Guatemala

The search above is provided by DiscoverCars.com, World's Best Car Rental Booking Website of 2022.

If you want to be sure to get the best possible deal, we recommend checking also QEEQ.COM, one of the fastest-growing online car rental platforms worldwide, listing over 7 million rental cars in around 200 countries.

Car Rental in Guatemala

When visiting Guatemala, renting a car can be a convenient and flexible way to explore the country. However, it’s important to understand the local driving laws and requirements before hitting the road.

Understanding Local Driving Laws

Before renting a car in Guatemala, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the local driving laws. The minimum age for driving is 18 years old, and you must have a valid driver’s license from your home country. It’s also important to note that the use of seat belts is mandatory for all passengers, and driving under the influence of alcohol is strictly prohibited.

Driver’s Requirements

When renting a car in Guatemala, most rental companies will require you to present a valid driver’s license, passport, and a major credit card. Some companies may also have age restrictions for drivers, so it’s important to check the requirements beforehand.


It’s recommended to purchase insurance when renting a car in Guatemala. Most rental companies offer collision damage waivers and theft protection, which can provide peace of mind while driving in a foreign country.

Road Conditions

While Guatemala has a network of well-maintained highways, it’s important to be aware of the varying road conditions, especially in rural areas. Some roads may be unpaved or poorly maintained, so it’s important to drive cautiously and be prepared for unexpected obstacles.

Renting a car in Guatemala can be a great way to explore the country at your own pace. By understanding the local driving laws and requirements, as well as being prepared for the varying road conditions, you can have a safe and enjoyable driving experience during your visit to Guatemala.

Rental Requirements

– Age Limits: The minimum age for renting a car in Guatemala is typically 21 years old, although some rental companies may require drivers to be at least 25 years old. There is usually no maximum age limit, but older drivers may be subject to additional fees or restrictions.

– Driving License Requirements: To rent a car in Guatemala, you will need a valid driver’s license from your home country. Some rental companies may also require an International Driving Permit (IDP) if your license is not in Spanish. Additionally, you will typically need to have held your license for at least one year.

– Documentation: When renting a car in Guatemala, you will need to provide a valid passport, a credit card in the primary driver’s name for the security deposit, and any additional documentation required by the rental company. Be sure to check with your specific rental company for their exact documentation requirements.

Insurance Information

When renting a car in Guatemala, it’s important to be aware of the insurance options available to protect yourself and the vehicle.

Basic Insurance

The basic insurance typically included when renting a car in Guatemala may consist of Collision Damage Waiver and Theft Protection. Collision Damage Waiver covers damage to the rental vehicle in the event of a collision, while Theft Protection provides coverage if the car is stolen.

Additional Insurance

In addition to the basic insurance, travelers have the option to purchase additional coverage such as Personal Accident Insurance and Supplemental Liability Insurance. Personal Accident Insurance provides medical coverage for injuries sustained in a car accident, while Supplemental Liability Insurance offers protection in the event of third-party claims.

Insurance Tips

Before renting a car in Guatemala, it’s recommended to check your existing travel insurance policies to see if they provide any coverage for rental vehicles. This can help you avoid purchasing duplicate insurance and save on additional costs. Additionally, it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions of the insurance coverage offered by the rental car company to fully understand what is included and any potential exclusions.

Local Driving Laws and Regulations in Guatemala

General Traffic Rules

Driving Side: Driving is on the right side of the road in Guatemala.
Speed Limits: The typical speed limits are 60 km/h in urban areas, 90 km/h on rural roads, and 110 km/h on highways.
Other Useful Info: Be aware of speed bumps and pedestrian crossings in urban areas.

Overtaking and Lane Usage

Overtaking Rules: Overtaking is only allowed on the left side of the road when it is safe to do so.
Lane Discipline: Keep right except to overtake on multi-lane roads.
Other Useful Info: Exercise caution when overtaking large vehicles on narrow roads.

Seat Belt and Child Safety

Seat Belt Laws: Front seat passengers are required to wear seat belts, and rear seat passengers are strongly encouraged to do so.
Child Safety: Children under the age of 5 must be secured in a child safety seat.
Other Useful Info: It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure all passengers are wearing seat belts.

Use of Mobile Phones

Mobile Phone Restrictions: The use of mobile phones while driving is prohibited unless using a hands-free device.
Other Useful Info: Pull over to a safe location if you need to use your mobile phone.

Alcohol and Driving

Legal Blood Alcohol Limits: The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08% for drivers.
Zero Tolerance Policies: There are no specific zero tolerance policies for certain drivers.
Other Useful Info: It is best to avoid alcohol entirely when driving.

Tolls and Charges

Toll Roads: There are toll roads in Guatemala, and payment is typically in local currency.
Congestion Charges: There are no urban congestion charges in Guatemala.
Other Useful Info: Carry small denominations of local currency for toll payments.

Roundabouts and Intersections

Navigating Roundabouts: Roundabouts are not as common, but give way to vehicles already in the roundabout.
Intersection Rules: Vehicles already in the intersection have the right of way.
Other Useful Info: Be cautious at intersections, as some drivers may not adhere to traffic rules.

Headlight and Windshield Wiper Laws

Headlight Usage: Headlights must be turned on at night and during rain.
Windshield Wiper Rule: There is no specific requirement to turn on headlights when using wipers.
Other Useful Info: Ensure your headlights and wipers are in good working condition.

Emergency Vehicles

Right of Way for Emergency Vehicles: Pull over to the side of the road and allow emergency vehicles to pass.
Other Useful Info: Be aware of sirens and lights from emergency vehicles.

Driving Tips for Guatemala

Road Conditions

In Guatemala, road conditions can vary greatly. While major highways are generally well-maintained, rural roads can be rough and unpaved. It’s important to be cautious and aware of your surroundings while driving, especially in rural areas.

Urban vs. Rural Driving

Driving in urban areas, such as Guatemala City, can be hectic and congested. Be prepared for heavy traffic and aggressive drivers. In rural areas, the roads may be less crowded, but they can be narrow and winding. It’s important to drive with caution and be mindful of other vehicles on the road.

Navigational Tips

Using GPS can be helpful in Guatemala, especially in urban areas where street signs may be lacking. However, it’s also a good idea to have a physical map as a backup, as GPS signals can be unreliable in some parts of the country.

Other Useful Tips

– Be aware of local driving customs, such as using hand signals to indicate turns.
– Keep an eye out for pedestrians and livestock on the roads, especially in rural areas.
– Always have your driver’s license and rental car documents on hand while driving.
– Be prepared for the possibility of encountering roadblocks or checkpoints, especially near border areas.

By keeping these driving tips in mind, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience while renting a car in Guatemala.

Roadside Assistance and Emergency Procedures

Breakdown Procedures

In the event of a breakdown while renting a car in Guatemala, it is important to stay calm and pull over to a safe location if possible. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers, and contact the rental company immediately to report the issue. Follow any instructions provided by the rental company and wait for assistance to arrive.

Emergency Services

For emergency situations, it is crucial to have the contact numbers for police, ambulance, and roadside assistance readily available. In Guatemala, the emergency contact number for police is 110, and for ambulance services, it is 122. Additionally, make sure to have the contact information for the rental company’s roadside assistance program on hand in case of any car-related issues.

Rental Company Policies

Before renting a car in Guatemala, it is essential to review the support offered by rental companies in the event of a breakdown or emergency. Many rental companies provide 24/7 assistance and towing services to ensure that customers receive the necessary help when needed. Familiarize yourself with the specific policies of the rental company you choose to ensure a smooth and safe rental experience.

Where can you Rent a Car in Guatemala?

You can browse all the city locations below, sorted alphabetically. Use Ctrl+F (or Cmd+F on a Mac) to quickly find the one you want to explore.