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Car Rental in Philippines

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Car Rental in the Philippines

When visiting the Philippines, renting a car can be a convenient way to explore the stunning landscapes and vibrant cities. However, it’s essential to understand the local driving laws and requirements before hitting the road.

Understanding Local Driving Laws

In the Philippines, driving is on the right-hand side of the road, and the minimum age for driving is 18 years old. Seatbelts are mandatory for all passengers, and the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05%. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these laws to ensure a safe and enjoyable driving experience.

Driver’s License and Documents

To rent a car in the Philippines, you will need a valid driver’s license from your home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP). Additionally, you will need to provide a valid passport, proof of insurance, and a major credit card for the rental agreement.

Choosing the Right Rental Car

When selecting a rental car, consider the type of vehicle that best suits your needs and the terrain you’ll be navigating. Compact cars are ideal for city driving, while SUVs are better suited for off-road adventures. Be sure to inquire about any additional insurance coverage and familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of the rental agreement.

Booking a Rental Car

It’s advisable to book your rental car in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. Many international car rental companies have branches in the Philippines, offering a wide range of vehicles to choose from. Compare prices, read reviews, and book through a reputable company to ensure a seamless rental experience.

In conclusion, renting a car in the Philippines can provide the freedom to explore the country at your own pace. By understanding local driving laws, ensuring you have the necessary documents, choosing the right rental car, and booking in advance, you can have a hassle-free and enjoyable driving experience in the Philippines.

Rental Requirements

Age Limits

In the Philippines, the minimum age for renting a car is typically 21 years old. Some rental companies may have a maximum age limit of 70 years old. It’s important to check with the specific rental company for their age requirements.

Driving License Requirements

To rent a car in the Philippines, you will need a valid driver’s license from your home country. If your license is not in English, it is recommended to also carry an International Driving Permit (IDP) for translation purposes. Additionally, most rental companies require you to have held your license for at least one year.


When renting a car in the Philippines, you will need to provide a valid passport, a credit card for the security deposit, and any other documentation required by the rental company. It’s best to check with the specific rental company in advance to ensure you have all the necessary documents.

Insurance Information

When renting a car in the Philippines, it’s important to understand the insurance options available to you.

– Basic Insurance: The basic insurance typically included in car rental agreements in the Philippines includes Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Protection. CDW covers damages to the rental vehicle in the event of a collision, while Theft Protection provides coverage in case the car is stolen.

– Additional Insurance: In addition to the basic insurance, you may have the option to purchase additional coverage such as Personal Accident Insurance, which provides medical coverage for the driver and passengers in the event of an accident, and Supplemental Liability Insurance, which offers increased liability protection.

– Insurance Tips: Before renting a car in the Philippines, 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 you money on your rental.

Understanding the insurance options available when renting a car in the Philippines can help ensure that you have the appropriate coverage for your travels.

Local Driving Laws and Regulations in the Philippines

General Traffic Rules

Driving Side: Driving is on the right side of the road.
Speed Limits: Urban areas – 60 km/h, rural roads – 80 km/h, highways – 100 km/h.
Other Useful Info: Traffic in major cities can be congested, so plan your route and travel time accordingly.

Overtaking and Lane Usage

Overtaking Rules: Only overtake on the left side of the vehicle, and do not overtake on pedestrian lanes or within 50 meters of an intersection.
Lane Discipline: Keep right except to overtake, and use the leftmost lane for slower vehicles.
Other Useful Info: Be cautious of motorcycles weaving through traffic.

Seat Belt and Child Safety

Seat Belt Laws: Front and rear passengers must wear seat belts at all times.
Child Safety: Children under 12 years old must be secured in a child restraint system appropriate for their age and size.
Other Useful Info: Car rental companies can provide child seats upon request.

Use of Mobile Phones

Mobile Phone Restrictions: Using mobile phones while driving is prohibited, including hands-free devices.
Other Useful Info: Pull over to a safe place if you need to make a call or send a message.

Alcohol and Driving

Legal Blood Alcohol Limits: 0.05% for non-professional drivers, and zero tolerance for drivers with less than 1 year of driving experience.
Zero Tolerance Policies: Strict penalties for DUI/DWI, including fines and imprisonment.
Other Useful Info: Designated drivers or alternative transportation options are recommended if consuming alcohol.

Tolls and Charges

Toll Roads: Some highways in the Philippines have toll fees, and payments are usually in cash.
Congestion Charges: No urban congestion charges in the Philippines.
Other Useful Info: Prepare small bills and coins for toll payments.

Roundabouts and Intersections

Navigating Roundabouts: Give way to vehicles already in the roundabout and use your turn signals to indicate your exit.
Intersection Rules: Vehicles on the right have the right of way, and use hand signals if your vehicle’s signals are not functioning.
Other Useful Info: Be patient and observant at busy intersections.

Headlight and Windshield Wiper Laws

Headlight Usage: Use headlights from sunset to sunrise, during low visibility conditions, and when passing through tunnels.
Windshield Wiper Rule: No specific requirement to turn on headlights when using wipers.
Other Useful Info: Keep your headlights and wipers in good working condition.

Emergency Vehicles

Right of Way for Emergency Vehicles: Pull over to the side of the road and give way to emergency vehicles with flashing lights and sirens.
Other Useful Info: Remain calm and clear the way for emergency vehicles to pass safely.

Driving Tips for the Philippines

Road Conditions

The road conditions in the Philippines can vary greatly. While major highways and roads in urban areas are generally well-maintained, rural roads and those in remote areas may be rough and unpaved. It’s important to be prepared for different terrains and driving conditions.

Urban vs. Rural Driving

In urban areas such as Manila and Cebu City, traffic can be congested and driving styles may be aggressive. It’s important to remain alert and patient when navigating through city traffic. In rural areas, roads may be narrower and less developed, requiring a different approach to driving. It’s important to adjust your driving style accordingly.

Navigational Tips

When driving in the Philippines, it’s recommended to use a GPS or offline maps to navigate, especially in unfamiliar areas. While road signs are generally available, having a reliable navigation system can help ensure you reach your destination safely and efficiently.

Other Useful Tips

– Always carry your driver’s license and rental car documents with you when driving.
– Be aware of local traffic rules and regulations, such as speed limits and parking restrictions.
– Keep an eye out for pedestrians and wildlife, especially in rural areas.
– Be prepared for unexpected weather conditions, such as heavy rain or typhoons, and adjust your driving accordingly.

By keeping these driving tips in mind, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience when renting a car in the Philippines.

Roadside Assistance and Emergency Procedures

Breakdown Procedures

If you experience a breakdown while driving a rental car in the Philippines, the first step is to safely pull over to the side of the road. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers, and then contact the rental company’s roadside assistance hotline for further instructions.

Emergency Services

In case of an emergency, it’s important to have the contact numbers for the police, ambulance, and roadside assistance readily available. The emergency hotline in the Philippines is 911 for police and medical emergencies. Additionally, most rental companies provide a 24/7 roadside assistance hotline that you can call for immediate help.

Rental Company Policies

Before renting a car in the Philippines, it’s essential to review the support offered by the rental company in case of a breakdown or emergency. Many rental companies provide 24/7 roadside assistance and towing services to ensure that you receive prompt help in any situation. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these policies before hitting the road.

Where can you Rent a Car in Philippines?

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.