Famous for its beaches more so than anything else, Las Galeras attracts a crowd that tends to stick to spending their days with their toes in the sand rather than exploring the sites outside of town. If you are the type who will be doing a little bit of both, renting a car may be an important option to consider.
Renting a car in Las Galeras is hardly a challenge. You need only be over the age of 21 (sometimes over 23), have a valid driver's license, your passport, and of course, the means to pay. In addition to the daily rate of between $55 and $125(USD) you'll pay for your rental, you may be asked to leave a deposit of up to $500(USD). Usually, the rental agency will charge this to your credit card, but release the charge as soon as you return the vehicle.
The cost of the vehicle itself will depend on a number of factors including when you visit (it is cheaper to rent in the summer when tourism is low), where you rent from (local agencies tend to offer better deals), and which type of vehicle you rent (a four door sedan will cost less than a sports utility vehicle or a van).
For most people, it is easiest to rent their car from an agency at the airport and drive to their accommodations, but this isn't ideal for everyone. There are several places to rent from right in Las Galeras, and most will actually be willing to deliver the vehicle to you at your hotel. Most of these places will not; however, have child safety seats, so keep that in mind when you're traveling with children.
Review the following table for a list of rental companies.
|(809) 538-2124||Marina Avenue - Samana|
|(809) 538-0240||Main Road - Las Galeras|
Different companies will sometimes charge different rates so it can pay to contact several firms. The lowest rates shown are typically only available from the least costly local firms when plenty of cars are on hand. The highest rates are what you might need to pay when demand is at its peak.
|Rental Type||Low Rate||High Rate|
|Economy Car||$ 25.00||$ 40.00|
|Compact Car||$ 27.00||$ 42.00|
|Full Size Car||$ 45.00||$ 80.00|
|Standard SUV||$ 70.00||$ 125.00|
|Rental Type||Low Rate||High Rate|
|Economy Car||$ 125.00||$ 245.00|
|Compact Car||$ 155.00||$ 270.00|
|Full Size Car||$ 295.00||$ 525.00|
|Standard SUV||$ 455.00||$ 805.00|
What most people want to know about driving in Las Galeras is how the roads are. In truth, they aren't that great. Although a few of the main roads are smooth and pretty well maintained, most paved roads have lots of pot holes and cracks that are hard to avoid and make for a bumpy ride. There are also plenty of roads that aren't paved at all, where sports utility vehicles are recommended. These roads are little more than paths made of dirt, gravel, and sand.
Regardless of the type of road you're driving on, you'll find that the rules of the road are very similar to those in the United States. Driving is done on the right side of the road and most of the laws are the same, such as the fact that seat belts are required. Drivers here can be aggressive and honk their horns liberally, but it is important to remain calm and focused on driving safely regardless of any distractions. You'll need to be on the lookout for people and animals in the roads, and if you're driving at night be warned that not all cars have headlights.
Note that speed limits are posted in kilometers per hour. Highways usually have speeds of 100 kilometers per hour, while in town you'll typically see 60 miles per hour. Another thing you'll want to be aware of is fueling stations. Gas is typically each to come by in town, but you'll always want to make sure to fill up before you head out on a long trip to ensure that you don't run out of gas along the way and in an area that may not have a gas station nearby.
With this information in mind, you'll find the process of renting a car and driving in Las Galeras to be much easier. Take what you've learned and go ahead planning the most stress-free island getaway of your dreams.
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