Without a doubt the most popular tourist destination is Old San Juan, it is completely unnecessary for tourists who are sticking strictly to this area to rent a car. The town is very pedestrian friendly, and there are plenty of services available to get tourists here. The fact that you don't have to rent doesn't stop most people from doing so anyway. Whether you prefer to have the freedom to get up and go on your schedule, or you have to have a vehicle on hand for medical reasons or otherwise, renting a car is still very easy to accomplish.
You'll find rental car agencies to be most accessible at the San Juan during your travels, make sure you ask for a vehicle with an anti-theft double-locking mechanism because car jackings have been a problem in the past., but there are local and international chains located throughout town. International chains offer many conveniences and extras, and often make travelers feel safe because of their good track record, while local offices are known for their lower prices and more personalized service. You'll have to decide if you'd like to take a gamble and get a lower price with a company you may or may not have every heard of before, or stick with the security that comes with hiring an international chain. No matter which option you choose, you'll need to be at least 21-years-old and have a valid driver's license in your possession. You'll find a wide variety of vehicle options available to you in most places, but because you'll be so close to the city of
View the following chart for several of the vehicle rental agencies in this area.
|Avis Sheraton Convention Center||(787) 993-3633||Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and Casino - Miramar|
|Hertz Caribe Hilton||(787) 721-0303||Caribe Hilton - Viejo San Juan|
|Hertz Marriott Hotel||(787) 722-7000||San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino - Condado District|
|Hertz Million Air||(787) 289-2021||Isla Grande Airport - Viejo San Juan|
|Hertz Sheraton||(787) 721-5127||Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel and Casino - Old San Juan|
|(787) 721-4270||Cond Adaligia, Santurce - Condado District|
The cost of renting a car in Old San Juan ranges from a low $40 to $70(USD) a day, but these quoted numbers can be deceiving since they don't take into account any taxes, fees, or insurance costs, not to mention the standard $500(USD) deposit cost. Deposits are usually charged to your credit card by the rental car agency placing a hold on your account, then removing it when the vehicle is returned. This means the money will not be available on your credit card during your trip so many sure to plan accordingly. Another fee to be aware of is a $10 to $25(USD) charge for drivers between the ages of 21 and 25. The amount varies by agency, much like the deposit, so your best bet is going to be to call around and ask how much different places charge to give you an idea of how much you'll need to budget.
San Juan is known for having one of the best road systems in the Caribbean. Old San Juan benefits from this same infrastructure, with well-maintained paved roads that are well-lit and feature directional signs and traffic lights as well., and especially
...Parking is the main problem...
Although driving in Old San Juan is comparable to driving in the United States, there are a few difficulties that go hand in hand with the area. Traffic can be an issue, especially during rush hour, and local drivers are not known for their skilled and friendly behavior. Parking is the main problem, and you are lucky to find a spot at all. There are several parking decks throughout town where you can pay to park, two of which are on the south side of town on Recinto Sur, even further south on La Puntilla, and to the north off Norzagaray Street under the Ballaja building. It is recommended that if you get a parking spot, you leave the vehicle there for the day and walk to all of the local attractions.
Still, overall you'll find driving in Old San Juan to be a pleasurable experience. A few noteworthy bits of information are that gasoline is sold by the liter instead of the gallon, and distances are posted in kilometers yet speed limits are marked in miles per hour.
Since you could potentially encounter problems finding places to refuel, take a look at the table just below to get an idea where some can be found.
|--||PR-40 - Catano|
|(787) 728-8914||Calle Laurel - Condado District|
|--||PR-40 - 2.4 mi. (3.8 km) Southeast of Condado District|
Like anywhere are, there are pluses and minuses associated with driving in Old San Juan, and plenty to consider as you look through the nearby rental car agencies, but overall, you should have no troubles renting and driving in this historic and tourist-driven town.
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