As one of the most populated cities in Puerto Rico, Ponce's roadways are designed for optimal use. This makes driving here a not-so-scary idea for many tourists who would normally find the prospect of driving in a foreign country a nerve-wracking idea. You can rent a car for prices that are comparable to those in the United States, and overall you'll find the entire process to be similar.
Rental car agencies are plentiful in Ponce thanks to the size of the city, so you shouldn't have any trouble at all finding a place to rent from. One of the biggest choices you'll have to make is whether to rent from a local business or a big name chain. Local agencies depend on your referrals for business and will often try and go above and beyond in order to please you. You'll also tend to be able to find greater deals with local agencies. Larger international chains, on the other hand, have had success for a reason, and you may feel that you are better able to trust them. They are also often better equipped to assist you in an emergency or handle any insurance issues.
Check out the following table for many of the rental agencies serving Ponce.
|Avis Mercedita Airport||(787) 842-6154||Mercedita Airport - Mercedita|
|Avis Plaza del Caribe||(787) 290-0581||Centro Comerical Plaza Caribe Shopping Center - 1.5 mi. (2.4 km) South of Ponce|
|Hertz Mercedita Airport||(787) 843-1685||Mercedita Airport - Mercedita|
|Hertz Ponce Downtown||(787) 840-7911||Ponce By Pass - Downtown Ponce|
|X-Press Auto Rental Inc||(787) 290-1052||1293 Ave MuA+-oz Rivera - Ponce|
The cost of a rental will depend on where you rent from, the time of year you visit, and your age. A typical rental will cost between $40 and $70(USD) a day, plus taxes, fees, and the cost of your insurance. Then, if you are between the ages of 21 and 24, you receive a upcharge of $10 to $25(USD) a day. This is a financial inconvenience for sure, but many places in the Caribbean don't even allow you to rent if you are under 25, so it is a trade off many are willing to make.
Because you're going to be staying in such a busy city, it is wise to request a vehicle with an anti-theft double-locking mechanism because car theft can be an issue.
Various agencies sometimes charge widely different rates so it pays to get prices from several places. The lowest rates are typically only available from the least costly local firms during the slowest times of the year. The highest rates are what you may be quoted during the high season at one of the busier agencies.
|Rental Type||Low Rate||High Rate|
|Compact Car||$ 33.00||$ 63.00|
|Mid Size Car||$ 36.00||$ 66.00|
|Full Size Car||$ 47.00||$ 96.00|
|Standard SUV||$ 81.00||$ 108.00|
|Rental Type||Low Rate||High Rate|
|Compact Car||$ 198.00||$ 376.00|
|Mid Size Car||$ 216.00||$ 396.00|
|Full Size Car||$ 282.00||$ 576.00|
|Standard SUV||$ 486.00||$ 648.00|
... navigate the maze of roads...
Driving in Ponce is much like driving in a mid-sized city in the United States. You'll probably want a map to help you navigate the maze of roads that take you through the busy parts of town as well as the less urban areas, but if you do get lost, locals are typically ready and willing to give you directions without a problem. Fortunately, the roads here are all paved, and though you'll come across the typical wear and tear, pot holes, cracks, and dips are way less common than other regions in the Caribbean. Roads here tend to be well-marked and well-lit, making navigation that much easier.
Although local drivers are not known for being the best (tailgating and speeding are common), most people remain friendly drivers. Still, travelers should stick to main highways when possible in order to avoid traffic and reckless drivers.
There are a few differences you should take into consideration, such as the fact that distances are posted in kilometers, though oddly speed limits are posted in miles per hour. Gasoline is sold by the liter instead of by the gallon, and police cars are required to have their lights flashing whenever they are in motion.
While you should have no difficulties locating gas stations, it is still helpful to take a look at the chart that follows to get an idea where some can be found.
|--||PR-1 - Mercedita|
|--||Calle Victoria - 0.0 mi. (0.0 km) Northwest of Ponce|
|(787) 823-3333||2 Calle Pasea Perla Del Sur - 1.1 mi. (1.7 km) Southeast of Ponce|
|--||0.4 mi. (0.6 km) Southeast of Ponce|
|--||PR-1 - 1.7 mi. (2.7 km) East of Ponce|
There is a lot to recommend renting a car in Ponce, so if this is an option you're considering, know you won't have trouble either renting or driving in the area.
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