The Puerto Plata province covers over 700 square feet of area, which means there is a lot of space to explore. If you're an adventurous soul who will try and see as much of the area as you can, renting a car is the right choice for you.
Those in need of a full sized vehicle will typically pick up their rental from the airport, but again, there are rental agencies in town to choose from in town as well. You can take a taxi or the bus to the building, or you can even have them deliver the vehicle to you at your hotel at no extra charge.
The requirements for renting a car are that you have a valid driver's license, a passport, and a credit card with the appropriate balance to be able to pay for the vehicle as well as place a deposit on the vehicle (which will be refunded when you return the vehicle). Most agencies will also require that renters be over the age of 23, though some will rent to 21-year-olds.
Review the following chart which lists the available selection of area vehicle rental agencies.
|(809) 586-0314||International Airport - Puerto Plata|
|Avis Puerto Plata||(809) 586-4436||Carretera Luperon km 4 1/2 - Puerto Plata|
|Europcar Puerto Plata||(809) 586-0215||Gregorio Luperón International Airport - Puerto Plata|
|--||Downtown Puerto Plata|
|(809) 261-7626||Av I de Torres 9 - Puerto Plata|
If you are visiting Puerto Plata with children, be sure to bring your child safety seat from home. It is rare for them to be available at rental agencies on the island.
...you may choose to rent a scooter...
The cost of a rental ranges from $55 to $125(USD) a day, with the type of vehicle, time of year, and place you rent from having the largest affect on the final cost. If you rent a sports utility vehicle, which is recommended because of the road conditions here, you'll end up spending a bit more, but the peace of mind that comes with driving a vehicle that has four wheel drive and good suspension is worth it.
If you're staying in an all-inclusive resort, you may choose to rent a scooter rather than a full-sized vehicle to do a bit of zipping around town. This can be done typically at the front desk of your resort, but there are several shops around town where you can get a scooter for around $15(USD) a day.
These tables provide a general sense of what the cost of renting a car will be. The low rates in the tables are usually only available from the least costly agencies during the slow season. The highest rates are what you can expect at one of the busiest firms during the peak season.
|Rental Type||Low Rate||High Rate|
|Compact Car||$ 23.00||$ 35.00|
|Mid Size Car||$ 30.00||$ 35.00|
|Full Size Car||$ 34.00||$ 75.00|
|Light SUV||$ 40.00||$ 50.00|
|Standard SUV||$ 50.00||$ 70.00|
|Rental Type||Low Rate||High Rate|
|Compact Car||$ 130.00||$ 280.00|
|Mid Size Car||$ 182.00||$ 295.00|
|Full Size Car||$ 210.00||$ 525.00|
|Light SUV||$ 265.00||$ 385.00|
|Standard SUV||$ 315.00||$ 525.00|
Driving in Puerto Plata is not unlike driving in the United States. Most of the laws are the same, such as the fact that seat belts are required, and traffic moves on the right side of the road. Some differences to note are that the speed limits are posted in kilometers per hour rather the miles per hour, and gas prices are typically at least a dollar higher than in the U.S.
There is a pleasant selection of places that sell gas in and around the area. Check the list just below to find out where some are located.
|Downtown Puerto Plata|
If you haven't driven in the area before it can be difficult to get used to. Traffic can be dense, and local drivers are known for being aggressive. In the more rural areas, you'll have to keep your eyes peeled for people and animals on the street rather than other cars, because there are no side walks, and nights can be hazardous with the lack of street lamps.
When it comes to road conditions, they vary greatly in Puerto Plata. In the busier parts of town and on major highways you'll drive on smooth paved roads, but the great majority of paved roads are riddled with pot holes and cracks that make for a bumpy road. In rural areas, finding a paved road at all is difficult. This is why renting a sports utility vehicle is recommended.
There is a lot to recommend renting a car in Puerto Plata, from the independence to the price. Now that you know what it takes to rent, and what driving in the area is like, you're better prepared to make the ever-important decision: to drive or let someone else do the driving.
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