Santo Domingo Rental Cars

Drive at your own risk in Santo Domingo

Photo credit: © Talavan

Thanks to heavy traffic and a lack of parking spots, locals and seasoned tourists would recommend that visitors planning to stay in Santo Domingo throughout their whole trip should avoid renting a car. Those with plans to do a lot of exploring outside of the city, however, should rent in order to get to some of the more obscure attractions in the country.

Renting a Car

Tourists arriving in Santo Domingo via the Las Américas International Airport will be right where they need to be to rent a car. Most of the city's major rental agencies have outlets at the airport, allowing visitors to pick up a vehicle as soon as they arrive. In order to rent a vehicle at any agency in the country you need to be at least 21 years old, and in most cases 25. Additionally, you'll need a valid passport, a driver's license from your country of origin, and have a credit card with a high enough limit to cover the cost of the rental as well as he deposit.

The cost of renting a car here will depend on the size of the vehicle, as well as if you add insurance. For example, a manual compact car without insurance will cost about $55 a day, while sports utility vehicle with insurance could cost about $125(USD) a day. It is highly recommended that you not only purchase the insurance, but that you rent the highest quality and most durable model that you can afford because of the unpredictable road conditions. If you're looking to score a deal on a rental, try purchasing it as part of a package with your accommodations and air fare, or contact locally owned agencies and see if they have any deals for a first time visitor. It is also less expensive to book your rental in advance, rather than waiting until the day you arrive.

The chart below lists the vehicle rental agencies located in the immediate vicinity of Santo Domingo.

Vehicle Rental Companies
Name Phone Location
American International Rent A Car (809) 687-0505 Downtown Santo Domingo
Avis Galerias 360 (809) 544-1573 Galeria 360 - 3.1 mi. (5.0 km) West-Northwest of Santo Domingo
Avis Novocentro Mall (809) 540-5550 Novo Centro - 2.6 mi. (4.1 km) West of Santo Domingo
Avis Santo Domingo Downtown (809) 535-7191 517 George Washington Avenue - Downtown Santo Domingo
Budget Car Rental (809) 566-6666 Expresso John F. Kennedy - 3.5 mi. (5.6 km) West of Santo Domingo
Dollar Rent A Car -- Downtown Santo Domingo
Europcar Santo Domingo (809) 549-0454 Downtown Santo Domingo
Hertz Santo Domingo (809) 221-5333 Jose Maria Heredia 1 - Downtown Santo Domingo
Hope Rent A Car (809) 549-1371 Aut Las Americas - Downtown Santo Domingo
Mc Auto -- Aut L AmA(c)ricas - Downtown Santo Domingo
National Car Rental (809) 221-0805 Downtown Santo Domingo
Nelly Rent A Car (809) 593-7997 Ave. San Vicente de Paul No. 62 - 1.7 mi. (2.7 km) South West of Santo Domingo
Ozavi Rent A Car, C X A (809) 598-2000 Ave. Las Americas #66 - Downtown Santo Domingo
Payless Car Rental (809) 688-6518 G Washington 151 - Downtown Santo Domingo
Raysa Rent A Car (809) 273-1192 66 No 34, La Caleta - Downtown Santo Domingo
Renault Dominicana (809) 566-7197 4.7 mi. (7.6 km) West of Santo Domingo
Thrifty Avenida George Washington (809) 688-6518 51 Avenida George Washington - Santo Domingo
Thrifty Jardines del Este (809) 333-4000 Avenida Jardines del Este - Santo Domingo
Thrifty Lope de Vega (809) 333-4000 Avenida Lope de Vega - Downtown Santo Domingo

If you're thinking of finding your way to your accommodations with local transportation, then renting a car for just a day or two, most agencies will deliver the vehicle right to your hotel so long as you've made arrangements in advance.

Those traveling with children should bring the appropriate child safety seats with them. Although some agencies will rent them out to you, they are rarely available and often mistakenly given out even when someone else has reserved them.

Different firms will sometimes charge very different rates so it can be worth your while to contact several firms. The lowest rates shown are typically only available from the least expensive agencies during the slowest times of the year. The high end of the range is what you should anticipate during the high season at one of the busier agencies.

Vehicle Rentals, Daily Rates
Rental Type Low Rate High Rate
Compact Car $ 25.00 $ 35.00
Mid Size Car $ 28.00 $ 40.00
Full Size Car $ 35.00 $ 80.00
Standard SUV $ 71.00 $ 100.00
Heavy SUV $ 105.00 $ 260.00
Vehicle Rentals, Weekly Rates
Rental Type Low Rate High Rate
Compact Car $ 140.00 $ 210.00
Mid Size Car $ 145.00 $ 225.00
Full Size Car $ 210.00 $ 475.00
Standard SUV $ 425.00 $ 605.00
Heavy SUV $ 540.00 $ 1350.00

Driving Around

The rules of the road in the the Dominican Republic are similar to those in the United States, even if they are not necessarily very well enforced. Driving is done on the right side of the road, it is illegal to talk on your cell phone while you drive, and buckling up is mandatory. One major difference to note is that speed limits and distances are posted in kilometers rather than miles, so you'll find that the speed limit in the city is usually around 60 kilometers per hour, while out on the highway you could see limits reach up to 100 kilometers per hour.

...keep an eye out for livestock...


Driving within Santo Domingo can be hazardous. Traffic is horrendous and local drivers are not known for their skilled use of the road. It is common for local drivers to honk their horn repeatedly, so don't let this jar you, it is just the way of the road here. Make sure to keep an eye out for livestock and pedestrians on the road, especially in rural areas. When you're driving at night, be warned that some vehicles do not have headlights.

One of the things to recommend driving in the Dominican Republic, however, is the collection of highways that branch out from Santo Domingo and connect with most of the major towns and cities. If you plan on doing a lot of exploring, it can be helpful to know how long it will take you to get from place to place. Take a look at the chart below for driving times.

As far as road conditions are concerned, you'll find most roads in big cities and highways that connect the city are paved and smooth, but when you're driving in a more rural area, you can expect to encounter pot holes, cracks, and even roads that aren't paved at all. No matter what kind of exploring you plan for, remember that driving across the border to Haiti in a rental car is strictly prohibited.

DestinationTravel Time
Puerto Plata 3 1/2 hours
Santiago De Los Caballeros 1 1/2 hours
Jarabacoa 1 1/2 hours
Constanza 2 hours
Boca Chica 1/2 hour
Juan Dolio 40 minutes
Bayahibe 2 hours
La Romana 1 1/2 hours
La Romana 3 1/2 hours
Samana 2 to 4 hours
Barahona 3 hours

Gas Stations

Make sure to fill up your gas tank before you hit the road, because although gas stations are plentiful in cities, rural areas do not have as many.

While you shouldn't have any difficulties spotting places to refuel, it is still helpful to check out the listing that follows to get a picture of where some can be found.

Gas Stations
Name Phone Location
Estación De Gas Credigas (809) 596-5188 5.5 mi. (8.8 km) East of Santo Domingo
Estación De Gas Onegas (809) 684-6450 2.7 mi. (4.3 km) Northwest of Santo Domingo
Estación De Gasolina Esso -- 4.6 mi. (7.4 km) West of Santo Domingo
Estación De Gasolina Esso -- 2.6 mi. (4.1 km) West-Southwest of Santo Domingo
Estación De Gasolina Esso -- 6.4 mi. (10.3 km) West of Santo Domingo
Estación De Gasolina Esso -- Downtown Santo Domingo
Estación De Gasolina Texaco -- Downtown Santo Domingo
Isla Gas Station -- Bajos De Haina
Shell Gas Station Santo Domingo -- Downtown Santo Domingo
Shell Gas Station Santo Domingo II (809) 567-2870 2.7 mi. (4.4 km) West-Northwest of Santo Domingo
Texaco Cuesta Hermosa -- 4.6 mi. (7.4 km) Northwest of Santo Domingo

Renting a car is not necessary for every traveler staying in Santo Domingo, but those who do need to rent should arrive prepared, having reserved their vehicle in advance, learned about driving conditions in the area, and taken the time to study a few rules of the road.


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