Utuado is a large city set in the mountains of Puerto Rico, which means you'll encounter two unique types of terrain as you drive from place to place. For this reason, it is important that you take careful consideration as you choose which type of car you'll rent during your vacation as well as who you'll be renting with.
Only an hour away from San Juan, picking up your rental from the international airport and driving yourself to your accommodations is an easy option to choose. Still hiring an to bring you to your hotel is another option, and these people will then pick up their rental car from within Utuado city limits.
Aside from being over 21 and capable of paying, the only other thing required of you to rent a vehicle in Utuado is that you are in possession of a valid driver's license.
When you begin to call around to find out about each agency that you're considering renting with, make sure to inquire as to whether or not a sports utility vehicle with good suspension and four wheel drive is going to be available during your stay. This type of vehicle will allow you to easily navigate both the main city streets and the mountainous terrain that Utuado is known for. Be aware; however, that you're likely to spend more to rent such a vehicle. The typical rental on the island costs between $40 and $70 a day, but with an SUV, you'll probably spend around $60(USD).
There are some other costs associated with renting a vehicle to be aware of. For example, the quoted cost of a rental rarely includes taxes and fees, and you'll also want to purchase insurance, which can be an extra $10(USD) a day or more. Another fee that is important to know about is the $10 to $25(USD) extra charged by rental agencies to drivers between the ages of 21 and 24. Added amenities like a GPS system or satellite radio can add up as well. Most rental agencies will also ask for a deposit of up to $500(USD), which will be charged to your credit card. The money will be held, but not charged, during the length of your possession of the vehicle, and then returned when you return the vehicle.
There are two types of road conditions you can expect to experience when driving in and around Utuado. Within the main settlement, which is a relative city in the middle of the mountains, you'll encounter paved roads that endure plenty of upkeep. These roads have directions signs, stop lights, and street lamps, just as you would expect to see in any developed town. As you move outside of town, you'll encounter more narrowed, winding roads that have succumbed to erosion and may be cracked and pot holed. Because these roads are not used as often, the upkeep is not as important, and it is wise to always be on alert when driving in these areas.
Otherwise, driving in Utuado is easily compared to driving in the United States. Roadways are similar, people drive on the right side of the road, drinking and driving is illegal, and wearing a seat belt is mandatory. Differences come in road signs where distance is marked in kilometers (though speed is noted in miles per hour), and gasoline is sold by the liter rather than the gallon.
Overall, most tourists report that they had a pleasant experience driving in Utuado, and chances are if you choose to rent a car for your stay, you will, too.
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