Should I Rent a Car in the Dominican Republic (and What Are the Alternatives)?

When visiting the Dominican Republic, many tourists choose to remain within the confines of a luxury resort for their entire holiday – and that’s fine. However, for the more adventurous traveler who wants to explore the country, renting a car and or taking a taxi is the most convenient option.
Should I Rent a Car in the Dominican Republic
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With its gorgeous beaches and untouched nature, the Dominican Republic is the perfect choice for a spectacular tropical road trip. The second biggest country in the Caribbean boasting hundreds of miles of beautiful coastline, the Dominican Republic is best discovered by embracing the open road.

If planning to use a car to get around in the Dominican Republic, you will need to adequately prepare for your holiday. From road safety rules to Uber pricing rates, read on for the ultimate guide to driving in the Dominican Republic.

Do You Need a Car in the Dominican Republic?

It depends on where exactly you will be traveling in the Dominican Republic. That said, the beaches and attractions around the country’s major destinations will be more accessible and affordable with a car rental.

For certain tourist destinations in the Dominican Republic, having your own car would be easier as there is just so much to see. For instance, if you will be traveling along the north coast from Montecristi to Puerto Plata, Cabrera or to the beaches of Samana, a rental car will enable you to stop and see the sights along the way.

Stretching from Barahona to Pedernales, the southwest part of the Dominican Republic comprises one of the most beautiful and untouched regions of the country with limited public transportation. As such, renting a car will help you save time and money, particularly when traveling to famous, distant attractions such as Bahía de Las Águilas.

Moreover, having a car while traveling along the east coast allows for more affordable exploration of popular tourist areas like Punta Cana, La Romana, Bávaro and Cap Cana. However, if you will be traveling in the cities of Santiago, Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata, it is recommended that you rely on the vast network of taxis, including Uber.

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Car in the Dominican Republic?

On average a rental car in the Dominican Republic costs as US $23 per day.

Expectedly, car rental rates in the Dominican Republic will vary from one company to another. Luckily, most car rental companies are online, which means that you can compare prices and find great bargains before booking your holiday.

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Car in Punta Cana?

On average a rental car in Punta Cana costs US $23 per day.

Is It Safe to Rent a Car in the Dominican Republic?

Yes, it is safe to rent a car in the Dominican Republic as long as you only deal with reputable car hire companies.

Major international car rental franchises such as Europcar, Hertz and Avis all have outlets throughout the Dominican Republic.

Is It Easy to Rent a Car in the Dominican Republic?

Yes. Renting a car in the Dominican Republic is quite straightforward, especially if you research your options and book the car ahead of your trip.

Here are some useful tips for renting a car in the Dominican Republic:

  • Inspect the car before driving it off the lot. Check that it has seatbelts in the back, enough oil and water, and is in good working condition.
  • Carefully look the car over and document every nick, scratch or dent. Take photos of any damage to avoid it being blamed on you when you return the vehicle.
  • Check all documents before you leave the car rental agency to ensure that they are up to date.

What Do I Need to Rent a Car in the Dominican Republic?

To rent a car in the Dominican Republic you will need:

  • A valid U.S. (or other international) driver’s license
  • A credit card with enough funds to cover the deposit
  • To be at least 25 years old

Can Americans Drive in the Dominican Republic?

Yes, Americans are allowed to drive in the Dominican Republic.

Can I Drive in the Dominican Republic With a US License?

Yes, you can drive in the Dominican Republic with a U.S. driver’s license.

However, Americans should note that US driver’s licenses are only valid for the duration of your legal stay in the Dominican Republic, e.g. a 30-day tourist card or 3-month visa term. After this period expires, you will be required to obtain a Dominican driver’s license.

Do You Need an International Driver’s License in the Dominican Republic?

No. Holders of United States or United Kingdom driver’s licenses do not need to obtain an international driving permit to drive in the Dominican Republic.

All you need is a valid domestic driver’s license, which will enable you to drive for a period of up to 3 months.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Rent a Car in the Dominican Republic?

Drivers have to be at least 25 years old to rent a car from most companies in the Dominican Republic.

Is It Safe to Drive in the Dominican Republic?

Yes, it is safe for tourists to drive themselves around in the Dominican Republic, as long as you observe the following road safety tips:

  • Always keep your car doors/ boot locked and windows up.
  • Keep all cash and valuables out of sight at all times.
  • Take extra care when stopping for traffic lights or at junctions as criminals may linger in these places to steal items from the backs of cars.

Is It Hard to Drive in the Dominican Republic?

The Dominican Republic boasts the most modern road infrastructure in the Caribbean, with great highways leading to and linking the major tourist destinations.

That said, driving in the Dominican Republic is often nerve-wracking as you must drive defensively. You need to be on constant lookout for pedestrians, motorcyclists and animals, as well as local drivers who do not strictly observe traffic rules.

To avoid accidents, caution is needed when driving in the Dominican Republic. Avoid speeding and exercise more caution when driving in the dark. Where possible, avoid driving at night as lighting is often poor or non-existent, which could lead to accidents and crime.

Although driving in the Dominican countryside is less stressful than in the big cities, you should nevertheless look out for potential obstacles on the village roads. To successfully drive in the Dominican Republic, you should have prior experience driving in big cities like New York or in the Caribbean.

What are the Rules of the Road in the Dominican Republic?

The Dominican Republic has road safety rules, which if broken, may cause you to be subjected to a fine. These include:

  • Speed Limit: Do not exceed the speed limit.
  • Seat Belts: All passengers inside a vehicle must wear seat belts at all times.
  • Mobile Phones: The use of mobile phones is not permitted while driving.
  • Alcohol: In the Dominican Republic, the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is 0.03%. With such a low BAC limit, drinking even half a pint of beer or small glass of wine could take you over the legal drink-drive limit. It is therefore best to avoid drinking at all if you plan to drive.

Which Side of the Road Do They Drive on in the Dominican Republic?

Drivers in the Dominican Republic are required to drive on the right-hand side of the road.

For UK drivers, this may take some getting used to. It is therefore wise to be cautious during your initial forays into Dominican traffic.

What is the Speed Limit in the Dominican Republic?

The speed limit in the Dominican Republic is as follows:

  • Highways: 120kph (74mph)
  • Open Roads: 80kph (50mph)
  • Villages & Towns: 40kph (25mph)

Can You Turn on Red in the Dominican Republic?

Yes. Turning right on red lights is permitted in the Dominican Republic, but it should be done with caution.

At a junction where the traffic lights show a red signal, you may turn into the direction of traffic nearer to you if the way is clear, without having to wait for a green signal.

Does GPS Work in the Dominican Republic?

Yes, GPS works perfectly well in the Dominican Republic.

How Much Does a Taxi Cost in the Dominican Republic?

On average, a taxi in the Dominican Republic costs US $5 one-way for most in-city destinations.

Is It Safe to Take a Taxi in the Dominican Republic?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to take a taxi in the Dominican Republic.

You can easily get a taxi by calling a 24-hour dispatch taxi company.

In the absence of a fixed rate, be sure to agree on the fare with your taxi driver before you begin the trip.

Is There Uber in the Dominican Republic?

Yes, there is Uber in the Dominican Republic.

Uber services are available in the major cities including Santo Domingo, Santiago and Puerto Plata. However, there is no Uber service in Punta Cana as yet.

How Much is Uber in the Dominican Republic?

The price of an Uber trip in the Dominican Republic is charged based on the time and route in kilometers, as follows:

  • Base Fare = 35 Dominican Pesos (US $0.70)
  • Per Minute of Travel = 4 Dominican Pesos (US $0.08)
  • Per Kilometer = 10 Dominican Pesos (US $0.20)

Is It Safe to Use Uber in the Dominican Republic?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to use Uber in the Dominican Republic.

Uber drivers undergo a vetting process to ensure they are qualified, and the app makes it easy for you to see the vehicle and driver’s photo before boarding.

Moreover, Uber trips are insured with insurance that covers passengers in case of an accident.

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