Philippines Driving Advice and Car Hire Info

The research for this website was carried out mainly in 2011 and 2012. Therefore there is a good chance that much of the information may now be out of date. This is particularly true of countries in the developing world, especially Asia, Africa and parts of South America where conditions can change often. Also, the political climate in many countries has changed a lot in recent years. Therefore the information on this website should be treated with caution. You should always check with your Government’s website or the UK Foreign office travel advice website before finalising plans to drive abroad.

Driving in the Philippines-
Before planning on driving abroad in the Philippines check your Governments website for advice as many countries currently advise against travel to the island of Mindanao .Roads are generally pretty good for Asia particularly on Luzon, Panay and Negros , with modern motorways in the Manila area. However you should expect the occasional pot hole and unsealed section of road. A 4WD is not needed for most areas but will certainly make the journey less bumpy. Also, if travelling on minor roads, especially after rain a 4WD would be advisable. Driving standards are typically Asian with Jeepneys, motorbikes and tuk tuks everywhere and few people following any rules of the road. You should exercise care especially when driving in large towns. My advice would be to avoid driving in Metro Manila if you can. Its a huge chaotic City, you’ll get lost without doubt, and it will be a stressful experience. Ask the rental company if they will drive the car to/from the outskirts if you need to take it from/return it to, the centre. If you fly into Clark airport you may be able to pick the car up there and thats an easy location to get onto the main roads from. Check with the rental company if there are any restrictions on taking the car on ferries as they are an intergral part of the Filipino transport system and its likely you’ll need to travel on one at some point.

Philippines Car Rental –
Hertz, Europcar, National, Avis,  Budget,  all have branches in various locations, heavily centred on Luzon. The big companies seem to have various restrictions on taking cars from the Island on which they were rented and don’t seem to like the idea of their cars being taken on ferries. Therefore it may be better to use a local company, which are based on the various islands and ask them which Islands they allow cars to be taken to. In my experience they are likely to be more flexible.

This is a local company on Negros. I’ve used them and they were reliable and brought the car to Bacolod as a one way rental from Dumaguete.

This company rent cars in Luzon/ Manila…

Two companies in Panay…

This is a company in Mindanao


  1. Bruna

    helpful blog, bookmarked the website with hopes to read more, this is the way a blog should be! thanks!

  2. Roma Massot

    Always, my friend, I look your web.
    Now I am coming from Philippines.
    I did a few steps about to rent a car. But I think this option is very dubious and perhaps unsafe. I ask for information in the main place of Philippines, in the Aquino or main airport of the Philip. and Manila. The “offices” of Hertz, Avis, Europe, etc…are just a very poor installation with just a girl trying to sell you her offer… without any clear paper, and security or garantee… I tried to avoid the excess and to have a final prize… but impossible. I think you will have trouble if you risk this option.
    Well, finally I paid to an agency for a private car with driver… and the prizes were really interesting.
    As always, thanks!!

  3. Driver Abroad

    Hi Roma

    Yes the car I rented on one of the Islands was rather ‘unofficial’. I asked for a rental agreement and the guy who delivered the car wrote it in marker pen on a napkin! Luckily the car had plenty of dents and other damage so they probably wouldn’t have noticed any additional damage. I didn’t try to rent a car in Manila- using Jeepnies to get around was more fun!


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