Saturday, 28 May 2016

Rent and drive a car in Philippines: tips from 3 islands - Bantayan, Cebu and Mactan

Beautiful Bantayan beaches.

Two words summarize the self-driving in Philippines: very challenging and very tiresome for a driver.
Driving is challenging because of  "no rules" rule on the street and tiresome because driving requires triple and constant attention on the road.

Why do you want to rent a car?

1. Your own mean of transportation will take you to the places you want to be.
2. Your private car provides you hygiene and most needed comfort (air-con) when outside there are only two different weather seasons: very hot and hotter.
3. You avoid being harassed by the local taxi-drivers, street vendors ect.
4. You can park your car everywhere.

Renting a car at the airport:

1. Quick and efficient although you will probably be dealing with a local and not international company.
2. In most of the cases you we be requested to leave a deposit of 5000 PHP per rental.


1. Very heavy and chaotic traffic.
2. Practically no road signs.
3. You can encounter everything on the road: all kinds of vehicles (everyone may be coming from a different direction and with a different speed) like: huge trucks, buses, mini-busses, tricycles, bicycles, people, motos....
4. Most of the local life happens on the street or on the margin of the street so be prepared to see and meet on the road families eating, dogs and kids.
5. Roads especially outside big cities are in poor shape in constant state of "repair".
6. No police on the street. On some crossings there are local "employees" to guide the traffic.
7. There is only one rule: the bigger vehicle - the more rights on the road it has.

Taking your car by ferry to the small islands:

Very easy. Car ferry to the Bantayan island with 2 people is 2000 PHP (price consists of 4 different taxes, stamps).

Main roads on the small islands.

 Modern gasoline station with staff helping to buy the fuel.

Not respecting the lines.

Chaotic driving in the center of Cebu city.

All the stamps and tickets you will be paying when boarding your car on the ferry to Bantayan island.

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