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About Philippines (PH)

The Philippines (PH) occupies a special place in the heart of Asian tourism, with its abundance of natural attractions and a generally friendly, Western atmosphere. But it’s impossible to understand many of the apparent anomalies found in the country without understanding its colonial Spanish history, Japanese occupation, and former commonwealth status of the U.S. There’s a pervasive vibe in the air that something happened here — and that something was the abject destruction of the city of Manila during World War II. In fact, there are still places in Metro Manila that haven’t been rebuilt since the last bomb was dropped. And so, the most popular destinations in the Philippines are found in the outlying island groups of Visayas and Mindanao. Island-hopping across the 7,000-plus archipelago is one of the primary attractions for international visitors.

  Getting around

Getting around is far more efficient, safe, and reliable when you rent a car in the Philippines.  However, there are three primary regional driving differences, each with their own set of conditions. Metro Manila is the seat of Luzon Province in the north, and generally speaking, the main gateway into the Philippines, and probably the least appealing to visitors. Despite having the country’s most developed infrastructure, driving in Luzon is a mild nightmare. The island of Cebu in the Visayas is considered far better to base a long-stay visit in the country. Most of the roads are in good condition, and congestion isn’t that bad. And finally, Davao City in southern Mindanao is an emerging city for commerce and leisure, and by far the easiest to navigate. Then of course, you have another 7,000 island destinations to choose from. And although Filipino driving habits have been historically awful, the trend has been curbed by more thorough enforcement.

  Choosing your car

Cheap car rentals in the Philippines are readily available from Avis, Europcar, National, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, and Hertz. Choose from compact sedans, economy hatchbacks, fullsize, premium and luxury sedans, SUVs and estate wagons. If you’re planning to rent a 7-12 seater for a family or group, you may need to consider hiring a driver (chauffer) to operate the vehicle in the Philippines. Check with your chosen provider about their restrictions on passenger vans in the booking conditions.

  Tips and advice for renting a car in Philippines


All of the major Philippines car rental companies have locations spread across the country, but outside of the airports, don’t expect them to be running the most on-the-ball operations. Many companies in the country are still operating paper-based rentals with minimal computer tech involved, but if you book here on this site, you will find that things are a lot smoother.


“Filipino time” is an elastic concept of tardiness where “the bus leaves at nine o’clock” means the bus could leave anytime between nine o’clock and sometime this afternoon. Filipino time is primarily a product of the country’s atrocious public transportation system and heinous traffic congestion. People are late because they couldn’t get there on time, not because they didn’t want to.


Driving at night in remote provincial areas is insane. Otherwise, you’re pretty safe in the Philippines as long as you stay out of the slums. But even then, crime rarely involves foreigners unless they somehow get themselves involved. You have to try pretty hard to get in trouble in the Philippines.


You’re generally not allowed to take a Philippine car hire off of the island from which you rented the vehicle, mainly because of the ferryboats involved.


The island groups actually have really good highway networks built to mainly American schematics — they’re just really congested.


Metro Manila has a traffic code that restricts weekday operation of certain vehicles based on the day of the week and the last number of your car hire’s license plate. Check with your provider to see if your car is affected by “number coding”.

Are you driving a rental car in Philippines?

Urban Speed Limit


30 kph  | 18.6 mph
Rural Speed Limit


50 kph  | 31.1 mph
Motorway Speed Limit


100 kph  | 62.1 mph
Fuel Price




Road Driving


Driving Age


18 years of age
21 years of age to RENT
Emergency Services


Documentation requirements



Philippines Driving Ideas Guide

Another archipelago situated in South-East Asia, the Philippines consists of over 7000 islands lying between the Philippines and South China Sea. Known for its stunning beaches and lengthy coastlines, these islands are a popular tourist destination and tourism is one of the biggest contributors to its GDP as well as creating over 1 million jobs.

Other than the stunning beaches, tourists flock to the country to discover beautiful rainforests, mountains, excellent water sports opportunities (including diving) as well as the rich historical and cultural heritage on offer.

Exploring the various islands by rental car is a great way to discover the Philippines at your pace. Again, like most of Asia, drivers can be a little impatient and are not known to follow the rules of the road, so always err on the side of caution.

Luzon Island — Baguio to Sagada — Halsema Highway

5 hours (148 km) (91 miles)

The Halsema Highway between Baguio and Sagada, although not that long will take a fair time to navigate. Halsema, the highest highway in the country travels through extremely mountainous terrain.

Along the way, traditional Filipino villages can be found, all having various monuments outside them. These normally take the form of a vegetable and signify the crop the village is best known for. They all make great photo opportunities, so you might want to add a little more time to your journey.

Of course at a relatively high altitude, the views along the highway of the surrounding countryside, farmlands and the mountains themselves are magnificent!

Take care if it is raining as landslides onto the road are common.

Manila to Batangas City

1 hour 22 mins (82 km) (51 miles) via R-3 and Southern Tagalog Arterial Road

Situated roughly an hour outside the capital, Batangas is the perfect place to explore the beautiful waters of the Philippines.

The seas around the town are teeming with various marine life and are a favourite for both divers and snorkelers alike. This is one of the premier dive spots in the country. A word of warning, swimming in the area is not recommended as the terrain is extremely rocky. Many other activities can be found outside of the town including zip lining, hiking trails and sightseeing.

The town itself also caters to tourist so expect to find curio shops, bars and restaurants. Accommodation in Batangas City includes hotels, resorts, guest houses, bed and breakfast establishments and backpacker’s lodges.

Boracay Island

The beautiful island of Boracay is situated 2km off Panay and in turn around 315km south of the capital, Manila. Often the best way to get there is by plane, but the island’s sun-kissed white beaches and crystal clear waters are worth the effort.

This small island is home to all the waters sports you could think of including swimming, snorkelling, diving, windsurfing, jet skiing and sailing. Don’t expect any sleep here, when the sun goes down the party starts!

Although not massive, the island does have a road network and is a great place to explore at your own pace especially by ATV or Buggy Car.

At Cheaperthancars and Cheaperthanhotels, we have incredible deals for both car rental and accommodation. This allows you to save money and use it towards making your holiday an even greater experience.

Your Cheaperthancars Team

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Frequently asked questions about renting a car in Philippines

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1. What is the best time of year to book a rental car in Philippines?

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2. Is it possible for one way rentals in Philippines?

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3. Should I rent a round trip or one-way rental in Philippines?

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4. Which location should I rent my car from in Philippines?

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5. Do I pay more fees and taxes for renting a car at the airport in Philippines?

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6. What insurance do I require for driving a rental car in Philippines?

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7. What is the best way to save money on rental car insurance in Philippines?

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8. Should I prepay my rental car booking in Philippines?

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9. What are the largest numbers of vehicle seats available for a rental car in Philippines?

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10. What types of sports and special cars are available in Philippines?

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11. Can I take my rental car across borders in Philippines?

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12. How do I inform the rental company I will be crossing a border from the Philippines?