Hi, thanks for all advice. Went totally against it and had a car yesterday. Rented from Avis who sent a rep speaking ok english, who went thru all insurance etc., gve us an upgrade, a map, full details of safety numbers programmed into my cellphone, and then went thru directions with us. Have to say it was a great day! Should actually say that we live in Corfu, Greece, and maybe our roads are not exactly 100% (or our drivers) but whilst you can forget the words ‘courteous’ when referring to Dominican driving, they were not much worse than looney drivers elsewhere in the world.
We drove bavaro, higuey, bayahibe, boca yuma and back, not too adventurous but it worked well. It was a bit stressful, having rained in the morning so you couldnt tell how deep the potholes were. Higuey does have one way streets, turns, lights etc. but there is so much traffic there that it all moves very slowly and you have time to work out where you are going, and there are signs. Don’t think there are all that many signs generally and it would be a problem. We don’t speak spanish but managed left, right and straight on the couple of times we asked directions and everyone we asked was fairly amused and very friendly. Yes, I would recommend it, take your time, don’t try to go too far (everywhere seems to be a lot further than it looks on the map!) and def. don’t drive at night (doesn’t seem to be an edge to the road which could be difficult). Overall I would say Jamaic aand Thailand are worse.