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Car rental


I am new to this forum and DR in general, although I have been “lurking” for awhile. My husband and I will be in Punta Cana in February, but we have normally travelled to Mexico.
My question is how safe and available are car rentals in DR? We thought of doing some touring ourselves, but would like some input from some experienced DR travelers.
I am sure this question has been asked before, I looked back a few “pages” and did not see anything, so I apologize for the repeat question.
Thank you in advance for any advise you can give.


Sorry but renting a car is not recommended. Picture the craziest, errratic driver you have ever seen and multiply it by an entire population. Please take a tour or taxi…


If you are a timid driver…don’t drive in the Dominican Republic! It is a lot like driving in a video game!
I always rent a car or jeep when we are in the D.R. and we have never had any problems other than getting a ticket for no seat belt. Just drive like the rest of the folks on the road and you should be just fine. Keep in mind the only real rule is that the larger vehicle has the right of way.

Bargo…you said “it is recommended”. You really should modify that to say that YOU recommend as there are a lot of folks who do enjoy driving in the D.R.




Thank you for your responses. My husband can be a crazy driver so maybe we will fit in. I think we will decide when we get there and see for ourselves, the conditions, that is.
Thank you again, and if anyone has other suggestions, they are welcome to contribute.


I ‘am with Bargo & BoB on this 1
All the way! It only took 1 trip to the D.R. & witnessing 1st hand carnage on the road , literally , it was on the shuttle headed back to the airport to depart & the traffic had to slow to a stop as we went by my husband asked our tour rep as he hopped back on our shuttle if in fact what we saw was the remains of an animal ? We were told no it “was” a 14 yr old boy
:’( this left my husband in shock literally , I am so glad I did not leave my seat to have a look see . My husband will never forget the image he saw that day , they had tried to cover the remains of this child with a peice of cardboard & a paper plate . The tour rep said this is nothing it happens many times every day . In my opinion driving is Not recommended , for the 1st timer or the inexperienced , an enjoyable experience ? ¿ That would definatly be debatable

Just my 2 centavos worth


Don’t…better to look out the side window than the front!
Especially in paradise.


I think you have to have been there many times to feel happy driving in the DR. As has been stated there are no real rules of the road, just the age old “Might has right” the bigger the vehicle the more right of way it has. Also ask yourself if you are so busy watching the other road users, and you will be, then you cannot see what you are going past.

My recommendation, get a taxi or if you want to get closer to Dominicans use the Gua gua buses.

Second recommendation, avoid the motor bike taxis in all respects, the only road accidents I have seen have always included at least one of these and not as bad as Bouquet saw but the guy sat on the road had one foot pointing in totally the wrong direction, my stomach still turns at the memory.

Cheers Amandalou :-*


So far I have not seen an accident in the D.R. Please keep in mind that includes approx. 40 total weeks and we are not stay on the resort types.

I truly believe that Dominicans are better drivers than we are here in N. America. Please keep in mind I did not say safer drivers. We in North America go to a light, and then go when appropriate. WE go in the direction we are supposed to. We pass when it is safe…etc. It takes much more skill and awareness to drive in the D.R. having talked many times to my Dominican friends on this topic I tend to believe that a high percentage of the “road carnage” is due to foreign drivers who haven’t a clue what is going on. Therefore “when in Rome do as the Romans do”.

I may have more to say on this shortly as I will be living (not vacationing for the next 3 months in Sosua. Maybe I will find that I have been wrong all along…or not.


Santo Domingo, Monday - Holiday celebrations unfortunately have a dark side - and the final count of dead and injured in DR over the recent holiday weekend is depressing. Traffic accidents left 32 dead and 352 injured. Fireworks caused injuries to another 40 people. Three died from alcohol poisoning while another 62 sought medical treatment. The toll of dead and injured was accumulated from Friday the 30th through Tuesday morning. The 2005 Christmas and New Year weekends combined saw 72 dead and 678 injured. As bad as that is, the numbers do mark a reduction versus prior years.


In a country with almost 9 million people that does not sound like an extraordinary statistic.


Since we own a villa in PC over the years we have seen many, many accidents. Some fender benders and others very gruesome. We do adventure off of the property but it is always with our Dominican friends who IMHO know the rules and the road way better then I will since we are not permanent residence there.
I’m sure once we are in the country side the roads would be quite safe to drive but trying to dodge the huge pot holes would be a different matter. Before I got acquainted with several of my Dominican friends we always took a guided tour but over the many years of going there we became more ventures and also our Dominican friends wanted to show us their country. :sunglasses:


Dominican drivers are, IMHO, no crazier than Mexican drivers. I’ve seen some crazy sh*t in Mexico. If you’re comfortable driving in Mex, I don’t see why you’d feel any different in the DR.


Would it not then follow Phil , that if you believe that a high percentage of the “road carnage” is "due to foreign drivers who havent a clue as to what is going on " then that would negate your statements in reply #2 alluding that you yourself reccommend driving to Tourists (= foreigners) ?¿ Yes you are very correct , the larger vehicle does have the right of way as the 14 yr old youth found out , it was a dump truck with no front fenders or even a hood to cover the engine that struck him flying off of his moped ? vespa type scooter . Lethal lessons like that I personally can do without . We will sit back enjoy the scenery & let the Locals show us their ßeautiful Country :smiley:
Hops on the Bus , Cheers All


Thanks you all for your advise, point taken.
I guess my next question is what are gua gua buses and how does one go about catching one? What is the cost, where do they take you? Are they like the collectivos in Mexico?
Help please? And Thank you!


Very, very well stated Bouquet.
If you want to find wild drivers that have it all over the Mexicans and Dominican drivers try renting a car in Egypt. Now that is an experience no human being should have to go through. No rules, :sunglasses: no right of way, just get out of my way or else


Bouquet…enough of the melodrama, point well taken. I’ve seen the same crap here in the states and generally it includes a drunk driver. Does that mean I shouldn’t drive here in the States either? For most people I would reccomend hiring a taxi but for the adventurous like myself I would reccomend renting a car. Trust me…a lot of tourists rent vehicles without incident.


It’s a discussion forum and everyone is entitled to their ideas, even when they don’t agree with you. You’ve been going there for a long time, and for adventurous people like you, who knows the ropes, go ahead and rent a vehicle. You’ll have a great time. But for the average traveler, we (most of the forum members and mods) generally don’t recommend renting a vehicle. If you take a taxi, then everyone can enjoy the sights without worrying about pot holes, goats, other drivers and pedestrians.
Just my dos pesos worth.


Bob…it was not the opinion I was annoyed with it was the repeated gory details of a single incident.


Bob ty for your support as I am a relativley new member & have been a bit of a wallflower about posting . Then when I do post a few, I find that I am aggressively verbally challenged . does not encourage or make you to feel welcome . By the way my Hub n I are fairly adventurous :wink: We like off resort too :smiley:

Stillgotit TY , I try to be articulate & as we all know a lot can be lost between the spoken word & translation to paper , tones inflections & facial getures vanish . leaving us to fill in the blanks .
Phil , I did not repeat “gory details” , just finished with the rest of the story , no melodrama anywhere ::slight_smile: Although I did find a bit by being publicly “scolded” by you

Nuff Said ! :smiley: