The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in the Philippines

The Philippines is a beautiful country with an interesting history, tropical beaches, and plenty to explore and enjoy. When you visit the Philippines, you may want to spend some time experiencing the natural wonders such as Kayangan Lake, Mayon Volcano, and the Batad Rice Terraces. You can visit the Heroes Cemetery, dive to see some sunken Japanese wrecks, San Agustin Church, and more. Having a rental vehicle can make it easier for travelers to see all of the things that are on their itinerary. It is more convenient and comfortable than using public transportation and taxis.

Renting a car in the Philippines

Foreign drivers are able to drive in the Philippines with their original and valid domestic driver’s license for up to 120 days, which should be more than enough time for a vacation. The minimum age for driving in the country is 16 years old, but the rental agencies will usually only rent to drivers who are in their 20s. Those who are under 25 may still have to pay a young driver’s penalty.

Road conditions and safety

The conditions of the road vary based on where they are. The roads in Manilla are drivable, but they tend to be quite crowded and the going can be slow. Once you get outside of the major urban areas, the quality of the roads starts to go down. Many of the rural areas do not have paved roads at all, and it can be difficult to navigate through them when it is raining.

In the Philippines, you will drive on the right side of the road and overtake on the left. You are not allowed to overtake other vehicles at intersections or at railway crossings. The drivers and passengers need to wear seatbelts. When at an intersection without stop signs, you will yield to the vehicles on your right. When you enter a highway, you will yield the right of way to the cars that are already on the highway. In addition, you have to give the right of way to emergency vehicles that are using their siren. You are only allowed to use a cell phone while driving if you have a hands-free system.

The streets in the cities can be very narrow, and the drivers may not always follow the rules of the road. You should make sure that you are driving defensively so you can anticipate what the other drivers are doing. The parking laws are quite strict, so do not block driveways, in crosswalks, or in intersections.

The speed limit

You need to pay attention to the posted speed limit signs and abide by them when you are driving in the Philippines. The speed limits are as follows.

  • Open country roads – 80 km/h for cars and 50 km/h for trucks
  • Boulevards – 40 km/h for cars and 30 km/h for trucks
  • City and municipal streets – 30 km/h for cars and for trucks
  • School zones – 20 km/h for cars and trucks

You have plenty to see and do when you visit the Philippines. Get a rental car to make visiting those locations easier.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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