About Dominican Republic (DO)
The Dominican Republic, which shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with its neighbor Haiti, draws visitors from around the world for its outstanding white sand beaches, warm blue waters and many outdoor activities such as ziplining. While many visitors come to stay in the all-inclusive resorts of towns such as Punta Cana, there are a rich variety of attractions to explore when you rent a car in the Dominican Republic.
Some of the spectacular nature reserves in the Dominican Republic include 3 Eyes National Park (Los Tres Ojos), Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve, and Parque Nacional Los Haitises. In the capital city of Santo Domingo, be sure to visit the historic Zona Colonial, where you can see the Cathedral of Santa María la Menor, the most ancient cathedral in the Americas. Other top attractions in the Dominican Republic include Bavaro Beach, Pico Duarte, Gri Gri Lagoon (Laguna Gri-Gri) and 27 Waterfalls (Damajaqua Cascades).
International visitors should exercise strong caution behind the wheel in the Dominican Republic, as local drivers do not always follow the rules of the road (including stopping at stop signs and traffic lights). Take your cue from other drivers, and stay alert. Note that in more rural areas of the country, the road conditions may be less good, and gas / fuel stations are difficult to find. Wherever you are, it’s a good idea to avoid driving at night altogether.
The Dominican Republic experiences strong storms, including seasonal hurricanes. Keep this in mind when planning your trip; some travel insurance policies may cover trip cancellation in case of natural weather events such as hurricanes.
Choosing your car
Well-known Dominican Republic car rental providers include Sixt, Dollar, Enterprise and Hertz. If you are headed to the more mountainous regions of the country, it might be a good idea to get a car with a 4x4 transmission, such as a truck or SUV. Larger groups can go for a 7—12 person mini van or people mover, also an excellent choice for transporting beach equipment. A cheap car rental option in the Dominican Republic is a compact car such as a Ford or Kia.
Tips and advice for renting a car in Dominican Republic
In the Dominican Republic, you drive on the right side of the road. Note that speed limits, which are seldom respected, are posted in kilometers per hour.
It’s a good idea to have a working GPS, as well as a backup map, in your Dominican Republic car rental.
You may encounter a culvert on the road, a dip that it meant to function like a stop sign or speed bump. Drive very slowly to avoid damaging your car hire.
Be sure to rent a car large enough to accommodate all members of your party, as well as their luggage. A larger vehicle is also nice if you are headed to the mountains.
For optimal peace of mind, consider getting a comprehensive supplemental car insurance package to cover your car rental in the Dominican Republic.
Avoid leaving any valuables visible in your Dominican Republic car hire, and keep your doors and windows locked at all times.