The choice of renting a car or not in Punta Cana depends on a few factors that will be looked at below. These factors will determine each person’s decision based on how best they fit them.
Minimal street signs
There are minimal street signs or street names in Punta Cana. Even the buildings do not have physical number addresses as the town outgrew the implementation of a mailing system with none being present in the town.
Renting a car would not be a good option for visitors who are not acquainted with the surrounding. Instead, they should take a bus or a taxi.
In Punta Cana, primary roads are paved, and highways are in excellent condition especially from the airport to Punta Cana/Bavaro/El Cortecito/ Veron areas, Macao, Uvero Alto, Higuey, La Romana, and the capital Santo Domingo.
In these areas, renting a car is easy as there are street reflectors, cautionary signs, and border paints.
Secondary roads are full of potholes that get filled with rainwater and are much deeper. They lack street lighting in most areas with low lying areas experiencing flooding in extreme rainy weather making driving a bit risky.
A taxi is better since the local drivers know the roads well and can navigate through in case of difficulties or know where to get help. Jeeps and four-wheel drive suburbans offer options in such scenarios.
An important thing to note when considering renting a car is that many secondary roads that go up to all condo communities are full of dirt and gravel.
Because Punta Cana is a tourist destination, speeding, drinking and driving laws are not always enforced. That aside, some locals drive like crazy without the etiquette and adherence to road rules.
For people opting to rent a car rather than take a taxi, it is highly recommended that they drive defensively. For instance, they should not hesitate when they decide to go and can hoot or flick the headlights.
The locals are assertive yet defensive cutting off or passing tourists since they know the area better.
In Punta Cana, there are two tourist taxicab companies that are official and regulated, Siutratural and Taxi Turistico Beron-Bavaro-Punta Cana. Most of them speak Spanish, but clients can request an English speaking driver or showing them the name of the place you want to go.
A 30-minute drive from Bavaro to and from will cost around $25 while airport transfers cost $35.
Instead of renting cars, one can opt to use the bus services that cost 35 pesos ($1) per trip around the Friusa-El Cortecito-Bavaro loop.
They have attendants who attend and take the money and locals are very kind and helpful to vacationers who use them.
It is highly recommended that for rental cars, one should book online before coming to Punta Cana as it can cost up to 4 times more. Some well-known car rental companies include Budget, Prestige, Avis and Euro car.
Rental cars are not a good choice especially on the highway with parts under construction that have trucks and cars driving on the wrong side. On the worst part, driving at night is risky in such conditions.
Renting a car gives on the luxury especially when sightseeing as rental drivers will be too quick and not accord one time to enjoy the sceneries.
Rental cars offer a convenient way for daytime excursions to places such as Dominicus beaches, Boca Chica, Juan Dolio, and Altos de Chavon among other areas. Rental cars can be found outside most resorts.
When renting, it is essential to make sure you have insurance and have a substantial agreement, especially on payments.