Metro Manila is one of the busiest places in the Philippines. The commute can be stifling and confusing, so if you’ll be there for a few weeks — it might be a good thing to get behind the driver’s seat.
No Fuss, Just Drive
You don’t need to get a local license to drive in the Philippines. Your old license will do, as long as it’s written in English. You can look up car rentals for a sedan, SUV, or even a sports car — the moment you land at the airport. Hold off on the sports cars, though, if you aren’t familiar with the local roads.
Of course, this assumes that you won’t be staying for more than 90 days. Beyond 90 days, you will be required to file for a local driver’s license.
Choosing Your Ride
Once you hit the rental services, make sure your car has a navigation system. Metro Manila roads can be confusing — one-way streets that make no sense, identical street names, and road constructions that pop out of nowhere.
Old school roadmaps will do you no good and a navigation system can guide you through the messy traffic system. Opt for a dashcam. You probably won’t get into an accident, but it’s good to have one just in case.
Things to Remember
– The speed limit is low. Don’t get a fast car because you won’t be going past 60 mph (100 km/h) any time soon.
– You can’t drive your car on a particular day of the week depending on the last number of your car’s plate — Mondays – 1-2, Tuesdays – 3-4, and so forth.
– Traffic will be bad, so avoid driving during rush hour.
– Pedestrians have the right of way and some will cross the street at their own accord.
– Vehicles change lane often. Cars will change lanes often, and even buses will cut you off.
It may take a bit of getting used to, but driving is still the most convenient way to get around Manila. No need for an extra license and with just a credit card — you can be driving from day 1.