Should I rent a car in Guatemala?

Renting a car gives you complete control over your travel plans. But driving in Guatemala can be a challenge, and you should take into account that road conditions may not be what you’re used to.

Remember that driving culture is different in Guatemala than back home. Drivers in Guatemala do not follow the same safety precautions as drivers in the U.S. or Europe. Factor in the stress of dealing with reckless drivers before you decide to rent a car.

Guatemala has well-maintained highways in the major cities, but it can be difficult to drive once you leave these behind. If you do decide to take these roads, you’ll want to make sure you rent a vehicle that is suitable for off-roading. Generally speaking, roads that take you to tourist destinations are better maintained and easier to navigate. It is inadvisable to drive on a highway at night.

When you leave the city, make sure you have a full tank of gas. Prices in urban areas are comparable to those in the U.S. (around $2.30/gal), but once you drive into the country the price of gas can increase significantly.

You can easily rent cars in Guatemala City and Antigua. There are also car rentals near Tikal. Avis, Budget, Hertz, National, Thrifty, and Tabarini all operate in Guatemala. It is possible to find one-way car rentals without additional fees. Be prepared to show your driver’s license and passport. Drivers must also present a credit card to make a deposit on the car.

Look into your car insurance policy to see if you’re covered in Guatemala. You may need to purchase additional insurance for your car rental in Guatemala.

P.S. Maintain full coverage during your time in Guatemala – not just when you're driving. Read "Going Abroad? This is Why Travel Insurance is A MUST!" Then, get your personalized quote here.

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