Car Rental in Panama

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500+ Trusted Suppliers:

Cheapest Car Rental Rates

Hotel Continental
Economy
Kia Picanto or similar
Kia Picanto
  • 4
  • 1
  • 3
  • A/C
  • Man.
Avis
$11.70 / per day
Tocumen International Airport
Mini
Kia Picanto or similar
Kia Picanto
  • 5
  • 3
  • A/C
  • Auto.
SIXT
$13.17 / per day
Tocumen International Airport
Compact
Hyundai Grand i10 or similar
Hyundai Grand i10
  • 5
  • 3
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Man.
MEX RENT A CAR
$18.47 / per day
Downtown
Intermediate
Kia Rio or similar
Kia Rio
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Thrifty
$19.81 / per day

Most Popular Car Rental Deals

Downtown
Standard
Nissan Versa or similar
Nissan Versa
  • 5
  • 3
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Hertz
$22.86 / per day
Tocumen International Airport
Full-size
Nissan Versa or similar
Nissan Versa
  • 5
  • 3
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
NUCarrentals
$42.65 / per day
Rio Hato Ocean Mall
Premium
Toyota Corolla or similar
Toyota Corolla
  • 5
  • 3
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Alamo
$48.59 / per day
Downtown
Luxury
Kia Optima or similar
Kia Optima
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
National
$60.85 / per day
The above prices are only approximate and were last updated at 18:46 on 2024-05-20. Prices may vary based on the booking dates, length of rental, and car class.

Travel Information

Languages
Spanish, English
Currency
PAB
Drive on
Right-hand side
Country code
+507
Average car rental price
$30 per day
Average car rental length
9 days
Speed limit within town
40 - 60 km/h or 25 - 37 mph
Speed limit out of town
100 km/h or 62 mph
Acceptable limit of BAC
0.05%
Rating
9.1 / 10
Average gasoline price
$1.06 per liter or $4.01 / 1 gallon
Lowest gasoline price
$0.89 per liter or $3.37 / 1 gallon
Highest gasoline price
$1.43 per liter or $5.41 / 1 gallon

Why rent a car in Panama?

Panama, conecting Central and Sotuh America between Costa Rica and Colombia, is a great destination, particlarly if you have a car to get around. The country has coastline on both the Carribean Sea and the Pacific Ocean that offers fun and relaxation and mountains and jubgles in its interior. For more information on traveling in Panama and beyond, check out As We Saw It.

 

Before you set off on a trip around the gorgouse country, here are some important things you need to know about driving in Panama:

  • The speed limit in residential areas is 30 km/h (18 mph) and on highways, it can range from 80 km/h (50 mph) to 120 km/h (75 mph). Pay attention on the highways, because the speed limit can change quickly.

  • Panama has four main expressways, and all of them are toll roads. To use these toll roads, you will need to have a prepaid Panapass, so make sure to have a toll pass with you if you plan on driving on these roads. Cash is not accepted.

  • Traffic can be congested in some areas, especially during rush hour. It is best to avoid driving during these times if possible.

  • Panama has a zero-tolerance policy for drunk driving. If you are caught driving under the influence, you will face serious consequences.

  • Parking can be a challenge in some areas, especially in Panama City. Look for designated parking spots or parking garages to avoid getting towed or fined.

  • Some streets in Panama City are designated as "no parking" zones during certain times of the day. Make sure to check the signs before parking your vehicle.

  • In some areas, it is common for people to double park, but this is not recommended as it can block traffic and you may receive a fine.

  • Find more details about what you need to know about driving in Panama here.

 

Top cities and places to visit

Panama is a beautiful country with many different things to see and do, such as tropical rainforests, beautiful beaches, historic landmarks, and busy cities. Here are some of the top places to visit in Panama:

  • Panama City. The vibrant capital city offers both modern skyscrapers and historic landmarks like Panama Viejo. Watch ships pass through the nearby Panama Canal, stroll through Casco Viejo, or drive to the Amador Causeway for fantastic views of the city skyline.
  • Panama Canal. The Panama Canal is a feat of engineering that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It is one of the most famous places in Panama.
  • Soberania National Park. A vast tropical rainforest located just outside of Panama City, Soberania National Park is a great place to go birdwatching, hiking, and wildlife spotting.
  • Fort San Lorenzo. Overlooking the Caribbean, this historic fortress was a key defense post during colonial times. Explore the ruins, learn about the history of the fort, and take in the beautiful views. There’s also a nearby beach.
  • El Valle de Anton. El Valle de Anton is a lovely mountain town that is two hours west of Panama City and encircled by lush forests and waterfalls. Take a dip in the natural hot springs or hike to the top of the nearby Cerro Gaital for panoramic views.
  • Boquete. Located in Panama’s western highlands, Boquete is a popular expat community and a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Go hiking in the lush cloud forests, visit the coffee plantations, or soak in the hot springs.
  • Bocas del Toro. This group of islands off Panama’s Caribbean coast offers pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a laid-back vibe. Keep in mind that you can only drive as far as Almirante, and then you'll need to take a boat to the islands. Go snorkeling, surfing, or simply relax on the beach.

Crossing Borders

It is impossible to drive to Colombia from Panama, as there are no roads through the Darien Gap’s dense jungle. Though you could drive to Costa Rica, no rental company allows their vehicles to be taken there from Panama. 

Toll roads

Panama has four main expressways, and all of them are toll roads. To use these toll roads, you will need to have a prepaid Panapass, so make sure to have a toll pass with you if you plan on driving on these roads. Cash is not accepted.

Rental companies may offer you this toll pass, though expect to be charged an additional fee on top of the costs of the tolls.

Car Rental Prices

  • Large cars - from $16 per day
  • Medium cars - from $14 per day
  • Vans - from $62 per day
  • Premium cars - from $26 per day
  • Small cars - from $12 per day
  • SUVs - from $28 per day
This information was written, fact-checked, and/or translated by our content creators.

Learn more about our Editorial Policy.
Fact checked by
Linda from As We Saw It
This article was reviewed and updated by Linda, a seasoned traveler. She is the founder of As We Saw It, a travel blog full of itineraries, travel tips, and cultural experiences to enjoy all over the world. With over 50 countries under her belt, Linda has lived in Panama and has first-hand experience driving around the country.

Map of Car Rental Locations

What is the cheapest month to rent a car in Panama?

The cost of renting a car in Panama varies by season. This graph compares prices from month to month in order to help you find the best time of year.
Average rental costs per day in Panama
$27.38
January
$25.48
February
$36.09
March
$26.66
April
$26.80
May
$24.85
June
$27.45
July
$25.16
August
$29.37
September
$21.26
October
$19.84
November
$35.06
December
The cheapest month of the year to rent a car in Panama is November — when rental costs average $19.84 per day. This is 27% cheaper than the yearly average and 45% cheaper than renting a car in March (when prices average $36.09 per day).

This information can help you identify the low season. But these are only average numbers. How much your car rental will cost will depend on the type of vehicle you rent, how long you’ll rent it for, and how far ahead you book. Simply enter your dates in the form at the top of the page to see the exact prices.

What’s the average rental length in Panama?

How long renters typically keep their vehicle sometimes varies depending on the time of year. Travelers tend to keep their rental cars longer in January — an average of 10 days. They tend to keep them for a shorter time in May — an average of 7 days.
Average number of rental days in Panama
10
January
9
February
9
March
9
April
7
May
8
June
10
July
8
August
8
September
8
October
8
November
10
December

What's the most popular month to rent a car in Panama?

Based on how many customers search for a car in Panama, the most popular month is February, while the least popular is April.
Monthly searches in Panama by pick-up date relative to the average
146%
January
172%
February
133%
March
64%
April
64%
May
75%
June
108%
July
108%
August
81%
September
72%
October
65%
November
112%
December

Car Rental Information

Car rental locations 24
Airport locations 6
Popular suppliers Thrifty, Dollar, Ace Rent a car, SIXT, Avis
Popular car categories SUVs, Medium cars, Small cars, Large cars
Lowest price $12 per day
Cheapest supplier Avis

Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers

Rental Supplier Model Doors Luggage Type
Dollar Kia Rio 4 2 Medium cars
Dollar Nissan Juke 5 2 SUVs
Thrifty Kia Picanto 4 1 Small cars
Ace Rent a car Hyundai Accent 4 1 Medium cars
Thrifty Hyundai Grand i10 5 2 Medium cars
Thrifty Kia Carnival 4 3 Vans
Avis Hyundai Accent 4 3 Large cars
Ace Rent a car Nissan Kicks 5 2 SUVs
Flexways Kia Picanto 5 1 Medium cars
Dollar Hyundai i10 5 1 Small cars

Our Customers' Reviews

Because we want to make sure each review listed here is left by a real customer, we don’t have an option to post a review here. Instead, we ask each and every customer to leave a review after they return their rental car. This way, you know that all reviews are authentic, verified, and trustworthy.

United States of America (USA)
Suzuki Grand Vitara
February 23, 2024
It rains a lot.
United States of America (USA)
Toyota RAV4
September 22, 2023
Nature, restaurants., hotels.
customer photo
United States of America (USA)
Mitsubishi Montero
September 8, 2023
Playa Venao was awesome ,great restaurants on site near my resort Blue Venao Surfing and food was top notch People of Panama overall very welcoming
customer photo customer photo customer photo customer photo
Switzerland
Kia Carnival
April 25, 2023
Lots to see in Panama and easy to drive around (save for some road conditions and the omnipresent radar cameras checking for speeders). Takes about 8 hours to drive from Panama City to Boquete. A high clearance vehicle is recommended if going outside the cities on many roads.
Canada
Kia Forte
March 24, 2023
I’m very happy to visit my relatives
Canada
Kia Rio
January 12, 2023
Very serene and laid back and enjoyable
× Full Size Image

Car Rental Statistics

Highest rated company
Flexways
8.5 / 10
)
Lowest rated company
Ace Rent a car
5.7 / 10
)
Total number of reviews
21
Total rental companies
16
Average daily price
$29.76
Lowest daily price
$11.70
Total cars available
1210

Top 16 Suppliers in Panama in 2024

Flexways
Flexways
Very good 8.5 / 23 reviews
3 locations
$34 - $49
Dollar
Dollar
Very good 8.1 / 123 reviews
15 locations
$20 - $97
Hertz
Hertz
Very good 8.1 / 12 reviews
11 locations
$20 - $96
Thrifty
Thrifty
Good 7.8 / 108 reviews
11 locations
$18 - $88
National
National
Good 7.8 / 3 reviews
8 locations
$28 - $168
NUCarrentals
NUCarrentals
Good 7.6
2 locations
$30 - $63
Economy rent a car
Economy rent a car
Good 7.3 / 2 reviews
1 location
$49 - $70
Budget
Budget
Good 7.2 / 30 reviews
5 locations
MEX RENT A CAR
MEX RENT A CAR
Good 7.1 / 10 reviews
1 location
$18 - $130
Alamo
Alamo
Satisfactory 6.9 / 11 reviews
10 locations
$25 - $158
Europcar
Europcar
Satisfactory 6.7 / 28 reviews
3 locations
$33 - $363
Routes Car Rental
Routes Car Rental
Satisfactory 6.6 / 8 reviews
1 location
$41 - $84
Firefly
Firefly
Satisfactory 6.4 / 13 reviews
4 locations
Avis
Avis
Satisfactory 6.3 / 32 reviews
5 locations
$12 - $116
SIXT
SIXT
Satisfactory 6 / 42 reviews
5 locations
$13 - $129
Ace Rent a car
Ace Rent a car
Poor 5.7 / 28 reviews
5 locations
$24 - $142
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