Car Rental in Manila
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Why rent a car in Manila?
Manila is a great place to visit. Everyone knows about the beaches of the Philippines, but the capital city also offers interesting history, beautiful architecture based on different influences, unique neighborhoods, and mouth-watering cuisine. After you’ve experienced the best that Manila has to offer, get in your rental car and travel around the rest of Luzon - the island has awesome national parks, volcanos, and mountains to explore.
One-Way Car Rentals in Manila
The most popular one-way rental options for pick up in Manila and drop off in another city include:
- From Manila to Pampanga - 4 offers from $63.31 per day
Top ways to enter Manila
Manila Airport: Also known as Ninoy Aquino Airport after a former Senator of the Philippines, Manila Airport is by far the largest aviation hub in the country. Having served more than 45 million travelers in 2018, the airport is also among the 20 busiest in all of Asia. Manila Airport is a hub for Cebu Pacific, Philippines Airlines, Cebgo, and AirAsia and is served by around 30 other carriers. The airport serves many domestic and East Asian routes and also has flights to and from Oceania, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Located some 12km (7.4 miles) from Manila’s city center, the airport can be reached in about 25 minutes by car, depending on local traffic conditions.
- Manila has a tropical savanna climate with strong tropical monsoon influences. The city is very warm year-round, with an average high temperature of 34 °C (93°F) in May, the warmest month, and 30°C (86 °F) in January. Manila experiences distinct wet and dry seasons every year, the former lasting from May to mid-December and the latter, from January to April.
- The capital city of the Philippines, Manila has a population of about 1.78 million people. With 41,515 people per square kilometer, Manila is also one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The larger Metro Manila, officially known as the National Capital Region (NCR), has a population of more than 24 million people making it the fifth-most populous urban area on the planet. Nearly every fourth inhabitant of the Philippines, itself one of the most populous countries in Asia, lives in or near the capital city.
- The city was founded in 1571 by the Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi and was named after the white-flowered mangrove plant called "nilad" which once grew along the banks of the Pasig River which today connects Laguna de Bay to Manila Bay.
- The two official languages of the Philippines are English and Tagalog (also known as Filipino). Tagalog is spoken by virtually everyone in the capital. Knowledge of English is also high with the language being spoken by almost everyone working in the tourism and service industries. Spanish, a former colonial language, retains a small number of speakers. There are also 19 regionally recognized languages, as well as some 170 other indigenous languages; different regions of the Philippines will have different dominant languages with Cebuano (or Visaya), Ilokano, and Hiligaynon being the most widespread. Despite this linguistic diversity, knowledge of English is moderate to high throughout the country.
Top destinations and activities
- Intramuros. Literally meaning ‘within the walls’, Intramuros is another name for the oldest part of Manila. The historic city center was built by the Spanish colonizers (hence the Latin name) and many of Manila’s most notable buildings can be found in it. These include San Agustín Church, Casa Manila, and the walls and the gates themselves.
- National Museum Complex. Made up of three museums (plus a planetarium) that are all located in Rizal Park right next to the Intramuros, the museum complex is the best place to learn everything about the Philippines. The museums of Fine Art, Natural History, and Anthropology cover all imaginable topics from the social lives and art of the earliest inhabitants of the Philippines to climate change. Keep in mind that each of the three museums is very large, so it’s probably not too realistic to try to see all of them on the same day. Visit the complex’s official website to learn more about exhibitions and visiting.
- Binondo. Binondo is another name for Manila’s Chinatown, another one of the city’s most famous and most visited areas. Settled by Chinese immigrants since the 16th century, the area is noticeably distinct from the rest of Manila. There are many landmarks in the area, not least of which include the many Catholic churches and Buddhist temples that stand side by side; however, the best way to soak up the atmosphere of Binondo is probably to simply roam the streets, visit the chaotic local markets, and eat at family restaurants.
Traffic and parking
- The Philippines drive on the right-hand side of the road.
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits are 100km/h (62 mph) on expressways, 60km/h (37 mph) on most other inter-city motorways, 50km/h (31 mph) on secondary-level rural roads, and 30km/h (18 mph) in urban and built-up areas. Many Philippine regions and cities will have their own speed limits that might be either higher or lower than the national standard.
- Many vehicles in the Philippines, like motorcycles and tricycles, drive without any lights on at night, so be extra careful when traveling after dark.
- Many places in the Philippines, such as villages, smaller towns, and even less touristy places in Metro Manila, might lack street signs or even street names as such. Many places can be found in relation to the nearest object of significance. Getting a GPS system that has the correct information and is up to date is important.
- While roads in Metro Manila are generally in good shape, many rural roads might be dirt roads, might have potholes, might not have specialized pedestrian sections, etc. Farm animals and wildlife crossing the roads can also be an issue. Driving in some jungle and mountainous areas requires a 4x4 vehicle.
- Many roads in Manila (and other cities in the Philippines) are narrow and might have blind spots for drivers, so be cautious, especially at intersections.
- Metro Manila is one of the largest urban areas in Southeast Asia and can experience some serious traffic jams. If possible, try to avoid driving in the mornings or evenings, which are typically commuter-heavy traffic times. On the other hand, traffic in many rural areas can be very sparse (only around 5% of Philippino households own a car).
- Most road signs are in English, though some are in Tagalog.
- Children that are 8 or younger must have a special child seat. Ask your rental car provider in advance about the availability of one.
- Be aware of pedestrians. Pedestrians often cross the road outside of the designated crossing areas, so it is essential that drivers are aware of people walking on and along the roadside and are prepared to stop.
- Drivers are only allowed to use mobile phones with a hands-free system, and this rule is imposed more rigorously each year.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05%. Exceeding the limit can lead to large fines or even imprisonment.
- Proof of insurance and the car’s registration needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- When driving, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The nationwide emergency number is 911.
There are a number of expressways in the Philippines, most of which are on the island of Luzon and many in the Metro Manila area. More expressways are under construction. Most expressways are toll roads and require payment
Most, although not all, toll roads in the Philippines use a closed toll system. You need to stop at a toll booth or toll payment machine; you are then given a toll ticket stating the time of your entry and are allowed to continue driving. Upon exiting a toll road, you need to stop at a toll booth again and pay the toll based on the distance you have driven.
Some toll roads accept cash, while others have started to use the electronic toll connection called E-Pass (some accept either method of payment). In the latter case, the car is equipped with an electronic toll transponder and the payment is made automatically. Some rental cars come pre-equipped with the electronic toll transponder, and some rental car providers will charge an additional fee for the service. Ask your rental car about this in advance.
The amount of the toll depends on which road you take, your type of vehicle, and the distance of travel (with some toll roads, the toll is calculated per kilometer).
Ideas for day trips
- Tagaytay. With a milder climate and lower population density, Tagaytay is a popular holiday escape for many of the inhabitants of Manila. The city is famous for its cuisine and beautiful nature. The number one attraction of Tagaytay, however, is the Taal Volcano which is located on an island in the middle of the nearby Lake Taal. The volcano is part of the Taal Protected Zone and you need to book a tour to visit it, but the experience is very much worth it. Located 64km (40 miles) south of Manila, Tagaytay can be reached in about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Corregidor Island. A historic island located just a short one hour boat ride away from Manila is a popular destination for travelers and history buffs. Here, you can explore the ruins and tunnels of the former military installations, including the famous Malinta Tunnel.
- Taal. Located on the southern shore of Lake Taal, the city is home to perhaps the largest concentration of well-preserved Spanish architecture in the country. Basilicas, ancestral homes, and villas abound here, and a visit to Taal Art Gallery or Taal Market is also very much worth it. Located 110km (68 miles) south of Manila, Taal takes about two hours to reach.
- Mount Pinatubo. A popular attraction for hikers and adventurers. This active volcano is located 3 hours from Manila and offers a unique crater hiking experience. The walk takes approximately 2-3 hours and rewards with spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes.
- Makati. The Philippines’ Singapore (or Frankfurt), Makati is the country’s center of finance, trade, and innovation. But there’s more than just business about it, as visitors also enjoy the Greenbelt Chapel, the Ayala Museum, and the Philippines Heritage Library. Many upscale restaurants are also here, and if you visit the top floor of one of the buildings, you can enjoy the stunning skyline made up of countless skyscrapers. Located just 15km (9.3 miles) south of Central Manila, Makati can be reached in 20-30 minutes, depending on the traffic.
- Pagsanjan Falls. A stunning waterfall accessibly by a scenic boat ride up the Pagsanjan River, just 2 hours from Manila. Upon reaching the falls, visitors can go swimming, ride a bamboo raft, or go hiking in the tropical jungle surrounds.
Most popular cars
The most popular rental car in Manila is the Toyota Vios, although many travelers also go for the Honda Brio and the Hyundai Accent. The most popular rental car types are economy, compact, and minivan.
- Cagayan Valley. A large valley between two imposing mountain ranges, Cagayan is characterized by pristine waterfalls, powerful rivers, and elaborate cave systems. A large and beautiful area with some of the lowest population density in the country, Cagayan Valley is the perfect place to enjoy the tropical nature of the Philippines. Tuguegarao, the region’s largest town, is 480km (300 miles) north of Manila and takes about nine hours to reach. The long drive through most of Luzon is fascinating, but if you feel it will be too much for you, it is possible to drop off a rental car in Manila, catch a plane, and pick up a new one upon landing in Cagayan.
- Bicol. Over the last decade, the Bicol Peninsula has become an increasingly popular destination for adventure tourism. Made up of impressive volcanoes, long rugged beaches, deep gorges, and remote islands, the region is simply waiting to be explored. Legazpi, the peninsula’s largest city, is about 490km (305 miles) from Manila and takes some ten hours to reach. There’s plenty to see along the way, too, so the drive south can be divided into two or three days.
- Mount Pulag National Park. Standing nearly 3,000 meters (9,850 ft) high, Mount Pulag is the third-highest summit in the Philippines. The stunning national park that surrounds it has plenty of trails for treks or hikes. Home to stunningly diverse flora and fauna, it is home to such wildlife species as the Philippine deer, the giant bushy-tailed cloud rat, and the long-haired fruit bat. The park can only be accessed with a 4x4 vehicle, and it is a good idea to book a tour and a guide in Baguio, the nearest town. Located 245km (152 miles) north of Manila, Baguio can be reached in about four hours.
- Philippine Islands. Manila is well-connected to several tourist hot spots in the Philippines via very affordable and quick flights to domestic and international airports. Popular island destinations include Cebu, Siargao, Coron, and Palawan. Find out more about them in this great guide to Phillippine Islands.
Car Rental Prices in Manila
- Vans - from $120 per day
- Small cars - from $74 per day
Follow these simple tips to land a great rental car in Manila:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Manila is the cheapest in July when renting a car is about 20% cheaper than the yearly average and 34% cheaper than renting a vehicle in April.
Top 5 Cities near Manila
4.7 km / 2.9 miles away
Pampanga Car Rentals from $81.17 per day89.6 km / 55.7 miles away
Lapu-Lapu City Car Rentals from $40.11 per day567.5 km / 352.6 miles away
Cagayan De Oro Car Rentals from $105.87 per day782.8 km / 486.4 miles away
Davao Car Rentals from $84.69 per day964.3 km / 599.2 miles away
Top 4 Locations near Manila
Ninoy Aquino International Airport Car Rentals from $77.64 per day
Lapu-Lapu City Mactan Cebu International Airport Car Rentals from $40.11 per day567.5 km / 352.6 miles away
Cagayan De Oro Airport Car Rentals from $105.87 per day782.8 km / 486.4 miles away
Davao Francisco Bangoy International Airport Car Rentals from $84.69 per day964.3 km / 599.2 miles away
Map of Car Rental Locations
What is the cheapest month to rent a car in Manila?
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 usual rental length in Manila?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Manila?
Car Rental Information
|Car rental locations||2|
|Popular car categories||Small cars, Vans|
|Lowest price||$74 per day|
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Europcar||Toyota Vios||4||2||Small cars|
|Europcar||Toyota Vios||4||3||Small cars|
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