If you are planning to travel to Ecuador and want to explore the country at your own pace, renting a car may be a great option. It will give you the flexibility to visit different destinations, stop whenever you want, and avoid the hassle of public transportation. However, before renting a car in Ecuador, it is important to understand the local rules and requirements.
Local Rules and Requirements
To rent a car in Ecuador, you must have a valid driver’s license from your country of origin. You will need to show this license when picking up the rental car, along with your passport and a credit card in your name.
The minimum age for renting a car in Ecuador is 21 years old. Some car rental companies may require drivers to be at least 25 years old. If you are under 25 years old, you may be subject to a young driver fee.
In Ecuador, it is mandatory to have third-party liability insurance. This insurance covers damages you may cause to other people or property while driving the rental car. Most car rental companies include this insurance in their rental rate, but it’s always a good idea to confirm this before renting the car.
You can also opt for additional insurance, such as collision damage waiver (CDW) or theft protection. These insurances can be purchased at the car rental company, but they can significantly increase the rental rate. If you have travel insurance or a credit card that offers rental car insurance, you should check if they cover rentals in Ecuador.
In Ecuador, you drive on the right-hand side of the road. Speed limits are in kilometers per hour, and they vary depending on the type of road. In urban areas, the speed limit is generally 50 km/h, while on highways, it can be up to 90 km/h.
Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers, and the use of cell phones while driving is prohibited. If you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol, you may face severe penalties, including fines, license suspension, or even imprisonment.
Road conditions in Ecuador can vary significantly, depending on the region and the type of road. In major cities, the roads are generally in good condition, but in rural areas, the roads may be unpaved, narrow, and winding. You should be cautious when driving in the mountains, as some roads can be steep and have sharp turns.
Major Car Rental Companies
There are several car rental companies in Ecuador, from local to international brands. Some of the major car rental companies represented at main airports in Ecuador include:
Hertz is a well-known car rental company with locations in major airports and cities in Ecuador. They offer a variety of vehicles, from compact cars to SUVs, and they have options for additional insurances. Their website allows you to make reservations and find rental locations in Ecuador.
Avis is another international car rental company with a presence in Ecuador. They have offices in Quito and Guayaquil airports and offer a range of vehicles for rent. You can book your rental car through their website and add extra features, such as GPS or a child safety seat.
Budget is a budget-friendly car rental company with locations in Quito, Guayaquil, and Cuenca airports. They have a fleet of vehicles that include sedans, SUVs, and vans, and they offer options for extra insurance.