Philippines Driving Guide – Spend less, do more
Another archipelago situated in South-East Asia, the Philippines consists of over 7000 islands lying between the Philippines and South China Sea. Known for its stunning beaches and lengthy coastlines, these islands are a popular tourist destination and tourism is one of the biggest contributors to its GDP as well as creating over 1 million jobs.
Other than the stunning beaches, tourists flock to the country to discover beautiful rainforests, mountains, excellent water sports opportunities (including diving) as well as the rich historical and cultural heritage on offer.
Exploring the various islands by rental car is a great way to discover the Philippines at your pace. Again, like most of Asia, drivers can be a little impatient and are not known to follow the rules of the road, so always err on the side of caution.
Luzon Island – Baguio to Sagada – Halsema Highway
5 hours (148 km) (91 miles)
The Halsema Highway between Baguio and Sagada, although not that long will take a fair time to navigate. Halsema, the highest highway in the country travels through extremely mountainous terrain.
Along the way, traditional Filipino villages can be found, all having various monuments outside them. These normally take the form of a vegetable and signify the crop the village is best known for. They all make great photo opportunities, so you might want to add a little more time to your journey.
Of course at a relatively high altitude, the views along the highway of the surrounding countryside, farmlands and the mountains themselves are magnificent!
Take care if it is raining as landslides onto the road are common.
Manila to Batangas City
1 hour 22 mins (82 km) (51 miles) via R-3 and Southern Tagalog Arterial Road
Situated roughly an hour outside the capital, Batangas is the perfect place to explore the beautiful waters of the Philippines.
The seas around the town are teeming with various marine life and are a favourite for both divers and snorkelers alike. This is one of the premier dive spots in the country. A word of warning, swimming in the area is not recommended as the terrain is extremely rocky. Many other activities can be found outside of the town including zip lining, hiking trails and sightseeing.
The town itself also caters to tourist so expect to find curio shops, bars and restaurants. Accommodation in Batangas City includes hotels, resorts, guest houses, bed and breakfast establishments and backpacker’s lodges.
The beautiful island of Boracay is situated 2km off Panay and in turn around 315km south of the capital, Manila. Often the best way to get there is by plane, but the island’s sun-kissed white beaches and crystal clear waters are worth the effort.
This small island is home to all the waters sports you could think of including swimming, snorkelling, diving, windsurfing, jet skiing and sailing. Don’t expect any sleep here, when the sun goes down the party starts!
Although not massive, the island does have a road network and is a great place to explore at your own pace especially by ATV or Buggy Car.
At Cheaperthancars and Cheaperthanhotels, we have incredible deals for both car rental and accommodation. This allows you to save money and use it towards making your holiday an even greater experience.
Your Cheaperthancars Team
Driving Tips – The Philippines
Due to the Philippines having many islands grouped together, roads can be somewhat different to what you might be used to. Travelling around these roads by car can make for an exciting adventure, but don’t forget to do all your reading before getting behind the wheel; what kind of roads to expect, what the speed limits are, what the rules of the road are, and much more. Here you will find an informative guide to get you started.
Driving Rules, Laws and Regulations
Speed Limits and Fines
It is rare to find speed signs in towns and villages, but keeping to the ones listed below should make your journey a safe and legal one:
There should be a sign upon entering each village, and if you stick to that you should be fine.
If you are caught speeding then fines must be paid when an official receipt has been sent and received.
It is illegal to drink under the influence of alcohol.
Police are permitted to carry out random tests. If the police feel that you have not passed a sobriety test then they will give you a breathalyser test. If you are found to be under the influence of alcohol you will most likely be issued with a fine and jail time if the offence is a serious one.
Congestion is a common problem in The Philippines and hence always being able to find a parking space is not the easiest task.
Spotting a place to park, or not to park, can be tricky, but some areas of no parking are indicated by a red or yellow Kerb.
Parking on the roadside is not often a common thing to do. It is advisable to move off the roadside to park in a safer area.
Other lines, such as yellow ones, indicate bus lanes and restricted lanes. You are of course, not permitted to park there.