LOOKING INTO A COLOMBIA CAR RENTAL?
Search no more! You’re in the optimal spot for renting a car in Colombia because I’m here to guide you through each step. By the end of this article, you’ll be sure and positive about navigating every aspect of your Colombian rental journey.
If you’re searching for useful tips on how to rent a car in Colombia, you may be overwhelmed by the vast amount of conflicting information available. There are official rules concerning how to rent a car in Colombia – but then there is also the reality of what actually happens!
Fear not! Giorgy is going to make everything crystal clear in this article. Plus, you are going to get 10 incredibly helpful Colombia Driving Tips so that you can feel safe and secure while driving a rental car throughout the country of Colombia.
Uncover the hidden traps of Colombia car rental scams to ensure you do not become a victim of extra and undisclosed fees. Additionally, gain insight into how Colombian car insurance works since it is legally required for all drivers on Colombian roads.
Are you eager to find out about rental car prices in Colombia? Then strap yourself in and let’s dive right into the most frequently asked questions about renting cars in Colombia.
Renting A Car in Colombia FAQ
Absolutely – it is generally accepted that driving in Colombia is safe. However, do bear in mind the fact that you are traveling to another country where road laws and traditions may be different from what you’re used to.
Colombia’s highways are safe and maintained, just not as fast-paced as those in the United States. On these roads, you’ll witness long straight coastal routes, and many winding mountain paths; plus if you travel away from populous regions, there will be plenty of rough forest trails!
Cars, van rental, and motorbikes typically move at a slower pace since human life is still present on them – unlike America’s interstate grid which has been untouched for over 50 years.
Ready to cruise the roads of Colombia? Check out the top 9 Colombia driving tips that’ll make sure you stay safe and have a great time on your journey.
Should I Rent A Car In Colombia?
Renting a car in Colombia grants you the independence to explore its remarkable and undiscovered gems while affording you the flexibility to explore at your own leisure.
If you opt for an organized tour, your time in Colombia is restricted. However, if you choose to hire a rental car or other transportation option, the itinerary and timing can be fully customized according to what suits you best.
⛵ BOAT RENTALS IN CARTAGENA COLOMBIA! Explore Colombian islands differently (such as Rosario or San Bernardo Archipelago)! Don’t miss this opportunity to go island hopping on your own and make unforgettable memories!
What Are The Cheapest Best Prices For Car Rental Company In Colombia?
I recommend and use Discover Cars. It compares local, national, and international travel companies so you get the best rates.
The best part? You can add full coverage Colombian insurance for only about $10 USD per day.
For optimal satisfaction, make sure to thoroughly review ratings and steer clear of companies with low scores.
How Much Does Renting A Car In Colombia Cost?
The cost of renting a car in Colombia varies, however, you can expect to pay around $30 USD daily for an economy vehicle with comprehensive insurance coverage.
Unlock the truth about online Colombian car insurance average price, and explore all of your available options that will result in a personalized quote.
With this article as your guide, you won’t have to worry about being taken advantage of or spending more than necessary on coverage ever again!
Can I Rent A Car In Colombia?
If you are looking to rent a car in Colombia, the process is quite simple. All you need to have is five specific things and then you’re good to go!
1. HAVE A VALID DRIVER’S LICENSE
Do you have a valid driver’s license from the United States or another nation that utilizes the Roman alphabet? Then you are in luck! You can rent a car for your Colombian vacation without needing to secure an international permit.
If you live in a country that uses the character alphabet such as Japan or China, then obtaining an International Driving Permit (IDP) is essential.
🚗💨 Need an IDP? Apply for one here.
2. A CREDIT CARD CARD WITH AN AVAILABLE SPACE OF AT LEAST ONE MILLION COLOMBIAN PESOS 💳
When you rent a car in Colombia, they will swipe your credit card to have it on file in the event you damage the car. Different companies hold different amounts of money, but it’s usually about one million Colombian pesos which is $200 USD.
Note: Opting for full coverage insurance is a smart choice – you won’t have to worry about any money being held back.
Rental cars in Colombia do not accept debit cards as a form of payment. This is because renting a car carries more risk, so it’s important to have your credit card available to provide the company with security in case of damages.
Additionally, some companies may require up-front deposits on top of the normal fees. By using a credit card, these additional charges can be disputed with the issuing bank if need be.
So protect yourself and make sure you have your credit card ready when renting a car in Colombia!
3. YOU MUST BE 21 TO RENT A CAR IN COLOMBIA 🙆🏽
In Colombia, just like in the United States, individuals aged twenty-one and above can rent a car from any rental car company without restrictions.
If you are between 18 and 21 years old, some companies may still rent out vehicles to you. However, they usually apply a daily fee of $10-20 USD extra as an underage driver surcharge.
Despite the limited number of small rental locations in Colombia that will rent to 18-21-year-olds, a few still exist and are waiting for your business.
If you’re between 18-21 years old, be sure to verify the company’s policy prior to booking and inquire about any fees that may apply.
4. IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENT 🛂
When renting a car in Colombia, it is essential to have an identification document like a passport. This document is used for verification.
This provides assurance that the person renting the vehicle is legally allowed to drive it and that they are of legal age. Without this document, rental companies might not accept your request for renting a car.
5. COLOMBIAN INSURANCE 🏥
Getting the proper Colombian auto insurance is not mandatory but in my opinion, is critical before you hit the road.
To ensure that your journey goes off without a hitch, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about acquiring comprehensive coverage in this section of our article.
Ready to get a head start? Click the link below for all of your Colombian car insurance needs!
What Kind Of Colombian Cars Are For Rent?
When renting a car in Colombia, you’ll find the same domestic makes and car types as those from the United States or Canada – most notably Nissan, Chevrolet, Volkswagen, and Kia.
In addition to those, two French corporations that are more prevalent in Colombia than in the United States are Peugeot and Renault.
USEFUL TIP: Embarking on an excursion to Colombia, renting a car for the journey is sure to be quite the adventure! However, it’s vital that you remain aware of all driving rules and regulations in order to avoid any car accidents or conflicts.
If your goal is to rent a vehicle around town or explore the area with day tours then this guide will prove indispensable.
I have got you covered regarding everything related to your Colombian vacation – from tips about driving laws down to every nitty-gritty detail!
🤔 Are most rental cars in Colombia automatic or stick shift? Almost all rentals are automated, with the exception of unique vehicles such as dune buggies and luxury car.
🤔 What side of the road do they drive on in Colombia? As with the US and Canada, it is positioned on the right side.
What Are The Top Colombia Car Rental Companies?
From Hertz to Avis, the top U.S. car rental companies have established offices in Colombia so that you can get around with ease. National, Sixt, Alamo, Budget, Thrifty, and enterprise rent are all available for your disposal!
No matter which car rental agency you decide on in Colombia, be sure to thoroughly read reviews concerning the organization and its specific location.
WHAT’S THE EASIEST WAY TO BOOK A CAR RENTAL IN COLOMBIA?
With Discover Cars, you can search through all the car rental companies at once and get the best deal possible. Why go anywhere else for a car rental when this service is guaranteed to provide you with low prices?
Let Discover Cars do all of your searchings so that you can worry about a more important couple of things on your road trips!
Do I Need Colombian Car Insurance?
Yes – you should obtain insurance for driving in Colombia; while it is not required, investing in Colombian travel insurance can be a wise decision.
Better to be safe than sorry!
It’s required by law to have liability insurance in Colombia if you want to drive a car. Some rental companies won’t even let you rent their vehicles unless they provide insurance coverage for you.
Throughout all of my rental car adventures in Colombia, I have never encountered any issues with the full coverage policy that I obtained from Discover Cars.
Legally speaking, third-party insurance is absolutely legitimate.
Nonetheless, an agent could try to persuade you into buying more expensive insurance that their company offers. In fact, some companies actually incentivize agents to do so – which is why it’s essential to read reviews before making a reservation.
For the most stress-free Colombia getaway, secure a comprehensive insurance package from your rental company. With full coverage, you can return the car without worry – no matter its condition – and not be charged an extra dime!
How Much Is Colombian Car Insurance?
Depending on the company, Personal Liability Insurance (the minimum legal requirement) usually costs as follows:
- Personal Accident Insurance: Between $5.13 and $13 per day.
- Supplemental Liability Protection: Between $8 and $17 per day.
- Damage Waiver: $21 per day.
I always opt for Discover Cars when renting a car in Colombia. Their full coverage insurance is an unbeatable bargain of just $10 USD per day (it’s not the exact price).
It’s simply the best car and the most cost-effective best way to rent with confidence and safety!
Having only Personal Liability Insurance typically requires a deductible in excess of $200 USD. On the other hand, full coverage deductibles are often waived since you’re already covered, to begin with.
WHAT IS A DEDUCTIBLE WITH CAR INSURANCE?
For those who are unfamiliar with what a deductible is, here’s a summary.
When you cause $3,250 worth of damage to the car and your deductible is set at a fixed rate of $3,000 USD, then it’s time for you to fork up that amount. Afterward, your insurance will take care of the remaining balance – $250!
Knowing that your budget is a factor, it’s essential to remember that with Colombian car insurance, often you get what you pay for.
If you are seeking the top Colombian car insurance policy, look no further than full coverage with zero deductible!
CAN I RENT A CAR IN COLOMBIA AND DRIVE TO ECUADOR OR THE REST OF SOUTH AMERICA?
Likely Not — It is unlikely that most car rental companies in Colombia will allow for this, however, there are a few that permit their customers to take a rental vehicle with them throughout Latin America with additional fees.
What Is The Colombian Car Rental Scam?
The Colombian car rental scam is a real threat that travelers must be aware of when renting a vehicle.
There have been numerous reported cases of unsuspecting visitors renting vehicles from unreliable companies and being forced to pay for damages before returning the cars. Many times, these “damages” are exaggerated or nonexistent.
Thankfully, this scam is relatively easy to avoid by renting from a reputable company with positive customer reviews and up-to-date insurance policies.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to inspect the vehicle for any pre-existing damage before renting it and take photos of the car for your own records. By doing these few simple steps, renting a car in Colombia can be an enjoyable and stress-free experience.
🚨 HORROR STORIES OF USING CREDIT CARD INSURANCE IN COLOMBIA
After spending an extended period of time in Colombia and listening to many accounts of misfortune, I would advise everyone to not depend on credit card insurance.
Should you choose to take advantage of it, ensure that your credit card company is reliable and dependable by thoroughly reading their policies (even the fine print) for total comfort.
Remember that if you encounter any damage to the car, it’s your responsibility and financial burden when you return it. You will be able to file a claim with your credit card company afterward for a full refund – fingers crossed they can cover all costs!
(Spoiler Alert: Because they don’t always do so.)
Is It Safe To Rent A Car In Colombia: A City-by-City Guide
Car Rental: Cartagena, Colombia
Cartagena is one of the best places in Colombia if not the whole of South America, and a top Colombia travel destination — so renting a car is common for many travelers. For a car rental, Rafael Nuñez International Airport, Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia (code: CTG) is your best option.
If you are looking for renting a car in Cartagena, the airport is your best bet: not only can you go directly from there to pick up your vehicle, but it also has a selection of some of the most reliable car hire agencies.
SHOULD I RENT A CAR IN CARTAGENA?
Unless you’re hoping to explore multiple destinations in Colombia on a single day, there is no need to rent a car during your stay in Cartagena.
The area has many incredible hidden spots and activities to do that will make for an unforgettable experience if visited by car!
IS IT SAFE TO RENT A CAR IN CARTAGENA?
Rent a car in Cartagena, Colombia specifically, will give you a chance to venture off the beaten path to explore all the surrounding areas, like Santa Marta, Mud Vulcano, Pink Sea of Colombia and Tayrona National park. And moving freely in this walkable city too!
Don’t let the fear of driving in an unfamiliar place deter you; renting a car and taking to the streets of Cartagena is completely secure.
As long as you are compliant with the laws of Colombia and make sure to purchase Colombian car insurance, plus consider these 9 invaluable tips for driving in Colombia – you’ll be ready to enjoy a fantastic car rental great experience in Cartagena.
For a comprehensive look at the safety of traveling to Cartagena, explore “Is Cartagena Safe To Travel To Right Now?” for more details.
Car Rental: Medellin, Colombia
Renting a car in Medellin Colombia, like major cities in Colombia, is easiest at the airport. Jose Maria Cordova International Airport (code: MED) is where you’ll find the most options, as there are very few car rental agencies outside of the airport at all.
SHOULD I RENT A CAR IN MEDELLIN?
Renting a car is an ideal way to make the most out of all the wonderful excursions available in Medellin.
Within a two-hour radius of the city, there are thousands upon thousands of places to explore and discover.
Rent A Car In Colombia Bogota
The truth’s behind Colombia’s capital: driving in Bogota can be a nightmare–traffic is horrendous, and finding parking spots is often impossible. For these reasons, it’s not difficult to understand why most people don’t want to tackle the streets of Bogota by car.
Consequently, you must determine if hiring a car in Bogota is the most suitable choice for your needs. If not, then traveling by taxi or public transportation will be an effortless alternative.
💁♀️ My opinion? My stay in Bogota lasted for the rest of the year, and let me tell you – driving is not the most pleasurable experience there. While I have done it before, I’d advise against it if possible.
Unless you plan to take multiple excursions away from Bogota, it may not be beneficial to rent a car. With plentiful transportation options ranging from taxis to the metro and even buses, you’ll have no problem navigating Bogota.
But if you are still wanting to renting a car in Colombia’s capital, the easiest way is to get it at El Dorado International Airport (BOG).
Car Rental: Cali, Colombia
Renting a car in Cali, Colombia is an excellent way to experience all that this vibrant city and its surrounding areas have to offer. It will provide you with the opportunity to explore the area’s natural beauty without limiting your ability to see the sights.
The best place to rent a car in Cali is at Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport (CLO). The airport is the main hub for renting cars in the city and has several rental companies that offer perfect vehicles of all sizes, from compact to luxury.
The popularity of the vehicle is not a small car, but more a medium rental 4×4 due to the unpaved roads outside the big cities.
9 Colombia Driving Tips
Ready for a thrilling ride? Colombia awaits you, but before setting out on your journey, it’s essential to be aware of the country’s road rules.
That way you can have enjoyable and stress-free road trips while renting a car in town or embarking on day tours!
Don’t worry – I’ve got all the driving instructions and helpful hints right here so that you’ll be fully prepared for exploring this amazing destination.
So don’t wait any longer: rent your car today and get ready to explore the wonders of Colombia!
1. Avoid drunk driving in Colombia 🥴
Even in major cities like Medellín and Bogotá, drivers are far more careful than those found on the coasts or in smaller towns; their behavior could be considered almost reckless.
Because of this, Colombia’s drinking and driving regulations must always be observed for everyone’s safety.
Rural roads in Colombia are unlike those of densely populated urban areas. Colombians don’t mean to be aggressive drivers, but they often have a more relaxed attitude toward following the rules and lane markers (con Calma).
Traffic restrictions tend to feel more like suggestions than hard-and-fast laws. All things considered, people there demonstrate friendly behavior behind the wheel—you’re unlikely to witness road rage on Colombian streets!
Moreover, the vehicle must be in excellent condition and fully outfitted with the following:
- For every DIY enthusiast, a toolkit filled with pliers, screwdrivers, spanners, and wrenches is essential to carry out any task.
- A fire extinguisher (un extintor)
- A basic first aid kit (un botiquín de primeros auxilios)
- For extra safety measures while driving on the highways, it is imperative to always have two hazard warning triangles and flashing yellow signal lights (señales de carretera) in your vehicle.
- A jack (un gato)
2. Seatbelt while driving 💺
Wearing a seatbelt is essential when renting a car in Colombia. All passengers, regardless of age or size, must always wear seatbelts while driving in the country. Not only is it the law, but it’s also your best bet for staying safe on the road!
American continent and Asia might find this new but Colombia has strict regulations regarding seatbelts—breaking them can lead to hefty fines for both the driver and passengers.
Therefore, it’s crucial to remember that everyone in the car must wear one at all times.
3. The Rules of Overtaking – Ensure that you understand when and how to pass safely on the roadway 🦺
If you plan on driving in Colombia, be mindful of the risks associated with overtaking pickup truck. It can put your safety at risk and will ultimately slow down your drive.
If there are road signs prohibiting it or if you’re performing it carelessly, recklessly, or without regulation – then understand that this is against the law.
Also keep in mind that when visibility is poor due to bad weather (e.g., fog/rain) or speed limits need to be exceeded for a safe overtake – these should act as warning signals before making any maneuvers!
Regardless of the even number of passengers, only two people can occupy the front seat in most vehicles unless they have a unique configuration.
Additionally, all occupants must wear their safety belts while traveling down mountain roads and urban areas alike.
For safety reasons, no child under the age of ten is allowed to sit in the front seat. All children aged two and below must be seated in a rear-facing car seat for maximum security during rides – even when they are alone with an adult driver.
The appropriate restraint seats ensure protection at all times, keeping them securely fastened while on the road.
4. Colombia street signs are in miles per hour 🪧
Colombia is one of the few countries that still utilizes mph as its primary unit of measurement.
New cars manufactured in Europe and Japan are speedometer-equipped with KPH metric units, while Colombian vehicles measure car velocity in miles per hour.
The roads of Colombia demonstrate great resemblance to other South American countries in terms of their signage. Regulatory signs took the style and shape of the Europeans, while alert signs matched those found in Canada and America.
To ensure a successful journey in Colombia, it’s imperative to be familiar with the street and highway signs written in Spanish. Here are some phrases you’ll want to master:
- 🛑 Alto: Stop
- Retorono: Turn-around, which is where you make legal U-turns
- Entrada: Entrance
- Salida: Exit
- Restringido: Restricted area
- Prohibido: Entry prohibited
In addition to the rules already in place, there are additional regulations that must be adhered to.
Señales preventivas – to warn that there’s an oncoming hazard (yellow) or to warn road users of temporary improvements in the regular usage of roads. And señales information -to provide road users with information and tips (usually blue, white, or green).
5. Knowing the speed limit in Colombia 🚗💨
Colombia has set specific speed limits to ensure the safety of all travelers unless otherwise indicated. The following are general guidelines for travel speeds throughout the country:
- In both urban metropolises and suburban locations, speed limits are set at a maximum of 30 miles per hour.
- The posted speed limit on gravel roads aka unpaved county roads is 35 miles an hour.
- On isolated highways, drivers should stay at or below the 70 mph speed limit.
- Cruise down the highway at 65 miles per hour, whether you’re driving through a bustling city or traversing a multi-lane divided road.
- Everywhere else, maintain a speed limit of 55 miles per hour.
6. Get an offline map now to make your driving journey in Colombia easier and hassle-free 🗺️
If you want to stay connected no matter where your journey in Colombia takes you, make sure to download an offline map from Google Maps or Sygic prior to setting out. That way weak cell signals won’t leave you stranded in rural areas.
Download some podcasts and tunes to keep you entertained while on the go!
📲 Note: For those who are seeking to stay connected while traveling in Colombia, be sure to get a local Colombia SIM card for the best signal!
7. Turning Signals In Intersection Colombia ↩️
In Colombia, a flashing yellow light does not necessitate cars to come to an absolute halt; however, drivers must remain aware since vehicles on the opposite side of the road could pass through after they have stopped.
This option may be employed if street lights are unavailable or during late hours when there is sparse traffic.
When merging, move forward in an orderly and efficient manner. Remain in your lane until it is time to merge, then take turns with the cars on the other side.
Before jumping into the traffic flow, make sure that you have enough space and time ahead of you. Always leave a safe distance between vehicles while driving throughout Colombia!
8. Police Checkpoints In Colombia 🚔
The law enforcement apparatus in Colombia is composed of the Military, National Police Force, and el Transito. These three entities have the power to stop individuals on Colombian roads.
Law enforcement checkpoints typically exist to inspect automobiles for paperwork, passengers, contraband such as narcotics and firearms, or indications of human trafficking.
Meanwhile, illegitimate roadblocks are set up with the intent of swindling drivers out of money through extortion schemes or theft – including hijacking vehicles and their cargo.
When approaching a checkpoint, carefully assess the distinct clothing and uniforms of that extra charge. Additionally, evaluate any political affiliations or views they may express to determine if it is permissible for you to continue.
To remain safe during this process, roll up your windows and keep your doors locked until instructed otherwise. However be sure that there is still enough room in order to make eye contact with them while speaking.
9. Don’t drive at night 🌃
Driving at night, when visibility is limited due to scarce streetlights and other environmental factors can be perilous. In certain areas that are less developed, it may even put you at risk of being robbed.
Before attempting a red light stop, first, check if any other vehicles are nearby; this way you can avoid feeling vulnerable as a lone car stopped at an intersection.
Additionally, beware of potential racers or speeders on highways – these drivers often take advantage of quieter roads during the night to enjoy their passion for racing cars!
Get to know the best Colombia Travel Tips today! 🔖
Wrap-Up: Renting A Car in Colombia
Exploring Colombia by car is one of the best ways to truly great experience its culture and beauty; particularly in Colombian cities such as Cartagena and Medellin.
For discovering Colombia’s secret treasures, the most convenient way is a car journey – even if it’s not an extended road trip!
Navigating the roads of Colombia is often a secure experience, and renting a car in this country can be both simple and effortless.
BEST COLOMBIA CAR RENTAL COMPANY: DISCOVER CARS
If you’re looking to secure a car rental in Colombia, then Discover Cars are your go-to! Not only do they search both international and local Colombian companies for the most competitive rates, but I use them myself.
Plus, their booking process is straightforward and easy to navigate – making it simple to get what you need quickly!
To make life easier, pick up your Colombia car rental directly from the airport when you arrive.
When selecting a suitable Colombia car rental company for you, it is paramount to delve into your search and pick a reliable business like Discover Cars.
Don’t forget to invest in Colombian car insurance, as your American or Canadian policy won’t provide coverage for you.
Cartagena Travel Planning Guide
🚑 Should I buy Colombia travel insurance?
100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $50 for your stay, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from Travel SafetyWing, one of the biggest names in travel insurance. (Read more)
🚰 Is it safe to drink water in Colombia?
Yes! — It is indeed safe to drink tap water in Colombia. Not in all areas but people usually do not get sick and prevent it by using the Water-To-Go filtered bottle. (Read more)
🚗 Is it safe to rent a car in Cartagena?
Yes — Renting a car in Colombia is one of the best ways to see the country because public transportation cannot reach everywhere! I always rent with Discover Cars, which checks both international companies and local Colombian companies, so you get the best rates. (Read more)
🚤 Interested in renting a boat in Cartagena?
Here you Go! — Looking for a relaxing way to explore the pristine marine reef of Colombia? Why not rent a boat and see the islands at your own pace? No need to worry about others cramping your style! (Read more)
☀️ When is the best time to travel to Cartagena?
Cartagena is enjoyable throughout the year, but November to March is typically the best time to visit. (Read more)
Visit Cartagena Colombia in January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, or December!
🎒 Is it safe to travel to Cartagena?
Absolutely yes! —I am going to reveal all the secret tips that no one tells you about safety in Colombia! (Read more)
👀 Looking for the best tours in Cartagena?
For the best tours in Cartagena Colombia, click here.
🏽 Is Cartagena worth visiting?
Of course! Here I am going to reveal all the reasons why I think Cartagena is worth adding to your itinerary! (Read more)
🤑 Is Colombia expensive?
Nope! Colombia, compared to the rest of the world, is not expensive.
📴 Will my phone work in Cartagena?
Maybe — It depends on your company, so check with your provider. If you don’t have a free Colombia service, buy a Claro SIM Card once landed in Colombia. (Read more)
🛌🏼 What’s the best way to book my Colombia accommodations?
For Colombia hotels, Booking is the best site, but for hostels, use Hostel World. If you’re considering Colombia Flats, don’t forget to also check Couchsurfing, which is free and you stay with locals.
🧳 What do I pack for Cartagena?
Head to the Ultimate Cartagena Packing List to get all the info you need on packing for Colombia and also on what not to wear.
🛩️ What’s the best site to buy Colombia flights?
For finding cheap Colombian flights, I recommend Kayak.
🛂 Do I need a visa for Colombia?
Likely Not — U.S., Canadian, and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Colombia. BUT check here for more Cartagena, Colombia travel requirements. The majority of travelers will receive a 90-Day stamp Tourist Visa upon arrival. (Read more Colombia Travel Tips)
❗Don’t forget to fill up the Mig Form when you enter and leave Colombia❗