TLDR? You can rent a car in Medellin from most major companies using a passport, driver’s license, and credit or debit card.
The City of Eternal Spring is quite a big city, with parks, nature, nightlife, and tons of activities. However, to enjoy those activities, you need to be able to get around.
While you can always use the metro system to get from point A to point B, I’d be lying if I said that’s always the best option. Sometimes, you just need a car.
But, driving a car in a new country can leave you with a few questions. For instance, is it safe to drive in Medellin? Will it be cheaper and better than riding the metro?
Lucky for you, I’ve got all the answers. Sit back, relax, and prepare for your next trip on the road!
What Do You Need to Rent a Car in Medellin?
Renting a car is always kind of tricky; you should read reviews of the rental place, you need to make sure that it’s safe, and you need to check rental requirements.
You also need to take a look at the city that you want to visit to see if you can drive with your local driver’s license.
In most of the rental places you’ll need:
Your ID or original passport
Your driver’s license (this can be from your home country)
Credit/debit card with enough funds or cash to leave as a deposit
Keep in mind that in most of the rental places you’ll need to make a reservation a few days beforehand, especially in high season.
Additionally, some places will require the driver to be at least 21 years old.
Do I Need an International Driver’s License?
If you’re asking yourself if you need an international driver’s license to drive in Medellin, the answer is no.
According to the Ministry of Transport of Colombia, foreign drivers are not required to have an international driving permit. If your stay in Colombia is 30 days or 90 with an extended visa, all you need is a valid driver’s license from your home country.
Just make sure to always have a copy of your passport and a copy of the page with your entry stamp on hand.
How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Vehicle in Medellin?
Renting a car in Medellin is quite cheap, especially considering the fact that you can rent brand new cars.
The average price to rent a small car in Medellin is between $32 USD and $45 USD. If you want a bigger car, prices start from $80 USD and go up to $150 USD.
Of course, the prices can vary based on factors such as supply, high season vs low season, full coverage vs partial coverage insurance policies, and the popularity of the vehicle.
Considering that the low season in Medellin is from September to November, this is the cheapest time of year to rent a car. You can get especially low prices in October. You will find some good deals in May as well.
During the high season, prices tend to be higher.
The Best Places to Rent a Car in Medellin
In Medellin, you’ll find so many places to rent a car! You can rent one when you arrive at the airport, online, or by swinging by one of the kiosks in the city.
Here are some popular car rental companies that you can use:
Whichever you choose, I suggest you contact the company to see if they have special requirements that you need to be aware of. Plus, they may special discounts that you can take advantage of to make your trip even better!
No matter which you pick, remember to save the number of the rental car company, just in case you need it again in the future.
Things to Know When Renting a Car in Medellin
Now that you know where and how to rent a car in Medellin, it’s important to know a few things for staying safe on the road. Here are a couple of things to know when renting a car in Medellin.
Speed limits vary around Medellin. 40 mph is the city speed limit in Medellin, which also applies to surrounding towns. The suburban speed limit and highway speed limits around Medellin are 55 mph and 65 mph.
You will probably find terrible traffic at any time in El Poblado and El Centro. These are the busiest parts of the city thanks to the many businesses there.
Medellin takes DUIs very seriously. Remember that you’re prohibited from driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% and above.
If you’re going out for the night, it’s best to take a taxi or rideshare to get where you’re going so you don’t put yourself and others at risk.
Pico y Placa
The Pico y Placa is a license plate restriction for the biggest cities of Colombia. Due to traffic congestion and the number of cars in the city, Medellin has established some restrictions as to who can be on the road.
Basically, from 5 am until 8 pm Monday to Friday, cars with license plates ending in specific numbers cannot be on the road. If they’re caught, they’ll receive a fine.
Here are the restricted numbers according to each day of the week:
Monday: plates ending in 6, 7, 8, or 9
Tuesday: plates ending in 2 or 3
Wednesday: plates ending in 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8
Thursday: plates ending in 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7
Friday: plates ending in 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0, or 1
If you choose to rent a motorcycle instead of a car, these rules also apply to the first number of the license plate of your motorcycle.
You should note that there are some areas that don’t have license plate restrictions. These include Avenida Regional, La 33, La Iguaná, Las Palmas, and the countryside of Medellin.
Get Ready for an Unforgettable Road Trip in Medellin
So, now you know how to rent a car in Medellin. Just remember to drive safely and respect the road laws of Colombia. This country is cheap but the fines are not!
So it’s time to pack up your things, make a Spotify playlist with your favorite songs, and enjoy this beautiful city and its countryside.
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