Car Hire in Cebu City
This information is correct as of August 2015.
Cebu, one of the first places visited by Magellan the Navigator in 1521, is one of the most popular destinations in the Philippines. This city bears the mark of its Spanish heritage proudly, with several landmarks featuring the strength of Catholic faith such as the Basilica del Santo Niño and Magellan's Cross. The area also offers a number of malls and shops where can relax in modern air-conditioned comfort, while the countryside has a number of beaches for outdoor enthusiasts.
Where to hire a car in Cebu City
Although renting a car is not generally a popular trend in the Philippines, you will still find a number of car rental providers offering a variety of makes and models. Safe Ride Car Rental and Tours, Cebu Trip Rent-A-Car, and other local companies can be found in the city centre. You can contact them before going on a trip to this island region, so you can learn about their rates and terms of usage, as well as compare with other agencies. You may also enquire about hiring a driver with a car, which might be more suitable if you want to enjoy more sightseeing and less worry as you go around.
When it comes to requirements, you must hold a current and valid driver licence issued in your home country. This will allow you to drive for up to 90 days after your arrival in the Philippines. If your licence is not written in English, it should be accompanied by an official English translation issued by your country's embassy in the Philippines. For more information about the documents you need to bring, you can contact your provider and clarify which additional papers or identification they will need to see once you arrive for pickup.
What to expect when hiring a car from Cebu City
Due to Cebu's standing as one of the main cities in the Visayas region, you will find that it has its share of traffic jams and other driving issues. It would be better, for instance, if you schedule your drive outside the rush hours in the morning and afternoon. It will take you longer to get around or out of the city if you take out the car at around 7:00 am to 10:00 am and 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. There are no toll roads in Cebu, however, as all the tollways and expressways are located in the island of Luzon. Congestion charges are also unheard of in Cebu, although it is a major urban area.
Drivers in the Philippines generally stay on the right side of the road, but there are some who do not always follow traffic regulations. Traffic in Cebu is alike in this regard, with the rare cart yoked to a farm animal, usually a cow or water buffalo. Motorcycles are also a popular mode of transport here, especially in the remote parts of the island, as public transportation has a rather spotty schedule. It is also not unusual to see a number of one-way streets and lanes in Cebu, which makes it necessary to get a detailed map or GPS to help you navigate. Parking is not as available here, but they can be found in the crowded parts of the city, especially the malls, which offer parking spaces with rates by hour.
Getting to your destination
Mandaue, although not much of a destination at first sight, has its own charms as a provincial city. There are no tourist attractions except for what is in the city proper. You will find here several landmarks such as the National Shrine of St Joseph and the Bantayan sa Hari, said to be a Muslim watchtower that was built to protect the locals from pirates. If you time your visit right, you may also take part in the Translacion, a local festival celebrating the gathering of the Holy Family every third week of January. To get here, you will need to take the roads to M. C. Briones Street, where you can head to Mandaue City. It can take around 30 minutes to arrive in this area.
If you want to enjoy a beach vacation, you can arrange for entrance and accommodations in any of the beach resorts in Talisay City, about 13 kilometres away from Cebu. Talisay can be beautiful to behold due to its coastline, as well as Crocolandia, a nature conservation centre for endangered species. It does not breed animals endemic to the Philippines, but also other species such as sailfin lizards and estuarine crocodiles. You can drive here via Cebu South Coastal Road and arrive in around 25 minutes, depending on the traffic.
When making your way around the island, Danao is another place to stop by. Its highlight is the St Timas de Villanueva Church, which was originally built in 1755. There is also the Camotes Island to visit, which lies within reach by the ferry boats. You can then think about putting across the green in the Club Filipino Golf and Country Club. Guns can also be purchased in Danao, as it is known in Cebu for its firearm industry that started in 1907. You can travel here through the Central Nautical Highway and traverse the nearly 50-kilometre distance in an hour and 45 minutes.