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Car hire - is it worth it?

Cardiff, Wales
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Car hire - is it worth it?

I've had a good look at the recent questions about car hire in Panama. I just can't decide if it's worth the hassle. On the Thrifty website a Hyundai Accent is priced at $60 for a week. With the obligatory insurance at $12 a day (from another thread) it works out at $110 a week. Is this what other people have been paying? And NO - I won't be driving in Panama City.

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Panama City, Panama
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1. Re: Car hire - is it worth it?

It always seems to cost me a lot more than that !

Surely 12 x 7 = 84 - so that is $144, and I am not sure if that $12 is right. There always seem other add-ons, too.

Atlanta, Georgia...
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2. Re: Car hire - is it worth it?

Unless the rates have changed in the last six months, mandatory insurance is either $18 or $22 per day, depending on the type of car. In April, a Hyundai Tucson, with a base price of $42 per day, cost $73 for the day when all the fees and taxes were totalled.

Cardiff, Wales
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3. Re: Car hire - is it worth it?

$73 a day seems a ridiculous price to pay? Or is it just me? Is the public transport in Panama reasonable? We have about 3 weeks in Panama altogether. Air Panama is also an option - $80 from Panama City to Bocas del Toros.

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Panama City, Panama
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4. Re: Car hire - is it worth it?

Dollar charge me $18.50 a day PCM - Paquete de Cobertura Minima - plus tax of course, so that is almost $20. That's on a Kia Picanto. They also charge various other sorts of insurance, which I might have been able to argue them out of.

When I hired from Avis at the airport it came out even higher.

Taxis - I never had much luck getting taxis in the street, so it depends if you are staying somewhere it is easy to get them.

Atlanta, Georgia...
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5. Re: Car hire - is it worth it?

There are additional fees and taxes for Air Panama, as well. By the time you purchase a round trip ticket to and from Bocas del Toro, the cost will be $243 per person.

Probably the least expensive way to travel in Panama is by bus. LN and StxSteve are the experts on bus travel.

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LN
Panama City, Panama
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6. Re: Car hire - is it worth it?

Buses are the way to go thru Panama on a budget. Please do learn some basic Spanish phrases, because you will not be able to communicate with most of the population otherwise.

Bus travel is very easy. Take a taxi to the Bus Terminal @ Allbrook Mall. It is pretty easy to navigate and find the bus you need to take. Take a sweater as it is pretty

cold on the buses, especially like the overnight buses. Ear plugs would also be good as sometimes the drivers like their music. When you search this forum you will also see posts regarding bus travel here.

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Cardiff, Wales
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7. Re: Car hire - is it worth it?

Thanks LN

LN
Panama City, Panama
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8. Re: Car hire - is it worth it?

If you take a bus, I suggest you write down prior to going to the ticket booth at the main Terminal the name of the town, city, resort you plan on going to just in case

you do mis-pronouce the name of the destination. Also, when you board the bus, show it to the bus driver where you are going.......He will then know where you want to be dropped off. The bus drivers are very helpful and the buses are nice too.

Atlanta, Georgia...
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9. Re: Car hire - is it worth it?

Please note that if you are going to Bocas del Toro, your destination will be Almirante. That is where you will meet the water taxis to take you to Bocas del Toro.

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LN
Panama City, Panama
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10. Re: Car hire - is it worth it?

AND if your destination is Bocas (Almirante) be sure to get the Express Bus there.

This site seems fairly accurate...

www.thebusschedule.com/pa/

Don't be afraid of the buses! It will be just dollars compared to so much more for the car.

My husband and I took buses all over Panama. Now on National Holidays, the buses are NOT a great option as buses are super crowded and you may wait to buy tickets, etc.

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