Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In

Driving in Metapan

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Metapan.

1. Understanding the Driving Culture

Driving in Metapan, like many parts of El Salvador, can be a bit chaotic for those not used to it. Traffic rules are often not strictly enforced, and local drivers can be aggressive. Be prepared for unexpected maneuvers and always drive defensively.

2. Type of Car to Use

It’s recommended to use a car with high ground clearance, such as an SUV, due to the condition of some roads. During the rainy season, some roads can become difficult to navigate, especially in rural areas. A 4×4 vehicle can be beneficial in these conditions.

3. Parking Situation

Finding parking in Metapan can be challenging, especially in the city center during peak hours. However, parking is generally not expensive. It’s advisable to park in secured parking lots where available, for safety reasons.

4. Driving with an International License

Foreigners can drive in El Salvador with an international driving permit for up to 90 days. After this period, you will need to obtain a local driver’s license.

5. Obtaining a Local Driver’s License

To get a Salvadoran driver’s license, you will need to go to the Viceministerio de Transporte (VMT). You will need to provide your passport, your current foreign driver’s license, and proof of residence. You will also need to pass a written test and a practical driving test. It’s recommended to have a basic understanding of Spanish as the process is typically conducted in Spanish.

6. Road Conditions

Road conditions in Metapan can vary. Major roads are generally in good condition, but secondary and rural roads can be poorly maintained. Be prepared for potholes and other road hazards. Always drive cautiously, especially at night when visibility is reduced.

7. Safety Precautions

Always keep your doors locked and windows up, especially when stopped at traffic lights. Avoid displaying valuable items in your car to deter potential thieves. It’s also advisable to avoid driving at night, especially in unfamiliar areas, due to safety concerns.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Additional Information:

International Citizens Insurance

Cigna Global Health
Award winning International Health Insurance for Individuals and families living abroad.

Copyright 1997-2024 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal

LoginJoinPlease Login to Continue. New? Join today (it's free).
Since 1997, we've supported millions of people as they explore the world and share the adventures and challenges of living abroad.