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Tips for Expats Driving in Angeles City

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Angeles City.
Tips for Expats Driving in Angeles City

1. Understanding the Traffic Situation

Driving in Angeles City can be quite challenging, especially for those who are not used to the local driving culture. The traffic can be heavy, especially during peak hours, and the driving style of locals can be aggressive. It’s not uncommon to see motorbikes weaving in and out of traffic, jeepneys stopping abruptly to pick up passengers, and tricycles taking up a whole lane. Therefore, it’s important to always be alert and cautious when driving.

2. Choosing the Right Vehicle

Given the traffic situation and the condition of some roads, a compact car or a SUV is recommended. These types of vehicles are easier to maneuver in heavy traffic and can handle the occasional pothole or rough road. However, if you plan to travel outside the city frequently, a larger, more robust vehicle may be more suitable.

3. Parking in Angeles City

Finding parking in Angeles City can be difficult, especially in busy areas. Most establishments have their own parking lots, but these can fill up quickly. Street parking is also an option, but it’s important to make sure you’re not blocking any driveways or causing any obstructions. Parking fees vary, but they are generally affordable.

4. Driving with an International License

Foreigners can drive in the Philippines with an international driving permit (IDP) for up to 90 days. After that, you will need to obtain a local driver’s license. It’s important to note that your IDP must be accompanied by your valid foreign driver’s license at all times.

5. Obtaining a Local Driver’s License

To get a local driver’s license, you will need to go to the Land Transportation Office (LTO). You will need to bring your valid foreign driver’s license, your passport, your Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) card, and a medical certificate. You will also need to pass a written and practical driving test. It’s recommended to hire a local agent or facilitator to help you with the process, as it can be quite complex and time-consuming.

6. Familiarize Yourself with Local Road Rules

Before you start driving in Angeles City, make sure you familiarize yourself with the local road rules. This includes understanding the local signage, knowing the speed limits, and being aware of the rules for overtaking and turning. It’s also important to always wear your seatbelt and to never use your mobile phone while driving.

7. Be Prepared for Unexpected Situations

Lastly, always be prepared for unexpected situations. This includes having a basic understanding of car maintenance and repair, knowing what to do in case of an accident, and having the contact details of a reliable towing service. It’s also a good idea to always have a map or GPS device handy, as not all areas in Angeles City are well-signposted.

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.

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