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You do not want a car in Santo Domingo itself, where both parking and traffic are a definite problem, but you can rent a car in Santo Domingo to explore the country at your own pace. Most major car-rental companies have outlets at Las Américas Airport outside Santo Domingo, since this is the airport of choice for most independent travelers who are likely to rent cars.
You can expect to pay as little as $55 for a manual compact car, $85 for an automatic with insurance, or $125 for an SUV from a major agency like Budget. But don't rent the cheapest model, even from a major entity. Chances are that even a two-year old cheapie will be badly beaten up and perhaps even dangerous. You may save money by renting from a local agency, but some travelers prefer the comfort of renting from a known quantity. It's usually cheaper to book your car in advance or book in conjunction with your hotel stay. If you want to rent a car for a day, you can often do so at a car-rental desk at your hotel and have it delivered.
MC Auto Rental Car (Las Américas Airport, Santo Domingo, 11606. 809/549–8911. www.mccarrental.com.)
Avis (Las Américas Airport, Santo Domingo, 11606. 809/549–0468.)
Budget (Las Américas Airport, Santo Domingo, 11606. 809/549–0351; 800/472–3325 in the U.S.)
Europcar (Las Américas Airport, Santo Domingo, 11606. 809/549–0942.)
Hertz (Las Américas Airport, Santo Domingo, 11606. 809/549–0454. Independence Ave. #354. 809/688–2121.)
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