Driving in Panama City

Driving Rules in Panama City

50 Km/h
80 Km/h
100 Km/h
Drink Limit
0 Mg
Max Blood Alcohol Allowed
Fuel Price
Required Documents
Driving License
International Driving Permit
Seat Belt
Front Seat Belt:
Rear Seat Belt:
Road Side
Min Age
Min Drive Age:
Min Rent Age:
What should you know

Requirements to Drive a Car in Panama City

To drive a car in Panama you must be at least 18 years old. To rent a car in Panama you must be 21 years old. Some car rental companies in Panama admit minor clients although they charge an extra tax for the service.

Among the documents that you must present when driving in Panama are:

  • Your Identification Document
  • Valid driver's license
  • Passport if you are a foreigner

In Panama, Civil Liability Insurance is mandatory so you must have proof of it. If you rent a car in Panama, the insurance will already be included in the total cost of the rental.

Where and how to park in Panama City?

Panama City Parking Information

There are several areas that have free parking on the road. You can park in these places as long as you do not violate the traffic laws that regulate parking. Park as long as a vertical sign does not prohibit it or there is no yellow line on the sidewalk. In shopping centers and hotel areas you can find parking with parking meters or ticket machines and covere. There are other places, such as the beach area or vacant lots where you will find improvised or irregular parking lots that offer parking service. 

They are cheaper, although they are not as reliable as official regulated parking. Security and parking Although Panama is not an area that is characterized by theft, you should take into account basic rules to avoid the theft of your car or its accessories. 

  • Never leave your vehicle keys in the switch of your vehicle.
  • Leave your car windows closed.
  • Do not park in remote areas or where there is little traffic of people.
  • Do not leave your car in poorly lit streets at night

Disabled parking: In several places you can find exclusive parking areas for the disabled in Panama, however, it is not a culture that is widespread throughout the city. If you have a disability, it may be difficult to find parking. 

Talking to the parking attendant may be helpful in finding a better area to park your car. Prevent your car from being towed for being badly parked Be careful to avoid obstructing the traffic or the exit of other vehicles, as well as not blocking garage exits, building entrances, etc. to prevent your car from being towed. Although these incidents are rare, they can occur, especially when it comes to a traffic obstruction.

What to do in an emergency in Panama City?

Panama City Emergency Information

Useful Driving Information

Driving Laws in Panama City

  • Speed Limits
  • Toll Roads
  • Traffic Lights
  • Road Side
The speed limits in Panama for cars are 70 km / h in urban areas, 80 km/h on rural areas, 90 km/h on the highway and 100 km/h on motorways
The Pan-American Highway that crosses Panama does not require a toll, however, the four highways that lead to the City do have toll booths, although their cost is low, especially if you travel short distances. Have cash on hand to pay for them.
In Panama City you will find many traffic lights at the busiest intersections. Signs within the city are generally good. In the smaller cities of Panama or in rural areas, on the contrary, traffic lights are scarce.
In Panama, as in all of Panama, you travel on the right side of the road. The left side is only used to pass another vehicle.
Traffic laws and Rules

More Driving Guides

Drive and Rent a Car in Panama City

Panama City Car Rental Faqs

What measures have car rental companies taken in Panama to prevent contagion with Covid-19?

Most of the car rental companies in Panama have taken extreme cleaning measures to prevent customers from getting Covid-19. The cars go through a rigorous cleaning process once they are returned. Each company, however, follows its own policies and methods based on international protocols. For more information go to the company's website or call their offices directly.

Is it safe to travel to Panama?

Traveling to Panama is safe. Panama is not characterized by being a violent city. Its rates of violence are lower than those of most cities in Panama, the United States and Europe.

The best time to travel to Panama is the dry season, which runs from mid-December to mid-April. Although temperatures are higher and the weather more muggy during the rainy season, you can actually travel at any time of the year.
If you are looking to make a cheaper trip, then travel in the low tourist season, which coincides with the wet season. This in Panama runs from the month of May to November.

What type of car is the most recommended to drive in Panama?

The most appropriate type of car to drive in Panama will depend on your taste and your needs. For a family trip or with a large group of people, it is best to rent a van or minivan. If what you are looking for is an economical car, the best thing to do is rent a compact. If you want to venture to the most intricate, jungle or rural areas with difficult access roads, the most appropriate thing is to rent a suv.

What are the best places to park in Panama?

To park in Panama safely, it is best to look for official parking lots, even if they are a little more expensive. Those parking lots located in shopping centers, hotels or areas of tourist interest generally have parking meters or official parking garages that have protection measures.
Avoid parking in remote areas, on low-traffic streets or in poorly lit areas at night.

Information of Interest for Renting a Car and Driving Rules in

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