Car Rental in Philippines, the REAL cost

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Renting a car in a new country means trusting what you are told, and taking chances with the company you choose.

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It is pretty bad in Australia, (but that is another story) so I am under no illusions about expecting to be treated fairly anywhere.

The following is just a factual breakdown of costs, with the details behind the hire.

I wanted to hire a car from Batangas to Tagaytay, but could I find one in Batangas ?  Nothing !! (If you provide hire cars in the Batangas City area, please contact me, and I will add you to my directory pages).

This was my route:

Map Batangas Tagaytay Batangas

A total of about 174 km’s according to Google.

But I had to rent a car from nearer to Manila, in Las Pinas.  That was the closest I could find, and the company said the cost to come down would be about 300 pesos in fuel, and that the total should be about 3,500 pesos based on where I was going. Including everything, fuel, tolls, the driver and meal for 10 hours.

These were the final costs

Estimated Mileages:

  • 91 kms From Depot, Las Pinas to Batangas
  • 174 kms Pick up Batangas Port and drive to Mendez, Tagaytay, then to Laurel, with return to Batangas Port, via Lemery.
  • 91 kms From Batangas back to Depot

Actual Costs

315 Toll fees
1,520 Fuel. Tank filled at Batangas, before drivers return
500 Fuel: Return Trip. The owner said later that it ended up at 350 pesos
1,870 Time: 11 hrs at 170 pesos per hour  (8:00am to 7:00pm)
315 Toll fees on return to Las Pinas
140 MacDonalds (2 pieces chicken, rice and Drink)
4,660 Total Cost

The problem I had ?

The owner originally said that 3,500 should cover the total. Others had quoted 4,000+, so we went with this one.

The total trip should have been about 360km. (details above)

The actual cost of fuel for one leg of the trip, Batangas to Las Pinas was 350 pesos as confirmed by the owner on filling up, when the vehicle got back to base.

Therefore the total for the Las Pinas – Batangas – Las Pinas journey, would have been 700 pesos for 180 kms.

The Total fuel that I had to pay for was 2,020.  So the share for my trip, Batangas – Tagaytay – Batangas, also about 180 kms, ended up at 1,320 pesos.

The owner, after asking why the discrepancy, explained a few things, including:

The high cost of using a 3 litre diesel.  (That made no sense.  Half the distance cost P700, the other half cost P1,320.  The engine was the same for the entire trip.)

The hills in Tagaytay would have caused the vehicle to use the extra fuel. (Tagaytay is about 600 metres above sea level, an increase of 451 metres from the 149 metres at Tanuaun, the turn off point from the express way going towards Las Pinas.
The total mileage affected by the hills is just 36 kms out of the total 180 kms round trip. Would this climb, for just 36 kms, (20% of the trip), cause the the doubling of the fuel consumption for the entire 180 kms ?The first 45 kms was on the Batangas Manila Expressway.

If people give logical reasons, then I am happy to accept, but when they give reasons that don’t add up, and don’t let me speak, by talking over me, then I do get a bit annoyed.

I had no problems with the tolls, the drivers meal etc.  At 300 pesos a day for a drivers wage, I would happily hire a driver and get a car myself, and I may just do that next time.

The bottom line is:

If someone says it will be about x,  Then assume it won’t be.

Don’t use a high powered gas guzzling vehicle, even if Government testing have it as one of the top ten least expensive for fuel costs. www

Check the fuel level on getting the vehicle. That was difficult on this occasion, but I should have asked for the tank to be filled up again when we got in, and just paid the 300 pesos that we were told that part of the trip would be.


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