Driving in Ecuador
How to Navigate Your Best Trip Ever
By Ashley Rogers – Ecuador At Your Service
Ecuador is one of the most beautiful countries, with some of the most stunning landscapes and cityscapes in the world.
From colonial UNESCO World Heritage Site Cities, to Amazon jungles, the famed Galapagos Islands, to the Valley of Volcanoes, Ecuador has it all – and much of it is best seen by driving.
But, what if you’re a tourist, an expat or resident without a car? What if a bus or van filled with strangers does not suit your needs? What if you want to stop and photograph the scenery? What if you just want to drive?
An innovative company – Cuenca Car Share — is filling this need. Cuenca Car Share offers a unique opportunity to “share” a car from its fleet of late model cars for a vacation or business trip, and for a fraction of the cost of a normal car rental in Ecuador. And, the company also offers one-way pick ups and drop offs from Ecuador’s airports in Guayaquil and Quito, to and from Cuenca.
Founded by partners, Juan Carlos Morales and David Korkoian, the company provides locals, as well as tourists, with an opportunity to rent a vehicle by the day or by the week. The easy-to-use concept has been so popular in Cuenca, that more and more cars are now in demand and more and more investors are getting on board to share their rides.
“First and foremost, we are not a rental car company,” says Juan Carlos, “and therefore our cars are a lot less expensive than normal rental cars. Because the cars are privately owned, we expect our drivers to treat our cars as if they are borrowing a car from a friend or neighbor. A refundable security deposit is required at the time of booking. Full comprehensive collision and liability insurance is included when you rent. Hopefully you will never have to use it, but if you do, you only have to forfeit your security deposit if something happens. We also offer 24-hour roadside assistance. So really, it’s like borrowing your neighbor’s car and assuming some of the responsibility, as you would with a friend, if something unforeseen happens.“
Cuneca Car Share also has an investor program, with two potential income producing models: (1) An investor buys a car for Cuenca Car Share and CCS keeps the vehicle 100% of the time and the rental provides investors an income based on bookings; and (2) An investor buys a car for the Cuenca Car Share fleet, but keeps, maintains and uses the car. The renter picks up and returns the car to the investor, but the car is booked through CCS. In this scenario the owner has full use of the car, but must block off days, two months ahead of time, when the car cannot be rented.
“This is the perfect investment for people who come to Cuenca seasonally and only use their car part of the year,” says David. “Or for people who travel throughout the year and would rather not have their car just sitting in an empty garage.”
Adds Juan Carlos; “This user-friendly business model also helps in moving forward the concept of ‘Collaborative Consumption,’ whereby we leave a smaller carbon footprint in the world by sharing.”
In addition to renting cars, Cuenca Car Share also has special promotions in tandem with local hotels, B&B’s and key sightseeing areas around Ecuador. CCS can also help people to buy a vehicle in Ecuador and can assist residents in obtaining their Ecuadorian Driver’s License.
For more information you can go to Cuenca Car Share.
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TIPS ABOUT REQUIREMENTS FOR A DRIVER’S LICENSE IN ECUADOR
FROM CUENCA CAR SHARE
To rent a car from Cuenca Car Share, it is necessary to have a valid Driver’s License. Once you have your permanent Ecuadorian residency, you may drive with a valid license for 6 months from the time you entered the country. After 6 months, an Ecuadorian license is required.
Tourist and temporary visitors are allowed to drive for the number of days allowed on their Visa, Either 90, 180 days or longer if the Visa is extended. The popular International Driver’s License is no longer valid in Ecuador, according to Cuenca Car Share. If you are pulled over by the police and asked to show your documents, you will need to show them:
- Matricula and proof of insurance
- Valid Driver’s license
- Printed copy of the law regarding the driving privileges.
As is the case with many things in Ecuador, the guidelines to getting a driver’s license change often. Please check the driving license section on the Cuenca Car Share’s website to stay up to date.