Not recommended until you stay in the city, visit Panama by car is a good way if you like to travel free.
The Interamericana ( Pan-American Highway) is the main road and goes through all the country from the Costa Rica border to the province of Darien where it ends. Therefore almost all the times you need to move and change locations you have to run across it.
Roads are in good condition in general.
There are not so many signs but it's quite easy.
- Rental cars can't pass the state border
- Third part insurance is mandatory in Panama: make you sure your quote includes it.
- Drop off in a different city could cost 150$ more
- It's not recommended to drive at night: there are many trucks and could be dangerous for the low visibility due to the darkness.
- You can use your national driver license (ask your consulate for details)
- When you drive remember the speed limit is from 40 to 60 km/h when you approach towns along the way (speeding ticket is 50 USD)
- Calculate the distance between 2 cities, towns and villages.
- Rental car locations: Panama City, David, Santiago, Chitré, Changuinola, Boquete, Coronado, Pedasì
- Use a offline navigator app for your smartphone like Navmii or download the map on Google Maps.
- To reach Panama City centre from the airport of Tocumen it's recommendable to take the Corredor Sur: you need the Panapass Toll system, check the rental company don't forget it.