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Car Rental on a Saturday

San Francisco, CA
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120 posts
8 reviews
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Car Rental on a Saturday

I've run into a scheduling problem with the car rental in Panama City. We arrive at Tocumen on Saturday at 2 PM. My plan was to take a cab to Albrook and rent a car there to avoid the drive through the city. However, I'm now learning all car agencies including Budget, Hertz, Thrifty close shop by 3PM on a Saturday at Albrook which means I will not be able to make it in type for pick up. Does anyone know of a car rental at Albrook that is open later on a Saturday

If not, my only other option would be to pick up at Tocumen. If I pick up here and drive to a hotel near Albrook is there a way I can bypass the city center. Is that drive doable for a person new to the city. My primary concern is about the drive through the city. I'm not concerned about returning the car (knowing Tocumen folks tend to nickel and dime) because I will be returning the car a few days in advance of my flight out and also will plan to return it at Albrook instead of Tocumen

Thanks...!

Panama City, Panama
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16,909 posts
27 reviews
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11. Re: Car Rental on a Saturday

gb - I know that many Panamanians drive large cars but that doesn't mean that the roads are designed for them. Too many Panamanians drive cars that are too big for them - that they can't steer properly. You often see two large vehicles unable to pass and causing delays. Many places have parking spaces that are really too small to fit two SUVs side by side.

San Francisco, CA
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120 posts
8 reviews
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12. Re: Car Rental on a Saturday

Thank you gb and beardo. I wanted to share where I landed. We are booked at the Torres de Alba for the 7th night. Rental car is booked through dollar next door. The total came to $230 for 5 nights for a mid size automatic SUV including the mandatory insurance. Their lowest car rate was only 4 dollars/night cheaper and that have got me an economy manual stick so I opted to the SUV auto. Pricier but I could not find a better deal. Plan is to pick up the car that evening itself and park for the night so we can head out to El Valle early the next morning. How is the traffic Sunday mornings?

I would really appreciate GB if you could provide detailed directions driving out from Alba exiting the city to head to El Valle.

Once again...thanks so much for all the help here. I had earlier posted on fodors and that forum is just focused on NA/Europe.

Atlanta, Georgia...
Destination Expert
for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo
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5,002 posts
18 reviews
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13. Re: Car Rental on a Saturday

I will send you a PM with the directions.

You shouldn't have much traffic early Sunday morning. The heaviest traffic will probably be around the market in El Valle.

Panama City, Panama
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16,909 posts
27 reviews
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14. Re: Car Rental on a Saturday

I saw a comment that on certain Sunday mornings they were closing the Cinta Costera for activities. That could have an effect on traffic.

I never get up early on Sundays, so I can't really say.

15. Re: Car Rental on a Saturday

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