It's not a good idea to drive in Peru.

Driving in Peru should be considered as an "Extreme Sport"

The driving rule here is that the bigger you are the less you follow the driving rules.

As an example, please see the  picture which clearly shows how truck drivers have no consideration whatsoever for upcoming traffic. Taking over 2 trucks on a turn is absolutely crazy, and you will see many of these occurrences on the Peruvian roads. Dangerous driving in Peru

You can hire cars with drivers or taxis for the day at very reasonable prices.

Car hire Companies

  • Alamo Rent A Car (269) 382-2820
  • Avis Rent-A-Car (269) 381-0555
  • Basic Car Rental (269)382-2820
  • Budget Rent A Car (269)381-0617

For local day trips, your best bet is to hire a taxi driver through your hotel. They normally have access to friendly drivers who know the areas of interest and will even speak English.

Fuel in Peru costs around $5 a gallon. The smallest rental car will cost around $140/week while a full size SUV will cost around $300 a week, plus insurance—which you will probably want. Rental cars for a single day will cost somewhat more (e.g. $30 small car, $50 SUV). A taxi should not cost you more than $50–60 per day, including fuel and driver. Keep in mind that buses are very cheap in Peru, so if you are a single traveler or couple, a bus is going to be far cheaper and in all likelihood much safer.

From WHO statistics in 2013, Peru registered 99 deaths per 100,000 vehicles, compared to 13 in USA, 7 in Germany, and 5 in Switzerland. Compared to Latin America: Guyana 864, Bolivia 205, Ecuador 184, Colombia 83, Chile 51, and Argentina 24.

Since the year 2000, more than 50,000 deaths have been registered in vehicle accidents, with 4234 traffic deaths in 2013. 

The worst bus companies are: Transportes Ronco Peru, Turismo Civa, Cueva, Molina Union, and Expreso Huamanga.

For comments by the USA Embassy in Peru, go to : http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa... 

The Australian Government comment on driving in Peru:

"Driving in Peru can be hazardous due to poorly maintained roads and vehicles, local driving practices, and inadequate road lighting. Traffic accidents are common. Fatal traffic accidents, particularly those involving intercity buses, are common. The use of reputable transport and bus companies may reduce associated risks when travelling by road in Peru."

The British Embassy comments:

"Driving standards in Peru (particularly in Lima) are poor, with stop signs and traffic lights frequently ignored. Drivers overtake on either side, with little concern for pedestrians or oncoming traffic. Crashes resulting in death and injury take place almost every day."

Frommers has this comment:

"Getting around Peru by means of a rental car isn't the easiest or best option for the great majority of travelers. It is also far from the cheapest. Distances are long, the terrain is either difficult or unrelentingly boring for long stretches along the desert coast, roads are often not in very good condition, Peruvian drivers are aggressive, and accident rates are very high. The U.S. State Department warns against driving in Peru, particularly at night or alone on rural roads at any time of day. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is the best option in many places, but trucks and Jeeps are exceedingly expensive for most travelers."