“Will I Need…..” No…you will not “need” a car to live in many places in Ecuador but you may “want” one after some time. We arrived and for a bit more
than two months, we used buses, taxis, chartered vans, pedi-cabs and moto-taxis to get around. It worked but it wasn’t always convenient…that’s for sure. We were also limited to the “beaten path” where public and chartered transportation would deliver us for a reasonable price. Owning your own transportation permits infinite flexibility. I guess we will admit to being a bit spoiled. We bought a used 4 wheel drive vehicle for a price much higher than one would pay in the states. To compensate for the larger acquisition cost, gasoline is very cheap…regulated at $1.48 per gallon. Liability insurance is about $75 per year and parts and maintenance are dirt cheap, compared to the states.
Also, we live a bit outside the town of San Vicente on the coast. Urban dwellers seem to do just fine with public transportation in the bigger and medium-sized cities. I would find it quite a challenge to live without a car at this point. We love to drive up into the Rio Muchacho Valley, a drive, a bit into a jungle valley, that no taxi could do
After a few months of car ownership, we also bought a new Suzuki Motor Scooter for Diane. She wanted to be independent of me for her transportation. So…now the scooter is the Pocket Babe’s primary mode of transportation. She throws her backpack on, stuffs her tennis racket inside and off she goes. Economical as can be, too. Sips gas and goes as fast as she wants to go with a 125 cc engine. Scooters are a great alternative for local transportation. I’ve been known to ride it myself for quick errands. Easy to maneuver in traffic and parks anywhere. Diane’s has a small trunk box on the back for shopping trips. A great thing!
Getting an Ecuadorian driver’s license is a task! Like many official processes here, there is a “back door” way to get it done.