Driving in Puerto Vallarta itself is a bit hazardous and should generally be avoided. The bumpy cobblestone streets and the abundance of potholes can make for a bruising ride.
However, if you plan to see sites beyond the Centro and nearby beaches, staying outside the city, plan on traveling to the northern coast of the Bay of Banderas or exploring inland areas, a rental car may be necessary. Most of the major rental companies maintain offices in Puerto Vallarta, particularly at the airport. Expect to pay at least 700 pesos per day. (**You may sometimes be able to get a better price by reserving a car on the internet prior to arrival.)
Make sure insurance (seguros in Spanish) is included—if you have an accident without it, you will have to settle the claim there or go to jail until it is resolved. You should also check the condition of the car before departing—and make the rental agent aware of any damage. For first-time visitors, do not even consider car rental, as the experience can be quite unnerving. Rules of the road are probably very different than what you are used to at home.
Major car rentals agencies – including Dollar, Budget, Avis, Thrifty, Alamo – have their office right at the Airport.
Puerto Vallarta's International Airport is well connected to the US and Mexico. It is well located between Puerto Vallarta downtown, Marina Vallarta, and Nuevo Vallarta. Besides, it is easily reached by a new highway.