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Kingston Car Rental - Kingston Car Rental Guide

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Most people, when traveling to Kingston, Jamaica, don’t venture far from their beach resort. However, because Kingston is the capital and business center of the country, some people have a need for cheap, reliable transportation that is both private and speedy. The best way to ensure all these conditions are met is to drive yourself. There is no shortage of Kingston car rental companies to meet this less popular form of visitor transportation. Cars of all types are always available for both daily and weekly rental.

A growing percentage of visitors are using Kingston car rentals when they have a need to visit one of the other cities on the island. At one time, this would not have been the best idea, but since the 1990s the government and private companies have started building a freeway system and have improved existing roadways. Currently, there are over 13,000 miles of road in Jamaica, and of that, 9,300 miles are paved. The existence of paved roads, however, does not always equal easy driving.

Those interested in car rentals in Kingston need to be aware that driving in the country is very different than driving in America or Western Europe. First of all, while many roads are in decent condition, many are not. Potholes, bumps, and broken pavement are common hazards. In addition, most intersections are not controlled. Drivers must always be aware of traffic on all sides. Even intersections that are controlled are not always obeyed. Another hazard that must be dealt with in a rental car is wandering livestock. Cattle and goats are often traveling alongside the road and they can suddenly dart into traffic or just stop in the middle of the road. Also, driving is done on the left side of the road, which takes some getting used to. Speed limits in Jamaica are rarely posted, but the legal limit is 30 mph in a city or town and 50 mph on the highway.

What makes renting a car in Kingston easy for Americans is that no special driver’s license is required if you already possess a valid U.S. license. However, all people using a Kingston car rental service must post a bond ($500US) by cash, traveler’s check, or credit card to cover insurance deductibles. Also, drivers must be at least 25 years of age to legally rent a vehicle. Gasoline stations are easy to come by on the island, but drivers must be aware that most of them accept only cash.

Common Kingston Driving Times
• Mandeville – 61 miles – 1.5 hours
• Ocho Rios – 54 miles – 1.5 hours
• Port Antonio – 68 miles – 2 hours

Car Rental Companies in Kingston
The easiest way to book a Kingston car rental is to do so in conjunction with a flight or hotel stay. It is not difficult, however, to book a car after arrival. Prices usually start at $40 per day and go up to over $100. This can fluctuate by season and type of car. Many people also find it a good idea to buy the damage waiver and insurance for an extra $10 – $20 per day.

In Kingston, the largest car rental company is Island Car Rentals. They are honest, reliable, and have decent vehicles. They are located at the Norman Manly Airport. They can be reached by phone at 876-926-5991. Other car rental companies in Kingston are as follows:

• Avis Rent-A-Car (1-888-888-AVIS)
• Budget Car Rental (876-924-8762)
• Econocar Rentals (876-927-676111)
• Fiesta Car Rentals (876-926-013314)

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