Other Free Encyclopedias » Online Encyclopedia » Encyclopedia - Featured Articles » Featured Articles: Blanco Kitchen Sink - Blanco Kitchen Sinks: More Than 80 Years of Quality and Innovation to Cherry Hill Inn - Find a Cherry Hill Inn and Get Close to Philadelphia

Caribbean Car Rental - Caribbean Car Rental Guide - Renting in Big Cities, Renting on Smaller Islands, Local Driving Regulations

travel agencies booking sites

Renting a car for your Caribbean vacation is a great and inexpensive way to explore the island for yourself. However, the process and requirements for getting a car will vary greatly depending on where you go. Use this guide to get some helpful pointers that will be vital to a smooth car renting experience.

Renting in Big Cities

If you are going to one of the larger cities like Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, you will have no problem finding a variety of familiar rental car companies like Avis, Budget, and Advantage. Renting a car in a large Caribbean city is just like renting one in the States, so the whole process should be familiar. Most places will require a combination of valid drivers license and credit card in order for you to rent. If you have a favored rental agency, you can just go directly to their site in order to make your reservation. If you are already working with a travel agency, you can ask them to get you rates for local car rentals, too. (But it is usually a good idea to double-check the rate online for yourself, just to be sure.)

The big third-party travel sites like Priceline and Travelocity will also work for all larger cities where national rental companies have branches. Especially when booking package deals (flight+hotel+car, and possibly tours), third-party sites like these can come in handy for getting the best rates. Skilled travel agents can do the same.

Renting on Smaller Islands

The Caribbean contains dozens of small island destinations, and this is where car rental can get a bit tricky. National branches start giving way to smaller local operations, and the use of third-party booking sites becomes much more limited. For booking on small islands, a travel agency with in-depth Caribbean expertise can be a great help. The internet is still a valid option for finding rental agencies, too, but you have to turn to more specialized sites for that region. CaribbeanCars.com, has been specializing in Caribbean rentals for 19 years, so they are a good place to start looking. Unfortunately, though, the site does not offer customer reviews of the various rental agencies.

Because they are not governed by a franchise corporation like the national agencies are, local car rental providers can vary greatly in quality and service. As a traveler, you have to be careful of this. One good way to keep yourself from getting tangled up with an undesirable company is to simply go through your hotel once you get to the island. Many have their own rental operations, and if they do not, they will be able to point you to the local agencies. This way, you can get a sense of both the island locale and the rental companies before you ever agree to rent anything. Depending on the island, you may even find that you do not need a rental car at all to see everything on your itinerary. Just be careful, though – with the hotel approach, you could find yourself without a car to rent from any company, especially if you travel during busy holiday periods.

Local Driving Regulations

With so many different sovereign states, you are bound to run into different driving laws and regulations. It is important to learn all you can about your specific island destination – just look up the official web site for the island/country to find helpful visitor information. Some rental agencies only require a valid drivers license, some others may require special driving permits or other kinds of certification. Be sure to know in advance what will be required, so you will not be left high and dry with no way to get around. If you are booking online or through a travel agent, they should be able to fill you in on the specific requirements for your destination.

Other Considerations

Beyond what has been stated above, just follow basic car rental rules to ensure that you have a great experience in the Caribbean. Verify that your own car insurance will cover you while driving a rental car. Make sure you have a complete understanding of all fees that will be charged. Check the car carefully for dings, scratches, and other damage before setting out. Avoid peak travel times to ensure that you get the car you want at a reasonable rate. Make sure you understand the gas policy. If you do all of these things, you should have a great rental experience. Have fun seeing the sights!

Caribbean Rental Villa - Is a Caribbean Rental Villa Your Best Choice? [next] [back] Car Hire Toronto - Choosing the Right Car Hire in Toronto

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or