Renting a car in the Caribbean can be an exciting experience. It can make your trip a real adventure, save money and provide you with a sense of freedom not found when traveling by bus or using taxis. With buses, one is limited to specific times and routes, and they might be crowded as well as very noisy. Taxis are quieter and will take you more places, plus you can set your own time schedule, but you still often feel restricted because you are relying on some one else. The rental car option gets rid of both of these problems, but there are certain tips to know before renting a car, or afterward!
One tip is to take a taxi around the destination for a few hours before renting the car. This allows you to learn the major roads and points of interest from a local and that can be valuable. When you are driving on your own, it is easier to find small restaurants and shops when you have already seen the places once. A taxi tour also gives you a chance to see what the roads are like and how others drive on them, then you decide do you really want to try this on your own! Once the papers are signed, it is to late and the money is spent!
When renting there is always two choices: international company or something local? An international company is easier to book on-line and will also be some one with whom you are familiar. The car will be what you would get back home. A local business means you are supporting the local economy, you can still get a good vehicle and it may be cheaper. If you do go local, get references and ask questions, such as how reputable they are, how frequently do the cars break down, and where is the jack, then check to make sure it is there!
Ask about insurance, and if it is included with your credit card make sure it is valid in the country you are visiting and with the car company from which you are renting. Some cards say they include insurance, but it is only if the rental car company is licensed in the same country as the credit card company. Also, make sure your license is valid, don’t think it is just because it says international, some countries require their own!
Renting a car in the Caribbean? The choice is yours, but follow these tips just to be safe!