When you’re on vacation the last thing you want to do is stay cooped in a hotel room all day. What’s a vacation without seeing the sights, going on tours, experiencing the culture and meeting the locals? And if you’re coming to Jamaica, the list of things to do on the island will leave you wanting more. Jamaica is a country blessed with an array of activities from beaches, tours, parks, clubs and restaurants. For in this tiny island in the Caribbean there is just so much to do. But you defiantly won’t see much if you are stuck in a hotel all day, so what better way to get a taste of this fantastic island than to get on the open road and experience it yourself.
Renting a Vacation Car gives you the freedom to experience the island at your own pace. Instead of waiting long hours for a bus or being lagged behind a large slow moving tour group, why not hop in a car and take charge. Renting a car is a sure way to break away from the norm of hotel life and a compliment to any Vacation Home Rental. As a guest to the island, it puts you in the driver’s seat and you become in charge of your vacation without paying the extra cost for fancy busses and taxis.
Here are a few general requirements and important things to know to guide you in your car rental process.
In order to rent a car, you must be 25 years of age. You must have a valid Visa or MasterCard. The car must be rented for at least 24 hours and there is usually a coverage charge for damages and theft.
Most Jamaican Car Rental Companies have their own websites so most reservations can be made through the website via email. To ensure the reservation is confirmed, call or email the rental company directly after making the booking to ensure that the reservation is honored. Always take documented proof of your reservation with you.
Rental charges are varied across rental companies. When comparing prices at various agencies ensure that local taxes are included in the price. Prices are very different even for the same model vehicle. Car insurance is mandatory on the island so also ensure that it is included in the final mark up.
The longer you rent a car, the cheaper it will be. Visitors can enjoy savings and discounts if the car is rented for over a week.
Depending on the company some may or may not charge a fee for delivering and picking up the car no matter where you are on the island.
Read your contract carefully and make notes and take pictures of scratches or dents in the car before signing.
Important things to know when Driving in Jamaica
Jamaicans drive on the left side of the road. For first time visitors, it is wise to stay away from cars that have a left hand drive…mostly American cars.
Driving conditions in Jamaica and other islands in the Caribbean are very different from what you may be accustomed to. Road conditions and drivers can be very unpredictable. Many roads especially rural ones are riddled with potholes and are in need of upkeep and repair. Roads are narrow with sharp corners and may be considered ‘rough’ to foreign visitors. Be on the lookout for pedestrians as some may walk across the road without warning. Also stray animals such as dogs, cows and goats walking aimlessly on the street are also common.
Buy an updated map!
Check with your credit card company before renting the vehicle to see what coverage is offered in Jamaica.
Place money and valuable possessions in the trunk or out of sight and park your car in secure locations.
Ensure that paperwork such as license, registration and rental documents are secure in case you are stopped by police and inspected.
Finally, everyone in the vehicle should wear a seatbelt.
A Few Popular Car Rental Companies in Jamaica
28 Sunset Blvd Montego Bay, St James
Avis Rent – Car
1 Merrick Ave Kingston 10
(876) 926 8021
Island Car Rentals
Sangster international Airport
(876) 952- 5771
Happy World Car and Bike Rental Limited
Norman Manley Blvd, Negril Westmoreland
Dhana Car Rentals and Tours
4 Holiday Villa Rose Hall
(876) 953 9555