Do you consider traveling to Barbados this year? Whether it is a short city break or a much long holiday, renting a car in Barbados gives your days off the flexibility to match your vacation spirit.

rental car parked next to a beach in Barbados

You will have four wheels of freedom to go where your fancy may take you, stress-free and carefree, and it is the ultimate way to experience all that Barbados has to offer!

Here we will tell you everything you need to know about how to rent a car in Barbados, what are your options and how to get the most of your trip in terms of money and safety!

Why visit Barbados?

Barbados is an excellent place for lovers of scenery. There are excellent beaches and bays to explore, high cliffs to just sit back and unwind and lush green tropical plantations that awaits you in Barbados. Renting a car increases your flexibility, so you’ll have no time constraints, other than the ones you make on yourself.

Renting a car increases your flexibility, so you’ll have no time constraints, other than the ones you make on yourself.

what to do in barbados

Take your time to discover all the beautiful hidden nooks of Barbados. Here are some quick suggestions you can use when planning your trip:

  • Visit Bathsheba, an ideal vacation place. There, you can see the resort for Barbadians long before this island became a tourist destination.
  • Visit the ragged point lighthouse. This is the last functioning major lighthouse in Barbados. Here you’ll see people diving into the water that is 200 feet deep.
  • Swim in the calm blue waters on the West Coast in the morning.
  • Surf the Eastern shoreline, then go for a leisurely decadent lunch at one of the many cosmopolitan restaurants

The island provides you with some of the best and most scenic and serene parts of a Caribbean island. It’s not mountainous, so you can go around Barbados in one day in your hire car.

Should you hire a car when visiting Barbados?

The advantages of having a rental vehicle at your disposal whilst on holiday in this Caribbean paradise far outweighs the disadvantages. Barbados may be considered a small island, but it does have over 1475 km of paved roadways to explore.

Many who come to Barbados for the first time totally underestimate what the island has to offer and often they can’t wait to come back again to explore further.

the narrow road among the trees in Barbados

If you like exploring, then a rental car is a must. We encourage you to take an entire day for your scenic drive as it will require around 4 to 6 hours to drive around the entire island. This will allow you to really experience the relaxing and beautiful coastline drive.

What type of car should you rent in Barbados

If you want to enjoy the sights, feel the summer breeze touching your face and experience soft relaxing Caribbean beats sounds coming through your speakers, try a Mini Moke!

The Mini Moke is a fun car, perfect if you arrive during the summer and love the feel of wind on your face. Take the top down and enjoy the fresh air, the wonderful scenery and let all your cares and worries get blown away. Mini Moke storage space is limited, therefore, leave large backpacks at your hotel room and pack only the necessities for the day.

rental car parked next to a beach in Barbados

The moke is small and practical. It’s a popular choice among honeymooners and doesn’t guzzle petrol!

What you need to know before renting a car in Barbados

Every country has its own rules and regulations. When it comes to car rental, you will find that requirements differ as well.

We compiled a list of requirements that teach you all about car hire. Make sure you meet all of them as vehicle hire in Barbados opens up the whole beautiful island for you to explore, and will also give you the independence to enjoy your time here.

In Barbados, you can easily recognize a hired car, they all have an ‘H’ on their license plating.

How old should you be to hire a car in Barbados?

The minimum age at which you can hire a car in Barbados is 21 years. If you are 25 or younger, your automobile insurance will be more expensive.

On the other hand, if you want to rent a vehicle in Barbados but are 70 years of age or older, you must first obtain a medical certificate issued by a doctor based in Barbados.

man drives a rental car on Barbados road

Driving Age Restrictions

At Drive Barbados, we offer reliable car rental services to both senior drivers and young motorist. We don’t think age should be a limitation on renting cars, although we do abide by the minimum 21 years requirement and have an 80 years rental age cap. Whether you are over 70 or under 25, we would be happy to help you hire a car in Barbados.

The Barbados Licensing Authority requires all motorists to be over the age of 21 years and you must have held your license for at least 1 year.

Hiring a car in Barbados if you are 25 years or younger

The younger you are and the less driving experience you have, the more you’ll have to pay on insurance policy. The collision damage waiver (CDW) will be quite high, easily surpassing $1,000, and the collision excess deposit will also increase.

Also, keep in mind that you need a driving experience of at least 2 years to rent a car and that some companies require 5 years.

Hiring a car In Barbados if you are 70+ years old

If you are 70+ years old and want to obtain a visitors driver’s permit in Barbados, bring a valid driver’s license issued in your country and contact your car rental company. They should be able to help you obtain your medical certificate by putting you in touch with a qualified local doctor.

The cost of the examination varies depending on the doctor, but you can expect to pay around $40. The medical examination is straightforward and takes only a short time to complete. Your eyesight will be checked, as well as your heart and blood pressure. Your capacity to drive may also be assessed, using simple tests in the consulting room.

Senior Couple in a convertible car driving in Barbados

What documents do you need to drive in Barbados?

In order to rent a vehicle in Barbados, you’ll need to have a valid driver’s license from your country of origin and a valid credit or debit card under your name. This is a general requirement at most rental companies. However, some might still ask you to make a cash deposit instead of using your card.

You may not have been aware, but it is mandatory to have a locally issued driving permit to be able to legally drive in Barbados if you are not a permanent resident.

However, there is no need to panic, you can obtain a driver’s permit from an approved Barbados car hire agency or from the Barbados Licensing Authority Offices.The cost is $5.00 for two months or $50.00 for a full year.

Fees for a Driving Permit in Barbados

The permits are not expensive, especially if you are just staying for a few weeks. Your driving license must be valid during your travel period.

  • Visitor’s Driving Permit – $5 fee for a visitor’s driving permit valid for two months
  • Visitor’s Driving Permit – $50 fee for a visitor’s driver’s license valid for up to one year.
  • Visitor’s Driving Permit – $10.00 BDS for less than two months.
  • Visitor’s Driving Permit – $100.00 BDS for a maximum of one year.

how to get a permit in Barbados?

You may already be on our island looking for offices for driver licensing authority in Barbados, or, you may be on your way to Barbados and want to find out how to obtain driver license permit for your next holiday.

visitor registration certificate for tourists

The Barbados Licensing Authority has offices at:

  • The Pine, St. Michael – Tel: 4364920
  • Oistins, Christ Church – Tel: 4282960
  • Speightstown, St. Peter – Tel: 4320119

The offices are open Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 3.00 pm. For the whole list of Licensing Authority Offices at many different locations, read more here.

Rental car costs in Barbados

Renting a car in Barbados can get quite expensive for new holidaymakers to the island, but, you can also find very affordable ways to hire a vehicle while you are holidaying in Barbados.

Here’s what to consider before signing any leasing documents.

How much does it cost to rent from a local company in Barbados

Hiring a car in Barbados can be a costly experience if you don’t do your homework properly. However, you can make sure you get the most affordable deal possible if you do some checking around and understand why prices vary so much around here.

The Base Price and Mandatory Taxes

Renting companies always list the basic rate in their price breakdown, but not many are aware that it’s a price you don’t actually pay in the end. The base amount doesn’t contain any hiring options, fees or taxes and appears with the sole purpose of showcasing how much the company actually takes.

The base rate is followed by taxes and additional charges, which are subsequently included to the invoice. These are the fees which cannot be avoided and which you are obliged to pay.

How do car hire prices vary in Barbados

Seasonal Factors

Because it lies so close to the Equator, Barbados does not have four seasons like many other countries. Instead, it has the ‘dry season’ which lasts from December to May, and the ‘rainy season’ from June to November. December to May is known as winter, and June to December as summer, and unlike many other countries, the winter is the holiday season when the climate is at its most favorable.

Rates are based on the following dates:

  • High Rate 15th December – 15th April
  • High Rate 15th July – 15th August for the Crop Over Festival
  • Low Rate 16th April – 14th December excluding Crop Over Festival Dates

So while at home, you might find car rental costs lower in the winter period.

A car hired in the winter season (which includes rental costs, CDW coverage, and taxes) can be as low of as:

  • Economy hatchback cars (Suzuki swift, Toyota Yaris or similar) – between $400 – $500 per week
  • For a mid-size sedan car – (Toyota Yaris sedan or similar) – between $500 – $600 per week

(A car hired in the summer time (drivers may be able to negotiate a better deal)

  • A discount of between 10 and 20 percent off the usual winter seasonal rate per week.

a seascape and a woman next to a rented car in Barbados

Tip: Daily rentals can be very expensive.

  • as much as $70 – $100 per day for an economy car instead of $400 to $500 per week in the peak winter periods

Type of rental car

The cost of car hire will depend on the size of vehicle and model you want. Bigger and more luxurious ones will cost significantly more than their regular counterparts. Economy hatchback and mini moke rentals are very popular in Barbados.

As a general rule of thumb, the smaller the vehicle the lower the rental price.

Sizes are usually graded along the following lines.

Rental Duration

The duration of your lease will also influence the price. Depending on the holiday period, monthly car rental rates can be reduced by up to 20 – 30%.

Promotional Discounts

While most companies will increase their prices during the peak season. However, some car rental companies like Drive Barbados, offer discounts throughout the year, such as free Barbados driving license, ¼ of petrol at NO cost and an international calling card worth US $5.

Pre-paid car rentals

Certain companies may offer discounts for pre-paid auto rental. However, these are non-refundable. If you cancel your trip, find a better deal or change your mind about the vehicle, you will be stuck with the charges.

Rental car taxes: additional features

There are many charges that may affect your costs. The secret to saving money on car rental is to buy the basic package and read extra charges as extra features. Educating yourself on the top extra charges that Barbados vehicle hire companies charge will be in your advantage.

The key to a happy transaction is to figure out what extra expenditure you are likely to come across, and how you can still have a great rental experience without paying for them.

Be aware of the following extra cost:

  • Compulsory Barbados Visitors Driver’s Permit – cost US $5.00 per hirer
  • Additional drivers – $20 – $25 per week per driver
  • Pickup at airport – $5 or as much as $30
  • GPS satellite navigation – $25 – $35 per week
  • Child seat or stroller – $30 – $40 per week for
  • Gasoline charges – average of $25 – $35
  • CDW Insurance Coverage
  • Taxes (VAT etc.) – Government taxes also add to the cost of renting a car in Barbados. Unlike the rental fees, taxes tend not to change very often, however, they do affect the final price.

How to save money on your rental

If you come in prepared, you can still enjoy the convenience of having a rental car, without racking up unexpected fees. Simply following the rules and knowing what the extra charges can be will protect you from them.

  • Hire a car in advance, to enjoy early booking discounts.
  • Keep in mind that long-term is cheaper than 1-day rentals pro rata.
  • If you choose to cancel your rental on the same day of leasing, you will be charged $100.00!
  • Save a few dollars by bringing your own travel accessories and by using the free map which is provided upon arrival. For the extra items in your rental package (such as GPS navigation and baby seats), you’ll need to pay 17.5% on Government VAT charges.
  • Return your car on time or risk late return fees. An additional fee of $15.00 must be paid if the car will be returned before 8.30 AM and after 4:00 PM. In case of a late restitution bear in mind that an hourly fee of $13.00 will be applied!
  • Remember the airport parking cost on return/drop off
  • One way rental can be charged more. Check with the rental car company!
  • Be aware of the unexpected charges in the form of payments for supposed damage, speeding tickets, parking fines, etc. Note and photograph any scratch or damage and make sure it won’t show up on your bill afterward.

man holding a credit card in his hand

It gets hot in Barbados! You’ll most likely want to soak up all of the rays they can, but this could lead to sunburn and heatstroke. If you are visiting from a country with a cooler climate, make sure that your vehicle has working air conditioning. If you opt for a convertible Mini Moke, avoid the temptation of leaving the roof down when the sun is at its hottest.

Car rental insurance in Barbados

Insurance can be a major area of confusion for travelers. Before signing on the dotted line of any vehicle insurance form, you have to examine the affordable options available. To hire and benefit of insurance in Barbados, you need a credit or debit card.

Keep in mind that select credit card companies, such as American Express provide a form of car hire insurance, so make sure you know exactly what it covers before the rental company charges you extra.

Rental Protection and Insurance

Leased cars are widely insured with the rate of hire. However, in case of an accident or damage caused to the vehicle, up to $2,000.00 can be deducted.

To avoid this preposterous fee, one can optionally purchase an additional Excess Waiver, also known as Extra Protection, which can reduce the deductible fee to $125.00.

In case of an accident, the Excess Waiver will be completely discharged and must be reacquired for the rest of the rental.

CDW Insurance and Excess Amounts

CDW is also known as Collision Damage Waiver and represents the amount of money the driver must pay in case of an accident. The CDW allows drivers a measure of insurance that the rental company will not charge over a certain amount in the event of an accident.

The deductible amount for this insurance ranges between $1,000 and $1,750. This is not the same as automobile insurance. Rather, it allows the driver to use the car rental company’s auto insurance as if it were their own transportation.

Security Deposit Fee

Another possible scenario is paying a $600.00 Security Deposit upon hiring, which will be returned to the renter if everything is in order and no damage done to the vehicle.

This supplement does not include damage to the tires, rims or the interior of the car. Although flat tires are fixed for free, those beyond repair will be charged for.

Don’t forget to read your policy and credit card member agreement thoroughly, to know beforehand what you already have covered and what extra additions you need to buy.

Since many local companies fail to state insurance clauses clearly, I highly recommend you ask all your questions regarding the rental terms and conditions before signing on the dotted line.

How to avoid rental insurance pitfalls

Read the small print! That may sound like something you don’t have time to do when hiring a car, but that’s truly important, especially when car rental insurance is concerned.

Why? Because the small print tells you the truth, not just the bits that make everything sound like a good deal.

Remember, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Read the small lines and discover the pitfalls. This way, you will know how to avoid the traps and safely ensure you have the right vehicle rental insurance cover for the right price. Here is a small list of things you should double check while reading the small lines:

  • You may have offers of free insurance from your bank or other financial institutes. More often than not, you will find that you have some form of holiday insurance cover, but it won’t cover you for vehicle hire.
  • It is possible that your credit card company or bank have already offered you CDW insurance, or collision damage waiver insurance that will cover you for this first US$1,750. Double check if you are covered for Barbados.
  • You may have automobile insurance which covers you for driving any vehicle in your own country. However, experience tells us that that kind of insurance will not cover for driving a rental car abroad.
  • You may have taken out a very comprehensive holiday insurance policy to cover everything when traveling in a foreign country. However, holiday insurance, even for injury while in a vehicle, will not cover you for driving a hire car.

How does credit card rental insurance work In Barbados

When you agree to hire a car in Barbados, you are required to provide all your credit card details, so that the Barbados hire car company will be able to receive payment for the renting of the vehicle. However, providing your details allows the hire company to take additional payments in the event you have been involved in an accident.

However, providing your details allows the hire company to take additional payments in the event you have been involved in an accident.

rental cabriolet car parked on a hill next to the sea in Barbados

In that unfortunate event, the car hire company has the right to use your credit card to make good any balance between the amount of insurance cover you have on your car for lease and the actual cost of repairs.

Anyways, the rental company cannot simply decide how much you have to pay and help themselves, it has to be a legally justified amount. In addition, your credit card can be used to make payment in instances where you have not informed the rental company of your actions.

Here are some instances where the car company has the right to take payments using your credit card:

  • Exceeding the agreed mileage allowance
  • Payment for parking fines acquired while the vehicle was in your possession
  • Payment of fines relating to traffic infringements (speeding, etc.)
  • Undisclosed damage to the car – including the interior
  • Damage to tires (not wear and tear but damage caused by hitting a curb, etc.)
  • Late return of vehicle

Driving Rules and Regulations in Barbados

When hiring a car in Barbados, it’s important to know the road rules and regulations, as they will most likely be different to those that you are used to. Visitors are encouraged to purchase a copy of the Highway Code Booklet to familiarize themselves with the rules of driving in Barbados. This can be obtained from any of The Barbados Licensing Authority locations.

Most of the roads are in very good condition but watch out for potholes when you get out into the countryside.

How is driving around Barbados?

Barbados provides you with some of the best and most scenic and serene parts of a Caribbean island. It is not mountainous, so you can go around Barbados in one day in your hire car.

Follow our advice and you’ll drive hassle-free in the city:

  • Drive on the left-hand side of the road.
  • Always give way to the motor vehicles approaching from the right of you, on a roundabout.
  • Wear the seat belts. It’s mandatory for both driver and passengers.
  • Children under 5 years old must be seated in a suitable child seat. Seats for children can be rented when you hire a car from some car rental companies.
  • Don’t use your mobile phone when driving unless it is of the hands-free variety.
  • Use headlamps between 18:30 hrs. – 05:00 hrs from January to April, 19:00 hrs. – 05:00 hrs. From May to August and between 18:00 hrs. – 05:00 hrs. From September to December.
  • If a driver flashes his headlights at you at an intersection this means that you can go ahead.
  • If a driver of a car honks their horn it is usually to say “hi” or a polite form of “thank you” for giving way.

Speed limit regulations

Speed limits vary on different roadways, so make sure you check that you are following the correct speed limit.

What is the speed limit in Barbados?

Speed limits are signed in kilometers per hour and never in miles per hour. The usual speed limits for motor vehicles are:

  • 80 km/hr. on main highways
  • 40 km/hr. in City/Bridgetown
  • 60 km/hr. in rural areas

Safety camera warning devices have limited usage as there are no fixed speed cameras and you’ll rarely discover any mobile speed traps.

Drink driving laws in Barbados

This will most likely surprise you, but there is no legal alcohol limit for driving. However, it is highly advisable that you do not drink and drive.

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is strictly discouraged by our experience as a car hire company. Just as you wouldn’t drink and drive in your home country, Barbados should be no exception.

Parking in Barbados

There are plenty designated parking areas (look for the “P” parking sign) that are well lit and maintained, so would be the safest place to park your vehicle.

Make sure you don’t park your car in a “No Parking” zone, as you will be fined. There are many parking locations such as outdoor parking lots and indoor parking garages in Bridgetown, where a minimal fee will be charged.

On-street parking is not recommended as the parking spots are usually very small and the parking laws are enforced.

If you consider airport parking, you should note that rental companies based at GAIA Airport are, on average, 30% more expensive than local firms due to the high costs of operating out of the airport.

Airport parking fee

The minimum stay fee is $0.50 for half an hour, and $0.50 per half hour thereafter. However, here is a capped limit of $6.00 per day.

The airport parking facilities have 24-hour security which greatly eliminates the risk of theft and/or damage to your vehicle, whether is a rental car or your own personal transportation.

Parking options

King George Memorial Park

– A 10 minutes’drive from the airport, is a refreshing alternative. There is free parking for visitors, so if you’re quite early for your departure it’s a beautiful spot to relax before your flight.

– Location: Jezreel, Work Hall,

– Positioned in St. Philip Parish, 1.9 miles north of Diamond Valley

Fines in Barbados

Driving rules are kinda lax in Barbados. Unless you are doing something extremely dangerous, it’s unlikely to be stopped. On the rare occasion when that happens though, a ticket will be issued and you need to pay it at the nearest police station.

Fuel options & costs

There are three possibilities when it comes to the fuel options of rental cars in Barbados.

  • You can purchase a full tank at the time of delivery and return it empty
  • If you don’t deliver the automobile with a full tank, you’ll have to pay for its complete refill, along with a $12.50 fee administration charge
  • You can pay a fixed price of $30.00 upon delivery for a quarter tank of gas and return the rental empty

The price of 95 octane unleaded petrol is $1.48. You’ll find many petrol stations, especially as the island is only 21 miles long.

The option you choose is up to you and the rental company’s policy, so make sure to talk it through with them!

Is it safe to rent a car in Barbados?

One of the best things about planning your vacation in Barbados is the safe scenic place with sightseeing opportunities for both young and old visitors, with friendly locals and clean ocean breeze that’s is always near. Follow our tips and tricks and make sure you stay safe while visiting.

The most pressing danger is night driving. Many roads do not have pavements, so pedestrians usually walk on the side of the road where they’re difficult to see. Roads are generally quite narrow and buses and vans go much closer and faster than you might expect.

rental cars parked next to the Barbados airport

Because of the potential for car theft, you should never leave valuables in an unattended vehicle and always park in well-lit areas. You are advised to never pick up hitchhikers.

Avoid driving your vehicle during the peak rush hours, from 6:30 to 8:30 am and from 4:30 to 5:30 pm during weekdays.

What should you do in case of an accident in Barbados

If you have an accident while driving, stay safe by calling the rental car company right away and do not accept responsibility for the accident, even if you are clearly at fault.

These are the telephone numbers you should keep close while traveling in Barbados:

  • Police – 211
  • Ambulance – 511
  • Fire Service – 311

Some people leave everything until the last minute. Some do it because they are forgetful, some do it because they think they will get a better deal by just turning up on the day.

Whatever might be your reasons, this is an easy way to start your vacation badly. Make sure you book in advance, follow our advice and have fun and safe trip while you get to know the beautiful Barbados!

The vibrant Caribbean island of Barbados is a secret gem for those lucky enough to have visited it. It is a 166 square mile island known for the Mount Gay Rum. Mount Gay is one of the world’s oldest and most admired fine rum brands first produced in 1703.

Barbados island is also the birthplace of Grammy Award winner Rihanna and its natural white sandy beaches and emerald-blue waves.

How great would it be to enjoy its laid-back local lifestyle and explore the island in a compact SUV like a Jimny soft top.

Rihanna Oprah Winfrey sitting in Suzuki Jimny soft top car Barbados

Back in August 2012, Rihanna and Oprah Winfrey was driving around the island (Barbados) in a rented blue open top Jimny. She showed the TV host where she grew up in Westbury New Road, St. Michael.

Are you ready for a superstar experience? Because you can drive around the island in the same vehicle that Rihanna loves: a Jimny soft top.

Have you seen Rihanna driving a convertible Jimny around a beautiful island singing ‘Shut Up and Drive?’

“Baby, you got the keys and shut up and drive!” – Line from Rihanna’s song ‘Shut Up and Drive‘ that debuted in 2007.

Did you know that the Barbadian Princess was born in Barbados? Yes, Riri was born Robyn Fenty in 1998. When she was just 16 years old, her debut record Pun De Replay became a global hit and that is how she rose to fame.

Where is Rihanna Drive?

Rihanna at Rihanna Drive Barbados

In honor of the Grammy Award winner, Westbury Road St. Michael was renamed “Rihanna Drive“. The Caribbean Queen attended the village renaming ceremony in November 2017.

One Sandy Lane Rihanna Villa Barbados

Rihanna Drive is in St. Michael, a short distance from the Westbury Cemetery. You will not miss the huge sign with a picture of the beautiful @Rihanna.
The GPS coordinates of Rihanna Drive are: 13.108651, -59.622192

Rihanna is the ‘ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary ‘ of Barbados. Hon. Mia Mottley, the Prime Minister of Barbados, officially conferred her the title.

She is the Caribbean Queen, not just because it’s her home, but because of how much love she has for Barbados.

When does Rihanna come to Barbados

showgirl with colorful costume at a festival in Barbados

Riri comes to Barbados often. You cannot miss her alluring presence during these times:

  • She often joins her family and close friends to celebrate Christmas over the holidays.
  • Family and close friends’ funerals, celebrations like birthdays, weddings, or graduations.
  • As far as cultural events go, Riri, the Bajan bad gal, is a big sensation. She often attends Kadooment festival on the first Monday of August. This is a national cultural event celebrated at the end of the crop over.

Favourite Hotel to stay in Barbados

childhood home of famous singer Rihanna in Barbados

Want to sleep on the same bed that Ri has? Yes you can. Simply book her room at the Sandy Lane Hotel and Resorts in One Sandy Lane, Barbados. The hotel is situated on a beautiful beach with a great view on a beach with fascinating restaurants.

Rihanna’s favorite places to eat in Barbados

If you are wondering what Riri eats when she’s around, her favorite dish is curry chicken. When she visits, she likes to indulge in local sea food such as fish stew, fish cakes, and salt fish.

She has also revealed her two favorite restaurants to eat in the island:

  • Daphne’s Restaurant: Riri sees Daphne’s restaurant as a great place with an amazing sea view. She thinks it to be a great place for hopeless romantics.
  • Waterfront Café in Bridgetown: The cafe overlooks the historic Parliament Building. It also offers a great view of the Careenage. This is a very relaxed place offering live music performance.
  • Oistins street food: Riri recommends that you try the street food offered daily Oistins. This is a coastal town in the Christ Church parish.

    You will find food stalls everywhere offering a variety of local delicacies. The most popular are fried fish and BBQ on the grill.

    You will just need to select a fish and you will have it prepared as you wait. The selections include tuna, lobster, barracuda, mahi mahi, and swordfish, just to name a few.

Shopping in Barbados

Bridgetown is where Riri shops. Here you will find all kinds of handmade jewelry and trinkets sold by many independent shops.

Reb’l Fleur fragrance is on sale duty free at Cave Shepherd Broad Street in Bridgetown. Reb’l Fleur fragrance is a local pop sensation perfume line.

Things you may not know about Rihanna

  • She was a cadet at the Combermere School in Barbados.
  • While she was a cadet at Combermere, she was under the direction of Shontelle, who is also Grammy nominee.
  • She enjoys eating crunchy Cheetos while on tour.
  • When she is in Barbados, she likes to go to the beach and ride on jet skis and yachts.
  • Riri is a philanthropist who donates millions of dollars in support of her community.

    She donated cutting-edge equipment to state-run Queen Elizabeth Foundation through Clara Lionel Foundation. This is in memory of her grandmother Clara Gran Gran Dolly Braithwaite. Riri has also donated over $120,000 to learning institutions across the island.

Why a soft-top Jimny?

A Jimny may not be the most comfortable or the fastest car you can hire. Perhaps not even the most beautiful vehicle. Fortunately, in Barbados, it remains a true classic.

An open top jeep is the perfect vehicle for anyone looking to have a good time with the wind in their hair.

Nature enthusiasts, honeymooners, surfers, and couples on a date, all have a style in common.

Pop sensation Rihanna showed how much fun it can be to travel around the 17 by 14 mile island on a convertible Jimny in class.

Whatever plans you have for vacation this year, just be sure that you get the greatest bangs for your bucks. Book your ticket today, come and hire a soft-top Jimny to experience Barbados, Rihanna Style.

Find Out More About Our Car Rental Rates

Barbados provides you with some of the best and most scenic and serene parts of a Caribbean island. It is not mountainous, so you can go around Barbados in one day in your hire car.

Starting from the airport in the southern coast of the island. You can go either through the east. Through scenic rugged St. Phillip, St. John along the train line. St. Joseph where Bathsheba provides wind surfing.

view of a Morgan Lewis Beach in Barbados

Up to St. Andrew through the east coast road and through St. Lucy. Where you can surf or you can go to your left and through western Bridgetown, St. Michael. St. James, the platinum coast. St. Peter where the old quake town of Speightstown greets you. As it is use to have a whale fishing industry. Also Speightstown sail boats going to Bridgetown and use to send people onto the Carolina and you end up at St. Lucy.

You come back down through the middle parishes, St. Thomas and St. George, Gun Hill Signal Station. St. Thomas with beautiful cave that goes back 4000 years, the Harrison Cave, and back down through Botanical Garden. Rolls and rolls of sugar cane fields.

Down to urban and suburban Bridgetown, the harbor and its industrializing area and you are back at base. All in about 4 to 6 hours through your Drive Barbados rented a car.
Hire a Car & Explore Sunny Barbados

With your rental car let’s enter the Garrison Savannah and let us relive all of Britain’s wars. Now Barbados, herself was not captured or even attacked. Barbados was never attack by any of Britain enemies. But Barbados was a place where Britain let off her expeditions to capture and protect the rest of the Caribbean. Jamaica was captured from Barbados and South Carolina were settled from Barbados. St. Lucia, Dominica, Martinique, Guadeloupe and even Cuba were captured or attack from Barbados by the British.

shows view of the main tower Garrison Savannah Barbados

St. Ann’s Garrison

So what do you have here which reminds you of that? Here, you have intact the most efficient Garrison, St Ann’s Garrison. The longest establish in the British Caribbean. The one which would never attack by any enemy. It is a world heritage site. Welcome to Barbados’s Bridgetown Garrison area. St Ann’s Fort at the Garrison provides you with excellent examples of the Britain’s forts fortification in this region. The fort itself is intact.

st Anns fort historic Garrison Savannah Barbados

A Savannah

There is a Savannah, narrow race track which was a parade ground. There is a Museum to George Washington. Yes, the American pioneer George Washington came here as a 19 year old boy. Taking a tour of the Hilton Hotel which was a fort in itself, along with the military cemetery.
entrance to George Washington house museum

Our main museum, our first museum use to be a military prison and right around the Savannah there are all buildings in traditional and beautiful red bricks. All reflective of that British tradition of order and majesty and strength. You will also see other areas, such as the engineer pier, the old theatre for their soldiers and other instances of military hardware and military landmarks around the Savannah. One whole area of five square miles was dedicated to this military Garrison and the remnance are still there as you drive around your rental car Barbados.

soldiers brick barracks block A Garrison Barbados

soldiers brick barracks block B Garrison Barbados

Where ever you go in this small five square miles. That was the Garrison Savannah you will find yourself enraptured. Their guns going back in time of Oliver Cromwell. There is information about Barbados connection with America in the very many wars and also England.

We encourage you to take a trip to our UNESCO Historic Garrison area in one of our hire cars in Barbados, choose from a range of vehicles, so that you may at your own leisure explore the past of all of Britain’s wars.
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Barbados provides you with some of the best and most scenic and serene parts of a Caribbean island. It is not mountainous, so you can go around Barbados in one to three days in your hire car. So you’re going on a holiday to Barbados? Congratulations! It’s a beautiful country with a lot to see, and often the best way to explore this Caribbean paradise is by car. In this article, we will show you where to drive in Barbados to make sure you don’t miss a thing in your 5 days, one week or more vacation, and we will provide you with more information about Barbados for tourists.

Why Visit Barbados?

tourist map and driving distances Barbados
Barbados is an excellent place for lovers of scenery to visit. Just take a look at all these live cams all around the island. There are excellent beaches and bays to explore, high cliffs to just sit back and unwind, acres upon acres of golden sands and lush green tropical plantations await you in Barbados. Renting a car increases your flexibility, so you’ll have no time constraints, other than the ones you make on yourself.
Tranquil white sand beach in Barbados

The Best Activities in Barbados

Barbados offers a lot of things you can do as a tourist, from visiting historic buildings to surfing and snorkeling, tasting tours and many more. Whether you are on a tight budget, or got plenty of resources to spend, Barbados is ideal location to visit for that hard earned holiday.

Unique Things to Do in Barbados

As a unique Island, Barbados has unique things to offer to its tourists. If you are in for trying new things, here are some exclusive things you should definitely try when visiting theBarbados island.

Try the local food and drinks. Besides the rum tasting, Barbados is notorious for Mauby, the traditional drink in Barbados – it is made from the bark of the Mauby tree, cinnamon, orange peel, nutmeg, and cloves. The local food is called Conkies, the delicious corn cakes wrapped in corn leaves.
street next to the Bridgetown port
Also, you can’t miss the beaches and the waters, as they are a paradise you rarely get the chance to see. On your list, you must have the Harrison’s Cave, as it is a treasure that recently got the tourists’ attention.

Free Things to Do in Barbados

Here is a list with free tours or cheap activities in Barbados. If you are on a budget and you don’t want to spend much, here are the best thing you can do on the cheap:

  • Go to the beach – the best thing you can see in Barbados are its luxurious beaches. All Barbadian beaches are open to the public and you can choose from a variety on all coasts of the island. Take a sunbath, swim or engage in water sports. You decide!
  • Take a walk on the Boardwalk – you will find two interesting boardwalks, one on the south and one on the west coast. Especially at sunset and sunrise, there are equally tourists and locals who enjoy a promenade or the local food and drink at the restaurants and bars nearby.
  • Organize a picnic – Barbados provides various picnic spots you can enjoy during an afternoon. Pack some snacks and spend some time enjoying the breeze.
  • Make a tour of the local market – get to know the locals and their traditions better by going to their local market. You will be amazed by all the mesmerizing arts and crafts and you will see how friendly the locals are.
  • Go for a free guided hike – every Sunday at 6:00 AM, 3:30 PM and 5:30 PM, the Barbados National Trust organizes free guided hikes. All you need is a pair of shoes and you are good to go! Note that they also accept donations, in case you want to thank them for their effort and information.
  • Visit Bridgetown – take a walk and visit one of the UNESCO World Heritage capitals. Discover its history and heritage for free!
  • Engage into Crop Over Festival – you can enjoy the biggest carnival in Barbados without paying a dollar. Watch the parades from the sidelines, enjoy the cheerful bands with their flamboyant costumes and dance on the rhythm.
  • Enjoy the local art – Pelican Village Craft Center is the place to be if you want to dig deeper into what the local artists have to offer. Take some time to admire the art, craft and souvenirs, all for free.

view from the beach to the small town in Barbados and a couple walking on the beach

Adventurous Things to Do in Barbados

Here you will find all the Barbados adventures if you are in for a cool & fun experience:

  • Jetblade
  • Adventureland Barbados
  • Barry’s Surf Barbados
  • Dread or Dead Surf
  • Thrilled Ocean Tours
  • Harrison’s Cave

Barbados Activities for Families

Barbados is a place for everybody and families are not forgotten. There are so many things to do with your kids here! From exploring the culture to discovering the sea turtles, kids will be fascinated. Here are some activities that will give them the best time of their life:

  • A day tour with the submarine
  • Snorkeling and sailing
  • A jeep safari
  • Visit the monkeys
  • Sail like a pirate
  • Visit the Children’s Gallery at the Barbados Museum

yellow wooden watch house on Barbados beach

Non-Touristy Things to Do in Barbados

Whenever you want to dig deeper into the Bajan culture, you can always come as a tourist and live like a local. Here are the best non-touristy things to do in Barbados:

  • Spend a day at the horse races
  • Have a drink at a small bar
  • Go to Bottom Bay Beach, most likely you will find it empty

Best Things to Do in Barbados at Night

Nightlife in Barbados is as vivid as you can imagine. The most common things to do in Barbados at night are to party in a nightclub or to party on a cruise. If you arrive at a carnival, there are many parties you can attend.

Barbados is the place where parties never stop, and the best places where you can drink and dine while listening to great live music are in St Lawrence Gap, Mullins Beach Bar, Harbour Lights, and First Avenue Holetown. But you can find a place to spend a joyful night wherever on the island.

cocktail and view on sunset from the restaurant

Must see places in Barbados

With all the activities, take time to admire what Barbados has to offer in terms of landscapes. Here, you will find the best gardens, beaches, and plantations.

Spectacular Gardens in Barbados

These are the recommended gardens you should visit while you are in Barbados. Here, you get the chance to see fauna and flora that only exist on the island, and you will surely feel the British obsession with nice things:

  • Andromeda Botanic Garden
  • Sugarland Gardens
  • Orchid World & Tropical Flower Garden
  • Flower Forest

Morgan Lewis windmill Barbados

Must See Beaches in Barbados

If you have time, you should visit all the beaches on the island, on both coastlines. But if you don’t have that much time, go to at least these top 10 beaches in Barbados:

  1. Carlisle Bay, Bridgetown
  2. Browne’s Beach, Bridgetown
  3. Pebbles Beach, Bridgetown
  4. Bottom Bay, Saint Philip Parish
  5. Soup Bowl, Bathsheba
  6. Bathsheba Beach, Bathsheba
  7. Enterprise (Miami) Beach, Oistins
  8. Heywoods Beach, Speightstown
  9. Hastings Beach, Hastings
  10. Rockley Beach, Hastings

sunbeds on Barbados beach

Luxurious Plantations in Barbados

While you’re in Barbados, take time and tour at least one plantation on the island. You will surely feel like you turned back in time for a moment:

  • Sunbury Plantation House
  • Balls Plantation
  • Golden Ridge Plantation House
  • Holders House
  • Consett Plantation
  • Lamberts Plantation

Places Where You Should Make a Stop in Barbados

Scenic driving is a great way to explore the island at your own pace, enjoying interestingly surprising places all around. If you’re ready to be amazed, let’s start!

Ragged Point Lighthouse

This is the last functioning major lighthouse in Barbados. This is where the cliff overlooking offers the best point of view to St Philip shore, Treachery Point, Belle Hole, and Cummins Hole. Here you’ll see people diving into the water that is 200 feet deep. Come and see them navigate around that area because from Ragged Point you can also see Culpepper Island (the only little islet in Barbados). All of this in a fabulous, a fascinating drive through rolling countryside to the utmost east end of the island.
map of Barbados island

Sunbury Plantation House

Built in the 1660’s, this attraction used to be a plantation house. Inside the house, you can still find the magic of the 17th to 19th centuries and you can see the way the plantation owners used to love. Find exposed numerous antiques, from cars and clothes to glasses and toys. Do not worry, you will have a tour guide to explain to you everything you want to know.
Sunbury plantation house Barbados

Hunte’s Garden

If you enjoy nature, this garden is the perfect place to be. The mini gardens are full of rare plants and very appealing flowers and as you walk through them, be ready for surprises as statues, birds and other animals that enjoy the flora as much as the people do.

This place is recommended for everybody, no matter if you travel alone or with friends and family.
closer view of the Huntes gardens in Barbados

Mount Gay Rum Visitor Center

Be ready to find the secrets of the world’s oldest rum. Here, you can choose to take a tour and you have three options: the Rum Tour, the Cocktail Tour, and Bajan Buffet Lunch. No matter what tour you choose, you still get the chance to see the methods of distillation, aging, and blending that are used for over 300 years. In Barbados, you will find the world’s oldest rum (Mount Gay Rum).

Barbados Museum

A place filled with information about everything you want to know is Barbados Museum. Here, you will trace the Barbadian heritage and culture, along with its interesting history.

Previously a military prison, this place will make you take time and enjoy all the paintings, maps, and other displayed antiques. A place for any passionate historian, Barbados Museum has a natural history section, a children’s gallery, and even a research library, along with a gift shop and a coffee shop.
gallery of Caribbean art Barbados

Events You Can Attend in Barbados

  • Oistin’s Fish Festival along with the usual Friday night Oistin’s experience, there will be plenty of tourists around but also plenty of locals.
  • Crop Over is the most colorful festival in Barbados.
  • Rally Barbados – he Barbados Rally Club premier event has grown into the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor event.
  • The Sandy Lane Gold Cup Festival – the Most Prestigious Horse Race in the Caribbean has held annually between February – March.
  • Agrofest – experience the best of Barbadian Culture, Cuisine, and Craft at our annual agricultural festival.
  • Barbados Reggae Festival – three concerts and one cruise showcasing some of the best reggae artists of the past and present.
  • Harrison’s Cave, there is also the option to go spelunking, no tram just climbing. Remember to call and find out the time for the next tram so you aren’t stuck waiting.

Museums in Barbados

Barbados is known as the tropical paradise and a great destination for your next holiday. But those who love culture and history won’t be disappointed because our island has interesting Ancestry and history as well.
Go to our museums, the Barbados Museum and Historical Society at the Garrison and 400 meters away from that the George Washington Museum. Or you can go into the Bridgetown Mosque, Hindu Temple, meet the elders and learn about the many ethnic communities which had come to Barbados and now call it home.
view of the main tower Garrison Savannah Barbados
Our island has a colorful and interesting mixture of great cultures such as Europeans, Syrians, Lebanese, Jews, Chinese, ethnic Muslims, ethnic Hindus, Africans from West Africa, Latin America, North America, South Asia ancestry, it also has people from Eastern Europe, from Spain, Italy, Greece, and North Africa.

Barbados island has something for everyone, and history lovers won’t be disappointed with what our island has to offer.
view of port in Bridgetown Barbados

Memories of Britain’s Wars at Garrison Savannah

With your rental car let’s enter the Garrison Savannah and let us relive all of Britain’s wars. Barbados itself was not captured or even attacked. Barbados was never attacked by any of Britain enemies. But Barbados was a place where Britain let off its expeditions to capture and protect the rest of the Caribbean. Jamaica was captured from Barbados and South Carolina was settled from Barbados. St. Lucia, Dominica, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and even Cuba were captured or attacked from Barbados by the British.

St. Ann’s Garrison

Here, you have intact the most efficient Garrison, St. Ann’s Garrison – the longest establishment in the British Caribbean, the one which would never be attacked by an enemy. It is a world heritage site, providing you with excellent examples of Britain’s forts in this region. The fort itself is intact.

The Savannah

There is a Savannah, a narrow race track which was a parade ground. You can visit Museum to George Washington – the American pioneer came here as a 19-year-old boy. Take a tour of the Hilton Hotel which was a fort itself, along with the military cemetery.
cannon in Garrison Savannah historic area

The Island for Everybody

No matter what you enjoy the most when holidaying, Barbados offers something for everyone. Along with the spectacular views and the numerous bays, here you can find pure history, geography, parties, and quiet places to unwind. All the many different experiences you can have in Barbados make it the perfect place to visit.

Got any questions? Contact us as we are here to assist. Want to hire a car and plan your trip just as you like? Contact us.
Photos: Drive Barbados personal gallery, Pixabay.com, Flickr.com

When Visiting Barbados, there are so many things to see along the island, that is why a plan will come in handy to any tourist. Especially if you arrange to hire a car to explore the island. There are itineraries you can use for a three-day, five-day vacation, in order to cover as much as Barbados has to offer.

We’ve put together information (from a locals point of view) which we believe will come handy for everyone visiting Barbados for the first time. Below you can read about the driving itinerary, distances and times, and learn about the top places to visit on the route.

Island Itinerary and Driving Distances

driving route Barbados island

Bridgetown to Batts Rock Bay – 7 km (15 mins)

Bridgetown to Batts Rock takes you along the suburban part of the spring Garden highway. The flour mill, Bridgetown Harbor on one side, reminds you that there was the harbormaster. Here is where the Speightstown Schooner ran through lower parts of St Michael.
street next to the Bridgetown port

Batts Rock Bay to Speightstown – 14 km (25 mins)

Be ready to be amazed by Speightstown, as it has a fascinating combination of old and new buildings. Its architecture brings back the colonial atmosphere. Apart from the history, here you find various restaurants and vendors on the sidewalk.

Speightstown to Archers Bay – 10 km (18 mins)

This is from one town to another. Speightstown to Archers bay takes you through the main area of St. Peter, Arawak Cement Plant along Port St Charles, Port Ferdinand on either side of the road, Six Men’s bay, Half Moon fort, Archers Bay. Stunning blue Atlantic on the side of the road, it is no doubt a very peaceful area, and the cliff tops offer you some excellent walking tracks with spectacular ocean views which you can immerse your being in awe.
rental cabriolet car parked on a hill next to the sea in Barbados

Archers Bay to River Bay – 7 km (15 mins)

River Bay is a good stop for a picnic. From the River Bay, you will have a spectacular view on the northern coastline with waves and cliffs. If you are lucky enough, you can even see whales enjoying the water, as a river runs into the sea. As you’re in the area, you can visit the Animal Flower Cave and take pictures at The Spout.

River Bay to Cove Bay – 10 km (18 mins)

A place hard to reach – as one must drive through cows, sheep, and goats – but the result is very satisfying: a silent place, full of coconut trees and the wind always whispering tunes of relaxation. And if you drive bit further, take a moment to admire and bathe in the natural pools at Little Bay.
Tranquil white sand beach in Barbados

Cove Bay to Morgan Lewis Beach – 5 km (13 mins)

A large beach with white sand, Morgan Lewis is perfect for collecting memories: tropical seashells and driftwood. We recommend you stop by the Morgan Lewis Mill and Cherry Tree Hill.

Morgan Lewis Beach to Cattlewash – 10 km (16 mins)

A perfect spot to enjoy the Atlantic Ocean’s breeze, Cattlewash beach is ideal for a long walk. If you have enough time, you can walk to Morgan Lewis Beach or Bathsheba. If not, at least you can stop for a local island lunch in this area.
a closer look at the vegetation and sea in Barbados beach

Cattlewash to Bathsheba – 2 km (5 mins)

If you believe in miracles, Bathsheba will be your favorite place in Barbados, as it is thought the white waters of this beach are rich in minerals and have the same effect as the milk. Bathsheba – King David’s wife – bathed in for her skin care.

Behind the white sand and rock formations, you will find a small village of fishermen.
surfer rides huge wave Bathsheba Barbados

Bathsheba to Martins Bay – 6 km (15 mins)

Besides the tranquil environment and the spectacular view of the rocks, Martins Bay is an ideal spot for eating local cuisine on the picnic tables facing the bay.

The local fishermen are the best at fishing lobster, as the rocks are an ideal environment for that. Here is the place to make sure you eat fresh lobster.
Martins Bay beach Barbados

Martins Bay to Conset Bay – 8 km (16 mins)

The main activity you can enjoy in Conset Bay as a visitor is to admire the fishermen doing their work in the sheltered bay. It is also a safe place to swim, but don’t go too far or swim alone for safety reasons.

Conset Bay to Bottom Bay – 9 km (20 mins)

This semi-closed bay offers a spectacular view thanks to the high coral cliffs. From here, you can see almost the entire south shore while the palm trees make the perfect shadow for you.

Recently, Bottom Bay started to become popular for Barbadians, many of them started building houses along the cliffs.
turtle in Barbados sea

Bottom Bay to Harrismith – 2 km (5 mins)

Although not as popular as Bottom Bay, Harrismith actually hides a true natural wonder. Here, you will find an unsound lagoon insulated by the reef. You can take a bath there, and then go visit the ruins of an old plantation house. It is safe to inspect it from the outside.

Harrismith to Crane Beach – 5 km (10 mins)

Formerly a harbour, Crane beach is considered one of the best beaches Barbados can offer and it is, in fact on the list of top ten beaches in the world. This beach is the perfect place for boogie boarding if you are into that sport or you just want to try it.
rocks in Barbados beach

Crane Beach to Oistins – 15 km (25 mins)

Another place to admire the local fishing boats and the sunset is Oistins. Right next to Oistins is Miami beach, an important place for history. There is the place where Royalists and Roundheads fought in 1639.

Oistins to St. Lawrence Gap – 5 km (10 mins)

Finish your sightseeing, driving and road trip by visiting St. Lawrence Gap Barbados, a memorable place for its delicious meal serving restaurants and also its nightlife. If you have enough time, you can go shopping in “The Gap” as it is usually known. This place will delight you with a mixture of cultures blended together creating unique experience for visitors. This is definitely a place you should not miss out on your trip to Barbados.
people sunbathing on Barbados beach

Use a Handy GPS

Check if your car rental company offers or includes GPS units in their rental vehicles. Barbados has an excellent Navigation system in place that will be very useful especially if it’s your first visit to the island. Using it, you can easily find most of the attractions on the island. Island Maps are also available from car rental companies, hotels, and many locations across the island of Barbados. Having said that, we are sure to advise you of hidden gems depending on your taste within a holiday.
a closer look at the old timer for rent in Barbados

The Finish Line

Barbados has something to offer for everybody and all interests, whether you want to visit us for our history, crystal clear beaches, nature, nightlife, or breathtaking sunsets.

Drive Barbados local car hire company is here to assist, got any questions? Simply ask us. If you haven’t booked your rental car as of yet, then, check our range of vehicles to rent. You’ll love exploring Barbados in modern well maintained cars we have that is suitable for all budgets, whether its just for you, your family and friends or groups. We’re looking forward to your arrival, till then.

Barbados island is known as tropical paradise and great destination for your next holiday. But those who love culture and history won’t be disappointed because our island has interesting Ancestry and history as well. Briefly: Barbados was inhabited by Arawaks and Caribs at the time of European colonization of the Americas in the 16th century. The island was an English and later British colony from 1625 until 1966. Since 1966, it has been a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy.

two pieces of cannon next to the Barbados Museum

How Do You Step Back in Time in Barbados?

Simple. Go to our museums, the Barbados Museum and Historical Society at the Garrison and 400 meters away from that the George Washington Museum. Or you can go into the Bridgetown Mosque, Hindu Temple, meet the elders and learn about the many ethnic communities which had come to Barbados and now call it home.

Our island has a colorful and interesting mixture of great cultures such as Europeans, Syrians, Lebanese, Jews, Chinese, ethnic Muslims, ethnic Hindus, Africans from West Africa, Latin America, North America, South Asia ancestry, it also has people from Eastern Europe, from Spain, Italy, Greece and North Africa.

How Best to Dive Deeper in History?

By checking out the best preserved archives in the Caribbean with entries dating back to 1640. You may go to our Museum and learn through images, photographs and maps about the people who came to Barbados. Or you can visit some of our old urban communities such as King Street in the heart of Bridgetown as local merchants who came around 1910 and 1931 would love to talk about their journeys.

You can also learn more about history of Barbados from going to the plantations which were established in the 1640’s or better yet, you can go to our geriatric hospitals and home of the care of the older people and listen to some of our hundred. Yes, a hundred centenarians individuals who reached 100+ years. You can hear them talk about how they came into this world through plantation whites and West Africa blacks, or you may visit North East Barbados to the red legs.

The remnant of persons that came from the West Country of England and from Scotland, Ireland and Wales and who have formed their own community of red legs from whom the great singer Rihanna is descended.

Barbados island has something for everyone, and history lovers won’t be disappointed with what our island has to offer.

The best way to experience Barbados is throughdriving around our island, and our family operated car rental company can assist you with all your vehicle rental requirements so that you may easily go from museums to urban living spaces or to red leg villages.

As you travel around and you want further information on these and other topics about Barbados. We are here to answer all your questions, you can also contact historians:

  • Morris Greenidge at 4246830
  • Trevor Marshall at 4279494

Both of these are historians who will tell it like it is.

Contact Us for More Information

From direct taxes and fees, through base rates, to optional extra charges, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide of everything you need to know about rental car costs in Barbados! The main purpose of the article is to uncover most of the secrets contained by the prices of a leased automobile, making sure you’ll never have to pay any more surprise-taxes upon returning your hired vehicle in Barbados!
car rental receipt with various charges for car hire
Check out a detailed list about the price’s for one-day auto rental at the GAIA International Airport, based on a major vehicle leasing company in Barbados:
Base Rate for an economy hatchback car:

(Rates are in US dollar currency)

1 Day Rental $80.00

$10.00 (CDW coverage)

$ 5.00 (Airport facility fee)

$ 5.00 (Drivers permit)

$30.00 (Fuel charges)

$20.00 (VAT rates & additional charges)

Optional extras:

$5.00 (Baby seat)

$5.00 (GPS Navigation)

$3.00 per day (Additional driver)

Total Base prices and VAT charges: $150.00

Rental Option extras: $13.00

Total Estimate: $163.00

This price breakdown seems a bit scary, doesn’t it? But let’s learn a couple of basic notions to help you understand these rates better!

The Base Price Myth and Mandatory Taxes

Renting companies always list the basic rate in their price breakdown, but not many are aware that it’s a price you don’t actually pay in the end. The base amount doesn’t contain any hiring options, fees or taxes and appears with the sole purpose of showcasing how much the company actually takes. The base rate is followed by taxes and additional charges, which are subsequently included to the invoice. These are the fees which cannot be avoided and which you are obliged to pay. Note that the airport surcharge in Barbados is $5.00. If you choose to have extra features, such as a GPS unit or a baby car seat, you also need to add a 17.5% fee for the Government VAT tax.

Rental Protection and Insurance When Leasing

Leased cars are widely insured with the rate of hire. However, in case of an accident or damage caused to the vehicle, up to $2,000.00 can be deducted. To avoid this preposterous fee, one can optionally purchase an additional Excess Waiver, also known as Extra Protection, which can reduce the deductible fee to $125.00. In case of an accident, the Excess Waiver will be completely discharged and must be reacquired for the rest of the rental.

Another possible scenario is paying a $600.00 Security Deposit upon hiring, which is returned to the renter if everything is in order and no damage done to the vehicle.

You must be aware of the fact that this supplement does not include damage to the tires, rims or the interior of the car! Although flat tires are fixed for free, those beyond repair will be charged for.

Don’t forget to read your policy and credit card member agreement thoroughly, to know beforehand what exactly you already have covered and what extra additions you need to purchase on site!

Since many local companies fail to state insurance clauses clearly, I highly recommend you ask all your questions regarding the rental terms and conditions before signing on the dotted line!

Fuel Options

There are three possibilities when it comes to the fuel options of rental cars in Barbados.

  • Customers may purchase a full tank of petrol at the time of delivery and can be returned empty
  • Vehicles are generally returned with a full tank of gas, accompanied by the receipt which testifies that the vehicle was filled up with fuel. Those who don’t deliver the automobile with a full tank must pay for its complete refill, along with a $12.50 fee for the administration charge.
  • Another option is to pay a fixed price of $30.00 upon delivery for a quarter tank of gas and return empty.

The option you choose is up to you and the rental company’s policy, so make sure to talk it through with them!

Driving Permits in Barbados

Upon arrival to Barbados you must purchase a visitors driving permit, which costs $5.00 and is valid for up to two months. If you want, you can enlist an extra driver for a small fee of just $3.00 per day. But before you pay up, know that the leaser’s spouse is exempt from additional charges and can drive the hire car for free.

Additional Charges and Late Returns

If your leasing package includes a few extra items (such as GPS navigation and baby seats), you’ll need to pay 17.5% on Government VAT charges. Save a few dollars by bringing your own travel accessories and by using the free map which is provided upon arrival to avoid paying more than double the daily rate of your rental car!

The delivery of the hired vehicle is free of charge during the operational hours of the leasing firm. An additional fee of $15.00 must be paid if the car will be returned before 8.30 AM and after 4:00 PM. In case of a late restitution bear in mind that an hourly fee of $13.00 will be applied!

Besides these, there are numerous other charges that may affect your costs. You can definitely save a few bucks by picking a vehicle which coincides with your budget and hiring a car in advance, to enjoy early booking discounts.

Other Charges Which May Affect Your Car Rental Rates Include:

  • Type of car you choose – Consider a different car category and choose the right vehicle for your budget, or upgrade to a more luxurious car if your budget can stretch that far.
  • Duration of rental (long-term is cheaper than 1-day rentals pro rata). Check out weekend and weekly rates.
  • Cancellation fee – Keep in mind that if you choose to cancel your rental on the same day of leasing, you will be charged $100.00!
  • DON’T wait until the last minute to book as you won’t get the best deal available.
  • Surprises – Unexpected charges when you get home can come in the form of payments for supposed damage, speeding tickets, parking fines, etc.

Other Charges That May Apply, But Indirectly

  • Know the country’s road rules and speed limits to avoid driving fines
  • Return your car on time or risk late return fees
  • Remember the airport parking cost on return / drop off
  • One way rental is where you rent a vehicle from one location and return it in another. One way car hire is a convenient way of planning your trip, but check with the car rental company if they charge extra for this service.
  • Plan your route before driving off for the day, etc. to save on fuel cost and time. There’s nothing worse than getting lost, wasting a half a day and half a container of gas trying to find out where you are!

Have the Best Vehicle Rental Experience!

In order to have a stress-free car hire procedure, make sure you choose an insurance policy which is the most beneficial for you, select the fuel-purchase option you’re most comfortable with, and only pick the extra features you really need!

Visit Us for Amazing Car Rental Deals!

Although many people argue about whether public transport or car rental is the best way to explore Barbados, the latter certainly has more perks. A comfortable ride, a more insightful view of the island, traveling with the people you choose and the possibility of unlimited mileage are merely a few of the benefits a leased vehicle has to offer. Below you can find many more reasons why renting a vehicle in Barbados is more worthwhile than using public transportation.
tourist wondering what to choose between public transport or car hiring in Barbados

Explore Every Bit of the Island

The country nicknamed “Bim” is merely 34 kilometers across at its widest point and unfortunately isn’t entirely covered by public transport routes. By hiring a vehicle, you can easily reach even the most hidden beaches and some of the best diving sites in Barbados, including Carlisle Bay and Stavronikita.

Avoid Being Late for Appointments

Buses are also frequently late due to traffic, and they often break down along the road, so they’re mostly unreliable. To make sure you get to your desired destination on time, rent a car which will safely and surely take you to your planned destination.

Don’t Waste Your Time Hanging Around

Even if the local buses manage to depart the bus station on time, they usually stop in every small village along the way. Getting from Bridgetown to Sam Lords Castle with the bus can take up to an hour, whereas you can get there in half the time if you drive.

Don’t be Afraid of Getting Scammed

Besides the usual bus routes, taxis are another option to get around the island. The only problem is that they never run the meter, so you need to negotiate with the driver about the price of the fare. Many tourists have gotten scammed this way, by not knowing the exact value of the trip the taxi driver took them on and ending up paying double the price. With a leased vehicle you know upfront exactly how much car rental hire costs, so there won’t be any annoying surprises when you have to pay.

Enjoy the Freedom a Rental Car Offers You

By hiring your own four-wheel vehicle you can go wherever and whenever you’d like. You don’t have to adhere to someone else’s schedule and it gives you the flexibility of being spontaneous, being able to stop anytime along the way if you happen to come across a beautiful beach or an interesting place to explore

Steer Clear of Overcrowded Local Buses

Because both local Barbadians and tourists often choose to get around via public transport, many buses are overcrowded as no passenger is ever turned down. Imagine if you’re traveling with your luggage or your children and don’t even have a proper place to sit down! In this aspect, renting a car is much more convenient and comfortable, both for you and your family, plus your luggage!

Choose From a Wide Range of Vehicles

From little ‘moke’ to a more substantial four-wheel jeep-style vehicle, you have the choice. Maybe a sedan car rental will fit the bill for comfort and some air-con, or maybe you like to have the wind in your hair with an open-top vehicle. You have a mix between economy and fun when looking at the choice of vehicles available for hire in Barbados.

Be Safe, Instead of Being Cheap!

Though it might sound tempting to rent a moped or a bicycle, you need to consider the fact that the roads in Barbados are somewhat narrow, making it difficult and even dangerous to get around on these budget-friendly bikes. We advise you to lease a mini moke car instead, an open-top vehicle which is very economical, and ideal for the narrow roads.

Our friendly, family-operated business is here to help you choose the ideal rental car, in terms of safety, price, and type, so you can explore the beautiful country of Barbados at your leisure!
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Our List of Available Rental Cars!

Are you interested in hiring a car in Barbados, but have no idea what questions must be asked to end up with a perfect transaction? Renting a vehicle in Barbados does not need to be a complicated matter. You’ll see there is a proven method of getting a great deal every single time.

Therefore, take the time to learn what questions must be asked when using a Barbados car rental service. You’ll save money by doing so and the car you end up with will match your requirements. Here are the top questions you have to ask yourself when leasing a vehicle from a rental company.
a man on a laptop while searching for right questions before hiring a car in Barbados

What extra hire charges will I have to pay for?

The price that’s advertised for car rental is typically not the whole story. There will be unforeseen charges such as:

  • Insurance
  • Baby seats
  • Sat-nav
  • Late returns
  • Fuel charges
  • Damage

Make sure to avoid paying extra charges ahead of time so that you’re able to set your budget correctly.

I have a few negative entries on my driving record, can I still hire a car?

Different companies have different rules regarding the leasing of a motor vehicle to drivers that do not have perfect driving records. Rental companies might not allow you to drive their cars if in the past you have the following violations:

  • Driving without a valid license
  • Driving under the influence
  • Running away from the site of an accident
  • Participant in an accident
  • Violations of seat belt laws
  • Reckless driving

What car hire discounts options are available?

In Barbados, there are many car rental companies, and in an attempt to attract new hirer, discounts are offered. Find out what discounts are available so that you can save money on your rental option.

What happens if an accident occurs?

You have to find out ahead of time what the costs will be if an accident takes place. Perhaps if the charges are steep you can find out what motor insurance options are offered. It makes sense to drive around stress-free knowing your liabilities in the unlikely event you are involved in an accident.

What features does the automobile have?

Nowadays car rental companies have a comprehensive fleet of vehicles that you can make a selection from. This gives you the freedom to hire a car that matches your specific requirements. The different options you can consider are:

  • air conditioning
  • entertainment systems
  • central door locks
  • power windows
  • USB charging ports

Other Useful Car Rental Information That’s Worth Asking

  • Local Barbados map: Make sure to acquire a local map from the car rental company – they are typically given away free of charge.
  • AUTO RENTAL AGREEMENT: Understanding the agreement is important. If there is anything that you don’t understand, then raise your questions with the vehicle hire service.
  • Mileage: Some services cap the number of miles that you are allowed to travel. Find out what the case is with your car rental company.
  • PICK-UP AND DROP-OFF SERVICE: Some vehicle rental will charge you money for a pickup/drop-off service. Ask what these costs are going to be or if they are a complimentary service.

Branded Car Rental Companies VS Drive Barbados As A Solid Option

As you’ve just read there are a number of different questions that must be asked when hiring a car in Barbados. Our family car service will always be glad to answer all your questions before and during any transaction.
For A Deal Ask Us For The Right Quote Before Hiring A Vehicle Today