What You Need to Know About How Car Rental Rates Work in Barbados

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!

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