The price you pay for renting a car should be transparent, but with so many car rental companies charging for hidden extras, it’s not so clear. Educating yourself on the top extra charges that Barbados vehicle hire companies charge, and how they can be avoided will be to your advantage.

a client with a contract of various extra expenses for renting a car in Barbados car rental company

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. Leasing an automobile in Barbados will not be expensive if you are aware of the following extra cost:

  • Baby Child Seats: The simple thing would be to take your child seat with you if you’re going to hire out a motorcar. Companies love to rent out simple items such as baby seats and roof racks because of the positive return on investment.
  • Sat-nav: Nowadays our smart phones are so good that GPS equipment is not really required. You can download an app for a small fee, instead of the expensive sat-nav option at a vehicle leasing service.
  • Late Returns: Being charged extra for a late return can be annoying, but if that happens then you have nobody to blame but yourself. So keep track of the time and return the car within the time limit.
  • Book In Advance: You’ll get rewarded for being organized, so reserve as soon as you can to save money.
  • Extra Drivers Fee With Your Hire: One annoying added cost of having to pay more when there are additional drivers. This is really isn’t fair, and for that reason we have a special offer for the spouse who gets to drive the car free of cost.
  • Car Type Upgrade Options: Car rental companies in Barbados will try to throw upgrades in your face, but you have to ask yourself – do you really need that upgrade? If the answer is no then select the simpler model and save money by doing so.
  • Negotiate For A Better Car Rental Deal: In Barbados there are a few auto leasing companies to choose from; therefore companies will be trying hard to get your business. This gives you the power to negotiate to land a better bargain. You won’t know how much you can negotiate on the price until you try.
  • Hiring From An Airport Location: While it might be convenient to hire a vehicle at GAIA, it is not the smart thing to do. Airport companies are billed with a “concession fee” by the airport and that amount is passed down to you most of the time.
  • Fuel Rates: When you return the car ensure the gasoline is topped up. Otherwise, you’ll be charged with a “refueling fee” and a “convenience charge”, which is money that could be in your pocket.
  • Damages & Unnecessary Car Insurance: It’s important to inspect a car with care before you sign the auto-rental agreement. Take and save pictures for your safety, and to avoid any liability on return. Also check with your auto insurance provider to see if they cover your hire outside of your country. Alternatively, some credit cards offer insurance as well.

Branded Car Rental Companies VS Drive Barbados As A Suitable Alternative

As you can see from the list above, car hire companies in Barbados have a variety of ways to increase the size of the final price. Our family operated company will try to minimize the extra costs that our clients incur.

Contact Our Friendly Barbados Car Rental Service Today For Affordable Pricing

You may have heard of the expression “horses for courses” and I suppose here we are talking about “horsepower for courses” when it comes to car hire in Barbados. The reason for your visit to this beautiful island could be anything from business to a holiday, a mixture of both, or even your honeymoon.

One thing is for certain and that is you will be needing transport while you are here to give you the freedom you deserve to sample everything that is on offer to you. So, the choice of car rental in Barbados likely depends very much on your reason for being here and also the numbers of you there are.

rental car Suzuki Jimny parked on a road in Barbados

Here are some handy pointers to help you choose the top 5 vehicles to rent in Barbados:

  • Hiring a Mini Moke: – This is a fun car and 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. The moke is small and practical. It is always a popular favorite with honeymooners and doesn’t guzzle petrol! This is a no-frills car – but then what’s the point of having a radio you can’t hear, and there’s no air con because it doesn’t have doors and instead comes with its own fresh air, a whole island full of it!
  • convertible car for rent on a tour on the island of Barbados

  • The Economy Hatchback: – It is unlikely you are going to be spending your whole time in Barbados in the car, so practical and multi-purpose is the order of the day with a small hatchback, such as a Toyota Yaris or a Toyota Vitz. Big enough for four (it has five doors), as long as the two in the back aren’t basketball players! Economical where petrol is concerned and there are usually a few feature comforts included, such as a radio/CD player, power steering, power windows and that all important air conditioning for those of you who don’t like really hot weather.
  • The Compact Sedan: – a move up into something more suitable for four adults, here we are talking about a car such as a four-door Toyota Corolla. This is a great choice if all four of you enjoy exploring and sightseeing in comfort and once again comes with plenty of extras, including power steering, radio/CD player and refreshing cool air conditioning. A sensible and practical vehicle that is also economical to run.
  • The Small Jeep: – back to fun cars with a bit of extra fun thrown in, as well as three doors this time! A soft top allows you to make the most of the wonderful weather in Barbados, but in case of the odd shower, it is as easy as pie to put the roof back up. Then, of course if it is blistering hot and you want to go out and explore, you can keep the roof up and enjoy a cool blast from the air conditioning. Small jeeps like the Suzuki Jimny are great for couple’s days out and if you are looking to rent a vehicle in Barbados, you will go a long way to find a more versatile car to lease.
  • The Mini Van Car or People carrier: – If you are looking for something bigger to accommodate four of you in bags of space, or six or seven of you in comfort, then you are going to want to consider renting a vehicle such as a Toyota Noah van, though you shouldn’t be expecting any floods! With comfort and space come those much-needed extras to make your trips around the island or to the beach even more enjoyable. These should include a radio/CD player, electric windows, power steering, power mirrors and, of course, air conditioning.

Most hire vehicles in Barbados come with automatic transmission as standard, which is ideal for those who are used to having the steering wheel on the other side of the car and can never find the gear-stick when you need it!

If you are a fan of the family run business and like exceptional personal service, as well as the affordable car rental rates in Barbados, then make sure you give Drive Barbados a call and they will make ensure your hire car is ready and waiting for you the moment you set foot on the island.

Affordable Vehicles To Hire

One way car rental prices in Barbados vary depending on the car hire company you choose, the location where you drop off your vehicle, and whether you sign beforehand a one-way auto rental agreement. Although Barbados is not a large island, measuring 34 kilometers in length and up to 23 kilometers in width, one way car rentals can be extra work for car renting services, which have to pick up the car from where you drop it off and bring it back to their pick up location.
one way road sign with tyre marks
This is why you can expect some companies to charge you between 30 to 50 US dollars for a one way car rental in Barbados, which is sometimes included in the reservation quote. However, not all rental car companies charge this fee.

When One Way Car Rentals Are Useful

  • An emergency arises and you have to leave the island quickly.
  • When departing, you have extra luggage that doesn’t fit into the car and so you choose to take a taxi to the airport.
  • You extend your stay on the island beyond the duration of the car leasing agreement.
  • You change your hotel or villa, settling in a different part of the island where you no longer need a car.
  • On arrival, picking up your car from the Bridgetown seaport and decided to drop it off at Grantley Adams airport when leaving the island.

Rental Base Rate & Drop Off Fee

Generally, there are two things that influence the price of a one way car rental: the rental base rate, and any drop off fee the car hire provider may charge. Some companies may have both a high base line and a drop off fee, charging you US $50 or even more. Large companies operating near the Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados are more likely to charge high drop charges, as they usually expect the cars they hire to be brought back to the pick-up location. Smaller companies, on the other hand, may have either a US $30 – US $50 flat drop off fee, or no fee at all.

Renting A Car From Drive Barbados Without A One Way Fee

Because Barbados is a small island, you can avoid paying a one way car rental cost. At Drive Barbados, a family-operated car hire company, we want to make our drivers’ rental experience as enjoyable as possible, which is why we do not charge one way vehicle rental rates. If you are looking for affordable one way car hire in Barbados, we would be more than delighted to help you.
Discover Our Inexpensive One Way Car Rental Options In Barbados

Hiring a car in Barbados can be a costly experience if you do not do your homework properly and gain a clear understanding of why prices can vary so much. However, you can make sure you get the most affordable deal possible if you do some checking around and understand why some Barbados car hire companies have different rates to others and why some appear to be much cheaper. After all, motor vehicle hire is very important in Barbados as the island sees over 500,000 overnight visitors come to the island each year according to tradingeconomics.com, who were quoting World Bank figures.
car tire and car tire prices
So what factors affect the rental rate of a hire car in Barbados? The following should help to make everything crystal clear:

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. So where at home you might find car rental costs lower in the winter period, in Barbados they are higher.

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
  • Check prices advertised are for this year and that it  is not an old advertisement

Type of Rental Vehicle

The cost of car hire will depend on the size of vehicle and model you want. Bigger and more luxurious cars will cost significantly more than their regular counterparts. Sizes are usually graded along the following lines:

  • Economy – Fun ‘mini-moke’ or soft-top Jimny jeep seats 3
  • Economy Hatchback seats 4
  • Compact Sedan seats 4
  • Family Carrier – Noah Town ace Minivan style seats 6+

Added Extras with Your Hire

Any additional auto accessories may increase the rental amount as they come at extra cost. Here you have to be careful as what may appear to be a good figure can become very expensive if you are not aware what is included and what is an additional extra.

Make sure you check on the following

  • Compulsory Barbados Visitors Drivers Permit – cost US $5.00 per hirer. Most vehicle rental services require at least two years of driving to rent a car, but the number of people who will be drivers will affect the price tag. The drivers with less driving experience may have to pay more in insurance than those with more years of driving.
  • Fuel Charges – Most companies add a fuel charge on the bill.
  • CDW Insurance Coverage – The car hire company will have to insure you for collisions and accidents, so having many years of driving experience, and a clean driving record will likely lower these fees.
  • Sat Nav
  • Baby/Infant/Booster Car Seat
  • Roof Rack
  • Point Of Collection And Return (extra charges for delivering car away from office)
  • 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.

Hidden Charges

Some rental companies tend to charge additional extra charges, stipulated in their terms and conditions. The key in keeping the cost low is to make sure that the car hire agency discloses all fees before your arrival and/or booking.

Rental Duration

The duration of your lease will also influence the price. Depending on the length of time you want to hire your vehicle, 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.

Branded Car Rental Companies

Big auto renting agencies do not necessarily have the best or most competitive rates, so it is worth checking out local off-brand names for much better pricing.

Third Party Bookings

There may be a differ in prices if anagency booked on your behalf, so once you arrive in Barbados and go to the car hire dealership, you may get a completely different figure. Caution is advised if you choose to book through a third party.

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 in Barbados or change your mind about the vehicle, you will be stuck with the charges.

Car Rental Companies At Airport VS Drive Barbados Car Hire

Car rental counters at the airport are very convenient, but due to their convenience their rates tend to be a lot higher than the off-airport services. To keep the cost low, consider renting a car from a service that isn’t there via the internet or your hotel representative. Our service will pick you up and drop you off when you need to leave.

So if you are looking for cheap car hire in Barbados, ‘cheap’ doesn’t apply to our cars or our personal service, it applies only to our prices.
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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 you sign any leasing documents.

(Note: prices are quoted in US dollars).

CDW Terms and Excess Amounts

CDW is also known as Collision Damage Waiver is an amount of money which the driver must pay should there be an accident. The CDW allows drivers to have some 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 can be 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. Excess amounts are the funds required to be paid before the CDW is enacted due to car damage.

Additional Extras to the Vehicle Rental

Extras for a rental vehicle in Barbados may include items such as:

  • GPS satellite navigation – $25 – $35 per week,
  • Child car seat or stroller – $30 – $40 per week for
  • Additional drivers – $20 – $25 per week per driver
  • Pickup at airport – $5 or as much as $30
  • Gasoline charges – average of $25 – $35
  • Local Barbados driving permit (mandatory) – a cost $5 for two months or $50 for an entire year

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

Cost of Rental Car in Barbados

Similar to other countries, the car rental rates may vary depending on the peak holiday season. A car hired in the winter season (which includes rental costs, CDW coverage, and taxes) can be as low of as:

For an economy hatchback cars (Suzuki Swift, Toyota Yaris or similar) – between $400 – $500 per week

For a compact sedan car – (Toyota Yaris sedan or similar) – between $500 – $600 per week

A car is 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.

Daily car 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

Monthly car rental packages

  • discount of 5 to 20% off may be applied

Taxi Fees versus Car Rental Cost on Per Day Basis

Example: transportation from Airport to the north of the island may vary depending on the number of passengers and the amount of luggage to be carried per passenger

  • Taxi – Cost US $45 – $60 for one way trip only
  • Hire car – Cost $70 – $100 per day for 24 hours (depends on type of car rented)

Rates are almost same for a one way trip as to hiring a car for the entire day (24 hours)

Type of Vehicle

Economy hatchback and mini moke rentals are very popular in Barbados. Larger vehicles including soft top Jeeps are also fairly common, as well as mid-sized and compact sized vehicles.

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

Major Brand Rental Companies vs Drive Barbados Car Rental Company

Major brand name companies are usually located at Grantley Adams airport, and they are by far the most expensive and seem to be the highest priced (on average 30% higher than local companies). This is usually the case because they have to cover the costs of branding, employees and office leasing atGAIA airport.

Our family operated business in Barbados offers you one of the most affordable vehicle rental options on the island.
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