Dos & Don’ts: Car Hire in Barbados

Like many tourist destinations, there are dos and don’ts for car hire in Barbados. The people are friendly, the beaches are beautiful, and it provides you with a flexible way to explore the island in your own time and at your own pace, helping you get the most out of your vacation here with us. Though, proper planning is the only way of ensuring that you sign a lease on a vehicle that is affordable and suits your needs. Here are some things to look out for before you choose a car rental company in Barbados.
thumbs up and thumbs down representing things not to do when renting a car in Barbados and two vehicles on a road

Dos For Barbados Car Rentals

Here are some tips that will help you to make a decision on choosing a rental car company that is right for you. If you follow these simple titbits of advice, you may find that you get a more affordable deal, a more suitable vehicle, or just avoid inconveniences while you’re on your vacation.

Compare Car Hire Rates

You want to get the best deal when renting a car in Barbados, so don’t just go for the first company you see. Shop around, either online before you travel or once you land in Barbados. Doing this could save you a great deal of money.

Book Your Rental Car In Advance

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 the reasons for it, this is an easy way to start your vacation badly. What if you can’t find transportation because it is a busy period and you didn’t call ahead? Maybe there will be cars available but they will not suit the needs of you and your traveling companions.

If you decide to compare rates online, it’s a good idea to book your hire car as soon as you decide on a provider. This will ensure that the vehicle you want is available and could help you get a cheaper rate.

Check Your Rental Car Before Departure

It may sound obvious, but far too many people forget to do their due diligence when leasing a vehicle overseas. Sure, you want your vacation to start right away, but make sure that you check the hire car thoroughly so you cannot be blamed for pre-existing problems such as:

  • Scratches and dents
  • Tires are roadworthy
  • Working electronics

While walking around the car and looking for issues, take pictures of anything that you think is noteworthy or record a video during your inspection, so that you have proof if there was damage prior to your lease.

Be Wary Of The Heat While You Drive

Newsflash: It gets hot in Barbados! Vacationers tend to 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.

Learn The Rules Of The Road

The law is there for a reason. It protects you and any third-parties near to you. Whether you know Barbados road laws or not, failing to adhere to road safety legislation is illegal.

  • Don’t speed,
  • Don’t drink and drive, and
  • Don’t drive recklessly

are the three main pieces of advice here. Doing any of those three could hurt you, somebody else, or just cost you money in motor insurance fees and fines. If you would like more information about road rules and driving safely in Barbados, read the safe driving tips from Drive Barbados.

Don’ts For Barbados Car Hire

While the dos listed above can help make your life a bit easier, the points below should be avoided at all costs. Some are dangerous, some are illegal, and most will cost you money (whether on hospital bills, fines, or car damage depends on how badly you mess up)

Over Insure Yourself When Leasing

Certain levels of insurance will be included within the price of the rental, and your own insurance policy may also cover your hire vehicle. Make sure that you check both policies fully and read the fine print so that you know what you are getting and what you need, to avoid over insuring yourself.

Forget About Hidden Fees In The Rental Price

Be sure to read all of the terms and conditions of your motor rental agreement and ask the provider plenty of questions about the lease. This way you won’t be caught out by any hidden fees that you didn’t know about such as restrictions on mileage or returning the vehicle late.

Get Lost When Driving In Barbados

If you’re visiting Barbados for the first time and don’t know the area, make sure that you have a means of navigating. Maps are easy to come by, but if you’re unsure of your map-reading skills, opting for GPS navigation with your hire car might be the sensible option.

Run Out Of Gas For You Rental Car

Equal to getting lost in Barbados, you don’t want to find yourself stuck with an empty fuel tank. Keep an eye on your fuel gauge and keep it topped up. If you are required to return your vehicle with a full tank of gas, make a note of where the closest gas station to the rental company is.

Skip Out On The Final Inspection

Some rental businesses might encourage you to simply hand over the car and keys and leave everything else to them. This is convenient for you and will save you time, which can be tempting if you’re in a rush to catch your flight, but we would advise staying for the final inspection to ensure that everything is settled properly. If the providers find any issue with your hire car, it will be much easier to resolve there and then in person, rather than it turning into your word against theirs in a dispute over the phone or online.

Remember The Dos & Don’ts To Ensure An Enjoyable Trip

Wherever it is in Barbados that you are planning to visit and whatever you plan on doing, keeping the simple rules above in mind can help you to make the right choices when it comes to hiring a car. All in all, you will have a better time if you plan ahead when you rent a vehicle in Barbados.
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