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, (http://www.tradingeconomics.com/barbados/international-tourism-number-of-arrivals-wb-data.html) who were quoting World Bank figures.
So what factors affect the rental rate of a hire car in Barbados? The following should help to make everything crystal clear:
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 favourable. 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.
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.
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%
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 an agency 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.