Car Travel

DESTINATIONS barbados car-travel-139

TRAVEL TIPS

Car Travel

Barbados has good roads, but traffic can be heavy on main highways, particularly around Bridgetown. Be sure to keep a map handy, as the road system in the countryside can be very confusing—although the friendly Bajans are always happy to help you find your way. Drive on the left, British-style. Seat belts are compulsory, and children under five must use a child seat. Use of a cell phone while driving is prohibited. When someone flashes headlights at you at an intersection, it means "after you." Be especially careful negotiating roundabouts (traffic circles). The speed limit is 50 mph (80 kph) on highways, 37 mph (60 kph) in the countryside, and 20 mph (30 kph) in cities. Bridgetown actually has rush hours: 7 to 9 am and 4 to 6 pm. Park only in approved parking lots or in parking spots marked with a P sign.

Car Rentals: Most car-rental agencies require renters to be at least 21; some agencies have an age limit between 70 and 80 without a medical certificate. Dozens of agencies rent cars, jeeps, or minimokes (small, open-sided vehicles). Rates range from about $70 per day for a minimoke to $80 per day for a four-wheel-drive vehicle and $100 or more for a luxury car (or $225 to $400 or more per week) in high season. Most firms also offer discounted three-day or seven-day rates, and some require at least a two-day rental in high season. You’ll need either an international driver's license or a temporary driving permit, available through the rental agency for Bds$10.

Car-Rental Contacts

Coconut Car Rentals. Bayside, Bay St., Bridgetown, St. Michael. 246/437–0297; www.coconutcars.com.

Courtesy Rent-A-Car. Grantley Adams International Airport, Christ Church. 246/431–4160; www.courtesyrentacar.com.

Drive-a-Matic Car Rental. CWTS Complex, Lower Estate, St. George, BB19025. 246/422–3000; 800/581–8773; www.carhire.tv.

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