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Car Rental In Jamaica
The Requirements, Hints, Tips & Cautions

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Car Rental In JamaicaCar Rental In Jamaica

by Kesha Stewart | Associate Writer 

There are more car rental companies in Jamaica than you would probably ever guess, so I'd recommend that you shop around to find what suits your budget and tastes.

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Iโ€™m, however, guessing that you may have a few questions about car rental in Jamaica. For example...

  1. How much do they charge? 
  2. Do they offer long term and short term rentals?
  3. Are there any hidden costs? 
  4. Will my vehicle be insured?

Finding a reliable car rental company is imperative if you are planning to drive around the island on your own. The companies in existence are a mix of local and international. Let me hasten to assure you that you are never really far away from a car rental company. As a matter of fact, there are companies which operate straight out of the airports enabling you to pick up your car then and there. Some companies even facilitate online booking to make your travel hassle-free. So potentially, as soon as you hit the island you can be on wheels.

Here is a checklist of the basic requirements for car rental in Jamaica:

  • You must be between 23-75 years old. If you are say 21, the company may rent you but it will definitely cost you more.
  • You must have earned your license for at least a year. Some companies ask that it be 3 years!
  • A valid card that is acceptable by the dealer e.g. Visa. They will check to see that the expiry date is after the return date of the vehicle rented. Note that a hold may be placed on your Credit card in case there are incidentals.
  • The car must be rented for no less than 24 hours.
  • A coverage charge against damages and theft.

Did You Know That?

  1. Jamaican rental cars once had specialized license plates that were green? Yes. They even had RR marked to signal it is rented. This practise was discontinued after they were targeted by car thieves.
  2. You do not need an international license to be able to drive in Jamaica? Nope, all you need is a driverโ€™s license issued by the country you live in.

Cost Considerations

Your car will be priced based on the following:

Size - medium to midsized cars are the cheapest, next in line is the premium full-sized car, then the SUV, while the most costly is the minivan.

Brand - Toyota Corollas and Nissan Tidas are cheaper than Honda Civics or even a Toyota Camry. 

Features - You pay for the features, my friend. If you like accessories like leather seats for instance you will be charged more. Need special features? If you require extras such as car seats or have a preference such as manual transmission, you need to communicate with the dealer at least 3 days in advance of your pick up.

Days - More days more savings. After 3 days the rental companies usually offer a discount, seven days or more equals greater savings.

Whatโ€™s included in my quote?  Quotes generally include rental fees, insurance and value-added tax. Find out what is included to prevent unpleasant surprises later on. Hint. Hint. Read the fine print before deciding on a plan for the insurance.

Thankfully some credit card companies offer motor vehicle insurance coverage. Check with your provider to see if you qualify and how it works. If they offer it there will be no additional charges for you when you come to Jamaica.

At last check, these were the top five rental car dealers in Jamaica

  • Avis Jamaica- contact (876) 926-8021
  • Island Car Rentals- contact (876) 926-8012
  • Apex Car Rentals- contact (876) 952-7587
  • Budget Car Rentals- contact  (876) 759-1793
  • Enterprise Jamaica- contact (876) 906-0084

Helpful Hints for Safe Driving

  • We drive on the left.
  • Fill up your tank when returning to avoid additional charges.
  • Treat the vehicle as you would your personal property.
  • Always wear a seatbelt and ensure all your passengers do the same.
  • Obey the road rules.
  • Be careful when asking for directions and never pick up someone who claims to โ€œknowโ€ where you are going, no matter how convincing he/she is.
  • Make allowances for delays
  • Look out for potholes.

Now go and enjoy your Jamaican driving experience :-)

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