Travelers planning to drive while in Barbados should expect to get used to a few minor adjustments.
Barbados drivers stay to the left, just as they do in England, which may take some getting used to for North American drivers. Road conditions are mostly good throughout the region, but watch for potholes outside the larger towns and cities. Use caution when driving at night because of narrow roads with no shoulders and frequent pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Taxis and buses are generally safe, but buses and vans are often crowded and tend to travel at high speeds, so they may not always be for the faint of heart.
A Barbados driving permit is required, which can be obtained from car rental companies, the Ministry of Transport (Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.), the airport (every day, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.) or police stations in Hastings, Worthing, and Holetown. You will have to pay a registration fee of $5USD, and show a valid license from your home country or an international driving permit. Keep in mind that it is illegal to drive without a seat belt on, and children under the age of five should be restrained in an appropriate child safety seat.
For specific information concerning Barbados driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Barbados Tourism Authority at 212-986-6516, or visit http://www.barbados.org.
Driving in Barbados can take some getting used to, but is a great option for tourists who like to be in control and come and go as they please. Just make sure to take some time to look over the rules of the road before you travel, and everything should go off without a hitch.
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