Bridgetown is filled with attractions that you won't want to miss, and hiring a taxi to get you from place to place can get pricy. If you plan to hit as many sites as possible, or you simply prefer to have control when it comes to when you want to get up and go, rental cars are going to be the best option for you and the group you're traveling with.
The process for renting a car in Bridgetown is not unlike what you'll experience in your home town. There are numerous companies to choose from, all of which are local, so the agency you choose may come down to a place you've had good experiences with before, the cost, or a particular vehicle you're interested in renting.
The most important thing for tourists from the United States to remember as they venture out onto the streets of Barbados is that driving is done on the left side of the road like in Europe, though the steering wheel is located on the left side of the car like in America. It can be confusing, and tourists typically end up getting confused in roundabouts that go clockwise, but locals are friendly and understanding, especially when they see the “H” in your license plate, which means you're in a rental. Be aware that local rush hours are between 7:00 and 8:30 a.m. and from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., so if you are not yet comfortable driving on local roads, try to avoid them during these busy hours.
Most local roads are well-maintained, but if you're driving in rural areas you may run into streets without sidewalks, street lights, or road signs, and you'll probably encounter a pot hole or two. Keep an eye out for pedestrians, who are known to walk in the street.
As you're driving around, you'll notice that speed limits are posted in kilometers rather than miles per hour so you will need to become adjusted to reading kilometers on the odometer. Typical speed limits are 40 kilometers per hour in cities, 60 kilometers per hours in rural areas, and 80 kilometers per hour on major highways. Everyone in ever vehicle is required to wear a seat belt, and those under age five must be constrained in the appropriate child safety seat.
With regards to parking, you can only park where there is a sign with the letter “P,” or in designated car parks. Otherwise you will likely receive a ticket.
Should an accident occur, you can call the police at 2-1-1, an ambulance at 5-1-1, and the fire department at 3-1-1.
Check out this table that shows the array of area vehicle rental agencies.
|Blessed Rentals||(246) 243-1894||Forde's Road Clapham - 1.8 mi. (2.9 km) East-Southeast of Bridgetown|
|Chelsea Motors||(246) 228-0682||Chelmead - St. Michael Parish|
|Coconut Car Rentals||(246) 437-0297||Bay Street - 1.0 mi. (1.6 km) Southeast of Bridgetown|
|Corbin's Car Rentals||(246) 427-9531||Upper Collymore Rock - St. Michael Parish|
|Jones Garage Car Rentals||(246) 425-6637||Passage Road - Downtown Bridgetown|
|(246) 427-1952||Passage Road - Downtown Bridgetown|
|Mohamed Car Rentals||(246) 426-3073||1 Fifth Avenue - St. Michael Parish|
|(246) 823-3087||St. Michael Parish - 1.2 mi. (2.0 km) North-Northeast of Bridgetown|
|Rent-A-Zoom||(246) 830-2383||Bank Hall - St. Michael Parish|
|Top Car Rentals||(246) 435-0378||Rockley New Road - 2.4 mi. (3.8 km) Southeast of Bridgetown|
In order to rent a vehicle in Bridgetown, you will be required to have a local driver's permit. You can get them directly from your rental agency for just $5(USD), but they are also available to any local police station. They are valid for one year, so if you return for a vacation within the next 365 days you won't have to go through the process twice. Make sure to bring your license from home in order to prove you are a suitable driver. Driver's hoping to rent a car must also be between the ages of 21 and 65, and have three years of driving experience. If you are under 25, some agencies will tack an extra fee on to your rental, and if you are over 65, you must bring documentation from your doctor stating that you are capable of driving.
...a wide variety of vehicles...
Most companies have a wide variety of vehicles, including family sedans, convertibles, sports utility vehicles, vans, and even a Moke. Mokes are the most popular rental in Barbados because they stand out. Mokes are a mix of a dune buggy, convertible, and go cart all mixed together, making it a fun way to get around.
The biggest complaint about renting a car in Barbados is the cost. Rentals are typically $100(USD) or more a day.
Finding gas as you drive around the island should never be a problem, as each parish has at least one gas station supplied by Rubis, Esso, and Shell. These gas stations also serve as convenience stores, so you can fuel up and pick up a few snacks as well.
While you should not have any issues finding places to refuel, you still may want to view the table that follows to get a picture of where some are located.
|Beckles Road - 1.5 mi. (2.5 km) Southeast of Bridgetown|
|Hastings Main Road - 2.5 mi. (4.0 km) Southeast of Bridgetown|
|1.3 mi. (2.2 km) North of Bridgetown|
|1.7 mi. (2.8 km) East-Northeast of Bridgetown|
|Highway 7 at Worthing Beach - 1.1 mi. (1.8 km) West-Northwest of St. Lawrence Gap|
|Mylords Hill - 1.8 mi. (2.9 km) East-Northeast of Bridgetown|
There are plenty of reasons why you might choose to rent a car over utilizing local taxi or bus services, and all are perfectly valid if they are important to you. Not only will you be in charge of when and where you go at all times, but you may end up saving money in the long run. It is a win, win situation for most tourists in Bridgetown.
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