Renting a car can be a great way to be independent while you explore Grenada's sites and attractions on the island's 650 miles of paved roads. A car is especially convenient for venturing outside the tourist areas of Grand Anse and St. George's to visit the beaches of the north or a nutmeg-processing station. But you'll want to drive defensively because roads often present unexpected hazards and aggressive drivers.
Before you rent a car, you will need to obtain a local driving permit, which requires a valid driver's license from your home country. You may obtain the permit at the police station in the Carenage in St. George's or at one of the many rental car agencies on the island. The cost of the local permit is $24(USD).
Grenada is an independent commonwealth of England, so drivers stay to the left-hand side of the road. This change will require a slow adjustment for travelers from North America and mainland Europe. All motor vehicle passengers and drivers are required by law to wear seat belts. Speed limits are generally not posted on roads, and in some cases, neither are road signs. Travelers who plan to explore remote and rugged terrain should rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle and bring along a good road map.
Traffic accidents that cause injury and fatality are a common threat to foreign travelers. Unfamiliar roads and reckless and aggressive drivers combine to create hazardous driving conditions for travelers. Main roads on Grenada can be in good condition and quite busy. Other roads may be in poor condition, marred by potholes. Rain and darkness can create additional hazards on already worn roads, and travelers may wish to avoid nighttime driving. Drivers should expect steep and thin, curving roads that leave little room to maneuver. Local drivers can be reckless, and vacationers should drive defensively to avoid accidents and pedestrians.
If driving on Grenada sounds like a task you just aren't ready for, you don't have to rent a car and drive yourself. There are plenty of other ways to get around. Taxis are, in fact, the most popular method for tourists to get around, and buses come in a close second.
While travelers should certainly remain cautious on the road, rental cars allow travelers to explore parts of the island they may otherwise miss during a vacation on Grenada.
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