Home to the island's busiest airport, Montego Bay is also home to the most rental car agencies. Located both in and around the airport, plus at other spots around town, you'll be able to find a rental quickly and easily, before heading off on your great Jamaican adventure. A word of caution, however, hazardous road conditions and aggressive local drivers make it difficult for those unfamiliar with the island to get around.
The list of rental car agencies in Montego Bay is an extensive one, which means tourists will have plenty of choices and see competitive rates.
The table below lists the vehicle rental agencies located in this general area.
|Avis Sangster International Airport||(876) 952-0762||Sangster International Airport - Montego Bay|
|Budget Montego Bay||(876) 952-3838||Sangster International Airport - Montego Bay|
|Classique Car Rentals||(876) 632-5874||1 Sunset Boulevard - Montego Bay|
|EFAY Rent a Car||(876) 336-7082||3 Churchill Avenue - Montego Bay|
|Eastern Car Rental, Ltd. Montego Bay||(876) 971-1297||27 Claude Clarke Ave - Montego Bay|
|Genesis Tours and Car Rentals Limited||(876) 971-1154||22 Sunset Boulevard - Montego Bay|
|Hertz Sangster International||(876) 979-0438||Sangster International Airport - Montego Bay|
|Hertz Sunset Boulevard||(876) 952-4250||28 Sunset Boulevard - Montego Bay|
|Jaykay's Car Rental||(876) 792-9837||Sangster International Airport - Montego Bay|
|(876) 940-4720||77 Claude Clarke Avenue - Downtown Montego Bay|
|Prospective Rent-a-Car||(876) 952-3524||Sangster International Airport - Montego Bay|
|(876) 979-3117||95 Barnett Street - Downtown Montego Bay|
|(876) 979-3208||32 Queens Drive - Downtown Montego Bay|
|(876) 952-3207||10 Sunset Boulevard - Downtown Montego Bay|
|Sun Jam Car Rentals||(876) 979-9355||66 Claude Clarke Avenue - Downtown Montego Bay|
|(876) 952-1212||26 Sunset Avenue - Downtown Montego Bay|
|United Car Rentals||(876) 952-3077||49 Gloucester Ave - Downtown Montego Bay|
In this long list, you should be able to find an agency that has the exact car and amenities you're searching for. As you learn more about each agency, you'll quickly discover that modern Japanese cars are preferred because they are compact and good on gas mileage, which makes them ideal for navigating the island's narrow and winding roads. If you'll stay in Montego Bay for the duration of your trip, you'll be fine renting this type of car, but if you plan on doing some exploring off the beaten path, a jeep or sports utility vehicle will be your best choice.
Requirements for renting a car in Montego Bay are that you must be at least 23-years-old, and younger than 75-years-old. A valid driver's license is required as well, and you will need a credit card with a high available balance. Reports of $2500(USD) credit card holds are common, so either arrive prepared for this possibility, or call in advance to nail down the exact hold amount.
Rental prices can range anywhere from $35 to $250(USD) a day, with a number of considerations affecting the cost, including size, amenities, vehicle quality, and insurance. When you call to ask for a quote, let the agency know what you're looking for and they can give you a quote that will also include the local Value Added Tax (V.A.T.). If you're looking for a deal, choose smaller, bare minimum vehicles, and try and rent in the summer months when tourism is down. You'll also notice that the longer you rent the car, the less you'll pay per day.
As can be seen below, rates can vary widely depending on the season. The low rates in the tables are typically only available from the lowest cost firms during the off season. The high rates are what you might need to pay when demand is at its peak.
|Rental Type||Low Rate||High Rate|
|Economy Car||$ 23.00||$ 80.00|
|Compact Car||$ 25.00||$ 81.00|
|Mid Size Car||$ 28.00||$ 96.00|
|Full Size Car||$ 38.00||$ 125.00|
|Standard SUV||$ 60.00||$ 130.00|
|Light SUV||$ 65.00||$ 125.00|
|Pickup Truck||$ 75.00||$ 130.00|
|Mini Van||$ 80.00||$ 138.00|
|Full Size Van||$ 84.00||$ 135.00|
|Rental Type||Low Rate||High Rate|
|Economy Car||$ 138.00||$ 470.00|
|Compact Car||$ 148.00||$ 480.00|
|Mid Size Car||$ 176.00||$ 525.00|
|Full Size Car||$ 230.00||$ 730.00|
|Light SUV||$ 380.00||$ 705.00|
|Standard SUV||$ 380.00||$ 805.00|
|Mini Van||$ 450.00||$ 770.00|
|Pickup Truck||$ 485.00||$ 975.00|
|Full Size Van||$ 505.00||$ 790.00|
Once you arrive in Montego Bay to pick up your vehicle, make sure to go over the paperwork and your vehicle with a fine tooth comb. You don't want to be surprised by any unexpected charges, and you don't want to drive around in a vehicle that could break down. Also take note of any damages down to small scratches, because you will be charged for it when you return if the agency was not aware of it when you left.
...Roads here are not in very good condition...
The good news about staying in Montego Bay is that you won't have to make a long drive from the airport to your accommodations. If you're going to rent a vehicle, you can pick it up at the airport, or take a ride in a local taxi and have your vehicle brought right to your hotel.
Before you get behind the wheel, there are a few things you need to know about driving in Montego Bay. First, it is done on the left side of the road like in England and much of the rest of Europe. Roads here are not in very good condition. In fact, one of the biggest complaints among tourists is the poor infrastructure, which includes run down roads filled with pot holes, lacking in sidewalks, lighting, street signs, and traffic stops. Add to this the fact that local drivers are known for their aggressive nature, and driving in Montego Bay can be a stressful experience.
If you arrive prepared for these things, you'll have an easier time. Just know that you will likely be tailgated, honked at, and passed on the road, but know that you are better off driving safely and at your own pace. Always wear your seat belt, follow posted speed limits, go clockwise through the roundabouts, and honk your horn as you're going around blind corners. If you follow these tips, you should be fine.
Even though you should not have any difficulties finding gas stations, it is still a good idea to take a look at the chart just below for an orientation of where some of them are located.
|--||Downtown Montego Bay|
|(876) 979-7269||Howard Cooke Boulevard - Downtown Montego Bay|
|(876) 601-5200||Tucker Granville - 2.8 mi. (4.5 km) Southeast of Montego Bay|
Driving in Montego Bay can be dangerous and scary, but the local government has plans in the works to make conditions better. In the meantime, keep a level head about you and you may find you enjoy the adventure of driving on foreign soil.
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