Tourists planning a trip to New Providence are often encouraged to skip renting a car and rely on local transport such as taxis and the public jitney (bus) instead. Still, some people need to have a vehicle available to them at all times, and still others will want to. The most important thing is knowing the ins and outs of renting a car on the island before you arrive for your Caribbean getaway.
One of the first things you'll notice when you arrive at the Lynden Pindling International Airport is that several major rental car agencies have locations right on site. You can make arrangements to pick up your vehicle right away, or first take a taxi to your hotel so you have an idea of where you are going and choose to pick it up from another location later. Aside from the airport, you'll find rental car agencies located downtown, on the property of some resorts, and over the bridge on Paradise Island.
The chart below shows the rental agencies in this general area.
|(242) 676-7376||East Bay Street - Nassau|
|324-9257||Springfield Road - Nassau|
|326-6380||1 Cumberland St - Downtown Nassau|
|(242) 377-7121||Lynden Pindling International Airport - 4.1 mi. (6.6 km) South West of Cable Beach|
|Budget Cars Nassau||(242) 377-9000||Lynden Pindling International Airport - 4.1 mi. (6.6 km) South West of Cable Beach|
|Budget Cars Paradise Island||(242) 363-3095||Paradise Island Harbour Resort All Inclusive - 1.1 mi. (1.8 km) East of Paradise Island|
|326-8270||East Ave Centreville - Nassau|
|Dollar NAS Airport||(242) 377-8300||Lynden Pindling International Airport - 4.1 mi. (6.6 km) South West of Cable Beach|
|394-8551||East Bay Street - Nassau|
|Hertz NAS||(242) 377-5446||Lynden Pindling International Airport - 7.5 mi. (12.1 km) West of Nassau|
|Hertz Windsor Field||(242) 377-8684||Near Lynden Pindling International Airport - New Providence|
|(242) 328-0500||97 Saint Charles Vincent - Nassau|
|323-2581||Thompson Blvd - Nassau|
|Orange Creek Car Rental||(242) 323-4967||West Bay Street - Nassau|
|393-8250||20B Airport Industrial Park - Nassau|
...Drive defensively at all times...
Before you can take any vehicle off the lot, however, you must prove you are fit to drive by presenting your driver's license from your home town. This will give you access to Bahamian roads for three months. If you'll stay on the island longer than that you can get an International Driver's License (IDL). Most agencies will also require you to be 25-years-old or older, though some may be persuaded to let someone 21 or older rent a vehicle.
The single most important thing to remember when driving around New Providence is that driving is done on the left side of the road like in Europe, rather than the right side of the road like in the United States. Additionally, the roads are quite narrow, so foreign drivers will need a little time to get used to the switch up.
It helps to know a bit about where you're going before you hit the road. Having a GPS or map with you will be essential, but locals can be of service to you if you need directions in a pinch. Traffic can be heavy at times, especially in downtown Nassau, and local drivers are known for their aggression. Drive defensively at all times.
Be aware that parking is sparse on the island, and you will probably end up spending quite a bit of time finding somewhere nearby the attraction you're headed to, then walking. Another down side to renting a car is that gas is incredibly expensive, almost always ringing up at at over $4(USD) a gallon.
Expect to pay anywhere from $80 to $120(USD) a day depending upon the type of vehicle you reserve as well as the amenities you ask for. The time of year you visit will also affect the price, with prices being higher in the height of tourism season. Local agencies are known for having better prices, but the trade off is that you'll be renting an earlier model vehicle.
In addition to renting a four plus passenger vehicle, you also have the opportunity to hop on the back of a motor scooter for just $65(USD) for half a day or $85(USD) for a full day which is between the hours of 8:00 a.m. And 5:00 p.m. This is a great choice for tourists who don't necessarily want to be in charge of a rental for the duration of their stay, but may want to get in some exploring without relying on a taxi driver. Some resorts offer rentals to guests, and you'll also find them downtown and at.
Even though you shouldn't have any issues spotting gas stations, it is still helpful to see the chart that follows to get an idea where some can be found.
|1.0 mi. (1.6 km) South of Nassau|
|Prince Charles Drive - 3.2 mi. (5.1 km) East of Nassau|
|3.2 mi. (5.2 km) Northeast of Nassau|
|Soldier Road - 0.3 mi. (0.5 km) North-Northeast of Nassau|
|Wulff Road and Mackey Street - 2.0 mi. (3.2 km) Northeast of Nassau|
|Balfour Avenue - 1.3 mi. (2.1 km) North of Nassau|
|Carter Street - 2.2 mi. (3.6 km) North-Northwest of Nassau|
|East West Highway - 0.9 mi. (1.4 km) North of Nassau|
|Fox Hill Road - 3.4 mi. (5.4 km) East of Nassau|
|Harrold Road - 0.8 mi. (1.3 km) Northwest of Nassau|
|Mackey Street and Madeira Street - 2.5 mi. (4.0 km) North-Northeast of Nassau|
|Madeira Street and Montrose Avenue - 2.4 mi. (3.8 km) North-Northeast of Nassau|
|Rosetta Street and Montrose Avenue - 2.5 mi. (4.1 km) North-Northeast of Nassau|
|Poinciana Avenue - 1.4 mi. (2.3 km) North of Nassau|
|Portago and Thompson Boulevard - 2.1 mi. (3.3 km) Northwest of Nassau|
|Treetop Close and Prince Charles Drive - 2.6 mi. (4.2 km) East of Nassau|
|Thompson Boulevard - 1.9 mi. (3.1 km) North-Northwest of Nassau|
|Robinson and Baillou Hill Roads - 1.0 mi. (1.7 km) North-Northwest of Nassau|
|Old Trail and Robinson Roads - 1.5 mi. (2.4 km) Northeast of Nassau|
|Sears Road - 2.6 mi. (4.2 km) North-Northwest of Nassau|
|Shirley Street and John Evans Road - 3.2 mi. (5.1 km) Northeast of Nassau|
|Shirley Street and Albury Lane - 3.0 mi. (4.8 km) North-Northeast of Nassau|
|Wulff Road and Minnie Street - 1.8 mi. (2.9 km) North-Northeast of Nassau|
|Wulff Road and Montrose Avenue - 1.9 mi. (3.0 km) North-Northeast of Nassau|
|Wulff and Soldier Roads - 2.4 mi. (3.8 km) Northeast of Nassau|
|Miami Street - Nassau|
|Farrington Road and Thompson Boulevard - 2.6 mi. (4.2 km) Northwest of Nassau|
|Olde Town Sandyport|
|2.4 mi. (3.8 km) East of Cable Beach|
|7.0 mi. (11.3 km) West-Southwest of Cable Beach|
|Marathon Road - 2.1 mi. (3.3 km) Northeast of Nassau|
|3.5 mi. (5.6 km) North-Northwest of Nassau|
|3.1 mi. (4.9 km) North of Nassau|
|Baillou Hill Road - 0.9 mi. (1.4 km) North-Northwest of Nassau|
|Prince Charles Drive - 3.2 mi. (5.2 km) East of Nassau|
|Soldier Road - 0.3 mi. (0.5 km) North of Nassau|
While most agree that renting a car on New Providence is unnecessary, if your preference is to be in charge of getting around town yourself, renting a car is the way for you to go.
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