Renting a Car in Port Antonio

Although renting a car is not recommended to tourists, especially first time visitors, if you're flying into Montego Bay, you'll find that renting a car and making the five our drive to Port Antonio to be your most cost effective option.

Renting a Car

There are a few options available to guests who will be staying in Port Antonio during their trip to Jamaica. The first is to fly into Montego Bay, rent a car from the airport there, and drive the five hours to their final destination. The second is more practical, which is flying into Jamaica, renting a car there, and making a much more convenient two hour drive to Port Antonio. The final option is the most recommended, but pricy, choice, and that is to hire a private charter to drive you to your hotel, where you can pick up your rental car from an agency local to Port Antonio.

Eastern Car Rental, Ltd. Port Antonio is the one rental service our listing information includes. You will be able to call them at (876) 993-3624, otherwise visit them at 26 Harbour Street in the heart of Port Antonio.

Regardless of the location you choose, when you rent a car in Jamaica there are a few requirements you should be aware of. First, you must have a valid driver's license. Second, you must be between the ages of 23 and 75; and finally, you must have a credit card with a large available balance. Local agencies have been known to put up to $2500(USD) on hold as a deposit, so it is best to be prepared.

The Cost of Renting a Car

In total, it should be between $35 and $250(USD) a day to rent a car here, with the price depending upon the type of vehicle you rent, your choice of additional amenities, how long you rent the car, and the included expense of insurance and the Value Added Tax (V.A.T.). Smaller will save you money and make it easier to navigate some of Port Antonio's narrow roads, but sports utility vehicles are recommended for those who crave adventure and will be exploring some of the less developed areas of the island.

Local companies can charge different rates so it can be worth your time to contact several firms. The lowest rates displayed are typically only available from the least costly agencies during the off season. The highest rates are what you might need to pay during the busiest time of year.

Vehicle Rentals, Daily Rates
Rental Type Low Rate High Rate
Compact Car $ 33.00 $ 70.00
Mid Size Car $ 52.00 $ 95.00
Full Size Car $ 66.00 $ 125.00
Standard SUV $ 130.00 $ 210.00
Vehicle Rentals, Weekly Rates
Rental Type Low Rate High Rate
Compact Car $ 195.00 $ 441.00
Mid Size Car $ 310.00 $ 600.00
Full Size Car $ 395.00 $ 790.00
Standard SUV $ 819.00 $ 1400.00

When you arrive at the rental agency, it is very important that you not only thoroughly read through the paperwork you are asked to sign, but also that you check over the vehicle to make sure there are no damages, messes, or mechanical problems (if you are able to do so). You don't want to end up paying more in hidden fees and charged for a scratch in the paint that was there before you took possession of the vehicle.

Gas Stations

If you're driving from Montego Bay to Port Antonio, you'll be driving east along the coast, beginning on the A1, which will turn into the A3 and finally the A4 over the course of the five hours drive. Alternately, you'll drive from Kingston, which leads you to Port Antonio on the A3 and the A4. These roads are a great introduction to driving in Jamaica, which is known for being wild and unpredictable.

To start, there are two main types of roads that are maintained by the government. They are known as A roads and B roads. A roads are highways that connect Jamaica's largest cities, and generally run along the coast. Although they serve as the main roadways, they still are not very well kept. Pot holes are common, while signs, street lights, and traffic signals are night. In recent years, improvements have been made and there are more to come, but there is still something to be desired. B roads are the rural roads that connect the smaller towns. These are in even worse condition, not to mention narrow and often windy with blind corners.

Know that driving is done on the left side of the road, which is different than in the United States, and you'll need to enter any roundabouts you encounter going clockwise. Sidewalks are rare and animals are often allowed to roam free, so you'll need to always be on the lookout for pedestrians and livestock in the streets.

To add to the fact that the roads are hazardous, the drivers on the island, even in quite Port Antonio, are insanely aggressive. They drive fast, tailgate, and do not hesitate to pass you even if there is barely any space to get by. Locals are even known to drive along the side of the road to get around someone who is not going fast enough for them.

Braham's Texaco is the only gas station we have we have information on. Reach them at (876) 993-2706, otherwise find it at 15 Harbour Street in the heart of Port Antonio.

Speed limits are usually 50 on the highways, and 30 on roads in town. Even if others are not following the speed limit, make sure you are doing so because if you get pulled over, you will definitely be fined. Always wear your seat belt and make safety your priority.

If you're renting a car for you stay in Port Antonio, you'll soon be indoctrinated into the world of driving on the island of Jamaica, which many believe earns you a badge of honor. Don't let driving conditions stress you out. Instead, know it is all a part of the adventure that is Jamaica.


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