Roseau Rental Cars

Be your own pilot when you rent a car in Roseau

Photo credit: © Island Car Canefield

As you plan your vacation to Roseau, you may envision getting behind the wheel of a fabulous rental car with the windows down as you explore every nook and cranny of Dominica. While this is a possibility, it takes a little bit of work to both rent a car and become familiar enough with the local way of driving before you can do so with ease.

Renting a Car

In order to rent a car in Roseau you must be at least 21-years-old, though some rental agencies will require that you be 25. You will also need to purchase a local drivers permit, which can be done through the agency you rent with, at the airport, or at the Traffic Department for $12(USD). Make sure to have your driver's license from back home with you to prove your driving credentials. The permit is good for one month.

Rental car agencies fill the Canefield Airport, but you'll also find them elsewhere through the capital city.

Check out the following table which shows the many different area rental agencies.

Vehicle Rental Companies
Name Phone Location
Accessories-Plus (767) 440-6073 4 Winston Lane - Roseau
Avis Roseau (767) 448-0413 Downtown Roseau
Courtesy Rentals Roseau (767) 275-7763 10 Winston Lane - Roseau
Eagle Car Rentals (767) 245-1686 Copthall - Roseau
Island Car Canefield (767) 255-6844 Canefield
Island Car Rentals (767) 255-6844 Canefield Highway - Roseau
QB Vehicle Rental (767) 440-7681 9 Great Marlborough Street - Downtown Roseau
Road Runner Car Rentals (767) 440-2952 Canefield Highway - Roseau
Valley Rent-A-Car Roseau (767) 448-3233 Goodwill Rd - Roseau

...steep inclines and very few guardrails...


Thanks to the rugged terrain, it is recommended that you make sure you rent a vehicle with four wheel drive like a jeep or other sports utility vehicle; the larger wheels on these vehicles can handle the roads and give you higher ground clearance. Whichever type of vehicle you choose, it is typical for them to have right hand drive, air conditioning, and a radio. Some may have manual transmission, so make sure to double check if this will be a problem for you.

What can be said about driving in Roseau other than that it's an adventure? For starters, driving is done on the left side of the road, where as in the United States it moves on the right side. Roads are often very narrow with steep inclines and very few guardrails to protect you from swerving off the edge of the road. The drive from the airport to Roseau is especially perilous, as it takes two hours of driving through winding mountainous terrain. Many seasoned tourists will recommend that you allow a local to take you to your hotel where you can then pick up your rental – and bring Dramamine if you are prone to motion sickness.

Driving around Roseau, you should have no problem finding road signs to direct you, but outside of town they become fewer and you may end up relying on landmarks to guide you rather than street names. You will also find most streets outside of town to be riddled with pot holes and not very well designed. There are no places to pull over, and if you do have need to do so pay close attention. Often, what appears to be a place to pull off is actually a ditch. The one exception to this rule is the Main Road that runs between Roseau and Portsmouth. It was paved as recently as 2011, and is the most “western” road on the island.

Always be on the lookout for pedestrians and animals on the road as you drive. The lack of sidewalks means locals take no issue treading on the pavement, and they expect you to watch out for them. If you are driving from Picard or Portsmouth towards Roseau, you will encounter a large heard of cows that frequent the roads. Be prepared to stop and let them cross, or simply go around. Other drivers on the road are friendly, but drive recklessly fast, zipping around corners, and having no issue with tailgating you until you either move faster or get out of their way. They are known to honk or flash their high beams on curved roads so you now they are coming, and you should do the same.

Although seat belt laws are not enforced, for your safety it is strongly recommended that you wear one at all times when you are in your rental.

The Cost of Renting a Car

In addition to the $10 to $20(USD) a day you'll spend if you add insurance to your rental, you can expect to pay between $50 and $60(USD) a day to rent a car in Roseau, which is comparable to many places in the United States. On top of this, a deposit of somewhere between $800 and $2500(USD) will be held on your credit card. If you return the vehicle in pristine condition, your deposit will be returned to your car in full.

As you can see, prices vary, with the season and vehicle type. The lowest rates are only available from the lowest cost firms during the slowest times of the year. The highest rates are what you should anticipate when demand is at its peak.

Vehicle Rentals, Daily Rates
Rental Type Low Rate High Rate
Mid Size Car $ 45.00 $ 52.00
Light SUV $ 49.00 $ 60.00
Standard SUV $ 60.00 $ 75.00
Heavy SUV $ 90.00 $ 102.00
Vehicle Rentals, Weekly Rates
Rental Type Low Rate High Rate
Mid Size Car $ 300.00 $ 330.00
Light SUV $ 329.00 $ 375.00
Standard SUV $ 400.00 $ 475.00
Heavy SUV $ 610.00 $ 650.00

Gas Stations

Be prepared to pay a bundle for gas. Prices are regularly over $5.00(USD) a gallon. Fortunately, gas stations can be found in nearly every town, so you needn't worry about running out of fuel as you drive from place to place so long as you gas up early. They tend to close before the dinner rush.

Spots to refuel your car in the area are relatively abundant. Be sure to check out the listing just below for some locations. the chart

Gas Stations
Name Phone Location
Dowasco Pumping Station (767) 440-2958 Goodwill - Downtown Roseau
Gas Cornwall Street -- Downtown Roseau
Lindo Park Service Station (767) 448-2599 Federation Drive - Downtown Roseau
Mcmillan All-In-One -- Wall House
Riverside Gas Station (767) 448-4259 Downtown Roseau
Sukie's Gas Bulk Station (767) 449-1992 Canefield
Texaco -- Wall House
Texaco Gas Canfield -- Canefield
Texaco Gas Roseau -- Roseau
West Indies Gas (767) 449-1352 Canefield

If you still think renting a car in Roseau is for you, be sure to call and reserve your rental in advance. You don't want to end up with the “runt of the litter,” simply because you waited too long to make your reservation.


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