Known for its scenic views, tourists may imagine themselves renting a car, rolling the windows down, and driving along Runaway Bay's coastal highway with the wind whipping through their hair. Unfortunately, driving in Runaway Bay is such an all-consuming task that it is unlikely to be the enjoyable experience you'd hope for. Still, some may need to rent a vehicle for more practical reasons and there are plenty of opportunities to make that happen.
If you're under the age of 23, or over the age of 75, you will not be permitted to rent a vehicle in Runaway Bay. There are over 50 rental agencies on the island, the closest to Runaway Bay being in Ocho Rios, and from them you'll have plenty of choices with regards to make and models. Compact vehicles are recommended because of the area's narrow roads, but on the other hand, a vehicle with four wheel drive is essential if you will be exploring more rural landscapes. The best thing to do is to compare prices before making your final decision.– unless you're willing to pay an extra fee. If you fall within this age requirement, you will need only a valid driver's license and a credit card to rent a car for your time in
Check out this table which identifies the available area rental agencies.
|(876) 973-3539||Main Street - Runaway Bay|
|Salem Car Rental||(876) 973-4167||Main Street - Runaway Bay|
Expect to pay anywhere between $35 and $250(USD) a day. Smaller vehicles will, of course, cost less, and the more amenities you require in the vehicle, the higher your price will be as well. Keep in mind you will also need to pay for insurance, which is required on the island, plus the local Value Added Tax (V.A.T). If you're traveling to Runaway Bay during the summer, you may even be able to find prices lower than the average simply because it is the off-season, and the longer you have the rental, the cheaper you'll find each day to be.
...three main types of roads...
These tables provide a good sense of the local rental market. The lowest rates displayed are usually only available from the least expensive agencies during the slow season. The highest rates are what you can expect at one of the busier agencies during the high season.
|Rental Type||Low Rate||High Rate|
|Economy Car||$ 32.00||$ 45.00|
|Mid Size Car||$ 52.00||$ 75.00|
|Light SUV||$ 66.00||$ 115.00|
|Full Size Van||$ 75.00||$ 115.00|
|Rental Type||Low Rate||High Rate|
|Economy Car||$ 195.00||$ 258.00|
|Mid Size Car||$ 310.00||$ 445.00|
|Light SUV||$ 395.00||$ 695.00|
|Full Size Van||$ 445.00||$ 695.00|
Driving is done on the left side of the road in Runaway Bay, which will be a departure for tourists from the United States and Canada, but those from Europe will feel right at home – except for the fact that the steering wheel is usually also on the left side of the vehicle. It may be wise to do a little practice run around the parking lot before you get out on the road. Jamaican drivers are known for their speed and aggression, and driving here can be an intense experience, so you want to make sure you feel comfortable behind the wheel before you put yourself in the middle of it all.
On top of the fact that you'll likely be dealing with road rage, there are also road conditions to be wary of. The roads in Jamaica have not been kept up over the years, and you will become familiar with rather large pot holes. Beware of locals swerving around them, but try and go slowly over them yourself. On top of this, the roads are not very clearly marked, traffic signals are sparse, and sidewalks are rare as well. The government has recently begun making improvements to major roads, but they are a long way off from making any real progress.
On Jamaica, you'll find there are three main types of roads in addition to smaller thoroughfares maintained by local parishes. These are known as A Roads and B Roads. The A Roads are highways which typically run along the coast, and connect all of Jamaica's major cities, while the B roads are much more narrow and winding, and offer connections to the rural areas. There are four A Roads and 15 B Roads, yet you'll probably end up doing most of your driving on them.
Due to the fact that there happens to be a limited number of service stations within the area, it is a good idea to view the list directly below to see some of their locations.
|(876) 975-2327||Main Street - Browns Town|
|(876) 972-2530||23 Main Street - St. Ann's Bay|
|(876) 973-9721||Main Street - Discovery Bay|
|--||Main Road - Runaway Bay|
The key to remaining safe on Jamaican roads is to always wear your seat belt, keep up with traffic without blatantly disregarding posted speed limits, and remain calm while other drivers are swirling around you. If you can do all of these things, you'll find that driving here is not so perilous after all, and you may even enjoy the adventurous nature of it all.
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