While Scarborough is a rare exception, overall, public transportation on Tobago is limited. This means, of course, that if you plan to explore some of the must-see sites and attractions outside of town, renting a car will be essential.
Although the rental agencies on the island offer a good variety of vehicle types, renting a sports utility vehicle with four wheel drive. If you're staying only in Scarborough, you can get away with a less capable vehicle, but those who will be exploring outside of town may face unpaved roads and should be prepared.
There are no major international car rental chains on the island, so you may have to rent with a company you've never even heard of before. Just be sure to review all of the paperwork and you should be fine. In order to rent on the island, you'll need to be over the age of 25, have a driver's license, and two years of driving experience.
The chart below lists the vehicle rental agencies located in this general area.
|(868) 631-5039||Glen Rd Scarbrough - Scarborough|
|(868) 639-1032||Downtown Scarborough|
|(868) 639-3397||Kirk Street - Scarborough|
In Scarborough, if you rent a car from a larger, more well-known agency on Tobago, you'll find prices to be anywhere from $55 to $110(USD) a day. There are some smaller businesses and even hotels that may offer lower rates but with these places you really don't know how old or how well-maintained the vehicles are. Most seasoned tourists would recommend that you stick to the larger island-chains and always purchase the insurance which will cost you about $10(USD) extra a day.
Local agencies sometimes charge widely different rates so it may be worth the effort to contact several firms. The lowest rates shown only apply to the lowest cost firms during the slow season. The highest rates are what you can expect at one of the busiest firms during the peak season.
|Rental Type||Low Rate||High Rate|
|Light SUV||$ 40.00||$ 90.00|
|Mid Size Car||$ 45.00||$ 85.00|
|Standard SUV||$ 60.00||$ 100.00|
|Mini Van||$ 90.00||$ 132.00|
|Rental Type||Low Rate||High Rate|
|Light SUV||$ 260.00||$ 585.00|
|Mid Size Car||$ 290.00||$ 510.00|
|Standard SUV||$ 360.00||$ 650.00|
|Mini Van||$ 585.00||$ 792.00|
Compared to Trinidad, driving on Tobago is more rustic. Even in Scarborough which is one of the busiest cities, you'll find the roads are not as well-maintained and drivers can be a bit erratic. Still, seasoned tourists agree that this island experiences some of the better driving conditions in the Caribbean. When you're driving around the city, you'll find local drivers to be courteous, even if they pay little regard to rules of the road.
A few things to keep in mind: traffic moves on the left side of the road, buckling up is the law, and gas stations are few and far between. It is always a good idea to fuel up anytime you hit half a tank or lower and see a gas station on the road – there are only eight on the entire island. The good news is that gas is extremely cheap, and usually costs less than $2(USD) a gallon. In Scarborough, the gas station is located on South Claude Noel Highway, and there are to others south of the town's center along the coast.
Since you may encounter problems finding gas stations, take a look at the chart right below to get an orientation of where some of them can be found.
|2.8 mi. (4.5 km) West-Southwest of Scarborough|
For transportation on Tobago, you'll find renting a car to be the most reliable option. Even though you may be able to get away with using public transport in Scarborough, if you have even the smallest plans to do any sightseeing, you'll want to make plans to rent.
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