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is renting a car a good idea?

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean is renting a car a good idea?

1. Posted by hiyala (Budding Member 2 posts) 9y

hiyala has indicated that this thread is about Jamaica

we'll be staying in negril for 7 nights at heart beat. .(is that a good place?) thinking of renting a car and traveling around for about 3 days. how is it to drive there? for pickup at the airport it is expensive!! any public transport that we can take to negril from the airport?? appreciate any ideas.. heidi

2. Posted by snatterand (Travel Guru 454 posts) 9y

Where is that?!?


3. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 9y

I'm guessing Jamaica... still it would have been good to mention it in the post itself as well :)

4. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 9y

Renting a car in Jamaica... It is an interesting experience to say the least and not for the faint of heart. My husband and I rented a car in Ocho Rios and drove to Kingston (and back) to visit friends. The rental aspects were easy - the driving was something else. We laugh about it now...

There are a few things you should know about the driving habits there. In Jamaica, it is left-hand side driving. (Opposite of here.) Most of the roads are very narrow, similar to our country roads. The Jamaicans consider them to be three lane even though they are about 1.5 lanes wide. The horn is a communication device. They honk their horn to let you know they are passing you so you can "scootch" over a bit. They also use it to say hello and to let you know they don't like your driving. Passing on blind corners is common, even by large trucks. There will be goats and cows tied to fence posts and signs everywhere. There will also be pedestrians/roadside vendors as there are no sidewalks or walking paths.

If you do rent a car, check with the hotel personnel about routes to get to things you want to see. Roads can end in someone's yard. There are also areas in the countryside which are not safe for travellers - most locals will know where these areas are. (You don't want to end up in someone's ganga field by accident - seriously.)

If you are up for the challenge, by all means, rent the car and see the country. Just remember to stay on the left side of the road. At night, it is best to take taxis to your destination and take up the driving again in daylight.

Hope that helps. We did just fine during our trip, but it can be nerve-wracking at times. Have a good trip! ;)

Post 5 was removed by a moderator
6. Posted by xxChristel (Inactive 2 posts) 9y


I drive regulay in Jamaica, however coming from Australia I'm used to driving on that side of the road. The roads are a little crazy and can get quiet scary, you have to drive slowely as there are always dogs, goats, kids and cars that jump on the road unexpected. Not to mention the pot holes! Eekkk! Just the other day I dropped the car in huge one and got a flat tyre... not fun! Having someone else drive is a lot easier.

A pick up from the airpost is usually about $40. I know a driver so let me know if you require this.

As for buses, there are tourist buses, $25 per person or you can catch route taxi... but I wouldn't do this if it's you're first time cause it's a pain with luggage as you have to change cars a couple of times... and with the increase in violence in mo bay you're better catching private taxi. Let me know if you need more info


7. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 9y

Quoting xxChristel

Not to mention the pot holes! Eekkk! Just the other day I dropped the car in huge one and got a flat tyre... not fun! Having someone else drive is a lot easier.

There are also lots of guard walls (like our guard rails) with huge holes in them and dead cars at the bottom of the slope... The cars are rarely removed after these accidents so they are in various states of decay. Driving slowly will get you honked at, but that's okay - drive slowly anyway.

Thanks Christel - glad to know we weren't the only ones encountering the goats, dogs and kids!! ;)