Do you have any plans to visit Jamaica? Of course you do. This is by far one of the most beautiful countries in the world and everyone wants to pay a visit. However, it is the shame that most tourists play it safe when they visit the island. To be more specific, they went to an all-inclusive resort and figuratively stayed behind the door the whole journey!
Don’t misunderstand me, there’s nothing wrong with that. It is perfectly fine to go to Jamaica and stay in the resort the whole trip. On the other hand, if you are more interested in adventurous nature and want to see the island by yourself, renting a car and driving yourself is the best way to enjoy the view. However, it is not the best to rent a car without knowing the local rules of the country.
The Requirements when Renting a Car
It is super easy when you want to accomplish the task of renting a car in Jamaica. If you belong to the major North American car rental chains, there are several “home-grown” operations for you to have a car. For example, we have EFAY Rent a Car (efay.com), Island Car Rentals (islandcarrentals.com); Dhana Car Rental (mobay.com)… So it is normal for car owners to certainly find rental agencies at the major Jamaican tourist hubs of Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Negril and,as well as at the airports.
With all the convenience, it is time to know what we need in order to rent a car. According to jamaicars.com, the rental requirements are basic: the driver must be 25 years old, along with having a valid driver’s license from your home country and pay with a credit card. And that is it. There’s no special permit required in order to rent a car in Jamaica.
11 Cautions when Renting a Car
Now you know how to have a rental car, it is time to understand the Jamaica cautions when driving. Driving in Jamaica may not be what car owners used to in other countries.
Left Side of the Road
It is the most essential caution when driving in Jamaica. They drive on the left side of the road. For most drivers, this takes a while to get used to. And of course, car owners should use caution in your first forays into traffic.
Jamaican Roads Vary Greatly in Surface and Condition
Another cautions when driving in Jamaica is the surface and condition of the road. Some major highways are up to your standards. However, as you might expect, others should be rough and full of potholes.These are not at the standard roads if you are from America. Yet they work, trust us .
Pay Cash at Gas Stations
Along with the road, there are a few other details to be prepared for, and the money is the caution. Drivers should expect to pay cash and not credit cards at gas stations. Some of the gas stations have the credit cards payment, yet most of them prefer cash.
Lookout for Your Surrounding
Last but not least, it is always a caution to look out for your surroundings when driving. It is normal to take note of this, yet in Jamaica, it is crucial. When driving on Jamaica road, you want to look out for pedestrians, animals as well as aggressive drivers.
One plus thing about Jamaica is that you do not have to worry about finding your way around. The Jamaica Tourist Office prints a thing called “Discover Jamaica”. It is a good, free map and by looking at it, it is impossible to get lost. So you can go to any car rental office to claim or ask for a copy.
Alright, now you have known all the things about renting a car in Jamaica. But all of the previous information is actually all in the book and you can get them from anywhere. If you want to know about another 7 crucial tips about car rental, they are right here:
Book from Home
Do not wait until you get to Jamaica to rent an automobile. It will be much cheaper to book your vehicle before you go. It is not only saving money but also reserve the car you desire.
The further ahead you reserve the vehicle, the better the chance of having a deal. The reason for this is that you can watch out for price drops.
Pay for the Rental in Jamaican dollars
The second trick you should understand is the right cash. You are free to pay for the rental in U.S. dollars. However, this option will cost you more in the long run.
We recommend you to pay in the local currency with the purpose of avoiding Dynamic Currency Conversion fees. If you want to pay in U.S. dollars, the rental car company converts the purchase amount from the local currency. Yet again,this process is entirely unnecessary. The reason is that your credit card company will process the transaction in either currency.
International Driving Permit is not Required
The third tip for you as a U.S. resident is that you do not need to get an International Driving Permit to drive in Jamaica. All car owners must have is a valid state-issued driver’s license to rent a car for up to three months.
Another thing to not worry about is that you can find automatic transmissions everywhere. Even when you want to have a used car in Jamaica, this option is always available. This means you do not have to drive with a stick shift if you’re not used to it. Most rental car companies offer vehicles with automatic transmissions in various car categories.
Double Check your Credit Card Coverage
Another tip to know is that you’re not required to buy car rental insurance in Jamaica as long as you have your credit card benefits.
Before you leave for a trip, it is necessary to contact your credit card company to acknowledge what coverage it offers on car rentals in Jamaica.
Inspect the Vehicle Carefully before Driving
Car owners must always protect themselves from potential false damage. And in order to do that, they must carefully check over your car before driving it off the parking lots.
Document every scratch and dent. It is better to use your smartphone for checking purposes. This little tool will come in handy for taking photos of any imperfections to make sure you won’t have to pay for them later.
Do Not Wander too Far Off the Grid
Last but certainly not least, you do not want to get lost. Cell phone coverage may not be available in all parts of Jamaica, so you need to map your route ahead of time. Doing it that way, you won’t get lost.