Renting a Car is The Best Way to Get Around Jamaica

If you’re good at defensive driving, renting a car is a great way to get around and explore Jamaica. Public transportation in Jamaica can be slow and unreliable. So, if you’re in Jamaica on business or exploring, Public Transportation might not be the best route to go. Also, travelling around with a tour group can cramp your style if you want to do your own exploring. So, renting a car is a good way to get around and explore the island. 

Renting a car is also ideal if you’re staying in Jamaica for a few months. Getting around by hired vehicles would not be very cost-effective. Plus, with the use of GPS, you don’t need to worry about directions. Majority of the addresses and places on the island are available on GPS.

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What You Need to Rent a Car

To rent a car in Jamaica you will need two pieces of Government-Issued I.D, which includes a drivers’ licence. You can use an international license or a valid drivers license from another country.  But, should bear in mind that most car rental companies put an age restriction on renting cars.

At HBC we rent cars to people 21 and over, with a driver’s license valid for more than a year. 

Afro couple driving car and using gps navigator on mobile phone, driving to new destination

Using GPS in Jamaica

Jamaica is not as advanced as larger countries. So, many people wonder if GPS works in Jamaica. Well, great news, it does. Jamaica’s GPS system is very useful and efficient. It can help you to get around and explore, do business or go visit a friend. Majority of the places around Jamaica are on GPS, with the minor exception of some rural or hilly areas. But, for the most part you’re covered. You can use Google Maps, for the best GPS inclusion on the Island.

Always download the map you need, to be safe. It’s better to be safe than sorry. When you download the, you can still access the GPS system offline. So, if you don’t have WiFi or data connection, you are still able to get you your destination.

Don’t Always Rely on GPS

Like anywhere else in the world technology doesn’t always come through. So, it’s better to ask questions if you are unsure. Being in a foreign country, you’re not familiar with the roads and how to get where. So don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask the internet, hotel staff, your Airbnb host, or stop at a gas station and ask an employee. Getting lost is never fun.

Traffic lights - crossroad in the foggy night

Is Driving In Jamaica Safe?

A lot of people worry about the safety of driving in Jamaica. It’s a new place so you’ll want to know what you’re dealing with.

To be frank, driving in Jamaica can be a roller coaster adventure. But once you keep your eyes open, you’ll enjoy the experience. There may be a lot of potholes in some areas and some unconventional methods of driving. Because, like our culture, we do things differently than everyone else in the world. So, to put your mind at ease, we’ll give you some tips on driving in Jamaica. 

Driving Tips

In Jamaica, we drive on the left. Remember that and get used to the idea. Also, prepare to do some serious defensive driving in Jamaica. You have to keep your eyes open and be very attentive. Jamaican roads aren’t for the weak. They come with some obstacles, including lots of potholes. There might be animals crossing, unexpected stops, people disobeying traffic signs, speeding or a pedestrian crossing on a red light. So, keep your eyes and ears open. The speed limit in towns and cities is 50 km/h (30 mph) and 80 km/h (50 mph) on open roads. 

Highways are also very useful in Jamaica. Jamaica has three major toll highways that get yo smooth sailing across the country. The East-West Highway stretches from May Pen, Clarendon to Kingston, the North-South stretches from Ocho Rios to Kingston and the Highway 2000 gets you from Portmore to Kingston. Rates for these highways are here.

How HBC Can Help You

HBC has the best customer service rating in Jamaica. We offer long term, short term and on-demand car rentals to suit a variety of customers.  Our fleet of cars ranging from economy to luxury vehicles has a car to suit your needs.