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Driving in barbados

Montreal, Qc
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Driving in barbados

I am looking to go to Barbados for my honeymoon. I am considering renting a car to get more freedom. Being Canadian, I am wondering the following.

- Is it really necessary? Or I can get around by taking cabs? I plan on staying on the West side of the island (Don't know which hotel yet). My priority is to visit different beaches and just lay low :)

- Are all the cars standard transmission? I only drive automatic unfortunately (I know... shame on me!)

- How is the driving in general. Are the local agressive? orderly? your general impression on the ease of drive and navigation.

- How is the driving and the parking situation in Bridgetown? I would like to plan some shopping days as well.

- Can North Americans adapt to driving on the other side of the road?

Thanks for all your help!

Destination Expert
for Barbados
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1. Re: Driving in barbados


It's not necessary to rent a car but it provides you with greater freedom and flexibility. Cabs can really add up if you use them frequently. We do have a very efficient bus service, fares to anywhere are $2 BBD one-way.

Almost 9/10 rental cars on the island are automatic IMHO.

Some of us (me haha) can be a bit agressive towards other local drivers who love to engage in silly driving, particularly on the highways. But for the most part, we're calm and patient especially with visitors.

There is a great abundance of parking in Bridgetown nowadays. Two huge multi-storey parking lots, and several other one-level car parks. Most parking lots charge $1-$1.50 per hour to park. I never have issue finding somewhere to park unless it's Christmas week. Take your time while driving in our capital and pay attention to all road signs, markings and traffic lights.

Yes, North Americans adapt to driving on the left quite well.

Popular and highly recommended Car Rental companies include:

Stoutes Car Rental - www.stoutescar.com

Courtesy Rent-A-Car - www.courtesyrentacar.com

Drive-A-Matic - www.carhire.tv

Coconut Car Rentals - www.coconutcars.com

Top Car Rentals - www.barbadoscarrentals.com

Direct Car Rentals - www.barbadosrentals.net

M.A.H Car Rentals - www.funbarbados.com/CarRentals/MAHrentals.cfm

If you prefer to rent a luxury vehicle such as a Lexus or Mercedes take a look at Executive Car Rentals. They also carry lines such as Suzuki and Toyota. - www.executiverentalsinc.com

Mix and compare and see who comes out cheapest with the vehicle and conditions you prefer.

Hope this helps


Edited: 15 March 2012, 18:31
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2. Re: Driving in barbados

two things to get used to driving in Barbados

1. driving on the left

2. roundabouts

Destination Expert
for Barbados
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3. Re: Driving in barbados

.....and ( in addition to MrsBB's 2 items)

..... some Bajan drivers and

..... the lack of ( especially on the minor roads) sign posts

...but this all adds to the fun !!!!

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4. Re: Driving in barbados

3) Nobody indicates.

4) Everyone uses the horn instead!!

New York
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5. Re: Driving in barbados

Although taxis are a good way to get around, we prefer the flexibility of having a rental car. We were apprehensive the first time we drove in Barbados, but quickly got past that. Granted, we are from New York, so are used to traffic and all sorts of drivers. I got used to the roundabouts very quickly and the fact that it is a right hand drive car (unlike some other places where you drive on the right in a left hand drive car) keeps reminding you that something is different. The roads are not well marked or in many cases not in good condition and you can expect to get lost, but people are very friendly and will help you if you ask. It's all part of the experience.

Cars are automatic. You can expect to turn on the window wipers every time you want to signal (they are where the signal is at home). It's correct that people do not signal, but I think drivers in NY honk a LOT more than drivers in Barbados.

London, United...
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6. Re: Driving in barbados

Just returned from 2 weeks in Barbados-really wish I was still there! We had a car the whole time-cheapest small car was with MAH-it was NOT automatic(I was told it would be but prefer non auto so best tell them you must have auto). I've driven all over the world and found it very easy going in Barbados. They are the most courteous drivers I've ever encountered-everyone will let you into a queue or cross the road.

Things are not well signposted and we spent many times lost but ask anyone and they'll help you out. People toot and you often think it's at you but it's usually someone saying hi to someone. They also tend to stop suddenly on busy roads to also say hi or get out to get something. Driving at night is not dangerous like Grenada(where they all drive with full beam very fast) but finding your way can be frustrating.

If you've ever driven anywhere in easten Europe, Asia, Africa, Central or South America you will find Barbados a dream. Have fun!

Edited: 15 March 2012, 21:34
Sao Paulo, Brazil
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7. Re: Driving in barbados

if you want to learn about the roundabouts

in barbados take a look at



Buzzards Bay...
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8. Re: Driving in barbados

Bajans are much more tolerant of tourists than we are in the US or Canada in my opinion. My best advice would be to drive at your own pace and don't try and keep up with the locals because in many cases you can't. Bajans will cut you some slack so just drive at your own comfortable speed.

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: Driving in barbados

When I was in Barbados, we would cab and take the bus for the first few days but then decided to rent a car. We preferred this very much. It's so convenient and much quicker to get around. We drove an automatic. I found the driving to be a bit aggressive and fast but that may be because in Toronto there aren't many roundabouts, more traffic lights where it's constantly stop & go. My boyfriend did all the driving and quickly got used to the speed and driving on the left side. We didn't really find any trouble with parking either. I'd say go ahead and rent a car, definitely gives you more opportunity to explore the island!

10. Re: Driving in barbados

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