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There have been several reports of the eco car rental company at the airport debiting cards for sums of between $1,400 to 3,000 USD without the customers knowledege. One client was in an accident and they withdrew at total of 6,000 USD without his approval. The best advice is to take out full insurance from a company that offers it. Note.They do not offer full insurance for SUV's
Up until 2005 , there was little to choose from in the way of newer, dependable car rentals on Roatan. In the past 2 years, all major rental companies have opened up locations on the island (the better known names are in Coxen Hole). The selection is excellent and prices are very competitive. Expect to pay as high as $86 per day (plus taxes) for the best available SUV, and as low as $25 per day for bald tires and the dent special.
In addition to auto rentals, Roatan has a growing taxi inventory in the amount of approximately 500. On cruiseship days, most are on the road. All taxis are White in color with a large number on the side. With the fact that Roatan imports all it's gasoline, and with the price of a barrel of oil doubling in the last year, we have seen the taxi rates double, if not more.
Long gone are the days when a tourist could get a cab for a short trip and only pay a couple of US dollars. Depending on if you get a driver who speaks English, the rates, especially on cruise days can run $20 US for a One way trip from Coxen Hole to West Bay. As in every other country in the world, make sure you KNOW what you are paying, before jumping in for the ride. If you want to save momey, simply say No, and wait for the next taxi. The best drivers get the most business, and getting a driver's license on Roatan, does not require a DRIVER'S test proving their skills..
In addition to auto rentals, there are a few reputable companies that rent new scooters and motorcycles. The roads on Roatan are narrow, and parking in any town on the island is limited, and can be a chaotic experience. Having a scooter/motorcycle alleviates that problem. Although only for the more adventurous, this is a great way to see and get around our beautiful island. Helmets are the law.
If you decide to drive your own vehicle while on Roatan, please bring your driver's license. Police road blocks are common, and the first question (in Spanish) is to let them see your license. The legal driving age in Honduras is 18, although this is a new law, and has not been rigorously enforced. Drunk driving gets you a night in a jail you don't even want to visit.
In addition, a new law prohibiting smoking while driving, and talking on a cell phone while driving, has also not been enforced to the letter of the law.
Driving is on the right side of the road, and the main road is paved. Please be aware that after rainy season, the potholes can be frequent and deep. There are no shoulders for pedestrian and bike traffic, so expect everyone to be sharing the road, including large animals. That means driving slow and responsible.
If in an accident, immediately ask to contact the TRANSIT POLICE in Coxen Hole. They are responsible for all traffic incidents. They also determine fault. Do not accept the decision of the other driver, and do not pay them any monies.