Things you should remember while renting a car in Antigua


Have you ever thought about taking a vacation in a beautiful yet small place with lots of beaches? If you have, then Antigua is one of the places you must have on your bucket list. 


Home to some exquisite and absolutely jaw-dropping gorgeous beaches, Antigua is a haven for people who love the sun. Located in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean islands, it is not too far from America and attracts visitors often. The island is tiny, only about 281 sq km. So, if you get a car, you can actually experience daily life and how it feels like to live on such an island.


Car rental services are readily available in Antigua, but there are a few things you must be aware of before you start the journey. Yes, you might be able to find the same kind of Buick Enclave that your grandfather drives; or a Honda CR-V for your family, but they won’t come cheap. And there are certain ‘weird’ things that you should know about too.


What’s the pricing?


Renting cars in Antigua will not come for cheap. So, unless you are on vacation with a rather healthy budget, you might want to skip renting the car. Even smaller cars will cost you around $50 a day. If you want a crossover or an SUV from a reputed brand, you would have to be prepared for an even higher price.


However, if you avoid making rental reservations after you have touched down, then you might be eligible for lower prices. If you actually order your rental online before reaching the island, you can actually find the automobile at much cheaper rates. This is because most of the rental car companies thrive on online bookings and a lot of competition allows you to choose a car with comparatively cheaper rates. You must plan ahead of time if you don’t want to end up in unfavorable situations.  


Also, car rental companies will offer you more discounts if you hire a car for longer. So, if you plan on staying for a week or longer, consider renting a car for the entire duration of your stay to get a better discount on the overall car rental service.


A local driving license is mandatory


When you are driving yourself in Antigua, you will be needing an international (or foreigner’s) driving license. You can find one for $20, and they will remain valid for three months. Without this temporary permit, you cannot drive a car in Antigua.


Don’t worry, if you book a car through the online rental service, then the company will provide you with the permit. But you need to show them your original license, so you must carry it. They will also want to see and verify your passport and credit card.


Drive to the left of the road


If you are in Antigua, you have to switch driving to the left side of the road, as they follow the left-hand traffic. This might be difficult at first since you are accustomed to the right side of the road as a proud American, but you will get used to it soon. However, this is something important that you should be aware of.


Follow the speed limit


Do not try to break the speed limit, as they may get you in trouble with the police. The speed limit is actually pretty low. Inside the city, it is 20 MPH and outside the city, it is 40 MPH. Police use speed guns and you wouldn’t want to get caught speeding.


Be on the lookout for animals on the road


Well, Antigua is not your typical super industrial country. As a result, there are quite a few animals that might not obey the traffic rules and get in front of you on the road. Donkeys are the most common animals you will find on the side of the road. Be careful and pay close attention to the road in front of you. A wandering donkey might wander in front of your car and cause a disaster.


Also, there are other animals. The takeaway here is, be careful and pay close attention to the surroundings while driving! Maybe that’s why you must pay heed to the speed limit. Also, be wary of some big potholes on the road in certain areas.




Parking is not a tough job in Antigua. You will find a lot of small parking spaces near the beaches. Wherever you visit, you are most likely to find a car parking space. The only real problem you might run into while parking is if you are in the capital, St John’s. Check with the local people and ask where you might park your car. 


Inside the city, it might not be easy to find a parking spot as it is outside, beside the beaches. After 5 PM local time, you can find parking to become a lot easier since you can park in the street too.  As always, check what you keep in your car before you shut the door and walk away.


Grab the insurance


When you are in Antigua and renting a car from a company, always be sure to purchase the ‘collision deductible waiverinsurance. What it basically does is, it allows you to pay a little extra money per day as insurance. If something were to happen to the car, like crashing it or damaging it, then the deductible is waived off and you don’t have to pay for the damage. If you choose not to take this insurance, you would have to pay quite a hefty sum in the case of any misfortune.


You might be super confident in your driving skills, but just for the sake of the uncertain future, we recommend you go ahead and get this. Of course, before you get the vehicle, give it a thorough check and make sure there is no previous damage made to the car.


A small island means less time to travel


As we mentioned in the overview section, Antigua is not really a big island. In fact, to get from any one point on the island to the other, the maximum time it will take is just 45 minutes (in your car). So, you could essentially roam the entire island, provided that you have the time and the money for fuel and the rental.


You wouldn’t have to worry about driving for long distances, or for too long. You could relax and get around the entire island within a very short period of time. In fact, you must. It’s a gorgeous place. Make sure to make the most out of your time there!

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