A vacation in Antigua is always ensured of being a success when you have the freedom of a rental car at your disposal. It is particularly highlighted since the cost is comparatively low in the country for hire cars. However, there are certain points to bear in mind if you are planning a visit to the VC Bird International Airport in the near future and thinking of renting a car for consequent travel inland.
Basic requirements to rent a car
Apart from a valid driving license issued by your country of residence the authorities of Antigua requests all drivers to obtain a local driving permit. The paperwork for obtaining this temporary driving license is normally handled by all leading car hire companies operating in the region of VC Bird International Airport. The average cost is about US$20 and the validity period is for three months. Vehicles are driven on the left hand side of the road.
As the airport is situated on Antigua’s northeast corner, it is also the main entry point for visitors travelling by air into both Antigua and neighboring Barbuda. Renting a car is the most comfortable and convenient way of travelling the country during your stay.
Road conditions in Antigua
Whether you travel by bus, taxi or hire car you have to prepare yourself for a rather bumpy ride when travelling outskirts of the city. Most of the roads are uneven and signboards are generally few and far between. The public bus service is almost non-existent in the area and apart from a rental car the most popular travelling option is by taxi. However, since taxi rates tend to be erratic the ideal mode of travelling in this region is via rental cars. Make sure you have a good map of the region handy as you travel.
Driving in and around the outskirts of Antigua in a hire car is perfectly safe. If you intend to travel off the beaten track you may need to consider hiring a suitable vehicle. Public transport is mainly available only in main local routes and not in tourist routes. Only few streets have adequate illumination at nights and drivers are cautioned to look out for potholes in the rugged regions.
Other key points
- Rental cars in Antigua are easily recognized through the ‘R’ marked on the license plates
- Many car hire companies do not offer child seats as it is not a legal requirement in the country. However, given the road conditions obtaining a child seat is advisable when travelling with small children.
- Most car hire companies will deliver the car to your destination without any extra charge
- The city area speed limit is 20 MPH and 40 MPH for outskirts
- A majority of traffic clusters around St John’s area during peak hours
- Extra care in driving is advised due to poor road conditions and erratic climate