Car rental in Barbados


Barbados has a fairly good and dense road network, although off the main roads the roads are often full of potholes and bumps. Nevertheless, the local network is one of the best in the Caribbean.

If you want to venture into the island's forested and hilly interior or to the east and north coasts, a car is by far the best option.

Barbados has left-hand traffic.

How and when to book a car in Barbados

There are many large multinational car rental companies and smaller pan-Caribbean ones operating in Barbados. Renting a car here is like any other civilized country.

Nevertheless, it has the specificity of a shortage of cars. Book a car at least 2-3 months in advance, especially in the December-April period. Otherwise, you run the risk that realistically none of the car rental companies will have spare capacity and you will end up completely without a car, resulting in a complete overhaul of the program.

View car rental prices in Barbados

We've had good experiences with Hertz, Drive-A-Matic and Avis, all of which can be found in the comparator

Barbados car rental prices

Barbados is one of the more expensive destinations within the Caribbean. Prices vary greatly depending on the season.

  • Weekly rental peak season (December to March): from USD 490 for the smallest car
  • Weekly rental low season (April to June): from USD 270 for the smallest car
  • Weekly rental off-season (July to November): from USD 240 for the smallest car
  • Current rental prices in Barbados

Prices for larger SUVs are up to 3 times that of the smallest cars.

As elsewhere in the world, in Barbados the longer you rent a car, the lower the price per day.

In addition, it is advantageous to book a car at least 2-4 months in advance. Conversely, if you book for more than 7 months, you will see fewer offers and it pays to wait.

International and local driving licence for 10 bbd

To rent a car in Barbados, you will need a national driving license and if you come from a non-English speaking country, then an international driving license, which you must carry with you at all times.

In addition, you will need to pay a fee 10 bbd / 5 usd for a temporary local driving licence, which will be issued to you directly by the car rental company on site in the form of a handwritten piece of paper. There is no need to apply in advance.

No photograph is required for a local driving licence.

Petrol prices and petrol stations

Petrol in Barbados is the most expensive in the Caribbean and Latin America in general.

US units of measure are used here, so all prices are per gallon, not per litre. 1 gallon = 3.78 litres.

Currently (2024), 1 gallon of regular gasoline (the term 'Gasoline' is used here) costs approximately 15,45 bbd.

How do petrol stations work in Barbados?

There is a good density of petrol stations on Barbados and you can find a petrol station in every major town.

All petrol stations here are manned, there are no self-service stations yet.

Simply pull up to a stand, open the tank and tell the attendant how much you want to fill up. Either in liters (gallons) or in maximum monetary value, or just say "full tank please". Payment can always be made in US and Barbadian dollars and in the vast majority of cases by card. You pay directly to the attendant who filled your tank, so you don't have to leave the car at all.

Most petrol stations are equipped like everywhere else: a small convenience store with snacks and car accessories, or a café.

Quality and road markings

Barbados has a very dense network of roads and tarmac streets, so a normal small car can get you absolutely everywhere.

There is also a four-lane highway running north-south, which acts as a bypass of Bridgetown and a link to the airport. The highway is labelled "ABC" and is marked on maps as far north as Barbados, although it eventually turns into just a main road.

The quality of the main roads is generally good, but the secondary roads are full of potholes, missing shoulders and unmarked unevenness.

If you leave the main road, definitely slow down and expect bumps and narrow sections absolutely everywhere.

The signs are European style. The directional signage is of poor quality and not present at all junctions.

Traffic and traffic regulations

Driving on Barbados is on the left.

The advantage of driving in Barbados is the great consideration of the local drivers and the fact that they recognize a foreigner in the car at first sight. In fact, all rental cars have different license plates: a blue H with numbers on a white background.

The local drivers drive considerately. You don't have to worry about dangerous fast driving or nervous overtaking if you drive more carefully than the locals. When overtaking, drivers will usually honk at you, but this is normal here: they are just letting you know that they have decided to overtake and the courtesy is to slow down or pull more to the side of the road.

Drivers driving on the main road are also often considerate of cars coming out of side streets or car parks.


Speeds are measured in kilometres per hour and the maximum speed limits are as follows:

  • In the village - 40 km/h (approx. 25 mph)
  • Outside the village - 60 km/h (approx. 37 mph)
  • On the ABC motorway - 80 km/h (approx. 50 mph)

Priorities and roundabouts

Although there is left-hand traffic, right-hand priority still applies at junctions not controlled by traffic lights or signs.

Roundabouts are common, where the car travelling on the roundabout always has the right of way. Multiple lanes are very common at roundabouts, always stick strictly to the road signs. No flashing lights when leaving a roundabout.

Alcohol, seat belts and talking on the phone

Wearing seat belts is compulsory and talking on the phone while driving is strictly forbidden. Earphones are not allowed either. Wearing seatbelts and talking on the phone are strictly punished by the police and can result in a fine of up to 1 000 bbd.

While there is no blood alcohol limit in Barbados, if you cause an accident while under the influence, it is a significantly aggravating factor.

Booking a car in Barbados


Parking in Barbados is one of the biggest pain points of local traffic. Particularly in the densely populated strip along the west and south coasts, finding a parking space by the beach is truly an art.

While there are frequent shopping malls and supermarkets where you can park for free and walk away for an hour, parking all day could end up in a tow.

Large public car parks are virtually non-existent here and when they are, they tend to fill up around 9am. Free street parking is allowed wherever it's not prohibited by a sign, but the streets are usually narrow so parking isn't possible everywhere.

The best places to park are at Folkestone Marine Park beach or at Carlisle Bay or Oistins.

This article may contain affiliate links from which our editorial team may earn commissions if you click on the link. See our Advertising Policy page.