Eleuthera is a long island at about 110 miles in length and as such most people choose to rent a car when they come here. Also given that we do not have any rental car agencies like in the US, you won’t see any Hertz or Avis signs anywhere. All of the rental cars are owned by individual people and there are things that you should know before you make your reservations.
1. Do some searching on the internet or ask someone that has rented a car here what their experience was like. There are many car rental people throughout the island but that doesn’t mean they all provide the same quality of cars and professional service. It’s like everything else.
2. Do you need a car or an SUV?
Totally depends on what you want to do and where you want to see on the island.
3.Do they accept credit cards? Does your credit card offer car insurance?
Car rental companies here have what is called third party insurance, comprehensive isn’t even offered. So what this means is that if you don’t get supplemental insurance on the car you rent and anything happens, you are liable for damages to your car. If you have an accident, the other car is covered but you and your car are not. It’s best to make these arrangements prior to renting to insure a worry free trip.
My advice is to get supplemental insurance. Repairs can be very expensive if something happens and it’s not something you want to be always thinking about on your vacation.
4. Do they deliver to the airport you are landing at? Do they charge a drop off and pick up fee?
There are three airports on Eleuthera in the north, central and south.
5. Do they offer you a contract stating everything in writing?
6. Cars here are right hand and left hand drives depending on what country they came from but no matter the driver’s side, everyone drives on the left like in England so you’ll need to make that note as most of the roads have no center lines.
7. All rental cars have the plate starting with SD- self drive. I have no idea how that one started.
Renting a car here can be an easy task if you do the proper research and ask the right questions and is something that should never be done via price alone. A cheap rate tends to be for a car that has seen better days and may not be all that reliable. Reputable car rental people charge about the same rates for the various sizes of cars and it’s higher than you would pay for a US car rental.
The reason is that cars are expensive to get here and maintaining them is also expensive. Properly maintained cars cost more to insure you receive a vehicle that will get you where you need to. These people also stand behind their vehicles if something happens and in reality they try to make sure your trip is as pleasurable as possible. They want you to be happy, tell others and naturally come again.