Tips to rent a car in Curaçao

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29 January, 2022

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On Curaçao there are many things to see and even though the island isn’t big, it’s too far to walk and the public transport isn’t great. For that reason renting a car is a must when visiting Curaçao, so in this article I will tell you where to rent a car, get the best deal and what you need to know before renting a car.

Car from car rental near beach in forest on Island Curaçao

Is driving in Curaçao safe?

The short answer on this question is: YES! Driving in Curaçao is super safe. People are not driving chaotic or all over the place and the traffic rules are almost the same as we’re used to in The Netherlands and in Europe.

What are the roads like in Curaçao?

As driving in Curaçao is safe, also the roads are very safe. Especially the main roads. As soon as you go a little off-road there might be some holes and bumps, but other than the roads are good. This means you don’t need a 4×4 car, but most car rentals do offer automatic cars to give you a little more comfort during your stay. This is especially nice to have when driving up hills or when going to the Christoffel Mountain – where you have to drive steep up. When it rains it gets a little slippier, so take that into account and keep more distance from the vehicle in front of you.

Local people from Curaçao take the car for almost anything, even the smallest distances. So be aware that main roads – especially Caracasbaaiweg, between Jan Thiel and Willemstad – are very busy during rush hour.

What are the costs of renting a car in Curaçao?

There are multiple car options to rent, however, you don’t need a big car or 4×4 to drive in Curaçao. Mostly they offer you an automatic transmission car, but even with a manual transmission car you won’t have any trouble on the island.

The costs of renting a car depend on the season, but a small car can differ from € 35 to € 60 per day. December and January are the peak seasons for Curaçao, so cars will be more expensive then.

Take in mind that during Corona a lot of car rentals had to sell their cars to survive the pandemic. Now that tourism is growing again cars are scars and prices can go up quickly. So make sure you rent your car on time.

Renting a car locally

I rented my car locally at Inspiration Car Rental. If you want to rent a car feel free to contact Remy (+599 9513 7710) for more information. The benefit of renting local for me is that I support locals instead of a huge company, especially during the pandemic. However, when renting local you have to make sure the insurance and contract is valid and reliable and that you know who you are renting from. Remy is a acquaintance on the island and I would definitely recommend his service – he also brings the car to you or picks you up, which is super convenient and takes away a lot of “how do I get my car” stress.

Navigation

When driving in Curaçao there are a lot of signs and if you’re heading to Westpunt, Punda or Otrobanda it’s most likely you can just follow the signs. However, if you want to go anywhere more specific you can use the app Maps.Me – this is an offline app that shows you the road, beaches, restaurants and tourist spots and makes it easier to find it again by marking destinations as a favorite.

Minimum age to rent a car

At most car rentals there is a minimum age of 21, but if you’re between 18 or 21 you can rent a car for an extra fee.

Parking

It’s possible to park for free almost everywhere in Curaçao. When it’s paid parking you’ll notice this by the numbers written on the streets. This is mostly around Punda. But if you park a little outside the centre you can park for free – for instance at Plaza Roberto H. Estatius near Starbucks – and then walk from Rif Fort to Queen Emma Bridge. Or park near Bij Blauw to walk through Scharloo, Pietermaai and Otrobanda. This is also a nice spot to have a coffee.

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