Dominica car rentals are among the best ways to see this beautiful island at your own pace. The small size of this growing tourist destination—it’s only 30 miles long and 15 miles wide—means that driving allows you to see almost everything on the island. Dominica has no railways, so driving a rental car in Dominica or traveling by water are the best ways to get around.
Once you arrive in Dominica, either on a flight or ship, you will want to secure Dominica transportation. You usually have a range of options: taxi, rental car, or local bus. Taxi drivers will be flocking around you to offer their services, and if you are not a confident driver, taking a taxi can be a reasonably priced option for seeing the island. Most taxi drivers also double as tour guides, giving you insight into local customs and sights. If you want to take a local bus, the local people are very friendly and speak English, so it is definitely possible, though not always convenient. Buses generally do not follow a schedule, leaving instead whenever the bus fills up. This can be a good option for the budget traveler who has a good supply of time and patience.
Many travelers, however, will opt for Dominica car rentals as their method of Dominica transportation. Many rental agencies are available in tourist hubs such as Roseau or at the Melville Hall Airport in the Northeast of the island, allowing you to pick up a rental car in Dominica as soon as you arrive and drop it off when you leave. Some car rental companies include Courtesy Car Rentals, Quality Rent-A-Car, Bonus Car Rentals, and more. If you want to drive a rental car in Dominica, you will need a temporary local driving permit, which can be secured at a fee from the rental car agency or local police station. You will need to show your valid driver's license from your home country. Book your car in advance, as bookings fill up quickly especially in the tourist season of December to April. You are also more likely to get a better rate if you book in advance.
Roads in Dominica are generally accessible, but may have poor conditions such as potholes, rough patches, and tight turns. You will have to be comfortable driving on the left side of the road and navigating potentially challenging terrain. For this reason, you may wish to rent a 4x4 or off-road vehicle for your Dominica transportation. Many local drivers drive fast, and rely on their horn to alert other drivers of their arrival. Be careful and don't be afraid to sound your horn as you go past turns. Plan ahead for your gas supply: Gas and service stations do not always open on Sundays, some may close early in the evening, and most take only cash for payment. Be careful in challenging weather conditions such as heavy wind and rain, as it will make the road conditions more dangerous with potholes, potential flooding and mud. Although the road between Roseau and Portsmouth is generally maintained, many roads in rural areas are unpaved, requiring a four-wheel drive vehicle.
Driving in Dominica can be an exciting experience, and Dominica car rentals can be some of the best ways to see the country. Stay safe, and your experience will undoubtedly be an unforgettable one.