If you want to get the most out of your vacation on Curaçao, a rental car is very nice. With a car you can drive around the whole island without depending on the bus or taxis. Especially if you want to travel a bit more on Curaçao, a rental car is not only very handy, it is often also cheaper than when you work with other forms of transport. It is also the best way to visit the many beautiful beaches on Curaçao. If you want to visit different beaches, you can not escape renting a car.
Those looking for rental cars in Curaçao will see that there are many different providers. Because both prices and conditions can vary widely, it is sometimes difficult to make the right choice. If you often rent a car on vacation, you know that the quality of car rental companies and rental cars can vary widely. Sometimes you are dealing with an outright drama by a car rental company trying to screw you in all kinds of ways, other times you receive perfect service and sometimes you get a virtually brand new car.
On this page we help you with tips and information to make the right choice about the rental car and where we think you can rent it fine. The information is given from our own experience and knowledge about renting cars on Curaçao and elsewhere in the world.
To rent a car you have to meet a number of conditions. A number of these conditions are laid down by law and a number of conditions differ per car rental company. We have listed the most important rules below:
- You need a valid driver’s license to rent a car in Curacao. A valid Dutch driving license is excellent. You do not need an international driving license to rent a car on Curaçao.
- In order to rent a car, you almost always have to meet a minimum age. Often that is 23, 24 or 25 years. If you are 18, 19 or 20 years old, it is almost impossible to rent a car in Curaçao. With some landlords you can lower the minimum age for a surcharge and / or a higher deposit. The lowest possible age is often still 21 years.
- You must have experience as a car driver. Many landlords state that you must have a driving license for at least one or two years, regardless of age.
- Drivers must be medically capable of driving a car.
- In addition to a minimum age, many landlords also use a maximum age. The limit is usually 70 years.
- You will always have to pay a deposit when renting a car. This can be done in two ways: by blocking the deposit on your credit card or by giving the deposit in cash at the beginning of the rental period. The options differ per car rental company. With one landlord a credit card is required as a deposit, while with another landlord you may only be able to deposit with cash (usually US dollars).
These rules of course apply not only to the driver, but also to any additional drivers. In principle, everyone who can drive the rental car must be recorded in the rental agreement drawn up on site. Usually a surcharge has to be paid for a second driver.
What kind of car to rent?
On Curaçao you can rent cars of all shapes and sizes. What often determines people is the budget. Those who want to spend less money will end up with a smaller car. Take a good look if you also want to take your travel luggage to and from the airport. As a family of four renting a car where only one suitcase fits in the luggage compartment is a very difficult situation. But on the other hand: do you want to drive around in a bigger car for two weeks, purely for those two trips where you need more luggage space? The price difference between a small and a middle-class car quickly amounts to 100 to 200 euros per week. It would then be even cheaper to rent a smaller car and hire a taxi twice to bring the luggage behind you when you arrive and leave Curaçao.
Whoever drives a larger car at home and likes it, will probably also choose a somewhat larger car in Curaçao. If you drive a large SUV or sedan at home, you may have some difficulty with the smallest rental cars. Therefore, also look at what your feeling says. If you like having a little more car around you, don’t choose a car that is too small. Comfort and power are by no means unimportant for some people.
Are you traveling with a larger family or company? Some car rental companies have 7-person MPVs in their fleet. Ideal for when you want to go on a city trip with up to seven people. Given the space that the rear two chairs often offer, you have to take this into account.
Gears or automatic?
In Curacao, the rental cars are offered with both manual gears and automatic gearboxes. A machine runs easier and more comfortable, but not everyone likes it. Decide for yourself whether it matters a lot whether you get a car with manual gearbox or whether you go specifically for a machine. Or do you not care? When booking, it is indicated correctly what kind of gears your rental car has.
The warm tropical climate of Curaçao makes air conditioning an indispensable element of your car. Without air conditioning it can get quite hot in the car. Of course you can always open the windows, but then it only cools when you have enough wind. Although you can assume that almost all rental cars in Curaçao are now equipped with air conditioning, it is not a 100% guarantee. For example, it can certainly happen with the real off-road vehicles that they do not have air conditioning. Think for example of the Jeep Wrangler and the Suzuki Jimny. Nowadays they also almost always have air conditioning, but check this if you are going to rent a car.
Insurance and deductible
Insurance is an important part of your lease. Without good insurance or insurance conditions, the costs can add up in the event that you incur damage. This applies to damage through own fault as well as damage from third parties. The civil liability insurance is normally included in the rent.
As an aid we have made a checklist that you can put next to the rental conditions:
- Is the W.A.insurance indeed included?
- An all-risk insurance is advisable in view of the possible amount of damage. Is all-risk insurance included or not?
What are the extra costs of an all-risk insurance?
Often there is a deductible. The amount of the deductible often differs per rental company and even per car type. The larger or more expensive the car, the higher the amount of the deductible often is. This can amount to up to 2000-3000 euros per event! Check whether the deductible can be bought off and whether it is profitable. With a single rental site you get the deductible refunded (under certain conditions).
- Check that damage to tires, bottom or roof is not excluded from the cover.
- Is car theft included in the coverage?
- What are the rules regarding burglary or burglary damage to the car?
- What if you lose your car keys, is that covered by insurance?
- What about breakdown on the road? Is assistance included and if not, what does it cost extra?
If you have an accident in Curaçao, you should always call the Curaçao Road Service (CRS) on telephone number 199. Do not move the car (s) until the CRS has recorded the situation. take pictures of the situation yourself to avoid later discussion. You need the CRS report to have the damage paid by the insurance. No CRS means no insurance coverage.
What you should always do is check the car for damage as soon as you receive the rental car. Record all damages and take photos if necessary. Try to avoid discussion about damage when handing in. Have the landlord also sign the car report at the start of the rental period and make sure you get a copy of it.
Also pay attention to this!
We’re not there yet. There are a number of other things to keep in mind when renting a car in Curaçao. We have listed the most important facts again.
- Check the number of kilometers you can drive. This is often unlimited, but not always.
- Are there surcharges hidden in the rental conditions such as an airport surcharge, taxes or other surcharges that you cannot ignore? This kind of shit can sometimes push up the rent considerably.
- What about the tank control? Some landlords earn a lot of money from the obligatory purchase of a full tank of fuel. First, they charge a higher amount for the fuel than if you were to refuel yourself, and second, you never get a tank of fuel exactly emptied the moment you return the car. The fuel that remains is pure profit for the landlord. You often see the unfavorable tank arrangement indicated as “full = empty” or “full to empty”. Much better is “full = full” or “full to full”. A middle ground is that you return the car with the same tank level as you received it. That is a bit more difficult to estimate, but a better option than the mandatory purchase of a full tank of petrol or diesel.
Some extras are useful or necessary. Think for example of a child seat or navigation in the car. In the case of a child seat, you have to pay extra at most car rental companies and make a reservation in advance. The offer is limited, so who wants to arrange this on the spot can miss it. If you rent a car for two weeks or more, you should take a good look at what you would have lost in total for the child seat. If you have enough baggage allowance for your flight to Curaçao, it may be worth it to bring one yourself. That could possibly be a second-hand seat that you bought through Marktplaats or so.
Navigation is often a relatively expensive option. Sometimes you spend more on rent than when you bring your own navigation system with which you have installed the road maps for Curaçao. Smartphones can also serve as a navigation system nowadays. With apps such as Google Maps or Maps.me you can navigate in Curaçao absolutely for free. Make sure you have downloaded the maps and turn off your mobile data for these apps when you are on Curaçao. You also have to take care of the battery to charge your mobile phone in the car.
Cheap is often expensive
Often the rule “cheap is expensive”. After all, it must come from length or width. A rental price that seems too good to be true is often too good to be true. Car rental companies are sometimes masters of hiding hidden costs or terms in car rental contracts, which often results in the renter losing much more than he or she originally thought. Therefore, take a good look at the conditions and costs. Also search the internet to find out what experiences you have with the landlord you are considering. You can really just ignore the always rave reviews on the landlord’s own site. After all, you never know how credible and real those experiences are.