Advice for Renting a Car in Grand Cayman

by Toni Keesee

To Rent or Not to Rent

Christopher Columbus Condos has many guests that call and ask whether it’s necessary to rent a car for their stay, and where the best places are to rent them on the island. It’s not a complete necessity to rent a car (there are some taxis on the island), but we highly recommend renting one for the following reasons:

  • You’ll most likely save a lot of money. Cabs are expensive!
  • You’ll have the chance to see more of the island and take impromptu trips. We recommend taking at least one day to just drive around the island and experience the beauty and unique offerings of each district. For a quick lesson on island geography, you can read this post.
  • If you’re used to driving on the right side of the road you’ll get to experience driving on the LEFT side! (It’s an accomplishment to drive on the opposite side of the road, but make sure to take extra precautions. It definitely takes some adjustment.)

Where to Rent

There are several great car rental agencies to rent from on the island, and most of them are within a 2 minute walk from the airport. We typically recommend Andy’sAvis or Hertz.

Tips for Renting

Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind when renting a car in the Cayman Islands:

  • You will likely have the choice between having your steering wheel on the right (usual in Cayman) or left side of the car. We suggest renting a car with the steering wheel on the right side as that will put the driver next to the centerline which is more comfortable for most drivers. (On my first trip to Cayman the group I was with made the mistake of getting a car with the steering wheel on the left side because we’re American and thought it would be best to get the steering wheel on the side we’re used to, however that meant that when driving on the left side of the road that the driver was nearest to the shoulder which felt very awkward and unnatural. It’s actually better, in our opinion, to opt for the steering wheel on the right side.)
  • We recommend asking for a smaller vehicle because the streets in Grand Cayman are narrow especially in downtown Georgetown.
  • You will be charged a small fee of CI$16 ($20 US) for a temporary driver’s license per driver, and the license is good for one year. If you have an international driver’s license some companies will waive this fee.
  • Call your personal car insurance company to see if they offer international insurance with your coverage. Also, call your credit card companies to see if any of them offer international rental car insurance. Many credit cards offer some form of this service to their cardholders. Make sure to ask about the details of the coverage and the stipulations. In order to be eligible for the coverage from your credit card, most creditors require that you pay for the rental with your credit card and that you do not accept the insurance offered from the rental agency. You’ll want to compare all of your options though (personal insurance, credit card insurance & the rental car insurance) to determine which is best for you and which option you are most comfortable with.

For me and the group I traveled with, having our own car to drive around during our visit was our private ticket to discovering the island at our own pace. I’d definitely recommend it! Just remember to stay to the left!