One of the hardest parts about living in Jamaica is not having my car. Because I have no idea how long I’ll actually be here and shipping costs and duty fees are astronomical, my little Honda Civic continues to sit in Atlanta until I return for it or sell it
Getting around Kingston and other areas of the island is quite easy and can be very affordable, but nothing beats being able to explore the hidden gems of a new place on your own time with your own wheels. And yes, Jamaicans drive on the “wrong” side of the road, but it literally took about 10 minutes of practice to get acclimated to driving a right hand drive car on the left hand side of the road. I’ve been unstoppable ever since.
In my many Jamaica road trips that have brought me through all 14 parishes, Island Car Rentals has been there to help make it all possible. Here are 5 of the many reasons why I keep coming back to Island for my rental car needs in Jamaica.
First, they have a reliable fleet of rental cars. After all, this is most important when choosing a rental company, right? No one wants to hit the open road only to end up broken down and stuck for hours. Trust me I’ve been there before and while it was an adventure, I’d rather not do it again.
While I typically opt for the compact car with high fuel efficiency, there are a wide range of options including vans, SUVs and luxury sedans. During the rental process you go through a thorough walk thru to ensure full functionality of everything. The scratches and paint chips, blinkers, all caps and hoses under the hood, the spare tire, hubcaps, tools for tire change, AC, radio and CD player…everything. Even after the full inspection, in the event something does go wrong, there is 24 hour road side assistance available for anywhere on the island.
After making sure I have reliable wheels, my next concern is insurance. I know people who have rented with smaller companies and even from guys on the street. The primary reason I won’t go that route is lack of full coverage insurance. If something happens to the car and it’s your fault, you have to take care of the bill. With Island how ever, you have a range of insurance options to meet your needs with coverage for everything down to the tires.
Let’s face it, the world is relying more and more on technology, and luckily Island Car Rental is caught up in terms of booking. You can make your reservations by phone, on their website, islandcarrentals.com, and via their mobile app. My trips are usually very last minute, so it’s great that I’m able to check availability and make a reservation directly from my phone quickly when I’m away from my computer and it’s after business hours.
Renting a car is not just about the car, and Island knows that. They offer many more amenities, including maps and a GPS system for your rental. If you are traveling from outside ofJamaica, they offer cell phone rentals at very reasonable rates as well. Depending on your distance from the rental office, pick-up and drop off service may be available as well. Not interested in driving? Island offers private transfers, day trips and executive chauffeur services as well.
Last, the staff at Island Car Rental really takes the cake when it comes to customer service. I typically work with Ms. Donna, but the rest of the team are always pleasant and have a smile on their face even in during the busy rush time. But like their slogan says, “ISLAND PEOPLE TAKE BETTER CARE OF YOU!”
Not only is Island Car Rental my rental car company of choice, but they have a history of excellence servicing Jamaicans and visitors to the island for 30 years and is the largest Jamaican rental car company on this island. I know bigger isn’t always better, but in 2011, they were named Jamaica’s Leading Car Hire in the World Travel Awards. Help get them there again this year and case your vote here.
Disclaimer: Island Car Rental supplied my rental for my Portland Jamaica Road Trip. All opinions are my own and based on my personal experiences.