Cuba Driving Advice and Car Hire Info

Driving In Cuba

Check insurance terms carefully and if using an international CDW/excess waiver policy ensure it covers driving in Cuba as some don’t.Driving standards are variable. Many vehicles suffer from lack of maintenance and roads are poorly lit and sign-posted. Beware of cyclists, potholes and cars that stop without warning to pick up hitch-hikers. Avoid driving at night, when animals, unlit vehicles and other hazards are a real danger. The Cuban police are cracking down on drink driving so its best not to drink any alcohol if you’re going to drive.
If you have a traffic accident where someone is killed or injured, the police investigation may take several months during which time the driver will normally not be allowed to leave Cuba. If travelling in the rainy season expect delays due to flooding in certain parts of the country.In most areas though the roads are quiet, if in poor condition, and driving shouldn’t be too stressful. If you rent a classic car, make sure you have agreed a plan with the company of what to do if it breaks down!

Cuba Car Rental

One of the only countries left in the world where the big multinationals don’t have a foothold. You’ll instead be dealing with the Cuban rental ‘giants’ such as Rex, Via and Cubacar.

There are a number of brokers who deal with all companies such as-

And this company seem able to source cars throughout Cuba –

If you want to deal with the companies Direct, Cubacar has 40 offices across the island

All the companies are owned by the Government so you may find prices are roughly similar…and not cheap! You should also book the car as early as possible as demand often outstrips supply.

Another totally unique option is to rent one of the classic 1940’s and 50’s American classic cars which are a feature of life in Cuba. Internet opinion seems to be you can only rent a classic car with a driver but I’m not so sure.When I visited the Island in 1998 I met two English guys who were self driving a rented 1949 Buick.

This company offers a 1956 Buick and the website states this is without a driver.However when I contacted them they told me the cars are driven by their owners and self drive isn’t an option.

This company also offer classic car rental but I believe they make you take a driver.

Therefore it seems that at present if you want to drive a classic car in Cuba, the only option would be to try and buy one while you’re there or negotiate an ‘unofficial’ rental with a local.

For more info on attempting to rent a classic car in Cuba see my Classic Road Trips page.

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