Car rental in Montego Bay airport

Easy Guide: Car Rental In Montego Bay Airport Booking & Pick-Up! (2024)

Jamaica is a Caribbean island situated right in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, and a great way to explore this island is by doing a road trip. So why not start your road trip flying by organizing your car rental in Montego Bay airport?

There is one thing, though, and don’t panic – but the one detail you want to be aware of when you book your rental car – is that in Jamaica, they drive on the left side of the road!

When I traveled around the island for over a month, I first preferred booking a car AND a driver because of that, but then I discovered it really was not that big of a problem!

So don’t worry – if I can do it, you can!

Affiliate disclosure: I only recommend tours, services and purchases I know and love on this website.

Car Rental In Jamaica

Go on a road trip and visit the beaches and oasis of Jamaica!

So, driving in Jamaica!

You don’t need a car to travel around Jamaica; the Knutsford Express bus company is quite adequate for getting around from A to B to C if you are not in a hurry.

But to explore Jamaica, there really is no better way than doing that with a comfy rental car!

If you want to try out all the smaller less-traveled roads, stop when you want and check out the shiny thing on the side of the road, traveling Jamaica in a rental car is so worth it.

The Seven Mile beach in Negril, go here with your Jamaica car rental in Montego Bay airport only a few hours away.
The loooong Seven Mile beach in Negril

Jamaica is home to diverse landscapes, including stunning beaches in Negril, the vast green Blue Mountains, hot desert’ish plains, and sweeping river valleys along the northern shores.

The rather modest distances and varied landscapes make Jamaica close to perfect for road trips. That is if you are happy with the whole driving on the left-side-of-the-road thing!

Car Rental In Montego Bay Airport

Lots of travelers and tourists visiting Jamaica arrive at Montego Bay airport, which is called Sangster International.

The really good thing about this location is that it is centrally placed along the Northern shores of Jamaica, between Ocho Rios to the east and Negril to the southwest.

This also means that Sangster International Airport car rental is a really good starting point for your Jamaica road trip!

If you arrive in Kingston, car rental is not a problem either.

You can pick up your rental in Kingston either at the airport or at a variety of locations in Kingston town if you have already booked to go here.

Montego Bay Hotels And Places To Stay!

Jamaica Car Rental

Beach club in Montego Bay in the warm afternoon sun. Beautiful white building decorated with lots of flowers, and tables are on the terrace in front. Many beach clubs are private, where you need to pay to use the beach facilities. The bars and restaurants are often free to enter.

In order to be able to rent a car in Jamaica, there are a few formal requirements that you need to fulfill. These requirements are as follows.

  1. You need to have had your license for at least two years prior to the renting period in order to be eligible to rent a car in Jamaica.
  2. Although the minimum age to drive in Jamaica is 18, you need to be 21 years old to rent a car in Jamaica.
  3. Expect that there may be age-defined fees for rental and security/insurance for those under 30 and over 65.
  4. For long-term travelers, you can drive in Jamaica with your national driver’s license for up to one year before you need to get a Jamaican driver’s license.

Jamaica Car Rental Paperwork

You obviously need to show your driver’s license to rent a car and remember you need to be at least 21 years old and have had a license for at least 2 years prior to rental.

You will get the following papers from the rental company:

  • Vehicle registration document
  • Insurance papers for the rental car
  • A Car Fitness Certificate showing services are followed

Everything should be in English, make sure all the papers are up to date, and that the dates are valid.

Also, when it comes to choosing insurance, it can become very expensive to try to save money on that, especially liability insurance. Just saying.

Jamaica Road Map

Jamaica has a road network of nearly 21,000 kilometers (13,000 miles), out of which around 15,000 kilometers (9,300 miles) are paved.

In short, there are two main roads, or highways, that are not really what you would consider the standard of a highway lots of the time.

The A1 goes from Kingston up north towards Ocho Rios (but not completely there), then turns west to Montego Bay and southwest all the way to Negril.

The A2 goes from Negril, along the southern shores, to Black River before it turns inland and continues east all the way back to Kingston. A ring road, in a way.

This map was made with Wanderlog, a road trip planner app on iOS and Android

The only area where the roads can be a bit tricky to navigate in Jamaica is parts of the road system crossing the Blue Mountains.

I went there with a born and bread mountain guy as my driver, and the road is super narrow and has such steep turns that you see absolutely nothing, only meters ahead!

If you choose to do a road trip with a car rental in Montego Bay Airport, you are free to explore all the little creeks of Jamaica! Here is a cake shop in the blue mountains, rught betweeen two steep turns in the tiny mountain road!
A Blue Mountain cake shop stop on my road trip!

The solution to this in the Jamaican mountains is that whenever you approach a steep turn, you lower the speed (seemed to be optional), and you honk the horn with force to inform any meeting traffic that you are on your way!

Is It Safe To Drive In Jamaica?

Afternoon showers in the Blue Mountains in Jamaica. Remember to drive according to conditions when you are renting a car in Montego Bay Airport, or wherever, in Jamaica!
Afternoon shower in the Blue Mountains in Jamaica

Well, yes – it is safe to drive in Jamaica.

Having said that, 2022 saw a record year in road traffic accident-related deaths in Jamaica, and although that picture seems dire – the reality is a bit more nuanced.

Out of 488 serious road traffic accidents in Jamaica that year, the causes of the accidents are broken down something like this.

  • Around 30% due to reckless speeding and not driving according to conditions,
  • Around 20% drifted to the wrong side of the road,
  • Around 10 % affected were jaywalking pedestrians,
  • A little less than 30 % were motorbike drivers,
  • This leaves as little as just over 10% in the category with “no reckless explanation”.

The statistics also show that around 26 % of the victims were female, 74 percent male, and in most incidents, high speed, disregard for conditions, and negligence were present. So there.

In conclusion, as long as you drive carefully within speed limits and according to conditions, the level of road safety in Jamaica is not as dire as it seems at first glance.

Traffic Laws In Jamaica

  • Don’t drink and drive!
  • Follow the road signs
  • Don’t smoke and drive!

Despite what some people believe, smoking marijuana (known as ‘ganja’) in Jamaica is actually against the law and comes with penalties for all drug-related offenses, including those involving ganja.

So don’t be fooled by the whole Rastafari culture vibe; drugs are still illegal in Jamaica!

(Vaping is ok in Jamaica, though; it has become quite popular and is considered a tobacco product like any other)

FAQs Car Rental in Montego Bay & Jamaica

Which Car Rental Companies Are In Montego Bay Airport?

These car rental companies are physically represented at Sangster International in Montego Bay Airport.

  • Alamo
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Enterprise
  • Hertz
  • Island Car Rental
  • National
  • Sixt
  • Thrifty

What About Car Rental in Ocho Rios?

If you, for some reason, need to rent a car in Ocho Rios (you come in with a cruise ship or something or just decide to transform into a road trip from there) – don’t worry!

You can easily book a rental to pick up in Ocho Rios as well, or you can just find one of the car rental offices in the village (it is a village) and make the deal there. I have never done that, so I can not recommend either – or.

Is There Car Rental Mandeville Jamaica?

On the rental car search engines that compare lots of prices across companies that I have tested, it does not seem to be possible to book your car rental for pickup in Mandeville, Jamaica.

However, there are a couple of options listed as rental car providers in Mandeville (can not vouch for reviews, though), and these are:

Is There Luxury Car Rental In Jamaica?

I found one car rental agency in Kingston, Jamaica, with a website, but it did not have any reviews (they are on Insta ,though). The company was simply called Lavish Luxury Car Rentals.

There is one more luxury car rental I found that does not have a website or reviews, but they are on Facebook called Peters Luxury Shows.

Is There Avis Car Rental In Jamaica Kingston?

Avis Car Rental has three offices in Kingston, Jamaica, of which one is at the airport.

They also have one office in Montego Bay Airport Sangster International and one in Ocho Rios, so Avis Car Rental has five locations in Jamaica in total.

Best Car Rental In Jamaica

A lot of people search for this question on the internet, and the problem with answering is that the answer depends on who you ask.

If you are visiting Jamaica for the first time and want to rent a car, I recommend you choose a renowned online car rental provider with overall good reviews, like DiscoverCars.

And then, make sure to read the fine print for all the rules, regulations, and insurance packages that come with it.

Wrap-Up Car Rental In Montego Bay Airport

Arriving at (and leaving from) Montego Bay Sangster International Airport in Jamaica is a perfect starting point for your Jamaica road trip with a rental.

It is also an ok place to get the Knutsford Express either heading east or west, but that takes longer, and you are stuck with the timetables and extra stops and all that.

Either way, on the car rental side, you can pretty much pick up a rental from most of the popular tourist destinations in Jamaica.

Check the online offers and organize everything before your arrival, or you can negotiate a deal with a provider either at Sangster International Airport or wherever you touch down in Jamaica!

Related blog posts:

Is Jamaica Worth Visiting? Alluring Jamaica From An Expert Traveler

Best Way To Travel From Montego Bay to Kingston!

Travel From Kingston To Ocho Rios? Expert Travel Guide!

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