Bonaire Car Rental
You are going to need a Bonaire car rental. We initially had the dreamy idea of only renting bicycles the entire time. We figured, hey, this island is pretty small, it should work. But no, it was not a good idea (the island is too windy and the roads are dangerously narrow). Particularly if you want to get to the better snorkeling grounds, a Bonaire car rental is essential!
There are a variety of companies available to rent cars from on Bonaire, including some of the big well known names like:
You can check Expedia.com for prices on the companies above.
And if you only use popular online travel booking sites like Expedia, you may think that that is all there is. But in fact there are a host of other Bonaire car rental companies that generally have much better prices than the big names. And most people visiting Bonaire rent from one of the Bonaire car rental companies below.
- AB Car rental
- Bencho Car Rental
- Bonaire Rent a Car
- Christal Rent a car
- Fox Bonaire Car Rental
- NAF car rental
- Rento Fun Drive
- Telerin Car Rental
- Top Drive Car Rental
- Tropical Holland Car Rental
- Total Car Rental
- Caribe Rent a Car
- Flamingo Car Rental
- Island Car Rental Rentals
- Trupial Car Rental
- Voyager Events Car Rental
So which one do you go with? We got excellent rates and service from AB Car Rental, so we suggest you start with them.
What To Rent - 4x4? Car?
Rent a two wheel drive pickup truck, or small SUV. Don't even consider renting a car. And don't bother renting a 4x4 truck. You need the truck/SUV for it's durability and underside clearance, because you will drive off-road often. If you enter the national park you will likely spend an entire day driving on rough dirt roads. The rental companies expect the trucks to be dirty and sandy and to be used off-road. This is not the case with cars (you can't even enter the national park with a car).
Before choosing a Bonaire car rental company make sure and compare what the car insurances cover and their costs. Because like most car rental companies in Bonaire they try to get you to buy additional car insurance. Generally when we travel we don't do this because our personal car insurance in combination with our credit card coverage covers the insurance we need on a rental car. But that is not the case in Bonaire.
We called our car insurance to see if they covered us in Bonaire. They did not.
Credit Card Car Rental Policies & Trucks
So next we figured our credit card would cover the car insurance. It did not. If you read the fine print you will discover that the majority of credit cards do not cover anything but a basic rental car. A sedan. They will not cover any type of pickup truck or SUV. And that is exactly what most of the companies rent in Bonaire. And you need to rent a pickup truck to visit most of the snorkeling spots on the island. Particularly if you plan on entering the national park, don't rent a car.
Only certain American Express cards include trucks in the car rental polices. So since we would not have any coverage, we opted to pay for the additional car insurance. So do your homework before you go, and be prepared to pay $11 a day or more for additional insurance.
Car Rentals and Theft on Bonaire
Bonaire has a minor petty theft problem at the beach heads where you will be snorkeling. For that reason it is highly recommended by us and the Bonaire car rental companies that you leave no valuables in your car, and leave your car unlocked with the windows down when you get in the water. That way you won't have to pay for a broken window. We followed those rules and had no problems at all.
Can You Drive A Stick?
Almost all Bonaire car rentals are manual transmissions.
AC or Not?
We had AC and honestly did not even think about using it for most of the time we were there. But keep in mind we are from Tucson, AZ. The cheapest Bonaire car rentals are trucks that don't have AC. But they are also the oldest and most beat up vehicles, and are known to break down. We reserved one of those and got a free upgrade to a nice SUV with AC. When driving slower in town, if it is hot and humid, AC can be nice. So if you love heat, maybe go for the cheapy. But if you are not used to heat, and want a more reliable rental, get one with AC.
Bonaire Car Rental Driving Conditions
You drive on the right side of the road. But most of the time you drive in the middle of the road because the roads are so skinny, and there are virtually no painted lines. Then you grimace as a local comes screaming by the other direction you and wonder if your mirrors are going to hit. But that is only for the first day or two. Pretty soon you get the hang of it all and you are driving as crazy as the locos.
The speed limits are in kilometers, and are equal to about 25mph in the city and 37mph outside. It seems slow, but it is plenty quick with the skinny roads and short distances.
Road Signs Are In Dutch
Let Op! Drempels. Those words make us laugh. We can't stop saying them. Let Op! Drempels.
Here are some common road signs.
And here are some of the sights you will see driving around Bonaire!
Now read about Bonaire Hotels
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