Renting a car in Belize is one of the most convenient and affordable ways to see the country. Although driving in a foreign country can be intimidating; this guide will prepare you with everything you need to know before hopping behind the wheel!
How to Rent a Car in Belize
Before you even leave home, there are a few things you need to do in preparation for your car rental in Belize. First, you’ll need an international driver’s license. These can be purchased from most registry offices for $15-25 USD and are usually good for a full year.
Next, you’ll want to reserve a vehicle. They will book up quickly at peak travel times so it’s important to do this at least a few weeks in advance. A car rental in Belize typically starts out at around $75.00 USD per day depending on which type of insurance you opt for. If you’re unsure which insurance option to choose, don’t worry! We’ll go over that a little later in this post.
From our experiences and based on reviews; the best car rental companies in Belize are AQ Belize Car Rental and Crystal Auto Rental. With that being said, there are numerous other companies with offices at the airport and all over Belize City.
Why You Should Rent a Car in Belize
Why should you rent a car in Belize versus taking tours or buses around the country? Is it worth it to have a vehicle? How do you decide which option would be better for you? Here’s our two sense:
If you’re a confident driver and enjoy the freedom of travelling on your own timeline, then YES; It is absolutely worth it. Tours in Belize are expensive and if you’re travelling in a group of 2 or more your cost savings can be huge by opting for a car. Even though gas is expensive, the country itself is very small. This means you won’t actually be filling up that many times even if you drive everywhere!
Related: 6 Can`t Miss Things to do in Belize
What About Insurance
Rental insurance can always be a bit tricky to understand so it’s important to know what your credit card covers. If you’re unsure about it, just give them a call and they will be able to provide more information. We always recommend the full CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) as well as the mandatory TPL (Third Party Liability).
This will completely cover you, your vehicle, and any other vehicles/passengers involved in a potential collision with little to no deductible. Renting a vehicle in another country is always a bit stressful, so it’s nice to know that you’re covered. This way you can really sit back and enjoy the drive!
Driving in Belize
Driving in Belize is very similar to driving in many other Central American countries such as Costa Rica or Panama. The highways are in fairly good shape as long as you keep an eye out for the occasional pot-hole. Unless you plan on driving to Mayan Ruins or really off the beaten path, you probably don’t require a 4×4. Since gas prices in Belize hover around $5.25 per gallon, it’s smart to choose the most fuel-efficient option.
The quality of gas in Belize isn’t great so most rental companies require premium fuel. All rental companies have forbid driving on the Manatee / Coastal Road and the George Ville Road due to extremely poor road conditions. Don’t worry though, they can easily be avoided with much nicer alternatives.
- In Belize; you are actually expected to pull over to the right hand side of the road and let both lanes of traffic clear before making any left hand turns.
- If your rental vehicle breaks down (like ours did) the companies are typically fairly quick to either replace or repair your vehicle. Since Belize is a small country, it only takes a few hours to drive almost anywhere so you shouldn’t be held up for too long.
- Keep an eye out for potholes, even on the major highways.
- Try to drive during the day. We were advised by the locals that it wasn’t a good idea to be driving in the dark due to incidents where tourists have been stopped by locals.