Being a small island, it’s easy enough to get around in Barbados, but it’s still a good idea to have a basic knowledge of the road rules before driving here. The main thing to know is that, as a former British colony, they drive on the left here. Outside of that, enjoy cruising in the sun and read on to find out some basics to get you started on the road.
Rules and Regulations
- You will need a local driving permit, which you can get from a car rental company like SIXT or from the Barbados Licensing Authority Offices. It costs $5 and is valid for 2 months.
- Those renting a car need to be at least 21 years old and have had a license for at least 2 years.
- Seatbelts are required in Barbados for both drivers and passengers.
- Children under 5 must use an appropriate child seat.
- There is no Blood Alcohol Concentration limit in Barbados. However, there is a law for driving without due care and attention.
- The use of a mobile phone while driving is prohibited, with the exception of a hands-free system.
- At roundabouts, approach cautiously and follow the signs and road markings carefully and always give way to vehicles on your right.
In general, the speed limit on this small island is 60 km/h unless otherwise noted by signs. Traffic can be a bit chaotic so be prepared!
|Urban areas||40 km/h (25 mph)|
|Highways outside cities||60 km/h (37 mph)|
|ABC Highway/Spring Garden Highway||80 km/h (50 mph)|
What to Bring Along
- Valid driver’s license
- International Driving Permit (IDP)
- Proof of insurance
- GPS device
- In Barbados, honking your car horn is often used as a “Hello” to a friend or “Thanks” for giving way. When a driver flashes their lights at you it generally means that they are giving you the right of way.
- Always park in well-lit areas and avoid leaving valuables in your car.
- Only park where there is a P sign or in parking lots or garages in Bridgetown to avoid getting a parking ticket.
- The emergency services numbers are Police 211, Ambulance 511, Fire Service 311.
- Most roads are in good condition but watch out for potholes when you are driving in the countryside.
- Be cautious when driving at night as most roads do not have pavements so pedestrians walk at the side of the road and can be difficult to see.
- Some country roads are very narrow so drive with extra caution and care.
- Gas stations can be found in and around Bridgetown, on the main highways along the west and south coasts, and in most inland parishes. The stations are open 24 hours.
SIXT Rent a Car in Barbados
Reserve your rental at our two stations in Barbados and bask in the tropical sun worry-free.