Car, Scooter and Bicycle Rentals
In Cuba the car rental business is mostly controlled by these two major companies:
TRANSTUR, operating under the brands:
GRUPO GAVIOTA, operating under the brand:
Click for the address and phone number of car rental offices in Varadero.
To rent a car, jeep, motorcycle, ATV or scooter you need to show your driver's license (from your home country) and your passport (a photocopy is usually sufficient). The International Driver's Permit is usually not mandatory, as long as they can read yours (i.e. written in an extended Roman-based alphabet). You may be required to put down a deposit either in cash or in the form of a credit card hold, until you return the vehicle. To rent a bicycle they usually ask only for your name, hotel, and room number.
Expect to pay around 55-60 USD per day (75-80 USD on major holidays) for the smallest manual transmission car, and around 45-55 USD daily on a 3-days or more basis. Automatic transmission cars (harder to find) and luxury cars can starts at 80+ USD per day. Insurance is mandatory and costs 15-20 USD per day (depending on model). Jeeps and cars are usually rented with a full tank of gasoline and you must return it full. Price for gasoline is approximately 1.00 USD per liter for Regular, and approximately 1.20 USD for “Gasolina Especial” (often required on rental contracts). There’s a gas station at the Varadero Airport and one near downtown.
Many rental offices (especially the ones located in the hotels) may give you a price including insurance and a prepaid tank of gasoline, in this case expect to pay around 120 USD for 1 day (60 rental + 15 insurance + 45 gas), or around 240 USD for 3 days (150 rental + 45 insurance + 45 gas).
• 1 hour : 10-13 USD + 2 USD per additional hour
• 24 hours : 25-30 USD (50cc scooter), 30-35 USD (125cc scooter)
• 2 to 5 days : 20-22 USD/day (50cc scooter), 25-27 USD/day (125cc scooter)
Helmets are provided and mandatory.
Expect to pay around 3 USD for 3 hours or 5 USD for the day. Helmets are usually not provided, and are not mandatory
Important to know:
Insurance included in the rental contract: coverage differs from the ones usually offered in North America or Europe. If you are found to be at fault in any way in an accident, the rental agencies will nullify your coverage and seek damages to cover the cost of repairs, which can be very high. Rental agencies are government-controlled and can prevent you from leaving the country unless they receive payment for the damages.
If you receive a ticket. In the case of traffic violations, the policeman will write the fine on your rental contract and you'll have to pay it at the rental office when returning the vehicule, or it will be deducted from your deposit.
If you have an accident in which a third party is injured, you may have to assume full hospital costs for the injured person, and you may be prevented from leaving the country until all legal proceedings related to the case are resolved.
Do not drive drunk!, not even a bicycle. Cuba has a zero tolerance policy and in the case of an accident, if alcohol is detected in your blood, you are likely to be presumed guilty.
Lily & Normand