Cuba Hire Car

Cuba Hire Car


Looking for a Cuba Hire Car? The very best rates can be achieved by pre-booking online your Cuba Hire Car before you travel. One of the main problems with Cuba Hire Car companies is that they have few vehicles compared to other destinations in the region and, their logistical systems to distribute/control the locations of these vehicles is still in the ice ages… Unlike modern car rental agencies who use GPS to track the movements of their fleets, Cuba Hire Car agencies rely upon phone calls and an archaic reservation platform which does not allow individual offices to speak to each other but, the obligation to communicate through a central reservation point in Havana. This slows down the availability of information and thus, the location of each vehicle on a day-to-day basis. Whereas, companies such as Transtur and CubaCAR allow their booking systems to be accessed from the outside world via their websites CubaCAR Online and Transtur Online, getting this information in Cuba of real availability is extremely hard. Therefore, the result is that Cuba Hire Car is easier to book online than when actually in Cuba!


Furthermore, Cuba Hire Car rates are Split into two categories for all reservations:


Cuba Hire Car – bookings online

Cuba Hire Car


These are done directly by you online using your credit/debit card. A national voucher is sent to your email and you simply present this at the rental car office in Cuba to collect your car.


Cuba Hire Car – Walk up rates

Cuba Hire Car


These are rates applied to clients who arrive at a rental office and wish to rent directly there. These rates are typically 15-25% more expensive than online rates which the companies say is justified by the extra client attention required and the logistical costs of having payment systems and accounting services at each office. Furthermore, “Walk up rates” are affected by other rules not applicable to online bookings.


These are:


Drop off fees – When you book online with Pick up in Havana and Drop off in Santiago de Cuba (around 1000KM away) then you will NOT be charged to repatriate the vehicle to Havana. Whereas, ALL walk up rated rentals ARE charged these drop off fees which can be as much as $0.15 per kilometer. In the mentioned example a further 150 USD is payable if you do not book online


Driver age – Cuba Hire Car via direct walk up rentals are subject to the minimum age limit of 21 years old, whereas, online bookings are just 18 years old.


Cuba Airport Fees – Cuba Hire Car walk up rates are also affected by an obligatory charge of 20 CUC ($20) when you take the car from an office based at or around an airport. This charge is waived when you book with Cuba Hire Car online also.


Stories of travelers renting a Cuba Hire Car upon arrival and paying at the rental desk have generated serious complaints on Tripadvisor, Lonely Planet and other forums where they have taken the Cuba Hire Car and driven around Cuba up to 3000 KMs and ended up with over 400 $ in drop off fees. Had these travelers booked in advance or read our blog they would have saved those extra and, what we consider, extortionate costs.


Finally, Cuba Hire Car agencies tend to leave older vehicles at their rental offices and use newer vehicles for pre-bookings because the pre-booking is a sure thing whereas, the walk up rental is more hit and miss for them. So, expect to see very tired cars with over 100,000 KM available for walk up rentals as opposed to new cars for pre-bookings.


Cuba Hire Car can be as easy or as complicated as you wish by taking the advice of previous travelers as we´ve outline here


Cuba Hire Car 101