Cuba Car Rental – Getting the best deal

Cuba Car Rental

Cuba Car Rental

How to get the best deal for Cuba Car Rental? We will show you how to get the best offer and also have a secure Cuba Car Rental when you arrive.

Cuba Car Rental can be frustrating and sometimes downright complicated. This is mainly due to the Cuba Car Rental intermediaries littering the internet under different guises. But, let’s look at how you can make life easier for yourself when booking Cuba Car Rental.

Cuba Car Rental – reserving in advance

Time and time again visitors to Cuba think they can show up and simply rent a car upon arrival. Unfortunately, Cuba Car Rental is not as easy as that. First off, you will need the patience of a kinder garden teacher if you are not going to blow a fuse. No offices, we repeat NO OFFICES of any car rental company in Cuba is able to tell you if another office has cars. Yup, you guessed it; there is neither central reservation system nor availability system at retail level. So, your search for a car could entail some scenic taxi rides around the city you hadn´t planned for!

So, why not pre-book your car? Prebooking means you receive a voucher which must simply be shown to the office YOU CHOSE and you get the car. Much easier, eh? However, herein lies the pitfall. Only official websites offering Cuba Car Rental will be able to offer you the all important VOUCHER you need to have to be able to collect your car without fuss. Thankfully, since 2006 Transtur (Cuba´s official rental car holding company) has begun to offer online confirmations and immediate (or almost) vouchers sent conveniently to your email before you arrive in Cuba. When you book with these official websites your car is 100% guaranteed to be waiting for you EVEN IF you are delayed. The official booking websites are:

Cuba Car Rental


Cuba Car Rental


Cuba Car Rental

VIA Rent A Car

Cuba Car Rental


Cuba Car Rental

REX Cuba

*the above links lead you straight to the online booking platform and live support


As all the brand names are controlled by Transtur you will find that both the “look and feel” and, the booking process is almost identical on all the websites.



“Quick Fact – Cuba Car Rental is cheaper booked online than locally”



So what other issues should you watch out for when contemplating Cuba Car Rental? Well, first off, the above companies DO NOT OFFER commission to agents therefore, if you book with another company, agent or website the rates will be higher. There´s a kind of unwritten rule of how these secondary agents make money (from you) when booking your car. We´ll explain a few:


Automatic Car TAX – Some have invented a type of tax which is charged to you when you collect the car and is usually 5 CUC (5$ or 3 Euros) if you booked an automatic car. This money is collected by the desk agent then given to your booking agent. IMPORTANT – this is not charged on official websites.


Drop Off Fees – Yes you guessed it. You book a car through a secondary agent (not direct) with collection in say Havana and drop off in say Varadero. Your confirmation says this but, when you roll up to return the Cuba Car Rental the desk agent quietly tell you that you owe him upwards of 100 CUC because you dropped the car off in another location!! Again, with official bookings this is all covered but, with secondary agents, they pay just the basic option and therefore you are charged…


Representation Fees – It took us a while to fathom this one but we finally managed to uncover what this actually means. Apparently, when a travel agent is located in Cuba but is foreign owned, they must pay to the Cuban Government a type of tax for every client they deal with. This is called a “Representation Fee”. This is usually 30 CUC but, we´ve had reports from some travelers of having been charged 50 or 60. The official amount is 30 however. These secondary agents will offload this charge onto you meaning you will pay at least 30 CUC more for your Cuba Car Rental


Extreme High season and manipulation of official tariffs – Some third party agents will load the price of your daily rental with fictitious high season tariffs. But, let’s not jump to conclusions. It is true that Cuba Car Rental companies have superior rates for high season BUT, these rates will almost certainly not be the extra 40-50% secondary agents are trying to charge you. If in doubt, check the official websites.


Back end price loading – This is by far the most common trick employed by non official agents. We´ll tell you how it works. Say you´re shopping around online and you come across an offer which is much cheaper than the official websites. Seems like a great deal no? WRONG – what is happening is that the car you are reserving has had absolutely no pre-payable supplements included. Therefore, when you arrive you´ll have to pay – Automatic car tax 5 CUC P/Day, Airport pick up tax 20 CUC (one payment), limited miles/km excess 0.30 CUC per KM, drop off fees of 0.50 per KM from where the car was collected to where you leave it (this could be as much as 400 CUC is you collect in Havana and drop off in Santiago!!) So, you´ll note that these initially “attractive” rates quickly turn into an ugly nightmare but, its now too late as you´re in Cuba. Therefore, be careful and wherever possible book with the official websites


A final note: When booking with CubaCAR and REX directly you can request a child seat while booking and this will be free. If you wait until you arrive in Cuba this will work out at 5 CUC per day for rental.

Cuba Car Rental 101