Is It Safe To Drive In Barbados?

Barbados is a beautiful island country that is full of places to see and visit.  To get the very best out of your trip you’ll need to hire a car to get around the island. But driving in other countries can be nervewracking.  You don’t know the culture or the nuances of the locals. You might be wondering “is it safe to drive in Barbados”? 

Here are some driving tips for getting around Barbados safely. 

Driving In Barbados

The good news is, just like the UK, drivers in Barbados use the left side of the road and the majority of vehicles are right-hand drive.  So you won’t have to concentrate on driving on the opposite side of the road than you’re used to. 

Again, like the UK, Barbados also uses roundabouts at which you give way to traffic from the right. 

A honk of the horn is usually a friendly way of saying hello, or thanking you for giving way. 

If you want to avoid traffic, the rush hours in Barbados are between 7:00 am – 8:30 am and 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm. 

Hiring A Car

There are plenty of places to rent a car.  You need to be over 21 and generally require between 2 – 5 years of experience. 

You’ll need to buy a visitor’s permit which costs between 10 BBD and 100 BBD depending on how long you need it. 

If you’re over the age of 70, you’ll need a medical certificate from your doctor to state that you are fit to drive. 

All hire cars gave can be recognized by the ‘H’ on their number plate. 


It is compulsory for everyone travelling in a vehicle to wear a seatbelt.  If you are travelling with children under five, you will need an approved child seat.  These can be rented along with the car. 

Speed Limits 

The speed limits when driving in Barbados vary depending on location but generally, they are:

  • 40km/h or 25mph – cities or built-up areas
  • 60km/h or 38mph – rural roads
  • 80km/h or 50mph – motorways

Drink Drive Laws

There is no limit on blood alcohol in Barbados, but it’s best to stick with what you are used to in the UK and not drink.  There are numerous taxis to make sure you get home safely if you’ve been out enjoying yourself. 

Safety Tips

To stop yourself getting lost, make sure your rental car has a GPS and also buy a map for back up. 

Keep all valuables out of sight and keep the car looked at all times. 

Park your car in well-lit areas. 

Keep your mobile phone charged and with you at all times. 

Emergency Contact Numbers

If you are involved in an incident while driving in Barbados, inform the car company immediately.  

Do not admit any liability (even if it was your fault). 

  • Police – 211
  • Ambulance – 511
  • Fire Service – 311

Now you know some of the local customs and laws, you’ll feel much more comfortable about driving safely in Barbados. 

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