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Renting a Car in Cuba

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Road trip Cuban-style - on the Carreterra Central. Our rented car.

Renting a car in Cuba is expensive and a somewhat complicated process.  Daily rates for a small compact car start at $71 CUCs a day, plus perhaps a one time charge of $20 CUCs.  The $71 CUCS is the equivalent of $71 US.  If one checks out the price to rent a car in other metropolitan areas one can find much cheaper daily rates.  In New York city, car rentals start at $36 a day.  Renting a car in Washington D.C., will cost you $42 and upward.  In London, car rentals can be found from £13.  ($16.86US at today’s exchange rate).  Tokyo, notoriously expensive for everything is only $45+ a day.

Once you’ve gotten over the shock of the cost of renting a car in Cuba, actually finding a rental vehicle is difficult due to several factors.  For one thing, there is a shortage of cars for tourists available for rent.  The reason for this is, 1) the cost of purchasing a car in Cuba is phenomenal, 2) the American embargo against Cuba, and, 3) the cars are already rented by Cubans offering transportation to the tourists and, 4) there are more tourists in Cuba who wish to rent a vehicle.  So, it’s sort of a supply and demand issue.

It’s also a difficult process because 1) you can’t walk into a car rental office and rent a car and 2) you cannot phone a rental office and reserve a car.  There are websites that offer cars for rent in Cuba, but which websites are genuine is questionable.

Reservations for car rentals are done by authorized travel agencies in both Cuba and overseas.  These travel agencies are the only ones able to place direct orders for a rental car with the agencies in Cuba.

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The official car rental agencies are:

  • Cubacar Rental, Cuba’s largest car rental agency which offers cars manual transmission only,
  • Havanautos, the oldest rental company in Cuba,
  • Rex Rent a Car for luxury car rentals,
  • Via Rent a Car – offering Cuba’s most economical rental prices.

So what’s the best advice for renting a car in Cuba?  The best advice for renting a car in Cuba is to book early.  I can’t emphasize this enough.  Three weeks ahead of your vacation is not early enough.

The second piece of advice on assuring you will find a rental car for your vacation is to use a travel agent which is authorized to sell travel to Cuba.

Last notes on renting a car in Cuba.  If you want to extend your lease on the car, it’s pretty simple.  Just head to the nearest rental office in whatever city you are in – rental agreement in hand – and ask for the extension.  Whatever you do, don’t lose the original or new contract papers.  If you do, you’ll have to pay 100 CUCs for replacements.  The rental office will write up a new contract agreement to add to the original agreement and charge your credit card.  It’s that easy.

You can search car rentals and book with confidence via the Cuba Travel Network here:

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cuba-travel-networkAll booking from the Cuba Business Report is done through the CUBA TRAVEL NETWORK, a division of CARIBBEAN TRAVEL NETWORK B.V. (with BTW/VAT number 8212.47.918 and Chamber of Commerce Number 34358068, subsidiary of CARIBBEAN TRAVEL NETWORK N.V., accredited IATA travel agency with code number 87800311)

Cuba Travel Network is located in Havana at: CTN House, Calle 31, No. 1411, e/14 y 18, Miramar, Playa, Havana.  The Cuba Travel Network owns and operates travel agencies throughout Cuba and in other countries around the globe.

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Online bookings are 100% secure and use the latest in payment technology. Cuba Business Report is licensed as an affiliate partner of the Cuba Travel Network.

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