Are there any special requirements for driving or hiring a car in Antigua?
Antigua is a simple island to navigate by car. Roads and attractions are well signed and whilst the roads are a little rough in places, hiring a 4 x 4 car will see you safely to most parts of the island.
Seat Belt Laws
Everyone in a moving vehicle in Antigua must wear a seat belt.
Drinking and Driving
In Antigua the maximum permitted level of alcohol in the bloodstream is 80 mg per 100ml of blood – the same level as in England and Wales. Road conditions in Antigua mean that it is better not to drink and drive, especially at night.
Must Have Documents
You will need to have your driving licence and an international driving licence as well as a local driving permit which entitles you to drive there for six months. Your permit will be arranged for you by the hire car company when you arrive to collect the car. It is helpful to have the car insurance certificate in the car as well as the vehicle registration documents.
The speed limits for Antigua are as follows:
Open roads: 56 km/h
In Town: 32 km/h
Minimum Driving Age
You have to be at least 18 to drive in Antigua but if you want to hire a car you’ll need to be much older – either 23 or 25 years old depending on the car hire company.
Safety Camera Warning Devices
It’s not illegal to use a radar detector in Antigua but it’s not recommended to do so. The roads are not in brilliant condition and with 4 x 4 vehicles being almost a necessity outside of the towns, you are far safer sticking to the speed limits
On the Spot Fines
The way of life in Antigua is quite relaxed and there is a relaxed attitude amongst the police to minor traffic violations. If you are stopped, remain polite and the chances are you’ll simply receive a warning. If you are unlucky enough to be charged, you’ll be given a penalty notice with instructions on how and where to pay the fine incurred.
Child Safety Rules
There are no specific laws for the restraint of children in vehicles on Antigua. If you are travelling with a young family, inform us of your needs when you book the vehicle and we will ensure an appropriate restraint system is fitted.
A minimum of third party insurance is compulsory in Antigua and whilst you don’t have to prove it, it’s worth carrying the insurance document with you
Rules of the Road
Standard international driving laws apply with one or two exceptions.
• You must give way to pedestrians crossing at intersections
• Driving is on the left
• You mustn’t overtake on a pedestrian crossing or at a junction
• You are not allowed to reverse into a main road
• Avoid driving at night outside of the towns
Antigua doesn’t restrict the towing of vehicles – just make sure you’re properly attached and have good visibility.
Fixed speed cameras haven’t made it to Antigua yet but the police occasionally set up mobile speed traps in areas known for speeding. For your own safety it’s important to stick to the speed limit rather than exceed it.
Using Mobile Phones when driving
It’s illegal to use a mobile phone whilst driving in Antigua unless you have a hands free kit.
It’s illegal to park where there are yellow lines at the road edge and double white lines in the middle. You must also avoid parking near bus stops, pedestrian crossings and school entrances or where emergency services have the right to wait. You should also avoid parking where doing so narrows the road to less than two vehicle widths.
In the capital St John’s you’ll find parking is more restricted and as such paid parking areas have sprung up. The cost is minimal and at least you’ll know your car is safer than when parked on the road
As long as you aware of the restrictions on parking places, it’s unlikely you’ll encounter any problems. If you do contravene the parking laws you are most likely to receive a penalty notice.
There are no allowances for disabled drivers in Antigua but in most places you can find somewhere convenient to park. If you struggle, you’ll often find a local who is happy to help, alternatively, use the paid parking and ask the attendant for assistance.
Motor Way Signs
There are no motorways on Antigua
Everyone on Antigua speaks English!
Antiguan traffic lights are identical in operation to UK traffic lights and so should be easy to understand.
There are no toll roads on Antigua
The emergency number in Antigua is either 999 or 911 for the police, medical services or fire.
What to do in an emergency
If you have mechanical trouble with your hire car, use the emergency number on the documentation you were given or on a sticker on the inside of the windscreen. If driving a private vehicle, you’ll need to rely on local help or take the number of a mobile mechanic with you when you drive.
If you are involved in an accident in Antigua, it’s not necessary to call the emergency services if there is only minor damage and no injuries. If someone is hurt or the vehicles are undriveable, you must call the emergency services and await their arrival. Whilst waiting, it’s worth collecting details from witnesses and taking photographs of the scene.
As of December 2014, the average price of 95 octane unleaded petrol in Antigua is 61p whilst diesel is 56p. Prices can vary between the towns and the smaller villages inland.