Are there any special requirements for driving or hiring a car in St Vincent and the Grenadines?
The main difficulty with driving in St Vincent and the Grenadines is the poor quality of the roads. Out of the main towns and villages, roads are barely more than dirt tracks so if you're considering exploring, a 4 x 4 vehicle should be an essential.
Seat Belt Laws
Everyone in the front seats of a moving vehicle in St Vincent and the Grenadines must wear a seat belt by law. Where belts are fitted in the rear, we recommend that you use them for your safety.
Drinking and Driving
In St Vincent and the Grenadines, the maximum permitted blood alcohol level is 80mg per 100ml of blood – the same as in the UK. This means that you should be safe with one drink but in an unfamiliar country, we recommend that you avoid alcohol whilst driving.
Must Have Documents
You will need to have your driving licence and purchase a local licence which can be arranged by your hire car company or bought from the central police headquarters. You should consider carrying your insurance certificate and your registration documents together with your passport.
The speed limits for St Vincent and the Grenadines are as follows:
Open roads: Variable depending on conditions
In Town: 32 km/h
Minimum Driving Age
You have to be at least 17 to be able to drive in St Vincent and the Grenadines. If you're renting a car the minimum age is 21 but if you’re under 25 years old, you may be charged a premium for being an inexperienced driver.
Safety Camera Warning Devices
Safety camera warning devices are not illegal in St Vincent and the Grenadines but the road conditions are definitely not suitable for speeding so leave it at home and stick to the law.
On the Spot Fines
Policing of traffic offences is quite strict in St Vincent and the Grenadines and if you are caught committing an offence you’ll receive a ticket detailing it and the fine you’ll have to pay. The fines must be paid at the central police headquarters so breaking the law can also be inconvenient and time consuming!
Child Safety Rules
In St Vincent and the Grenadines, children under twelve years old cannot travel in the front seat of a car and must be secured in an age appropriate seating system in the rear of the vehicle. If you are travelling with young children, we can arrange for the fitting of the required seats before you arrive.
A minimum of third party insurance is compulsory in St Vincent and the Grenadines and you must be able to prove it with a valid certificate.
Rules of the Road
Standard international driving laws apply with one or two exceptions.
• In St Vincent and the Grenadines, cars travel on the right hand side of the road
• Roads outside of the towns are in poor condition and require careful driving – don’t attempt them in poor weather
• Avoid driving at night
You can tow a vehicle without any worries whilst in St Vincent and the Grenadines. There are no regulations for doing so but use common sense to ensure a safe journey.
You won’t find fixed speed cameras in use in St Vincent and the Grenadines, instead, the St Vincent and the Grenadines police rely on mobile speed cameras and have regular traps in place where they consider excess speed is dangerous. If caught, you’ll be given a ticket.
Using Mobile Phones when driving
Using a mobile phone without a hands-free kit is illegal in St Vincent and the Grenadines and you’ll be fined for doing so.
Traffic generally is quite light in St Vincent and the Grenadines and so you’ll generally find easy parking. There are few restrictions on parking and you are mostly left to use common sense when parking.
Almost all parking is free until you get close to amenities or tourist attractions at which enterprising locals charge to park. The benefit is that your car will be monitored although crime isn’t high in the islands.
The police are good at enforcing traffic regulations and parking is no exception. If you park inconsiderately or obstruct others then you’re likely to get ticketed or towed.
There are no concessions for disabled drivers enshrined in law but finding a convenient parking spot isn’t usually difficult. In the event of a problem, just ask a local for help and you’ll often find that a convenient parking place is found.
Motor Way Signs
There are no motorways at all on St Vincent.
English is the national language of St Vincent and the Grenadines so most travellers should have no trouble being understood.
St Vincent and the Grenadines traffic light sequences should be familiar to all as they follow the standards laid down in the Vienna Convention.
There are no toll roads in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The emergency number in St Vincent and the Grenadines is 911 for the police and fire services but medical emergencies have to be dealt with by private clinics.
What to do in an emergency
Mechanical problems in a hire car are easily sorted by contacting the emergency number on your car hire documentation or located on a sticker inside the car. If you are in a private vehicle, you’ll find locals will stop to assist and if they can’t almost invariably they’ll know someone who can.
If you’re involved in an accident where there is only minor damage and no injuries, you can sort out the problem between the parties concerned. If there is significant damage or injuries, you must call the emergency services. Don’t forget that there is no national ambulance service so you’ll need to contact a private medical facility. The police will attend and issue an accident report. If you need to move the vehicles before they arrive, take photographs of the scene.
As of January 2015, the average price of 95 octane unleaded petrol in St Vincent and the Grenadines is 89p whilst diesel is 82p. Prices can vary between the bigger towns and rural areas.