Are there any special requirements for driving or hiring a car in Honduras?
Honduras is a fabulous country, said to be the next Costa Rica in the tourism world. It has huge problems with crime at the moment and all visitors to the country will have to remain aware and exercise common sense.
The roads are generally in poor condition but taking a 4 x 4 car, you'll experience unique and amazing sights.
Seat Belt Laws
The driver and all passengers in Honduras must wear seat belts.
Drinking and Driving
The legal limit for alcohol in the blood whilst driving is 70mg per 100ml of blood. This is slightly less than the UK and would arguably allow one drink before being over the limit depending on the person but two drinks would take you over the limit. In unfamiliar countries we recommend that you don’t drink at all if getting behind the wheel.
Must Have Documents
You will need to have both parts of your driving licence; paper and card and an international driving licence. You will also need to carry a valid certificate of insurance and the car registration documents.
The speed limits for Honduras are as follows:
Open roads: 80 km/h
In Town: 40 km/h
Minimum Driving Age
You have to be at least 18 to be able to drive in Honduras. If you're renting a car the minimum age is 21 and you must have held a licence for two years. If you’re under 24, you’ll have to pay a premium for the extra risk.
Safety Camera Warning Devices
It’s not illegal to use radar detectors in Honduras but none of the roads are conducive to speeding so our recommendation is to stick to the limit at all times.
On the Spot Fines
Honduras is a violent and corrupt country. If you are stopped for any reason by the police, you may be asked for a fine on the spot. If you feel that you can’t refuse, ask for a receipt or take a note of the officer’s name or number.
Be careful for there have been incidences of fake police pulling drivers over and asking for fines.
Child Safety Rules
In Honduras, children under the age of twelve must sit in the rear of the car. There are no specific regulations as to seating for them, it’s up to you to arrange that. If you’re hiring a car from us, ask when booking and we’ll make sure appropriate seats are fitted before you collect the car.
A minimum of third party insurance is compulsory in Honduras and you must carry proof of it by way of a valid certificate.
Rules of the Road
Standard international driving laws apply with one or two exceptions.
• You must carry a warning triangle, a spare tyre and a set of basic tools
• It is illegal to smoke whilst driving in Honduras
• It’s also illegal to turn right on a crossing without being signalled to do so, to turn left across traffic unless there is a sign or to make U-turns
• It’s illegal to reverse unless parking
No specific restrictions apply to towing, you simply need to make sure the towed vehicle is securely attached and that you have good visibility.
The police rely on hand held speed cameras in Honduras and there are regular checkpoints for speeding. The conditions of the roads are not conducive to speeding so stick to the limits.
Using Mobile Phones when driving
You cannot use a mobile phone whilst driving in Honduras without a hands free kit
Parking in Honduras is generally ad hoc but wherever you park, you must ensure that the wheels are no more than 15 inches from the kerb or edge of the road. The country is dangerous so it’s recommended that you always use attended, well-lit parkin where available.
In the cities like Tegucigalpa you’ll find plenty of paid parking that is relatively safe. Elsewhere parking is generally free but make sure you park in the open and in sight of other people.
The police follow up parking infringements, usually with a ticket but in extreme cases by towing your vehicle.
Honduras has no specific scheme for disabled drivers but if you need assistance you should use one of the attended parking lots and ask for help.
Motor Way Signs
There are no motorways in Honduras
- Give way - Ceda el paso
- Traffic lights - Semaforas
- Right of way – Prioridad
- Exit – Salida
- Danger – Peligro
- No parking - Prohibido aparcar
- Slow – Despacio
- Lane – Un carril
- City centre – Centro ciudad
- Carretera – Local Highway
- Roadworks – Obras
- Where is the nearest petrol station? – ¿Donde es la gasolinera la más cercana?
- Excuse me, I’m lost – Por favor, estoy perdido…
- Go straight on – ‘Siga todo recto’
- Turn right – ‘Toma el giro a la derecha’
- Turn left – ‘Toma el giro a la izquierda’
- Detour - Desviacion
- Toll Road – Carretera de Peaje
- Road Closed – Cerrado.
- Road Open – Abierto
- Motorway – Una autopista
- One way street – Direccíon unica
- Dual Carriageway - Autovia
Honduran traffic lights follow the same sequencing as much of the American continent so should be easy to understand. Watch out for illegal turns on traffic lights – in many cases you cannot turn with being signalled to do so.
There are no toll roads in Honduras.
Honduras has implemented the American 911 number for all emergency calls.
What to do in an emergency
There is no national breakdown service in Honduras so you’ll have to rely on a local mechanic if you’re driving your own car. If you’ve hired a car and have problems, contact the company on the number given to you on the documentation or inside the windscreen.
In the event of an accident you must stop. The police have to be informed and they will tell you whether they need to attend. Do not move the cars until they arrive or you’ll face arrest. Whilst waiting, take details of any witnesses. The police will issue a report which needs to be given to your insurance company or hire car company.
As of November 2014, the average price of 95 octane unleaded petrol in Honduras is 80p whilst diesel is 72p. Prices can vary between the cities and towns and the smaller villages.