Car RentalsCars can sell out during high-season, so best to reserve online well before your trip. If you are a young driver, be sure to check the minimum age requirements of each car rental company. Also, look into the car rental insurance provided by your credit cards for international rentals - most provide secondary insurance and a few provide primary insurance. Most of the car rental companies are conveniently located across the street from the airport arrivals building. To move things along have your rental reservation number, driver's license, and credit card ready when you enter the correct car rental office. The rental company will usually put a hold on your credit card for a minimum amount. Rates and insurance coverage costs vary greatly depending on the vehicle type and car rental company; and all companies offer unlimited mileage. One note - open top jeeps are available; they sound great, but Aruba is a hot and sunny place. It's nice to get out of the sun when you are not on the beach, playing golf, tennis etc. You're the guest and it's your call; just our comment. Another word of advice, check the tires when you pick up your car. Personally, we have gotten flat tires on multiple occassions... not a big deal, but annoying!
Rules of the Road: As in the U.S. and Canada, driving is on the right side of the road. Traffic signs use international symbols; most are self-explanatory, but some aren't. Ask your car-rental agency for a sheet of the symbols, and take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with them. There are no right turns on red. Car speedometers and road signs are in kilometers. The speed limit in urban areas is 40kmph (about 25 mph); out of town it's 60kmph (about 37 mph), unless otherwise posted. Much of Oranjestad's traffic is one-way; at intersections where there are no road signs, traffic from your right has the right of way. An increase in the number of cars on the island means traffic can become a little congested just before 9am and just after 5pm on weekdays. Saturday night in Oranjestad can rival Times Square.
Roundabouts (Rotundas): There are now many roundabouts (known as rotundas in Aruba) to navigate. Remember that cars already in the roundabout have the right of way. Also, most roundabouts have distinct lanes so that the right most lane allows you to turn right or go straight and the inner lane allows you to turn left. Check the symbols painted on the street before you enter the roundabout to determine which lane to take.
Driving Hazards: Most of Aruba's roads are pretty good, but the traffic signs leave much to be desired. Few streets outside of Oranjestad are marked, and signs to major tourist attractions look as if they were made by neighborhood kids decades ago. Try to keep your eye on the road, though, because iguanas and goats pose unusual traffic hazards. Arubans are considerate, cautious drivers for the most part, although they seem to drive either too fast or too slowly. For a small town, Oranjestad has big-city traffic much of the day. Seatbelt laws exist but are often ignored, as are drunk driving laws. Helmets are required by law for all two-wheel vehicles, but be warned, scooter helmets at some rental places bear the following caveat: This helmet is a novelty item; and is not intended for use as protective headgear. (!)
Recommended Car Rental Companies (all at the airport):
Airport Phone: 297/583-3244
Airport Phone: 297/582-5496
Oranjestad Phone: 297/582-8600
Airport Phone: 297/583-0101
Airport Phone: 297/582-1845
Airport Phone: 297/582-5451