Should I Rent a Car While in Aruba (and How Do I Do It)?

Aruba might be small, but its natural beauty and charm pack a punch that would always make you consider renting out a car to see things for yourself. However, the major deciding factor will always be the kind of experience you want to have on the island, but given Aruba’s reputation, there is a lot to experience with or without the needed wheels.
Should I Rent a Car While in Aruba
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The island prides itself on its tourist-friendly culture where there are several things that the island offers to people. The cities, especially Oranjestad and Noord have a plethora of activities and services that cater to every eager traveler in exploring and enjoying Aruba.

Do You Need a Car on Aruba?

If you want to explore the entire island, including the off-beaten paths, it’s a good investment to rent a car, or an open-air jeepney while you’re on the island. Of course, you have to consider the budget as Aruba is famous for not only being the best, it also one of the most expensive ones in the region.

Budget considerations aside, nothing beats seeing the island and its many hidden gems on the less-crowded side, at your own pace and itinerary. While you can avail jeep tours across the desert terrains of Aruba, tours can be pricey and short-lived.

You can rents various types of vehicles in Aruba, for reasonable daily prices. Car rental companies around Oranjestad offer a wide range of vehicles that caters to the terrains and roads of the island. You can choose from compacts, SUVs, 4WD vehicles, minivans, and open-air jeeps.

Is It Safe to Drive Around Aruba?

Traveling around Aruba by car is safe around the more populated areas like San Nicolas, Noord, and Oranjestad. As roads are maintained and kept in good conditions to cater for tourists and locals. However, expect that roads become more challenging to drive through as you travel around more remote areas and off-beaten paths on the northeastern side of the island.

Despite the island’s safety reputation, however, you should take extra care when it comes to driving outside major areas. The island is still mostly covered by deserts, vegetation, and other natural formations which can be sources of road hazards like crossing animals, and road debris.

Other driving policies in Aruba include helmets and other safety gear for motorcyclists, seat belts, and proper road etiquette in populated areas. It is still best to err on the side of caution when traveling in Aruba with a vehicle, just like you would in your hometown.

What Side of the Road Does Aruba Drive on?

You drive on the right side of the road in Aruba, just like the US. Most traffic rules and signs on the island don’t have much difference with the US as well. This custom has made driving and traveling around the island easier for driving-savvy American travelers.

It’s best to familiarize yourself with driving on the right side if you’re from the UK and other countries of the same custom. It an e pretty challenging if you haven’t acquainted yourself with the subtle and huge differences in driving culture.

How Long Is Aruba?

The island is approximately 21 miles or 33 km long, and 6 miles or 9 km wide. The total area spans about 75 square miles or 193 square km. If you think about it, if you have a solid 3-day stay on the island you can pretty much drive around the entire island.

This can be enticing for people who prefer to drive around a destination at their own pace and route and explore everything there is, even the underrated spots. You can easily drive from Palm Beach in Oranjestad down to San Nicolas and the Arikok National Park fast and easy.

How Long Does It Take to Go Around Aruba?

Going around and enjoying the entire island of Aruba would take you around 4 to 5 days for an enjoyable itinerary. This is an optimal time for exploring the island and do plenty of activities, from the beaches to the amazing nightlife.

Your initial days are the perfect time to get to know the beaches, explore and decide which ones are the best for you. The famed Palm and Eagle beaches are crowd-favorites, with Palm Beach leading the charge.

You can also get around the opposite side from Oranjestad and to Arikok National Park, seat belts include which has many wonders that add to the island’s ridiculous charm. You can drive around Aruba fast and easy and both the famous and underrated gems of the island are unmissable.

How Long Does It Take to Get From One Side of Aruba to the Other?

It only takes about 30 to 45 minutes to drive from one end of the island to the other. Aruba’s road networks allow access to different sides of the island, some may not be as maintained and in good condition but they often lead to the island’s overlooked gems.

One such gem is Boca Prins, nestled at the Arikok National Park, a secluded beach at the northeastern side of the island, often called the most beautiful beach on the island. This “secret” beach is accessible via the Northern Loop – Route 7, which you can take from Oranjestad.

What Is the Driving Age in Aruba?

Apart from gambling and drinking, 18 years is also the legal driving age in Aruba. However, 18-years olds are not eligible to rent a car despite being eligible to drive. Only people who are 21 years and above are allowed to rent a car.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Rent a Car in Aruba?

You have to be 21 and older to rent a car in Aruba. However, age restrictions when renting a car can vary depending on the suppliers or companies. The common age range is 21 to 65 years old, anyone above 21 and below 25 will be charged extra for supposed inexperience.

Charges for young drivers might cost around 25 to 50 USD a day. It’s best to take a look at the age restriction policies of different car rental suppliers to gauge how much you might spend.

Do I Need an International Driver’s License in Aruba?

If you’re not from the US or the Netherlands, you will be needing an international driver’s license to operate a vehicle in Aruba. However, you also need to have an international driving permit before you rent a car in Aruba, along with a valid driver’s license.

You can look up in advance to determine whether or not the licenses and permits you’ll need to have before driving and renting a car in Aruba. Certain countries have different conditions with Aruba just like the US and The Netherlands.

Can You Drive in Aruba With a US License?

A valid US driver’s license is allowed in Aruba should you wish to drive around. Make sure to secure an international driving permit if beforehand if you plan to rent a car on the island.

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Car in Aruba?

Renting a car in Aruba can be pretty budget-inclusive just like Belize or Mexico. You can rent a car depending on the type of vehicle, unit, model, and seating capacity. Car rentals in Aruba can range from 15 to 70 USD per day. You can choose from Economy sedans, minivans, to Standard SUVs.

Renting a car can be costly if you consider the daily fees and gas rates, however, the expenses can be worth it if you get to explore the island at your own pace and routes. Sedans and compact SUVs are perfect for getting in between cities, while minivans and full-size Passenger vans are ideal for big families, groups of friends, or a company outing.

Where Can I Rent a Jeep in Aruba?

Jeep, the specifically open-air jeep is probably the king of the road when it comes to tourists. Most of the best and go-to jeep rental companies are in the capital of Oranjestad, with Avis Car Rental, Budget Car rental, Dushi Car Rental & Tours, Smart rent A Car, and Econo Car Rental as some of the best rated.

If you’re staying near Noord, the city has, Amigo Renta a Car, Aruba Royal Car Rental, and Aruba Top Drive as some of the best-rated companies. Open-air jeepneys are ideal for exploring the rugged terrain of the city outskirts and the desert terrains of Aruba. Jeep tours are even a thing on the island.

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Jeep in Aruba?

Renting a jeep is the most recommended way of getting around Aruba as it allows you to explore the island at your own pace while following your route of choice. Jeep rental fees can range from 50 to 60 USD for a full day, which is considered reasonable by Aruba standards.

However, since jeeps are the most selected option, it’s best to check the condition of the jeep before renting, to prevent mishaps on the road. Jeeps are known to be taken to many of the island’s isolated areas with difficult terrains, as people love to go look for underrated gems that are somewhat secluded.

Are UTVs Street Legal in Aruba?

Off-road vehicles in Aruba, including UTVs and ATVs, are perfectly street legal on the island. You can enjoy driving them out around the more challenging and fun terrains of Aruba, especially the desert areas. You do not have to worry about legalities when driving around the streets after exploring the outskirts of cities.

You can take your rented UTVs around the city without the extra documents needed, except for the obvious ones like a driving license and permit, and the extra fees for younger drivers. UTV and ATV rentals in Aruba can cost around 110 USD for a whole day and rentals might charge higher for half-days.

What Car Rentals Are There at Aruba Airport?

Upon arriving at the Queen Beatrix International Airport in Oranjestad, there are over 8 car rental companies that are readily available for tourists to avail. These companies are some of the best, and top-rated car rental companies on the island.

You can easily spot these companies right in front of the Arrivals Terminal at the airport. These companies are the Alamo/National, Amigo Rent A Car, Avis, Budget, Dollar Rent A Car, Econo, Hertz, and Thrifty Car Rental.

Is It Worth Renting a Car in Aruba?

The answer depends on what you want to see, and the places you want to go to in Aruba. Several interesting beaches and sites lie outside of the Oranjestad area, many of them are beautiful, yet quaint beaches, and authentic smaller cities. However, you can get to them through the efficient public transportation, and tours found around Oranjestad. In this case, renting a vehicle isn’t much of a necessity.

But, if you want to explore the entire island, for several days at your own pace, following your own plotted route, you can do this freely, and easily via a rental vehicle. Ultimately, considering renting a vehicle also involves putting your budget in mind, as things, even rental fees are pricier in Aruba than in most other places.