Questions regarding rental car trips in Cuba
@Route maps and GPS for Cuba?
@How safe is a trip by old-timer?
@How much luggage can I take with me?
What should I keep in mind when planning a trip by rental car? Is it a safe way to travel?
As for a trip by rental car, we can once more assure you that you won't have any problems at all for it is a very safe way to travel. however, you will have to abandon your typical european way of driving:
You are in the Caribbean now, and here drivers have a very different way of driving. Some of them are relaxed even when at the steering wheel, Others show off their Latino temperament. The condition of the streets, including traffic signs, depends largely on the region, as anywhere else in Latin America. Tourist destinations as well as the main roads can already be compared to what we are used to in Europe, but on remote roads, you will on the contrary often be swerving between pot holes and traffic signs are almost none existant. Another particularity we want to mention are the gas stations. Even though they can be found all over the country and are not a rare thing to see along the road, please make sure NOT to stop at a gas station where you have to pay with pesos, as these are reserved for the locals and you will not be able to fill your tank there as a tourist. You can get gas at any gas station that accepts the CUC (convertible Cuban peso) as a means of payment; these are well distinctive and visible. Despite all this, you should of course consider the national peculiarities, such as gas stations that simply have not been supplied, or unfortunately are just facing a current interruption when you pass by (which is important when using credit cards to pay). It is not a good idea to drive at night, precisely because of all these small inconveniences you can encounter in Cuban traffic, for example the street lighting (if there is any) to make sure everyone arrives at your destination safe and sound. Finally, we want to ask you not to feel unease after reading this text, as driving through Cuba is a wonderful experience. You will enjoy breathtaking landscapes at your own rhythm and there is no better way to get to know a country and its people than driving through it by car.
Route maps and GPS for Cuba?
Unfortunately, GPS systems are not allowed in Cuba. We strongly recommend you to purchase a map before your trip, as this kind of material is extremely difficult to buy once on the island. Our tip concerning route planning: on maps.google.com, you can watch the routes you wish to explore in detail,and print them beforehand.
How safe is a trip by old-timer?
All old-timers, which are used for this tour, have a taxi permit for the transportation of foreigners. These classic cars date back to a time shortly before or after the revolution (1954-1960) and are therefore more than 50 years old. In Cuba it is quite expensive to restore, maintain and use these cars for business. Therefore, they are usually driven and cared for by their owners who regard them as travelling museum pieces.
Old-timers, however, are not like new cars with a guaranteed flawless service. With this type of car, you cannot completely exclude the possibility of a technical fault although this hasn't happened in our long-standing practice, yet. It is important to know that these classic vehicles have no airbags and in most cases no seat belts since such devices didn't exist at the time they were constructed.
The owners of old-timers usually drive their cars in a convoy, in a moderate pace and with a safety margin. For emergencies, all drivers are connected to each other through their mobile phones.
How much luggage can I take with me?
Due to the limited luggage compartment of an old-timer (Max. 5 pieces of luggage) you can only take one piece of luggage and a handbag, e.g a camera bag with you. In order to use the storage space to an optimum, you should bring "flexible" luggage, for example a travel bag. It is not possible to carry hard shell or similar solid luggage.