Vehicle categories & rates
The rental cars are usually modern vehicles with AC and a spare wheel. The service does not include Navigation systems nor child seats. So, anyone traveling with a child should think about bringing their own seat.
Depending on your needs and budget, you can rent anything from a small Chinese car to a luxury German one. Minivans are also available and perfect for small groups. But if your plan is to go to the mountains or remote regions, it is better to rent an off-road car.
Basically you can book any kind of vehicle, but which one you finally get, you will only find out on site. Keep in mind that the cheapest car category (»Económico«) will be a bit narrow for tall people in the back seat, and the space in the trunk is also limited.
Handover of the rental car: What you should be aware of
When the car is handed over to you, check the vehicle for damage and look if the spare wheel is there and is functional. Most rental companies hand them over with a full tank of fuel (check!) which must be paid of course, you can return it empty though. It can be returned empty but nothing left in the tank will be refunded.
It is also advisable to take some pictures with your camera or smartphone to document the state of the vehicle. Therefore, in case of any unjustified claims when returning it, you can prove the original conditions of the car.
Since all four rental cars companies are state-owned, scams are not common, so don’t worry about being ripped off. But still, it doesn’t hurt to keep your eyes opened and take a closer look, when filling the tank for example.
If opposite to expectations, there are issues, it is best to contact the superiors. It helps to persist in case of problems, if you are right you will probably solve the situation on your benefit.
Rental car rates in Cuba
In comparison with international costs, the prices for renting a car in Cuba are relatively high. While you can rent a car in Florida for a few dollars, travelers in Cuba will have to dig much deeper into their pockets.
A daily rent refers to a period of 24 hours, so the rental and delivery times are the same. Each day costs at least 60 USD, but it varies according to the period. The vehicles are most expensive during the high season in winter. Although if you rent it for a longer time you can get small discounts.
It is required to have an accident and theft insurance when you pick up the car. Depending on the category of the vehicle, this insurance will cost you from 10 to 20 USD per day. Additional drivers cost US $ 3 per day or a one-time fee of US $ 30 per driver, depending on the provider.
When the car is handed over, it’s requested to make a deposit of between 150 and 450, depending on the type of vehicle. You can make it in cash or by credit card in the driver’s name. At this moment you also need to pay the mentioned insurance, the fuel in the tank and, if applicable, the fee for additional drivers.
If there is an accident or a theft and it’s the driver's fault, must be paid a deductible that ranges from 350 to 1000 USD depending on the vehicle. The terms and conditions vary attending to the providers. Check the details on the Internet (REX, Via, Havanaauto, Cubacar).
One-way rentals are possible: If you want, you can drop off your car in a different office. It will cost you from 0.10 to 0.20 USD per Km of distance. However, the airport fee is a flat rate, around 20 and 25 USD.