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Antigua and Barbuda - Driving and Public Transport

When driving in Antigua and Barbuda you do so on the left hand side of the road and it is often thought to be a nightmare due to the poor quality of the roads and limited sign posts. T he speed limit is 40mph but is not often enforced. Volcanic ash can cause roads to become slippery which is especially dangerous on the country roads. These roads are steep, winding and full of potholes.

Barbuda itself has little public transport, so traveling is usually done via a 4 wheel drive vehicle that can easily be rented at the airport from one of the local companies. Prices are negotiable but this is only a solution for the short term.

Provided they have a valid driver's license from their country of origin then any tourist can rent a car. It is necessary to purchase a temporary Antiguan license which costs around $20.00, although some rental companies do provide these for free. Car rental can cost between $40.00 and $50.00 per day. Taking out comprehensive insurance is highly advisable, and this available from the vehicle rental agency. For those who are remaining in the country long term it is advisable to obtain an international drivers license.

Taxis can be rather expensive in Antigua. Taxis do not have metered fares; they have fixed fares set by the government who regulate the service. Rates should be shown inside the vehicle. If money is not a problem then the local taxi drivers are always happy to be a personal chauffeur and tour guide. Taxis are easily flagged down, and there is always plenty at the airport if needed.

Buses do not run to the airport, although they run from the capital city of St John's and through various outlying villages. Bus operating hours are usually between 5:30am and 6:00pm and there are many routes covering most of the island, with the exception of the northern part.

Import duties for taking your own car to Antigua and Barbuda will make the process extremely costly. For up to date charges and import duties it is worth contacting the Department of Transportation in Antigua. Rather than import a car another option would be to buy a vehicle once established on the islands; this is likely to cost less than trying to import a car from elsewhere. Car running costs are comparatively low and so for those intending to stay long term it will work out more cost effective than renting.

If wishing to travel between the two islands then there is a choice between taxi boats and light aircraft. For a leisurely trip to take in the scenery the taxi boat is recommended.

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