Car Rental in Montego Bay
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
Why rent a car in Montego Bay?
Montego Bay is a great place to visit. With a long beautiful coastline, it is a famous beach destination. Many beaches are located in the city, but with a rental car, you can also reach more private and secluded spots along the coast. Thanks to its prime location and great accommodation options, Montego Bay can be a base from where to explore the rest of Jamaica’s Cornwall County and the country’s northern coast.
One-Way Car Rentals in Montego Bay
The most popular one-way rental options for pick up in Montego Bay and drop off in another city include:
- From Montego Bay to Kingston - 28 offers from $93.45 per day
Top ways to enter Montego Bay
- Sangster Airport: Named after the former Jamaican Prime Minister, Sangster is the primary airport serving Montego Bay. It handled 4.5 million travelers in 2018 and offers flights to and from many destinations in the Caribbean, North and South America, and Europe. Located just 7km (4.3 miles) from downtown Montego Bay, the airport can be reached in about 15 minutes.
- Kingston Airport: Also known as Kingston-Norman Manley and Palisadoes, it is the main airport serving Jamaica’s capital, Kingston. Less busy than Sangster Airport, it nonetheless offers flights by 11 different airlines connecting Jamaica to Canada, the United States, Bahamas, United Kingdom, and other destinations. Located 190km (118 miles) southeast of Montego Bay, Sangster Airport can be reached in about three hours.
- By sea: If you arrive in Montego Bay by ship, you can conveniently pick up your rental car at Montego Bay Cruise Port. Cruise ships that make a stop at Montego Bay connect Jamaica to places like Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Belize, and the United States. It is possible to fly to Cancun Airport in Mexico, Owen Roberts Airport in the Cayman Islands, or Nassau Airport in the Bahamas and then take a cruise to Montego Bay.
Ian Fleming Airport near the city of Ocho Rios is the third international airport of Jamaica. Although there are plans for new air routes to be opened in the near future, as of July 2019, it only serves one connection, that between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.
- Located on the Caribbean coast, Montego Bay enjoys pleasant tropical weather with very little temperature changes throughout the year. The average high temperature is 31°C (89°F) in August, the warmest month, and 28°C (82°F) in January and February. The rainiest period of the year is from September to November while March is by far the driest month.
- With a population of about 110,000, Montego Bay is the second-largest city in Jamaica. It is also the seat of the St. James Parish that surrounds it. Although much smaller than the capital Kingston, Montego Bay is the number one tourist destination in Jamaica and receives the largest number of international visitors.
Top destinations and activities
- Rocklands Bird Sanctuary. A beautiful natural area just southwest of Montego Bay, Rocklands is home to hundreds of unique bird species. Some are endemic to Jamaica while others come from faraway regions. Birds you can see in Rocklands include Jamaican Orioles, Caribbean Doves, Northern Mockingbirds and different types of hummingbirds. You can join a tour to Rocklands, but it’s also possible to drive there yourself, first going to the nearby town of Reading and then heading to Rocklands Road, Wiltshire, Anchovy.
- Doctor’s Cave Beach. Jamaica has no shortage of beautiful beaches, but there’s a consensus among both locals and visitors that Doctor’s Cave is one of the most special ones. Made up of beautiful white sands and turquoise blue waters, as well as beach bars, umbrellas, and shops where you can rent water sports equipment, it has everything for a great day by the sea.
- Kitesurfing. Kitesurfing has been growing in the Caribbean in recent years, and Jamaica still has some catching up to do to places like Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda. The good news is that the first kitesurfing center in the country has recently opened near the town of Corral Spring just east of Montego Bay. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, kitesurfing in the Caribbean is an experience of a lifetime.
- Ahhh Ras Natango Gallery and Garden. Combining culture with the outdoors, Ras Natango is known for its exhibitions of Jamaican art but also for the botanical garden where many unique species can be found. Located a 20-minute drive inland at a relatively high elevation, the area offers amazing panoramic views of the city and the sea below. Visit its website to learn more.
Traffic and parking
- Jamaica drives on the left-hand side of the road.
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limit is 80km/h (50 mph) on most intercity roads and 50km/h (31 mph) inside urban and built-up areas. The only exception is the national, tolled Highway 2000 on which the speed limit is 110km/h (68 mph).
- The legal alcohol limit for drivers is 0.35%. Exceeding the limit will lead to high fines, a license ban, or even deportation or imprisonment.
- Although Montego Bay is not a large city, the traffic in and around is often quite congested. Getting a traffic app is a good idea (most locals go with Waze).
- While the main highways and intercity roads in Jamaica are generally in good condition (and the ones that are not are quickly improving), many of the rural roads and roads in the nature areas remain in quite a bad shape. Potholes are common, many roads are very narrow, most lack good lighting and have no special sections for pedestrians. Countryside roads also tend to lack road signs. It’s important to exercise extra caution when driving on these roads and to set out your route in advance.
- Jamaica is quite mountainous, especially in the inland areas. Getting a smaller car is a good idea if you only plan to drive in Montego Bay, but 4WD is a must if you plan to drive away from the main roads or in the mountains.
- Most gas stations usually close around 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. The further you drive from the large cities, the fewer you’ll find, and in rural areas, many are closed on Sundays.
- Proof of insurance and the documentation of the car need to be in it whenever you’re driving.
- When driving, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The nation-wide emergency numbers are 110 for ambulance and fire brigade and 119 for police and the air-sea rescue.
There is one toll road in Jamaica, Highway 2000, that connects the capital city Kingston in the south of the island to Ocho Rios and Montego Bay in the north. Highway 2000 is controlled by the Government of Jamaica.
The toll depends on the size of the car. The toll payment can be made either by paying in cash at a toll booth or by getting a prepaid electronic tag (for which you can pay either in cash or by credit card). Some rental cars will come pre-equipped with this electronic tag. Some rental car providers might add an additional fee for this service. Ask your rental car provider about it in advance.
Built in 2003, Highway 2000 is 149km (93 miles) long. As of July 2019, some toll road sections are still under construction and there are plans to add more sections in the near future.
If you plan to drive outside Montego Bay, it’s important to do your own research about the Jamaican toll roads before you arrive. Do keep in mind that information about Jamaica’s toll roads found online can be insufficient or contradictory because new sections are constantly added and the rules are changed quite frequently. It’s a good idea to check Jamaica’s toll authority website, but the best way to get all the information and the latest updates is to contact your rental car provider in advance.
Ideas for day trips
- Ocho Rios. Another city on the northern coast that’s popular with tourists, Ocho Rios is known for its beaches, green spaces, rafting, and tours exploring the surrounding rainforest. Another interesting place to visit is the Coyaba Museum which houses many artworks and artifacts of the native Arawak people and is surrounded by a garden of the same name. The drive from Montego Bay takes about two hours.
- Dunn’s River Falls & Park. An impressive waterfall at the confluence of four rivers, Dunn’s is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Jamaica. It is possible to climb the waterfalls with a local guide. The climb itself is quite intensive, but you’ll be rewarded with an amazing view of the waterfall emptying straight into the sea. Located near Ocho Rios, Dunn’s River Falls is about 95km (59 miles) east of Montego Bay and can be reached in 1 hour and 40 minutes.
- Mayfield Falls. Less known and wilder than Dunn’s, Mayfield Falls is a nature area southwest of Montego Bay. You’ll have to pay a $15 entry fee, but that will include a local guide who will accompany you in climbing the waterfalls, trekking through the jungle, diving through tunnels, and swimming in natural pools. Mayfield Falls is just 39km (24 miles) from Montego Bay, but as the road goes through the countryside, so it takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to get there.
- Falmouth. The newest cruise port in Jamaica, Falmouth has seen a large influx of tourists in recent years, but it remains better known for its 18th and 19th-century Georgian architecture. Famous examples include Good Hope Great House, the Tharp House, and St. Peter’s Anglican Church. Located 34km (21 miles) east of Montego Bay, Falmouth can be reached in about 40 minutes.
Most popular cars
The most popular rental car in Montego Bay is the Toyota Yaris, and many travelers also go for the Nissan Tiida and the Toyota Corolla. The most popular rental car types are the compact, economy, and full-size classes.
- Negril. If the hustle and bustle of Mo Bay starts to overwhelm you, you might consider visiting Negril. With a relaxed atmosphere, serene white sand beaches, and opportunities to snorkel in the sea and ride a bamboo raft on Martha Brae River, it is the place to get away from everything. Located near the westernmost tip of Jamaica, Negril is 80km (50 miles) southwest of Montego Bay and can be reached in about 90 minutes.
- Kingston. Jamaica’s capital and by far largest city might not attract the same crowds of tourists as Montego Bay or other towns on the country’s northern coast, but it has its fair share of attractions. Some of the outstanding ones are the Bob Marley Museum, the National Gallery of Jamaica, and Port Royal, a former Caribbean pirate haven. A potential base from where to explore the Blue Mountains or Jamaica’s southern coast, Kingston is also a worthy destination in its own right. Located 170km (105 miles) southwest of Montego Bay, Kingston can be reached in about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
- The Blue Mountains. An impressive mountain chain and a region in the eastern part of Jamaica, the Blue Mountains is one of the most beautiful places in the country. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking, trekking, and visiting the local forests. The area is also home to the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park. Taking up nearly 5% of Jamaica’s territory, it is home to countless flora and fauna species, including giant swallowtail butterfly, black-billed parrot, Jamaican hutia, and Jamaican boa. Locals claim that on a clear day, Cuba is visible from the highest peaks of the Blue Mountains. Located about 200km (125 miles) southeast of Montego Bay, the mountains can be reached in four to five hours.
Car Rental Prices in Montego Bay
- Station wagons - from $83 per day
- Large cars - from $59 per day
- Medium cars - from $46 per day
- Vans - from $101 per day
- Premium cars - from $213 per day
- Small cars - from $44 per day
- SUVs - from $83 per day
Follow these simple tips to land a great rental car in Jamaica:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Montego Bay is the cheapest in March when renting a car is about 49% cheaper than the yearly average and a whole 80% cheaper than renting a vehicle in July.
Top 3 Cities near Montego Bay
Negril Car Rentals from $59.15 per day52.4 km / 32.6 miles away
67.2 km / 41.8 miles away
Kingston Car Rentals from $46.20 per day134.6 km / 83.6 miles away
Top 4 Locations near Montego Bay
Montego Bay Sangster Int. Airport Car Rentals from $44.15 per day
Montego Bay Cruise Port Car Rentals from $53.20 per day5.5 km / 3.4 miles away
Downtown Car Rentals from $46.20 per day131.6 km / 81.8 miles away
Kingston Norman Manley Int. Airport Car Rentals from $46.20 per day134.6 km / 83.6 miles away
Map of Car Rental Locations
What is the cheapest month to rent a car in Montego Bay?
This information can help you identify the low season. But these are only average numbers. How much your car rental will cost will depend on the type of vehicle you rent, how long you’ll rent it for, and how far ahead you book. Simply enter your dates in the form at the top of the page to see the exact prices.
What’s the usual rental length in Montego Bay?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Montego Bay?
Car Rental Information
|Car rental locations||3|
|Popular suppliers||Autounion, Island Car Rentals, AddCar, Budget, SIXT|
|Popular car categories||Small cars, SUVs, Large cars, Medium cars|
|Lowest price||$44 per day|
|Cheapest supplier||Routes Car Rental|
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Autounion||Toyota Vitz||5||2||Small cars|
|Island Car Rentals||Suzuki Swift||5||1||Small cars|
|AddCar||Suzuki Swift||4||1||Small cars|
|Autounion||Nissan March||4||1||Small cars|
|Autounion||Daihatsu Mira||3||1||Small cars|
|AddCar||Nissan Sentra||4||1||Small cars|
|Island Car Rentals||Hyundai Creta||5||2||SUVs|
|Budget||Suzuki Swift||5||1||Small cars|
|Budget||Suzuki Ertiga||4||2||Large cars|
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