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Puerto Rico Day Trips Travel Guide

Renting a Car & Getting Around on Vieques

Vieques Car and Jeep Rental

If you are planning a trip to Vieques, I really think you need to rent a car or jeep while you’re there. This may seem odd because it is such a small island, but be forewarned — things you want to do can be spread out across the island. There are limited routes serviced by the local public transportation, and many things of interest to tourists are not on these routes.

What Kind of Car Should I Rent?

Not only do you need to rent a car, you need to rent a 4-wheel drive (4WD) vehicle or at least a 2WD with high clearance. The main roads on Vieques are paved and in decent repair. But most of the "best" beaches are down these horribly pot-holed dirt roads. You will be seriously bounced around getting to them, but the beaches are worth it. And you need to reserve your car/jeep rental as early as possible in your planning because there are simply not enough rental cars on the island to meet the demand, especially during heavy tourism seasons.

Don’t bother getting a new vehicle. Most of the vehicles they rent on Vieques are not going to win any prizes for beauty. These things take a beating! And the tires are usually pretty bad (many people have mentioned getting flats!). The newer vehicles are more expensive to rent and you really have to worry about not messing them up. Older vehicles are less expensive to rent, and they usually have already gotten a little dented or scraped, so most places don’t worry much about a little more wear & tear. Expect to pay $55 to $100/day (depending on the company you choose to rent from, and the make, model and year of the vehicle you choose). But realize, you get what you pay for — the cheaper the car …

It seems most car companies also have a 25 year old age minimum to rent. Avis will rent to people 21 and up, but they apply a steep “under age” charge to anyone 21-24 years. People under 25 can look into renting gold carts, which are street legal.

Our Experience

We rented from Maritza’s Car Rental. We had no problems with reservations, tires or returning the car & everything was fast and painless. We did have to get from the ferry to the car rental agency upon arrival — our hotelier picked us up at the ferry and drove us to get our rental car.

The Jeep we rented was 4 years old and well-used, but adequate for our needs. We could have gotten a larger and/or newer vehicle, but I decided on a price point ($60 per day) and got what I could. I thought Maritza’s service was fine and they even dropped us off at the ferry dock after we returned the car. We met some other people who rented from a different company and they got a cheaper rental price, but their SUV was even smaller and more beat up that ours! It didn’t rain while we were on Vieques, but if it had, they would have gotten wet since their rag top roof was damaged.

Hints, Tips & Common Sense

One "mistake" we made when renting our vehicle was not planning for transport of our stuff. We got a 2-door Jeep Wrangler. It holds 4 people comfortably and a minimal amount of stuff. Unfortunately, we are SCUBA divers, so we had a LOT of stuff that we had to take with us — so that ended up in our laps. Luckily, it is a small island, so it was only for 20 minutes at a time. But also, we had to make 2 trips with all our luggage from the dock to and from the house since we and all our luggage did not fit! So don’t forget to take that into account when booking your rental car.

Some people assume that they can just take their rental car that they have on the main island of Puerto Rico on the cargo ferry with them when they go to Vieques or Culebra. This is simply not an option, for many reasons. Most (if not all) of the car rental agencies "forbid" you to do it. If the car breaks down over there, you are responsible to get it fixed an back to them. Also, the cargo ferry is mainly for locals — for supplies and their daily necessities. It does not run every day, and even if you have a reservation, you can be bumped if a local needs the spot. So just plan on renting a car while on Vieques from a local car rental agency. One added "bonus" is these companies usually provide you with a free map of the island. Also, if your car insurance covers rental cars, bring a copy of the declarations page (that states coverage), so you don’t need to get their insurance.

Don’t leave ANYTHING in the car when you park at the beaches in Vieques. I is recommended to take everything out and then leave the doors unlocked. That way, if anyone wants to break in to check your stuff, they don’t have to break anything to do it.

And one more thing worth mentioning … there are only 2 gas stations on the island (just a few hundred feet apart!) and they are not always open … so plan your trips accordingly.

Places that Rent Cars

Because Vieques is a small island, most of the car rental places don’t have a web page, and even if they do, you still have to call to make a reservation. Here is a (alphabetical) list of some car rental companies on Vieques. In addition to these, some of the hotels, and other rentals, have cars that they rent exclusively to their guests. You can call your lodging to find out if a car is available for you to rent (which may turn out to be easier and less expensive than a car rental agency, but I don’t know if it is “legal”, so in the event of a problem, I don’t know if your insurance would cover it).

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

Comments & Discussion Leave a Comment »

There are 7 comments on this article. Add to the Discussion »

I hear Maritza is the best. Please avoid Vieques Car Rental!! Scam alert: My family rented a Jeep Wrangler from Vieques Car Rental for 3 days. To return the car, they asked that I drop off my family at the airport and then take the car back to their office. When I brought the car back, they said the spare tire had been stolen and that it would cost me $600 to replace it. My entire family swears we never saw a tire on the trunk, as we filled it with bags and beach chairs throughout our stay. They would not take me to the airport for the flight with my family until I signed all there paperwork for the charge. They were rude about it throughout. I called the Vieques police station an hour later, but the rental company had not filed anything about a stolen tire. I felt helpless, and sad that this is the last impression I would remember about Vieques and our family trip.

Comment by John Crouch on 29 Nov 2020

no, but I know Maritza can have someone pick you up/ drop you off (between the airport and their office). It is possible that the other rental place do to (I have only ever used Maritza). But there are taxis waiting at the airport to take you to any of the car rental places (maybe $5 pp tops).

Comment by Gwenn on 30 Aug 2016

Would you know of any car rental that allows you to pick up the car at the Vieques airport and leave it there as well? We decided to fly there but this car rental thing seems difficult... Thank you!

Comment by Ria Durand on 29 Aug 2016

I don't know for sure, but a quick Google search found this: Road 201 Km. 1.0 But you would have to call them to verify.

Comment by Gwenn on 30 Dec 2014

Where is Acevedos car rental located Thank you

Comment by Tina on 29 Dec 2014

Edmonton- None are really "cheap", and the price varies depending on how new, how large and how beat up the vehicle. You would have to call and get quotes.

Comment by Gwenn on 13 Jun 2011

Just the info I need before I go visit the place. I had reservations on whether to rent a car or not because as you said, Vieques is a small island. But I guess you have a point on why I should choose to tour the place by car. Your advise just gave me an idea on what decision I should make. Which among the car rentals is the cheapest..? Need to save up for souvenirs.. Thanks..

Comment by Edmonton Chrysler on 24 May 2011

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Other Puerto Rico Resources …

Coqui's Hideaway Rainforest Villa in Rio Grande Located in the Foothills of El Yunque
San Juan Bus Map - learn about public transportation in the San Juan metro area

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