Renting a Car & Driving in Belize
Renting a vehicle is one of the best ways to make the most of your vacation in Belize. Anyone with a valid driver’s license in their home country can legally operate a motor vehicle in Belize. However there are some car rental companies in Belize that typically do not accept drivers that are under 23 year old.
In Belize, the rules of the road are almost identical to those in the United States. All road signs and indicators are in English, distances are expressed in miles, and driving is on the right-hand side of the road. Seatbelts are also required for both the driver and all passengers.
There are, however, just a few differences to driving in Belize that you should be aware of. Speed limits are not always posted, but the rules are 55 miles per hour on highways and 25 miles per hour in cities, towns, and residential areas.
Traffic lights don’t exist in Belize. Instead, speed bumps known as “sleeping policemen” are used to regulate traffic speed in urban areas. Sometimes, the speed bumps are poorly marked, so always slow down when entering a city, town or village.
Perhaps the most important difference between driving in Belize and the United States is the way people make left-hand turns. In Belize, the custom for turning left is to activate the left-hand turn signal but then pull over to the right shoulder. Only when the roadway is clear in both directions can you make the left-hand turn.
Furthermore, much of Belize is rural. This means that drivers should be aware of animals in the roadway. Some secondary roads in Belize are unpaved and can be difficult to negotiate, especially following a period of rain. Some secondary roads may also be poorly maintained. Most roads in Belize are not illuminated, so driving at night is strongly discouraged. In some towns and villages, people may walk in the roadway due to a lack of sidewalks.
Driving in Belize is truly a great way to see the spectacular beauty of the country. Most destinations can be reached in three hours or less, but be sure to budget some extra time for stopping to take pictures!
If you’re interested in renting and driving a car in Belize, the name to trust is Barefoot Rentals and Services. Based in beautiful Placencia in southeastern Belize, Barefoot Rentals and Services can deliver vehicles anywhere in the country, including San Ignacio Town, Belize City, Hopkins, Dangriga, Corozal, Orange Walk, and the international airport.