Visitors are not permitted to rent or drive cars in Bermuda. There are no car hire companies on the island.
Anybody driving a car must have a Bermuda driving licence. These are only issued to Bermudians and residents.
This may seem unusual to most tourists who are accustomed to renting vehicles while on vacation. However, there are valid reasons for the rules:
- Bermuda has horrendous traffic congestion (usually only apparent during rush hours).
- The density of vehicles per square mile is the highest in the world (2007 figures – 48,054 vehicles in 21 square miles – 22,617 private cars, 19,232 motorcycles, 765 buses and taxis, 4,142 trucks, and 1,298 others). Permitting rental cars for tourists would worsen the problem. Serious consideration has been given in the past to bringing in legislation banning vehicle ownership by foreign workers (a sizeable section of the community).
- There are not enough parking spaces to accommodate any increase in vehicle numbers.
- The vast majority of tourists are from the US and Canada. They are not accustomed to driving on the left and the island’s narrow, winding roads.
- Bermuda has an excellent public transport system. Buses and ferries are frequent and serve most of the island. Scooters are also available for hire.
In recent years the government has considered allowing tourists to rent Smart cars, electric cars, microcars etc. but has never introduced legislation permitting such vehicles.
At present those wishing to travel independently are limited to hiring taxis and scooters.