Car rental is usually the best option to get around Martinique, because the island is large and activities sites are spread all over the island. Martinique has several local car-rental agencies. However, clients regularly complain about mechanical difficulties and billing irregularities with local companies, which is why we recommend renting from one of our partners :
- Budget has an office in Fort-de-France and in Airport Martinique Aimé Césaire. Phone : 800/472-3325 in the US and Canada, or +596-596-42-04-04. You can also contact Budget through their online website.
- Avis is situated at Airport Martinique Aimé Césaire. Phone : 800/331-1084 in the US and Canada, or +596-596-42-11-00. You can also contact Avis through their website www.avis-antilles.fr
- Hertz is also located at Airport Martinique Aimé Césaire. Ph-one : 800/654-3001 in the US and Canada, or +596-596-51-01-01, or at www.hertzantilles.com .
Among these three car-rental companies, we also recommend these rental cars companies.
How to drive
If you are renting a car, you should know that driving in Martinique is on the right side of the road. An international driver’s license is also required if you stay more than 20 days. Otherwise, a valid driver’s license is sufficient. Roads are generally good, and if drivers are skillful, as in most of the world, everyone seems to be in a hurry.
There are numerous roundabouts in Martinique. When entering one, make sure to yield to others and stay to the right until your exit. If you miss it, just continue around the circle and exit the second time. Most of the roads are two lanes, so if you have an appointment, schedule extra-time. While driving, be alert for animals in the road.
Given the mountainous terrain in Martinique, two-wheel rentals can be dangerous, which is why they are recommended only for the most experienced drivers.
To get around Martinique, you can also use public buses, which are cheap but crowded. You can also use one of the hundreds of eight-passenger mini-vans, also known as TaxiCos, bearing the letters TC on their license plates. TC routes are present to all the majors town from Pointe Simon terminal in Fort de France. They depart frequently from early morning to night, and TC schedules are easily available on the island.
Shuttle boats can also be great to get around Martinique, as they are the easiest way to travel across the bay from the resort areas of Pointe-du-Bout and Trois Ilets to Fort de France. Schedules are readily available on the island.
It is also possible to rent a boat. The websites GetMyBoat and Samboat are very useful and can help you to quickly find a boat in the nearest city from where you are, from a very wide range of boats. As well as ClickandBoat.com.
If you are going to use taxis during your stay in Martinique, make sure they contain a working meter, which has to be ‘on’ and functioning during the itinerary. If it is not, and the taxi driver quotes a flat rate instead of activating the meter, you should find another cab.
This rule does not apply if you want to hire a taxi for a general tour of the island. In this case you may want to negotiate a price with the driver. It is normally around 50 euros per hour for 4 persons. You can contact Airport Taxi Stand (Phone +596-596-42-16-66) and for more luxurious car, you may want to contact Madinina Taxis (Phone +596-596-70-40-10).