Whether you are a classic car lover or a simple fan, Havana will impress you with the number of cars from the 50s and 60s that roam its colorful streets. Spectacular vintage cars, such as the charismatic Plymouth, Mercury, Oldsmobile, Ford, Cadillac, Chevrolet or Dodge, circulate through the streets of Havana, capital of Cuba, as if time had stopped in this living automobile museum.
You cannot leave Cuba without riding in one of its precious convertible and discover the streets of Havana with your hair in the air. If you are an adventurous traveler, we recommend that you rent a classic car in Havana and be the one who drives this beautiful machine on your trip to Cuba with Espíritu Travel. Continue reading this article to learn more about renting a classic car in Cuba.
After the Cuban Revolution and the US blockade, the Cubans had to adapt to the circumstances and learned to repair and maintain cars from the golden years without spare parts or official brand car parts. Anyone who has an ¨almendrón¨ in Cuba, as Cubans often call cars from the 30s, 40s or 50s, has a great treasure, but what is even more important, has a means of transportation and a way to support the whole family.
Old cars in Cuba have become a symbol, a hallmark of Cuba, you can find them throughout the national territory, although in the most touristy areas of Havana is where there are more, especially around Capitolio or the Bodeguita del Medio.
Renting a classic Cuban car is one of the most authentic ways to explore its streets, you will also be able to discover more corners of Havana in less time. You will feel you are part of a movie, where the sun, the music, the mojitos and you will be the main characters of the movie!
Tips for renting a classic car in Havana
When it comes to renting a classic car in Havana, you can always do it with or without a driver. If you dare to drive yourself through the streets of Havana in one of its classic cars, you should know that most of these cars do not have a seatbelt, airbags, or ABS, so I suggest you be extremely cautious.
The price of classic car rental in Cuba varies depending on the city, it is not the same to rent an old car in Havana, than in Santa Clara, it also depends on how long we want to rent the car. In Cuba you can negotiate your terms with the driver, there is no set price, which means that each person sets their own price based on their car and its characteristics, tourists are always charged more expensively, and Cuba is not the exception, therefore we recommend that on your trip to Cuba with Espíritu Travel you let our local guide help you negotiate the rental terms.
To give you an idea of the price of renting a classic car in Havana or “almendrón”, one trip usually costs about 20 Cuban pesos (1 dollar) per person or up to 20 – 30 Cuban pesos (18-26 dollars). Renting a car for two hours will cost you about 50 CUC and from three to six hours it can cost you up to 150 CUC.
To rent a classic car in Havana we recommend that you do so in advance and let us know as soon as possible, so that we can offer you all the rental possibilities. Another option to rent a car in Cuba is to talk to a Cuban who is on the street leaning on his beautiful old car (with a rental license). It is undoubtedly the best way to interact with Cubans and ensure that there is a culture exchange, in this case you will have to haggle and negotiate a price.
What are the requirements to rent a car in Cuba?
- To rent a car in Cuba you must be over 21 years old.
- The driver’s license must be valid, it can be international or national, from your country of origin.
- Valid Passport.
Discover the island of Cuba by car
It is undoubtedly faster to cross the island from one end to the other by plane (and less tiring), but you would miss the opportunity to get to know Cuba from the inside, stop at your own pace in each town, talk with people and learn about their stories.
Visiting Cuba by road is a unique experience: you will be able to discover unexpected landscapes, far from the tourist centers and change the course towards roads that invite you to know the true Cuban essence.
In this case, renting an old car to discover the Island is unthinkable. You must rent a modern and comfortable car. It is highly advisable to fill the tank whenever you can, since the service stations are usually only in the main cities, and sometimes there are long distances between them.
Prices for economic cars (HYUNDAI, ATOS, PEUGEOT, etc.) are around 35 and 40 CUC per day with unlimited mileage. While the cars considered luxury, have prices that start from 90 CUC (AUDI, BMW, MERCEDES). At the time of rental, you must make a deposit according to the type of car between 200 and 250 CUC. Insurance is mandatory but it is usually quite cheap (25 CUC per day).
Remember to check the car when you return it and check that it has no dents or striking marks. If you do not notify them at the time and they are not indicated, they can be charged at the time of delivering the car.
Whether you are thinking of visiting Cuba by car or discovering the streets of Havana waving your hair in the wind of an old Mercury, let Espíritu Travel’s team design the best road customize itinerary for your next trip to Cuba or recommend you what classic car you should rent in Havana. All our team in Cuba are local guides and there is no better recommendation when traveling then the local people suggestions.