Caribbean > Cuba > Havana

See: Why hire a car in Havana ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Please note that is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Havana car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Havana is in car rental price band: 9/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Havana? 

Absolutely not. Car rental is extremely expensive and best avoided.


Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Havana between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 7/10

Non car score:8/10

Balance: 2

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -


Trying to offer any sort of car hire advice in Havana is naturally going to be full of irony. Here is a destination that has spent several decades politically and commercially isolated from the USA, yet some of the most iconic images of Havana are those of beautifully maintained American made cars from the 1950s.

We can only assume that as more and more flight routes are added between the USA and Cuba, and as relations between the two countries continue to improve, it is only a matter of time before the major international car hire operators come and set up shop here. In the meantime, if you want to rent a car in Havana, you will have to stick with a limited range of local car rental companies, and be prepared to pay through the nose, especially for insurance.

Why? Visiting Havana using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Havana ?

  • We would not advise hiring a car in Havana, or in Cuba generally.
  • If you want a “classic car” experience, enquire locally – but this can be a single day tour with driver, rather than a self-drive car rental.

Why not? Visiting Havana without a car

Why don't you need a car in Havana ?

Cuba has been a popular holiday destination with Canadians and Europeans for a number of years, leading to the development of resorts in various different parts of the island, including the development of airport facilities to serve this market, such as at Cayo Coco. For the time being, the easiest way to get around Cuba is still to use resort transfers, tourist buses and to travel a bit further to use longer distance scheduled bus services. If you are prepared to wait long enough for a train to turn up, Cuba also makes for a great rail travel destination, but the emphasis here is on the waiting and on the ancient rolling stock, not anything fast or modern.

  • Within the city of Havana itself, there are plenty of local urban bus services as well as scheduled services travelling further afield. Old Havana is also compact enough to walk around, especially along the seafront.
  • If you can arrange a tour around the city in a classic 50s car, then that will no doubt be an unforgettable experience, but as far as routine airport pick up car rental is concerned, Havana is still a strong no.

Ratings: How does Havana compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Havana? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Havana, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?



Do you need to hire a car in Havana? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Havana (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Havana? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel


Car hire basics:


Public transportation basics:


Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):


As you start ....

Does Havana airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No






Has our advice for Havana car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 3

2019 - 1

2021 - 2

Average score - 2




Do you or don't you need a car in Havana ?