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North America > Bahamas > Nassau

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

(All of these pages will look a lot nicer when they are tidied up later in the spring. Yes, this site is being updated, but the graphics will come later)

Your key questions for any destination:

Do I need a car in Nassau?

Strictly speaking, there are very few travel destinations anywhere in the world where it's absolutely essential to rent a car in order to see the main points of interest. That's why we give you loads of ratings scales from 1 to 10, rather than simple yes or no answers!

  • The need question is generally answered by looking at public transport (transit) options. Is it good enough for visitors who are happy to consider using it?
  • How many public transport routes are there, and are they mainly rail or road (bus) based?
  • Is public transport fast, frequent, safe, reliable and cheap?
  • Does public transport actually take you to the places you'll probably want to see?

Is it worth hiring a car in Nassau?

This question is usually more about value for money. For this, we look at Nassau car hire options, and consider how rental costs compare with using transit.

How far are you likely to drive anyway, and how much might you expect to spend on fuel, road tolls, parking and any other charges. We compare Nassau with other destinations locally and around the world.

This is obviously much more of an issue if you are planning a longer road trip than it is on a small island.


Should I rent a car in Nassau? 

This is basically a merging of the two questions. Everything else might be about giving certain facts about the costs of car rental or using public transport in Nassau, but answering this question is very much a matter of opinion.

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 Nassau car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Nassau 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 Nassau? 

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


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

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 1/10

Non car score:6/10

Balance: 2

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

General comment -


The Bahamas are a collection of some 27,000 islands, but only a few of these have any form of access ability by road and ferry.
So is there any need to get a hire car to visit the Bahamas?

Why? Visiting Nassau using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Nassau ?

  • Island hop by car – ferries are available from Nassau to nearly a dozen other locations around the Bahamas. Why stick to just one island?
  • Public what? Terrible bus service – no bus from the airport for a start.
  • Unpleasant walking environment – the streets have been built for motorised traffic, and however beautiful the island itself is, this is not a particularly pleasant place to actually get around on foot.
  • Private property – Nassau is a densely populated city, but there is little by way of designated walking trails or hiking paths. In many cases, private villas have been built to overlook the sea, but there’s little by way of connected paths between them.

Why not? Visiting Nassau without a car

Why don't you need a car in Nassau ?

  • Limited distances – it might well just be much easier to use a taxi to get to and from your resort.
  • Local buses – apart from actually getting to and from the airport, there are plenty of local buses milling around the island.
  • Island hop as a foot passenger.

Conclusion – because public transport is so poor and the Bahamas are really not conducive to walking, a hire car is just about recommended.

Ratings: How does Nassau compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Nassau? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Nassau, 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 Nassau? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Nassau (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 Nassau? 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 Nassau airport have a direct rail link?

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






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

2017 - 2

2019 - 3

2021 - 2

Average score - 2




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

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