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View Full Version : First time visitors, a few questions about vehicle rental



yamahammer342
01-07-2016, 01:13 PM
Hello.

My wife and I will be visiting Jan 17-24. First question is, what rental car companies are located at the airport? I would rather not have to worry about pick up and drop off if I can do that. Should we get the best insurance? I have heard stories of vehicles being vandalized. And third, any recommendation on company and cheapest rates? We are staying at Kings beach so I don't think I can get anything through them.

tholland
01-07-2016, 02:39 PM
We had great dive truck rentals from AB car rental on Bonaire over many years. They hired a new manager (Ron) in the past couple years and things got even better! They are about 5 min drive from the airport and I believe they will arrange to pick you up and drop you off at the airport. Suggest taking FULL insurance so you don't have to worry at all while on vacation (seems worth the price to me at least). Leave your vehicle unlocked at dive sites and never leave anything valuable inside....and no problems for us at least for the past 10 years or more. Have fun! (watch out for the donkeys at night!)

yamahammer342
01-07-2016, 05:16 PM
Thanks for the info. One thing I forgot to ask. We will be snorkeling not diving. Is a truck necessary or can we get by with a car?

Kimfair
01-07-2016, 07:11 PM
For snorkeling, a car will do fine. My wife and I only snorkel, and we never rent a truck. However, if you decide to drive through the Slagbaai National Park, you WILL need a truck, as the road is less of a road than a long series of horizontal ruts in the road, and it would be very difficult to negotiate it with a car. The park is beautiful, but there's only one great snorkeling site (Wayaka II), and I'm not sure you really need to go to that one. I usually rent with Hertz, as I'm a Gold member, and they have automatics (I haven't driven a stick in 30+ years!), but no matter who you rent with, it's a good idea to get the insurance. It will save you from any hassles should something happen. We've never had an issue with break ins or vandalism, though the advice to leave nothing of value in your car, and leave it unlocked is sound. I wholeheartedly recommend taking a snorkel trip to Klein Bonaire on the Woodwind with Dee. It's a phenomenal trip, and you'll see lots of stuff you may not see off the main island (especially turtles). If you want to, check out my blog on our last trip which was in October. It, and the others from past Bonaire trips will give you some perspective on different snorkel sites, and what you'll see there. Here is the link to my blog. https://kimfair.wordpress.com/

kob
01-07-2016, 07:15 PM
Budget, Avis, Hertz are all right at the airport

grunt
01-07-2016, 07:33 PM
Most all trucks are stick/standard shift, not automatic.
Ask before you rent if not familiar with a stick/standard shift.
Lots of dive sites, but not all, are better accessed with a truck.

Kimfair
01-08-2016, 11:24 AM
Most all trucks are stick/standard shift, not automatic.
Ask before you rent if not familiar with a stick/standard shift.
Lots of dive sites, but not all, are better accessed with a truck.

Not trying to be snarky, but which dive sites require a truck? The OP is a snorkeler, not a diver, and as a snorkeler myself, with 5 trips under my belt, I can't think of any site we've snorkeled that we couldn't access with a car (except for Wayaka II in the park). I guess there might be some sites near the Salt Pier that you might need a truck for, but since those aren't great snorkeling sites, maybe I'm ignorant of them.

antennariidae
01-08-2016, 11:56 AM
Not trying to be snarky, but which dive sites require a truck? The OP is a snorkeler, not a diver, and as a snorkeler myself, with 5 trips under my belt, I can't think of any site we've snorkeled that we couldn't access with a car (except for Wayaka II in the park). I guess there might be some sites near the Salt Pier that you might need a truck for, but since those aren't great snorkeling sites, maybe I'm ignorant of them.

Good point, and it answers the questions posed earlier. You're right -- the main reason to have a truck is to carry all the tanks and dive gear. if you don't have to carry all that stuff, you probably don't need a truck.

grunt
01-10-2016, 08:11 PM
Trucks have a higher clearance that cars, my thought was about getting stuck at a dive site.
We are all adults and make our own decisions.

yamahammer342
01-10-2016, 08:27 PM
Are the trucks 4 wheel drive? I was actually thinking about getting one of those small suvs. Since I will be going to dive sites.

randl
01-11-2016, 12:26 AM
As a rule, no, the trucks are not four wheel drive. You won't need it.

yamahammer342
01-11-2016, 06:12 PM
Thanks for all the help. I think we have everything in order now!

Tom
01-12-2016, 01:24 PM
Check out Everts Car Rental. They're at the airport, and they are just a fantastic family run operation. Vehicles in good shape, paperwork ready when you arrive. Quick and painless check in and check out. I can't recommend them enough.

rpdemink
01-23-2016, 10:08 AM
trucks are usually a LOT cheaper than cars if cost is a factor

trish
01-28-2016, 07:38 AM
If you plan on going to the park, which has some great snorkeling sites I've heard, they won't let you in if you have a car. Only trucks allowed in the park. I heard at one time it depended on how much rain they've had, but when I tried to go in with a car in May 2011, they told me no cars, period. So not really sure.

IslandGuy207
03-24-2016, 07:08 AM
All of the sites in Slagbaai and many of the shore dive sites on the rest of the island require a truck to amble down off the road to the parking area. Some of the sites do not. The trucks we have always received from AB Rental are "crew cab", 5 adults can fit in the truck easily with all of our gear in the back. 4-wheel drive is not necessary, even in the national park.

angelfish
02-03-2018, 08:47 PM
Has anyone used Evert's since 2016?
Thank you

BostonDavid
02-05-2018, 02:14 AM
Sorry I didn't notice this thread earlier. Everts is ageist and discriminates against drivers older than 70 regardless of their abilities, refusing to rent to us. Watch your tongue if you are tempted to defend them, based on nothing except your prejudices. There's no good evidence to back up their limitation. Most of the other Bonaire car rental agencies have no problem with prospective renters based on their birth dates.

There are alternatives besides trucks for snorkelers who wish to visit the national park or "amble down off the road to the parking area". Many of the SUVs have high ground clearance and are okay for Washington Slagbaai and the Southern beaches, including the Daihatsu Feroza we've reserved for our visit 3-18 March this year. I don't know if our choice is the least comfortable vehicle available for rent on Bonaire, but we've been advised that it's in contention. We've been warned, but we're not planning to do Grand Touring. lol. We've survived past rental of vehicles labeled "cars" that had difficulty staying within the limits of the paved roads on Bonaire. (Toyota Yaris years ago - current models are capable vehicles, I believe.) All this won't help the OP, who presumably has already finished their visit to Bonaire, but I hope it may help others.

Bob T
02-05-2018, 11:17 AM
Hi David... We have been staying at the Divi Flamingo for 17 years now and anytime we need to rent a car they have a rental company right on property and have never had any problems with them or any cars too. Have a Great time and relax on Bonaire...

Kimfair
02-05-2018, 03:55 PM
We also generally use the Hertz rental company at the Divi Flamingo.

jujubees
02-06-2018, 01:19 AM
We have been going to Bonaire for MANY YEARS and always used Poppy at Telerin. All paperwork and payment is done before you get to Bonaire. When you arrive, they are outside airport with sign. All you do is sign paperwork and truck is there.....and off you go. When you leave you just leave truck in short term parking, leave key in ashtray and your done. Always get full insurance....just in case.
The easiest rental on Bonaire.
We have stayed at Divi our first few years and tried Their rental company on property.
I think it’s Hertz ....but what a pain in the A**. It takes forever for them to give you truck.
A island time inspection before and even worse after.
Whatever you chose to use....always get their insurance if your planning on using it to snorkel or dive.
It’s not worth the extra aggravation ....just in case there is damage.
Good Luck in your journey....
Enjoy your trip....��