Hiring a car and driving in Cuba

self drive Cuba

How to hire a car in Cuba

Hiring a car in Cuba to self drive your own vacation is easy. The cost of doing so, however, is high. Expect to pay around $120USD per day for the cheapest car hire in Havana. Driving in Cuba is highly recommended so you can travel independently.

The main car hire company is called Transtur and has offices all over Havana. They are more like the booking agent for the 3 main car hire companies, so it gets a little weird hiring as they seem to have a lot of car collection and drop off points. These are mostly at larger hotels in Miramar. The car hire companies they cover are Havanautos, Rex and Cubacar. You won’t find much if any, difference in price between them all. The pick-up and drop off at Neptuno-Triton hotel is open 24 hours.

We were told to collect our car at Neptuno-Triton Hotel, but on arrival was informed our car was now at Hotel Chateau for pick up. It was a bit confusing and an inconvenience at the time. But the staff were able to help drive us to the other pick up point so it wasn’t so difficult. This may happen to you, so make sure you get to the office early in case you need to go to a different collection office.

I had to give over my passport and driver’s licence, as per usual. And pay 150CUC cash deposit. You cannot use credit cards for this deposit, so ensure you change enough money. The car pick up procedure was fast and the paperwork was just as you would expect from an Avis or Europecar hire company. 

We had a quick check around the car for damage and thankfully there was already a lot of scratches. This meant that the form had plenty of damage already noted. I didn’t have to stress about every little scratch I was likely to get driving on Cuba’s roads.

Roadside assistance while driving in Cuba

Breaking down can be inevitable when the roads are potholed. We managed to get 3 nails in our tyre on the 2nd day. Roadside assistance is usually in the form of smiling local Cubans.

There is a 24hr roadside assistance helpline when you book a hire car with Transtur. We didn’t bother using it, so I’m not sure how reliable it is.

The guy who stopped to help us spoke no English, but could see the problem. He helped change the tyre and laughed because we couldn’t get the wheel nuts off. I gave him 10CUC for his efforts, but he didn’t ask or expect any payment.

After limping the car to the next town on the space saver wheel, we found a puncture repair shop. It cost 5CUC to repair the 3 punctures and took around half an hour.

Types of cars to hire in Cuba

As much as I wanted to drive an old classic Cuban car around the country, it was a bit out of my price range. Driving in Cuba can be expensive. If you do want to clunk down the freeway in one for a week or two, contact Classic Cars in Cuba and they will sort you out with a driver and car for the week. Prices will run at well over $100 per day as you will be paying for the driver’s accommodation and food while you travel. 

Most of the hire cars available in Havana were small Fiats. You will be able to tell the hire cars from the others on the road by the “T” at the start of the number plate. These newer cars will only accept Especial petrol. This is not found at every service station in the country, so plan your trips accordingly. If you find yourself low, make sure you top up at a major town.

My friendly roadside assistance guy!

Important road information in Cuba

The speed limit is 100KMH on the highway with most other roads 40-60kmh.

Be careful when driving in Cuba at night because of the animals on the roads. There is very little street lighting and often people or animals are walking along the roadside.

Petrol prices as of May 2019 – especial petrol 10 CUC would get you 8.3L

The police phone number in Cuba is 106

Transtur contact information (English)

Call Center opening hours:

Mon – Fri:8.30 am5.15 pm (EST)
Sat:9.00 am12.00 m


1st Avenue Nr. 201 between A and B street, apartment 8-C, Vedado, Plaza de la Revolución, Havana. 

Car rental pick up addresses in Havana

There are many to choose from, as you can see on the list below. These are all Transtur offices, so they will rent out Cubacar, Rex and Havanautos from these locations.

There are also several car rental offices around the country. Transtur provides car hire outlets in Cuban cities, towns, airports and resorts, supplying a full range of cars to suit any budget from economy car rental, family car rental and luxury car rental.

Keep in mind, high seasons such as New Years might play a part in availability.

Hotel Chateau Miramar 
Address: Hotel Chateau Miramar, Avenida 1ra y 62, Miramar, Playa
Hours Of Operation: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Cubacar – Hotel Copacabana 
Address: 1ra Ave entre 44 y 46, Miramar, Playa. Havana
Hours Of Operation: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cubacar – Hotel Neptuno 
Address: 1ra y 72, Playa, Habana
Hours Of Operation: 24 hrs
Cubacar – Kasalta 
Address: Calle 0 esq a 5ta Ave. Miramar
Hours Of Operation: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cubacar – Miramar 1ra y 0 
Address: Miramar 1ra y 0
Hours Of Operation: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cubacar – Miramar 1ra y 14 
Address: Ave 1ra y 14 Miramar.
Hours Of Operation: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cubacar – Miramar Pizza Nova 
Address: Ave 3ra y 46
Hours Of Operation: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cubacar – Playa 42 y 33 
Address: 42 y 33 Playa. Havana
Hours Of Operation: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Cubacar – 3ra y Paseo 
Address: 3ra y Paseo, Vedado
Hours Of Operation: 24 hrs
Cubacar – Hotel Nacional de Cuba 
Address: Hotel Nacional de Cuba, Calle 0 esq. 21, Vedado
Hours Of Operation: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cubacar – Hotel Tryp Habana Libre 
Address: Hotel Tryp Habana Libre, Calle L esq 23, Vedado
Hours Of Operation: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cubacar – Línea y Malecón (Tangana) 
Address: Línea y Malecón, Vedado, La Habana
Hours Of Operation: 8 hrs
East Havana BeachesCubacar – Gran Via 
Address: Guanabo, Playas del Este, Habana
Hours Of Operation: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cubacar – Hotel Tropicoco 
Address: Hotel Tropicoco, Ave. Sur y Las Terrazas, Playa Santa María del Mar
Hours Of Operation: 9 a.m – 5 p.m.
Centro HabanaCubacar – Galiano y Concordia 
Address: Galiano y Concordia. Centro Habana
Hours Of Operation: 12 hrs
Cubacar – Hotel Deauville 
Address: Hotel Deauville, Calle Galiano y Malecón. Centro Habana
Hours Of Operation: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Havana AirportsCubacar – Jose Marti Airport Terminal 2 
Address: Havana José Martí International Airport Terminal 2
Hours Of Operation: 24 hrs
Cubacar – Jose Marti Airport Terminal 3 
Address: Havana José Martí International Airport Terminal 3
Hours Of Operation: 24 hrs
JibacoaCubacar – Hotel Villa Tropico 
Address: Hotel Villa Tropico
Hours Of Operation: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Old HavanaCubacar – Cruise Terminal, Havana Harbour 
Address: Terminal de Cruceros, Avenida del Puerto, Habana Vieja
Hours Of Operation: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cubacar – Hotel Parque Central 
Address: Neptuno entre Prado y Zulueta
Hours Of Operation: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cubacar – Hotel Plaza 
Address: Hotel Plaza, Ignacio Agramonte No. 267, Habana Vieja
Hours Of Operation: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cubacar – Hotel Sevilla 
Address: Hotel Sevilla, Trocadero No 55, Old Havana
Hours Of Operation: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Are you planning a self-driving vacation in Cuba? Let me know about it below!

Are you thinking of driving in Mozambique? I’ve actually written a guide to driving in Mozambique here!

While on your Cuban road trip, check out Viñales, and don’t miss our 3 things to do for under $10 post.

In Havana, don’t forget to book your dinner at the best paladar in Havana before you leave!

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Round The World Rachel
Round The World Rachel

Rachel Cunningham is a Superyacht Chef and World Adventurer.
With over 110 countries visited in the past 15 years, Rachel wants to you to come along for the ride! Bring a bottle of rum, and a bikini, oh yeah, and your passport. You could end up losing all three items by the end of this journey!
Round the world Rachel takes you off the beaten track to beaches, bars and restaurants of the unknown!

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