Traffic on Curaçao is slightly different than in the Netherlands. That is why we would like to tell you more about driving on Curaçao. It is wise to listen carefully to the tips that your car rental company gives you. In general, the average driver is a lot more sympathetic than most people in Europe and in the Netherlands. Usually people don't really drive fast (there are exceptions everywhere ), the maximum speed is lower than in the Netherlands and due to the bad roads, speeding is simply not pleasant. The maximum speed outside built-up areas is 80 km/h and in most neighborhoods you often do not drive faster than 45 km/h. Check out more tips below!
The road surface is not as good as in the Netherlands, holes in the road and bad road surface do not always make it comfortable. Try to avoid (deep) holes, it is very bad for your car to drive through them and of course you don't want to end up with a flat tire on the road. Especially in the dark you see holes and thresholds arriving late. It is also advisable to reduce your speed in the evenings.
Priority rules are different than in the Netherlands. The right generally does not have priority in Curaçao. At a T-junction, traffic going straight ahead always has priority. At a crossroads, our advice is to take it easy, sometimes people are unpredictable and some tourists often don't quite know what's going on. In some cases giving priority is better than taking priority. Especially during rush hour there are sometimes some unwritten rules, where the right usually has no priority, it is customary to let people from the right in between during traffic jams. You will undoubtedly get used to this quickly, if you just ride along with the traffic it is all quite relaxed driving.
Overtaking by car
Overtaking is done here on double lanes on both sides, in the Netherlands the left is always the fastest lane, in Curaçao this does not apply. It can just happen that someone drives very slowly in the left lane, in that case you can just pass them on the right. So also pay attention that you can be overtaken on the right side, you make this in the Netherlands (if all is well ) never with it.
Rain and bad weather
When it rains on Curaçao, it can really rain. Water does not drain easily here and during a heavy shower the streets are quickly filled with (deep) puddles. Moreover, the roads here quickly become slippery when it rains, so driving fast during this weather is really a no-go. Can't see how deep a puddle is? braking distance becomes a lot longer and visibility becomes worse. On certain parts of the island you can't even enter some streets anymore, the puddles become too deep. If you see other cars driving through a puddle, you can often assume that this is fine. If you enter a street and you have no idea how deep the puddle is, turn around or really check whether it is possible.
Driving in the dark
When it gets dark it is advisable to take it all a bit easier. Street lighting is not equally good everywhere and you may come across someone with broken lighting (or with very bright lights). Moreover, you will often only see thresholds and holes later. Although it is not allowed to get behind the wheel with alcohol, this happens regularly, especially after a pleasant evening at Jan Thiel or at Mambo Beach you might find a drunk driver here and there. Our advice: just drive a little more slowly in the evening and then you will be fine.
Involved in a collision or accident? Then leave your car exactly at the scene of the accident! Immediately call your car rental company or the Road Service (tel 199) and tell them where you are. Where in the Netherlands we fill in a damage form ourselves, they do this slightly differently in Curaçao, because an external party comes here to draw up the damage report. Your landlord will undoubtedly explain this to you, but it is important that you know this to avoid nagging with the insurance.
Driving on Curaçao is generally very safe and relaxed. You really don't need a 4×4 to get from A to B. Renting a car is recommended if you come to Curacao, public transport only comes to a limited number of places and buses often arrive too late. With a rental car you can easily drive all over the island and you can discover all the beautiful places of Curaçao, from Westpunt to the Christoffelberg. Nice own boss and everything at your own pace. With the exception of a number of traffic rules, traffic is reasonably similar to traffic in the Netherlands. Please note that it can be a bit busier during rush hour, especially the Caracasbaaiweg can be busy during rush hour. Don't be put off by exaggerated stories, driving a car in Curaçao is safer than in many European countries! Questions about a rental car? Please contact us, we will be happy to help you find a nice rental car that meets your needs .