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Driving in Bridgetown

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Bridgetown.
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1. Driving on the Left

Like many former British colonies, Barbados drives on the left-hand side of the road. This can be a bit disorienting for those used to driving on the right, so take some time to get used to it before hitting the road.

2. Car Recommendation

Most roads in Bridgetown are well-paved, but smaller roads can be narrow and winding. A compact car is often the best choice for navigating these streets. If you plan to explore more rural areas of the island, a 4×4 might be a better option.

3. Parking in Bridgetown

Finding parking in Bridgetown can be challenging, especially during peak hours. However, there are several paid parking lots and garages available. Parking fees are generally affordable, but it’s always a good idea to have some local currency on hand for this.

4. Driving with an International License

Foreigners can drive in Barbados with an international driving permit for up to a year. After that, you will need to obtain a local driver’s license.

5. Obtaining a Local Driver’s License

To get a Barbadian driver’s license, you will need to pass a written test and a driving test. The process is relatively straightforward, but it’s a good idea to study the local driving laws and regulations beforehand. You can find study materials at local bookstores or online.

6. Road Etiquette

Barbadians are generally courteous drivers, but the local driving style can be aggressive at times. Be prepared for sudden lane changes and be sure to use your indicators. Also, honking is common and is not considered rude, but rather a way to communicate with other drivers.

7. Watch Out for Pedestrians

Pedestrians in Bridgetown often cross the road without looking, so always be on the lookout. Also, be aware that zebra crossings are common and drivers are required to stop for pedestrians.

8. Be Prepared for Roundabouts

Roundabouts are common in Barbados and can be confusing for those not used to them. Remember to give way to vehicles already in the roundabout and signal your intentions clearly.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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