If you're based in Gosier or at a large resort, you'll probably need a car only for a day or two of sightseeing. That may be enough, since roundabouts, mountain roads, and fast, aggressive drivers are stressful. Your valid driver's license will suffice for up to 20 days. You can get a rental car from the airport or your hotel. Count on spending between €48 and €80 a day for a small car with standard shift; automatics are considerably more expensive and must be reserved in advance. Note that some companies, including Europcar, charge a €25 drop-off fee for the airport, even if you pick the car up there. Allow at least 30 to 60 minutes to drop off your car at the end of your stay. The chances of your getting lost on the way to the airport and to where you need to leave the car (at a car rental box near the airport, where you then wait for a shuttle to bring you and your luggage back to the airport) are such that you should probably allow a full hour. Conscientiously follow every sign that has a picture of a plane. An alternative is to return it in Gosier and put that €25 drop-off fee saved toward a €35 stress-free, taxi ride. Return your vehicle with the same amount of gas or you'll be charged an exorbitant rate.
Car Rental Contacts
Avis. 0590/21–13–54; 800/331–1212; www.avis.fr.
Budget. 0590/21–46–57; www.budget-antilles.com.
Captheo. New to Guadeloupe, electric cars can solve the transportation issues. Scooters can also be rented at this reputable agency. Expect to pay about €70 for a car that seats four, €25 for a scooter. A credit card deposit of €382 for a scooter is required, €650 for a car. Terre-de-Haut, Iles des Saintes, 97137. 0590/81–49–82; 0690/63–58–13.
Europcar. Europcar, like most companies, charges a €25 drop-off fee for the airport, even if you pick the car up there. Employees speak English and are very professional; convertibles go for €113 per day. 0590/21–13–52; 0690/35–29–52; www.europcar-guadeloupe.com.
Hertz. Hertz has some automatics, convertibles, and various high-end models. They charge a €30 drop-off fee at the airport, even if you picked up there. 0590/21–13–46; 0590/89–28–05; www.hertzantilles.com.
Jumbo Car. 0820/22–02–30; 0590/91–91–66; www.jumbocar.com.
MTA Sarl Location. This is a good, reputable agency from which to rent your island car. There are no automatics, just manual shifts, but cars are recent models, clean, and well maintained. Rates are moderate. Rue Commandant Mortenol, Grand-Bourg, Marie-Galante, 97112. 0690/91–64–63; 0590/97–18–02; voiture-mariegalante.com.
Sixt. Sixt has a number of convertibles and high-end cars, including some German automobiles. 0590/21–13–44; www.sixt.com.