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cubacarrental has been a member since June 9th 2014, and has created 20 posts from scratch.

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Cuba Rent a Car July & August 2015

Hyundai Accent Cuba 2015

Visiting Cuba and renting a car are not things that essentially go hand in hand. Many travelers to Cuba this summer will need to find alternative transport unless they have booked a vehicle in advance; this is the information emanating from colleagues at the big four car rental agencies in Cuba of CubaCAR, Havanautos, Via Car Rental and REX.

As we reported in November 2014, Cuba’s rental car companies have sidelined travel agencies for the rental of vehicles and are exclusively taking bookings directly on the official websites shown in the grey bar above

This summer is set to be one of the worst for those hoping to discover Cuba from behind the wheel of a car. Primarily due to President Obama’s historic announcement, more Americans are visiting Cuba, making a bad situation worse. However, for those of you with the ability to book your Cuban Rent A Car in advance, all the above official websites still offer availability at the writing of this article. We contemplate that from June 15th it will become gradually more difficult to acquire a Car Rental in Cuba and by July 1st, it will be almost impossible to secure a car unless cancellations are placed back online. Visitors are urged to check the official websites listed above or contact the chat system to try and obtain a cancelled car after July 1st.

One bit of good news is that Cuban rent a car company Havanautos has replaced its Hyundai Accent models with the sleek 2015 model shown above. For those of you searching for a 5 seat medium category car this summer try to book the Hyundai accent with Havanautos and you’ll get a new car!

Car Rental in Cuba December 2014 and January 2015

Gaviota Car Rental in Cuba

Car Rental in Cuba for December 2014 and January 2015 just got more complicated for many visitors to Cuba during the holidays. As of today Cuban Rent a Car companies Havanautos, CubaCAR, REX and Via Gaviota have ceased confirmations of Car Rentals in Cuba for travel agents and third parties. Therefore, from today it’s only possible to confirm a rent a car in Cuba on the official websites shown in the grey bar above – CubaCAR, REX, Via & Havanautos.

Thankfully, there is still lots of car availability in Cuba when booking directly for: Economy Manual stick shift, Economy Automatic, Full Size (Called medium in Cuba) Manual and Automatic but, again, only when you book using the official websites. Many travel agents and affiliates have already published the bad news that they can no longer confirm cars for December 2014 and January 2015. Consumers should be wary if they are being told there are vehicles available when plainly agents can no longer confirm cars in Cuba.

As of writing this report 11 cars were confirmed with CubaCAR Cuba when booked directly. This confirms the ongoing availability of cars when booked directly with the websites shown.

Happy Holidays to all and good luck with your Car Rental in Cuba!

Cuba Car Rental | Introduction of new cut price Geely Panda

Car Rental Cuba Geely Panda

In time for the summer 2014 Cuba Car Rental season, the Geely Panda enters the fray as Cuba’s cheapest Cuba car rental offer. Powered by a frugal 900 cc gas engine, the car offers 5 seats and is available in the economy segment of Cuban car rental categories. The version of the Geely Panda offered in Cuba offers updated air-conditioning which in Geely speak is called the “tropical pack” along with upgraded cooling system and bigger brakes. The car available on Cuban roads is therefore heavily modified for the car rental market in Cuba.

Available from $31 USD per day, it provides an excellent and above all CHEAP way of getting around and much less expensive than other economic cars in Cuba.

The Geely Panda is a Chinese developed and manufactured compact which was awarded a 5-star rating in crash tests and is subsequently the safest Chinese hatchback as of 2014. The Geely Panda was able to achieve the above results despite a development process that relied more on computer simulations than actual crash tests.

The Geely Panda will soon be manufactured at the new Geely plant in Cuba and as such will be a locally produced vehicle which should see Car rental rates on Geely models plummet in the future.

Havanautos loaned us a Geely Panda for 3 hours in June 2014 prior to its official Car Rental launch. With just three hours we were able to head out to Havana’s Playa del Este eastern beaches and drive through the picturesque coastal town of Guanabo at low speeds before returning on the highway back to Havana. The Geely Panda faired very well in this short road test, the space inside belies its minute size and it’s easily big enough for short trips with 3 adults. The ride was exemplary and the car feels well made.

For now though, the Geely Panda is Cuba’s cheap car rental offer and arrives just in time for the summer car rental season in Cuba. To Rent the Geely Panda in Cuba, use the official link to Havanautos Cuba above.

Cuba Car Rental Discounts

Cuba Car Rental Offers

Due to the drastic reduction in fleet purchases for 2014, Cuba Car Rental companies Havanautos, REX, CubaCAR and Via have recently introduced discounts for advance bookings.

Responding to recent reports on Tripadvisor and Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree of travelers being unable to acquire a rent a car upon arrival in Cuba, all four car rental firms have introduced up to 15% discount when booking on officially approved websites (see links above). The idea is that with sufficient advance bookings the firms can tailor fleet purchasing, which takes place in May, to suit high season months of June, July and August.

The discounts on Cuba Car Rental will only be applicable for prepaid bookings made online between April 15th and June 15th 2014.

Renting a car in Cuba will also be subject to the new Quick Delivery® program introduced in December 2013 by all major car rental firms. The Quick Delivery® tries to resolve numerous complaints about pre-booked cars taking too long to deliver. From now on, those who book cars will be able to opt to provide their driving license and other details in advance and collect their car from the Quick Delivery® line at all rental offices. Reports from the first clients who used this program appear to be good, July Pennington from Massachusetts, USA said “this new system got us our car in less than 10 minutes, it really works”. Basically, the system works by pre-completing rental contract formalities and assigning exact vehicles before client arrival. Much like similar programs operated by Avis and Hertz, the car keys and the contract are then held in an envelope behind the Cuba Car Rental desk and then need only to be signed by the renter to obtain the car keys and be on their way.

Cuba Car Rental Models 2014

Cuba Car Rental Morris Garage MG6

Cuba Car Rental companies REX, Havanautos, CubaCAR and Via have purchased new models for the upcoming 2014 season. These models include the Morris Garage MG3 and, the larger MG6.

The test was conducted around the Miramar area of Havana right next to the main Transtur Cuba Car Rental depot. We only had the cars for 1 hour each so we couldn’t test them on bumpier roads in Cuba nor on the ocho via freeway. These Chinese built cars came with special “Cuba specification” we were told, which included higher profile tires, more powerful air-conditioning and a basic CD player with aux-in jack.

Cuba Car Rental Morris Garage

Both the MG 3 (economic category) and MG6 (medium category) are not without appeal. The exterior could generously be described as strangely attractive, while the interior is decent enough, with tastefully placed chrome strips and some decent fit and finish. The emphasis has been placed on sturdiness over style, and some basic comforts like a telescopic steering wheel are absent, but it is at least functional in terms of space and desirability over similar category cars in Cuba which are invariably older and not without their problems. Of you are visiting Cuba this year, try to request these cars instead of the similar (and older) Peugeot or Hyundai options. These cars won’t appear online for direct booking because they simply appear as part of the category listings but ask to receive one and you won’t be disappointed with your Cuba Car Rental this summer.