Car Hire and Car Rental in Fiji
The thrill of exploration is within us all. We are born with a sense of adventure, and a desire to learn new things. While in Fiji, there truly is no better way to embrace your ‘explorer spirit’ than to head out on the road and experience many of the spectacular and charming treasures that our beautiful island nation has to offer.
What is required to drive a rental vehicle in Fiji?
- To rent a car, a driver must be at least 21 years old and have held a driver’s license for two years.
- Drivers must carry while driving their valid driver’s licenses, car registration, and insurance documents
- You need to submit the required documentation before you can rent a car in Fiji. You need to have your local driving license in the English language for at least two years. If it’s written in another language, you need to acquire an International Driver’s Permit. If you are below 25 years old, a surcharge per young driver regulation may incur. Take note that you will be required to pay for your car using your credit card.
- Third-party insurance is obligatory. Some agencies include it in their daily rates whereas others tally it on at the end. Figure on another $30 at least. It’s suggested that you get personal liability insurance if you are not already covered. (Renters are liable for the first $500 damage).
Always read the Terms and Conditions of the respective Rental Compay, so the whole process runs smoothly upon arriving in Fiji. The process should only take 15 minutes if all the paperwork is completed correctly.
Advice on Driving safely on Fijian roads
Fiji drives on the left-hand side of the Road – The reason for this dates back to the British Crown, Left-hand traffic became the law of the land in Britain in 1773 and 1835 and later exported their driving styles to their respective colonies, which is why many former British territories such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, and Fiji still drive on the left.
If you are unfamiliar with driving on the left side of the road, spend the first few hours taking it slowly, with several refreshments breaks, customize yourself with the local environment, and only travel during good weather. The Fijian roads were completely refurbished over the last few years to connect the two sides of the islands economically, so you should be a pro in no time at all.
Familiarize yourself with the road signs and Speed Limits | Using the phone when driving is illegal
Over the last few years, the Fijian Government and the governing body, the Land and Transport Association (LTA), started increasing the number of Traffic patrol officers on the roads, with the primary intention to stop people speeding and using their mobile phones whilst driving.
At the start of the campaign, the police patrols were easily noticed by motorists a long distance away, so they simply slowed down during that specific stretch of the road, and when they passed the temporary patrol post sped up again, duly warning the oncoming traffic the other side of the road with a few flashes of their headlamps symbolizing to slow down and keep your eyes open over the next few miles.
This continued for several months until the police raised their game and became more stealth, literally hiding along the sideroads, the undergrowth along the side of the roads were used as camouflage, with a small traffic gun pointing out from the scrubs catching the unaware motorist, and then radioing to a patrol car further down the road to stop a specific car and to book them for the offense, they even charged cars warning other motorist of their new hideouts.
After all these games played out, with a lot of Fijian people out of pocket, we started to slow down and started to become more responsible, especially around built-up areas and schools.
So if your phone rings, simply pull over to the next safe place and then phone them back, less than 25 years ago, people had to go to a phone box on the side of the road to check into the office or family, your on Fiji time now, your safety is most important.
Weather Conditions & Night Driving
The Fijian weather can change very quickly, from a beautiful sunny day to clouding over in a few minutes followed by a torrential downpour. This normally lasts for only a few minutes, it disappears as fast as it came. Our suggestion is simply; to pull over the vehicle and take a break, and when you return on your journey just be aware of the new conditions, drive slower, and keep a greater distance between the vehicle in front.
Night Driving – if you traveling at night or early evening as the sun goes down, try to keep it to a short journey on familiar roads, especially on the weekends, as a lot of people will be out and about starting to enjoy their weekend.
Common Road Hazards and How to React to Them
Overtaking – Designated overtaking areas along the main highways around Fiji have been added to the road network allowing you to pass safely; larger trucks, coaches, minibusses, and sugar cane trucks to name a few; all use this main road artery between Lautoka and Suva. Only pass at these locations (signposted), as there are many blind corners, add this to the worldwide phenomena of erratic drivers, heeding this advice makes your journey more pleasurable. We recommend adding a few extra minutes to your journey plan, at the start of your adventure, this mentally slows down the pace of every action thenceforward
Road Humps (oh the glorious sleeping policeman) – these are everywhere especially as you enter built-up areas, approaching villages, schools, or public recreational areas as you do at home, slow down in plenty of time to avoid any damage to the undercarriage of the rental vehicle. In the Nadi area, these are found prior to entering Nadi town from the airport and in Viseisei Village, between Nadi and Lautoka.
Unsealed Roads – Traveling further away from the main roads you will come to encounter many unseal roads, slow down and drive carefully to avoid damage to your vehicle. Note that some firms do not allow their cars to be driven on unpaved roads, thus taking your vehicle to a place such as the Nausori Highlands is off-limits. Likewise, you should determine if the agency permits taking the vehicles on roll-on, roll-off ferries to Vanua Levu, Taveuni, or Ovalau if that’s on your agenda. Taking a car on to Vanua Levu or Taveuni is best done with a 4WD vehicle, particularly if you’re planning to get off the beaten track.
Pedestrians & Livestock Hazards – You will encounter horses, cattle, goats to name a few, all along the road networks, enjoying the beauty of Fiji, so just be aware and keep your wits about you, and act accordingly, if they momentarily cause you to slow down or stop, start your hazard lights to make other people aware of the situation. Motorists should also be aware of villagers who sometimes walk dangerously close to passing vehicles or sit in groups at the edges of roads that pass through communities.
How to choose the right car rental Operator Online.
You’re all packed for your trip to Fiji, and all that’s left is to choose a car rental company. Technology is a wonderful tool that lets you do this right in the comfort of your own home. However, you shouldn’t just pick the first car rental service you see- here are several considerations that will help guide you through this process, so you can choose the right establishment best suited to your specific needs, and ultimately a pleasurable experience.
What type of vehicle do you require for your Fijian adventure?
If you’re thinking about the best car you need for driving in Fiji, the answer depends on where you want to go and how many people are with you on your trip. You can choose from various vehicle types that suit well with your solo trip, small group tour, family vacations, and even group travel. You can also note the driving distances in Fiji and find the best vehicles to use on adventures.
- Car / Sedan – This is the best choice if you’re looking for an affordable rate and excellent fuel economy. It can accommodate at least five passengers. You can stow your luggage and still be at ease and comfortable during your travel journey
- SUV – Rent an SUV if you’re looking for an ultimate outdoor adventure. The SUV has a spacious interior and smooth drivability that is fit for your next experience. The SUV can accommodate 7 to 8 passengers
- Van – If a seven-passenger space is not enough for you and your luggage, consider renting a van that has a twelve to fifteen-passenger capacity. You need to travel without feeling too packed for the day. A 4-wheel drive is also great if you’ll be traveling on roads that are in slightly poor condition.
- Luxury car – If you can afford to rent this type of car, then why not? Aside from great comfort and high-quality travel, this type of car has many unique features that fit your personality
Check Online Reviews | Not just the ones displayed on their respective website
The next step is checking online reviews, keeping in mind that every business will have its share of good and bad reviews. The important thing to look for is multiple reviews describing the same experiences. Also, most review websites allow businesses to respond to reviews. A venue picking an argument with a past customer over a bad experience is a red flag, while measured responses that show a willingness to solve the problem are a good sign.
Car Cleaning Protocols | Servicing
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, tougher more strict cleaning protocols have been implemented by several car rental firms across Fiji. The respective government at the time, provided guidance on how they could ensure the health and wellbeing of all their customers. For example, Avis released a short educational video and diagrams to illustrate their new protocols. A quick message via social media or email to a respective establishment prior to booking might be a wise move if this concerns you.
Price comparison and payment options
Car rental can be pricey in Fiji. On average, rental cars cost $66 per day or $460 per week, so plan your budget accordingly. You might also incur additional fees for extra features. You also need to note Fiji’s gas prices (Details below). There are plenty of gas stations in main towns, and most do not accept credit cards. Always carry cash when filling up a tank. Here are the day rates for car rentals in Fiji:
- Small car/day – FJ$65-$170
- Medium car/day – FJ$85-$180
- Premium car/day – FJ$150-$250
- The speed limit in residential areas is 50 km/h, while in urban areas, the speed limit is 80 km/h
- The maximum alcohol blood content must be only up to 80 mg.
- Using a phone while driving is prohibited unless you are using a hands-free device
- Eating and drinking while driving is illegal
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is forbidden
- The front driver and passenger are required to wear seatbelts
- Seatbelts are mandatory when driving a rental car
- There are no toll roads in Fiji
- When parking, purchase a ticket where it is displayed from parking meter wardens
- Final word of caution: be aware of road hazards such as animal crossing and potholes in the road
- Drivers need to carry a valid driver’s license, registration, and insurance documents all the time
Car Rental Companies across Fiji
|International Airport||Nadi Town||Coral Coast||Suva City|
|Avis Fiji||AAAK Rentals||Budget Rental Cars|
The table above displays Rental Car Companies distributed around Viti Levu, Fiji, we have detracted all the small venues that have not got a presence online, so although it is not definitive, it provides a mixture of the larger international companies alongside the locally-owned businesses.
Distances between Major Cities & Towns
Lautoka – Suva via Queens Road | (Kilometres (km)
Lautoka – Suva via Kings Road | (Kilometres (km)
Savusavu – Labasa | (Kilometres (km)
Petrol Stations & Fuel Costs around Fiji
Retail Fuel Prices | From Tuesday, 1 February 2022
- Motor Spirit from $2.74 to $2.61 per litre, a decrease of 13 cents per litre;
- Premix from $2.34 to $2.22 per litre, a decrease of 12 cents per litre;
- Kerosene from $1.82 to $1.69 per litre, a decrease of 13 cents per litre; and
- Diesel from $2.34 to $2.18 per litre, a decrease of 16 cents per litre.
The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) has determined the new regulated prices of Unleaded Petrol, Premix, Kerosene, Diesel, and LPG – Source for updated information