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Stoutes Car Rental Ltd

Phone246 416 4456 Fax246 416 4435 Websitehttp://www.stoutescar.com

Category
Car Rental

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Journalist’s Review

In Depth

Hiring a car for a holiday or for business in the Caribbean should be as simple and easy as responding to one of the scores of advertisements on the net and in magazines. But through these methods you have no way of knowing whether the company will turn out to be a reliable one when you arrive at your destination. Caribbean car rental companies vary considerably in terms of quality, both in the standards of their cars and in their back up services in the case of a problem. It’s worth being absolutely sure.

At Definitive Caribbean we recommend Stoutes Car Rentals as the Barbados car rentals company that comes up tops. They started out in business forty years ago with two cars for hire and now they are probably the most efficient and successful car rental company on Barbados, with a fleet of over 230 cars of all different sorts, from Mini Mokes and Jeeps to people carriers. Even more impressive is that they are a home grown company rather than a franchise.

When Feona Gray, one of the creators of this site and a former UK tour operator, first set up her Barbados programme, it was to Ann Stoute that she turned to provide cars for her clients and was one of the first overseas travel organisers to use the company. She can testify that in her years of dealings with Stoutes Car Rentals she has never heard a single complaint and, perhaps more miraculously, she has never heard of a late car delivery! Ann is good enough to volunteer that this remains a challenge for them which suggests they may not always get it right, but it is likely to be service with a smile!

The founders of the company, Richard and Ann Stoute, worked together in the 1960s for Richard’s father’s real estate firm, which was based in the grounds of Sam Lord’s Castle. To fulfill a need, they started to hire out cars in 1970. The business grew of its own accord, so eventually they left real estate to develop Stoutes Car Rentals, working from their home for many years. The next step was the purchase of a gas station, which also allowed them to develop their own workshop to service the growing fleet. By 1978, the business had outgrown their home and so they consolidated everything at the gas station, where they still have their office – now also a busy convenience store and Texaco station – Kirtons Star Mart.

Stoutes Car Rentals deliver vehicles all over the island as well as to the airport and they have exclusive concession for the Barbados Port concession and the only car hire company with a booth (located just outside the Cruise Terminal itself). Son David  is now well-established in the business and is following in his father’s footsteps.

Staff

Dana, Margot, Jackie and Lisa along with Ann are the ‘Reservation Team’at Stoutes for your Barbados car rental enquiries – Ann is the one in the centre of the photograph. Jackie has worked for the company for the past twenty-four years – she and Margot (who came to them from Sam Lord’s Castle) are the most senior reservation staff, competently assisted by Dana and Lisa.

Stoutes are also fortunate in having some very loyal and hardworking workshop and delivery staff, many of whom have been with them for over 20 years. The delivery staff are unfailingly polite and will go out of their way to give you any advice that you might need about the vehicle you are hiring or the driving rules on the island.

Fleet

Group M10 Mini Moke
•    4 seater
•    Automatic Transmission
•    Soft Top - Convertible
•    AM / FM Radio
•    Small lockable trunk
•    No doors

Group C10, Compact Car – Kia Picanto
•    4 seater
•    Automatic Transmission
•    Air Conditioning
•    AM / FM Radio
•    CD player
•    5 door

Group C20, Midsize Car (automatic) – Toyota Yaris
•    5 seater
•    Automatic Transmission
•    Air Conditioning
•    AM / FM Radio
•    CD player
•    4 door

Group C25, Midsize Car (manual) – Toyota Yaris
•    5 seater
•    Manual Transmission
•    Air Conditioning
•    AM / FM Radio
•    CD player
•    4 door

Group C 40, Standard Car - Nissan Tiida
•    5 seater
•    Automatic Transmission
•    Air Conditioning
•    AM / FM Radio
•    CD player
•    4 door

Group C50, Toyota Corolla
•    5 seater
•    Automatic Transmission
•    Air Conditioning
•    AM / FM Radio
•    CD player
•    4 door

Group JS20, Compact SUV (Hard Top) – Suzuki Jimny Jeep
•    4 seater
•    Automatic Transmission
•    Air Conditioning
•    Hard Top
•    AM / FM Radio
•    CD player
•    3 door

Group JA10, Compact SUV (Soft Top) – Suzuki Jimny Jeep
•    4 seater
•    Automatic Transmission
•    Air Conditioning
•    Soft Top - Convertible
•    AM / FM Radio
•    CD player
•    3 door

Group JT30, Intermediate SUV – Daihatsu Terios SUV
•    5 seater
•    Automatic Transmission
•    Air Conditioning
•    Hard Top
•    AM / FM Radio
•    CD player
•    5 door

Group J40, Full Size SUV – Suzuki Grand Vitara
•    5 seater
•    Automatic Transmission
•    Air Conditioning
•    Hard Top
•    AM / FM Radio
•    CD player
•    5 door

Group V10, Standard Van – Suzuki APV Van
•    7 seater
•    Automatic Transmission
•    Air Conditioning
•    AM / FM Radio
•    CD player
•    5 door

Terms & Conditions

Drivers must be over 21 and under 75 years old. Each driver must have held a valid driving licence for at least two years.

A local driving permit is necessary to drive in Barbados, and is issued by the company’s representative when you take delivery. Cost US$5 each.

There is an extra charge of US$2.50 per day for each additional driver - this excludes the spouse of the hirer.

Comprehensive insurance is included in the rental rate except for a deductible of US$1,750 in case of loss, accident or damage to the vehicles - regardless of fault. An excess waiver of US$49 per week or US$10 per day is offered to reduce this deductible to US$125.

Vehicles are delivered with a quarter tank of petrol which is charged for on delivery - the cost varies between US$15 to $25 depending on the size of the vehicle. On return, the tank should be as empty as possible. 

Child seats, booster seats and GPS systems are available for hire on request.

Car hire rates, CDW, petrol, and extras such as child and booster seats are subject to 17.5% VAT. Payment is made for the hire at the time of delivery.

Credit cards are accepted - American Express, Visa, Discover or MasterCard. You may also pay by cash (US, Canadian, Sterling or Euros) or Travellers Cheques.

Delivery

One of the beauties of Stoutes Car Rentals’ service is that they not only deliver anywhere on the island but they work closely with the villa management companies and their staff to ensure that everything goes smoothly. If your flight is delayed and you are not going to reach your accommodation in time for delivery, Stoutes will know about it and make sensible adjustments to the arrangements.

We recommend that you take delivery of your car at your accommodation rather than at the airport, unless you know your way around Barbados well. At the end of your hire period, it is fine to return the car at the airport if you wish. Alternatively, Stoutes will collect the car from your accommodation.

You will find the staff helpful and the procedure efficient. If are taking delivery of your car at the airport it is worth taking the trouble to send through details of your home driving licence/permit at the time of confirming your reservation so that the paperwork can be speeded up. In any event, you will need to give the delivery man a swipe of your credit card, and make decisions about whether or not you want to take out Collision Damage Waiver , which we would recommend.

Reservations

We definitely recommend that you book in advance if you are intending to hire a car for longer than three days, particularly if you are travelling during the main winter season from 15 December until after Easter. Other very busy periods for Barbados car hire companies are over Thanksgiving and between the middle of July through to the middle of August.

To avoid disappointment, the best policy is to book your car at the same time as you book your accommodation or flight inclusive holiday.