An Insiders Guide to Bermuda: Top 10 Tips for Renting A Scooter

Lindsey Sirju's picture

With a top speed limit of 35km (23 mph) Bermuda’s winding, mostly one-lane, roads are open to brave explorers with access via scooter rentals. If you are comfortable with operating a scooter, renting one will give you the freedom and flexibility to explore as you wish.  Since car rentals are illegal here, most tourists who visit the island opt for other modes of transportation such as taking a bus or renting out a taxi for the day. No matter where you are staying on the island, there is a scooter rental facility close by.

 

 

Here are my top ten tips for renting a scooter in Bermuda

 

1.  In Bermuda, you do not need to posses a driver’s license to operate a scooter. As long as you are 18 years of age, you are free to rent a scooter. However, only rent from reputable scooter rental companies.  Driving any motor vehicle in Bermuda without a Bermuda driving license is illegal, unless the vehicle is owned by an established scooter rental company.  There are five licensed companies on the island that you can find via the Bermuda Tourism website (http://www.gotobermuda.com/what-to-do/transportation/scooters).

 

2.  Scooter rental companies offer a short lesson before sending you out onto the roadways. These lessons are not meant to train you on how to navigate Bermuda roadways; but on how to operate the scooter itself. If you have any doubts about your ability to drive the scooter, do not rent it. Accidents do happen here and the majority of accidents involving tourists are due to the driver being overconfident in operating their scooter.

 

tips for renting a scooter in Bermuda

 

3. All rental companies provide you with a helmet as part of the price of the rental. Always wear your helmet; it is the law. As a tourist you will be issued a white helmet with the rental company’s sticker on the back. This is not only to advertise the company’s product, it is also to alert locals that you are not an experienced or skilled rider and should use caution when approaching.

 

4. If you are visiting during a high tourist season, expect traffic. With only 21 square miles and approximately 65,000 locals along with thousands of tourists, the roads can get quite congested. Avoid driving during rush hour when roadways are clogged.

 

5.  If Bermuda is “another world” then honking is another language here. Honking is (most) often seen as a friendly thing. Bermudians honk to say “hello”, honk to say “thank you” and honk to let you out from a side street onto a main road, etc. Remember that this practice is in effect and do not be distracted or nervous thinking someone is honking at you in an angry manner. Most likely, they saw their neighbor driving in the opposite direction and were just saying “hello”.

 

6.  Unlike the United States and Canada, in Bermuda you drive on the left hand side of the road. This can take some getting used to at first. Give yourself about an hour or so to adjust. Especially confusing can be the maneuver of backing out onto a roadway from a parking spot, it can be very easy to have your instincts kick in while in reverse, and end up facing oncoming traffic.

 

tips for renting a scooter in Bermuda

 

7. While the speed limit in Bermuda is 35 km per hour, most locals do drive well above this. They are more experienced at driving in Bermuda, and know the roads very well. Do not give in to the temptation to drive at the same speed they’re traveling at. Obey the speed limit. The other drivers will pass you rather quickly on the roadways, so stay to the left side of your lane in order to make passing you much smoother and safer. 

 

8.  Roundabouts (or traffic circles) are plentiful in Bermuda and can be quite tricky to navigate for an inexperienced driver. The rule of thumb for roundabouts is that traffic to your right always has the right of way. Many new drivers make the mistake of entering the roundabout at a high speed and then are unable to control their bike according to the flow of traffic. Take your time entering the roundabout. Do not feel pressured to enter just because of the traffic behind you. Go slow and enter the roundabout when there is a break in the flow of traffic coming from the right.

 

9. In terms of most of the world, Bermuda is considered quite safe but like most places in the world, there are bad sections as well. Always lock your bike up when you park it and never leave valuables in plain sight. For rental bikes, the under seat storage compartment is not as secure as you may think. Beware of the fact that not all keys for rental scooters are unique. Another key from a different rental bike could potentially unlock your under seat storage compartment and many thieves are aware of this. Follow the above advice and you will be fine.

 

10. It might sound quite obvious but never drink and drive. Besides the harm you could potentially cause to yourself and to others, tourists (after a few drinks) can easily forget to stay on the left-hand side of the road and instinctually drive on the right-hand side. Be smart and use common sense when enjoying a drink.

 

 

While some find the idea of driving a scooter quite a daunting task, especially if you are not used to driving one; as long as you use common sense and follow my top ten tips you will be on the road to a very enjoyable and memorable experience.

 

An Insider's Guide to Bermuda: Top 10 Tips for Renting a Scooter

 

 

Lindsey Lehman is the Bermuda Editor for Wandering Educators.

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Lindsey Lehman

 

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