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March 12 2016
Name: Maj van den Heuvel
Country: The Netherlands
Car Rental Company: Cubacar/ Havana autos/ WowCuba
Kind of car: Kia and Geely
Pick up car: havana airport
Date: November 23, 2015
I made my reservation online at WowCuba
Review: I had a very bad experience with renting 2 cars through a company called wowcuba who rented the cars at Cubacar and Havana autos.
The cars were ready several hours later than we requested. This was very stressful as it was our first time driving in a country like Cuba and now we were in a hurry to get to our accomodation for that night.
Secondly, there was a lot wrong with the cars (broken seatbelts, no function A/C and radio, no back window whiper). All in all the cars felt really unsafe! The worst thing was that one of the tires on one of the cars looked flat. When we pointed this out, the guy from the car rental company (Havana autos) told us not to worry about it. Since he didn't want to fix it, I figured we would just get some air at the first gas stop. But at the first stop it appeared the tire was flat, there were 4 nails in it!! When we called havanaautos they told us to get it fixed and we would get the money for the repair back once we handed in the car at the end of the trip. But when we did, the guy at the office in havana told us we should have gotten it fixed at a specific havana autos mechanic and therefore we didn't got the refund. When we complained that we were misinformed about the havana autos employee that we spoke on the Phone, he basically said this couldn't be true and that we were lying. But why on earth would we go to another mechanic if we were informed to go to another one that was located in the same village (Vinales) and we wouldn't have had to pay??!!!
When we complained about this when we got home, I got the answers (after over a month of waiting for a response!) that we should have insisted on getting the tire fixed before we left with the car. This was after I had already explained that I did point it out, but that I thought it there only was too little air in it, I didn't know it was actually broken. I think it is crazy that they are now blaming me for not insisting on getting it fixed. I pointed it out to the rental company employee! He should have known it was broken, he is the expert. I am not a car mechanic! If a specialists says there is not a problem, I should be able to believe him.
Lastly the rule to bring back the car with a empty thank (you pay for a full tank in advance) is very unfair. On Cuba there ar not that many gasstations and it is hardly impossible to bring back the car with an empty tank (and not lose money) without taking the risk of not making it to the airport due to a shortage of gas in the tank. Also the mandatory full insurance, with redeemed own risk, of 15 CUC a day per car is very expensive. In the Netherlands it is possible to get such an insurance for a lot less (half the price). WowCuba explained that its difficult for cuban companies to get money from foreign insurance companies. But the way these insurances work is that the customers pays any damages there might be to the rental company and claims the money at the foreign insurance company his/herself. So this argument doesn't make any sense. And why do I need a full insurance. I should be able to decide myself if a want to take a risk (I understand that a basic Insurance is mandatory, but why such an expensive full Insurance?). But I guess these rules on the full/empty tank and insurances are the same for all rental companies in Cuba.
All in all I am very dissatisfied with wowcuba/havanaautos/cubacar. They didn't do anything to offer me any compensation. Instead they called me a lyer, didn't listen to my arguments at all and did absolutely nothing to give me a good customer experience. Would recommend everyone to look for other rental companies when travelling to Cuba.
Jan 5 2016
Name: Elfin T. Moningka
Country: Spain & Holland
Car Rental Company: CubaCar
What kind of car did you rent?: A small econimic car (Chinese brand)
Where did you pic up your car?: The office at Havana Miramar
At what date?: 04.11.2015
How did you make your reservation?: Online
It even was possible to extend the rental period from 4 days till 5 days.
At the pick up location the car was not available at the time mentioned in the contract. We had to wait about 1,5 hour.
Finally there was a car, but a different model; a very big one. The car was in a good condition, but not clean, as we are used to.
In general the staff was friendly and helpful; we were driven with our luggage to the busterminal where we continued our travel by Viazul.
Jan 23 2014
Kind of car: Geely
Pick up car: Habana Libre, Vedado, Habana
Review: We had rented the car for one week. We could pick up the car at Hotel Habana Libre. Everything was well organized there and we were helped quickly. The car itself was a Geely. We knew the car would not be too good, the car had a lot of miles, but the car has done a great job all week.
The roads in Cuba are (except the highway) horrible. As long as you are driving slowly an avoiding the holes in the road, this is no problem. There are many Cubans hitch-hiking along the road. We always have taken them in the car, good company and you always have help when the car breaks ;-)
Overall everything was perfectly arranged.
April 12 2012
Name: Simon Beard
Car Rental Comapy: Havanautos
What kind of car did you rent?: Economy
Where did you pic up your car?: Sevilla Hotel Havana
At what date: 31st March
I read a lot about hiring cars before I booked and so I was well prepared. The car mechanically was great but the tyres were not. The roads in Cuba are not very good and awful in parts so punctures are inevitable. However, you have to realise that some tyres on your car have already been repaired once maybe more than that.
We had one and were of course charged tourist prices and even though we got the price down was still charged 20CUC.
When dirving you do need to be aware that any or all of the following will come into your path at some point: other cars, trucks, people (hitchhikers), dogs, cats, crabs, chickens, horses, cows and fake policemen. Yes its true. We had two en route to Havana and we were advised by our casa owner to only stop if they carry a gun as these two didnt. they were NOT policemen. In any case you do not pay a policeman as any fines go back to the hire compnay and you pay them.
The biggest surprise is that we had to pay in cash the insurance and petrol even though the car deposit is done on a card. We could have done without handing over currency as we had just arrived.
Petrol stations in the south are few and far between and cash is king. To the North we did find places that took cards.
Overall A good experience but a lot of pressue on the driver to be observant.
March 22 2012
Cubacar, Varadero Airport
Making the reservation online was quick and easy and cheaper than the last time I rented a car in Cuba.
We picked up the car at the Varadero airport. I told my husband and son, do not take the blue car they were washing for us. Even though I had given them a specific time to pick up the car, none was ready. The blue car looked sort of beat up but the guys said it would be ok. Off we go to Cienfuegos, jan 17 had us on a road trip to a castle and Playa Giron. At Playa Giron we noticed a low tire. We made it back to Cienfuegos and in the morning it was flat. My husband and son changed the tire putting on the spare. Off to the nearest garage to get it fixed but once on the hoist the mechanics noticed more tires needing repair. We paid for 2 tires to be fixed (28cuc) but then we were told that 4 out of the 5 tires were terrible and we should go back to Cubacar and exchange the car. We went to Cubacar down the street and they advised us to go to the Cienfuegos airport. We went there and the process to exchange the car went quickly and smoothly. We got a newer Geely in much better condition with good tires. We do a lot of driving on our holidays so I was happy to have a reliable car with good rubber.
Cubacar at the Varadero airport needs to update their cars or at the very least keep the car in excellent working conditions. The rental was not cheap and I realize getting parts in Cuba is difficult, but that being said they could have upgraded us at their expense to a different car.
The inside of the car was also dirty. They was food crumbs all over the back seat and garbage on the floor.
We will rent again thru your site, but will be a lot more careful at pickup this time.
July 17 2011
Name: Antonio Bigorra
A so called midhigh car by CUBACAR STANDARDS. iTS A 2008 sONATA with more than 100,000 km in its odometer. beated everywhere, dirty inside and outside. Lot of problems with noises everywhere, poor miles/gallon, floor mattes ragged.
Even I paid in advance more than 3 weeks before my arrival, the car was not available at the time of arrival. Took them two hour to give the car to me. They insisted in a standad chinese car. Didnt accepted my credit card for the insurance. I had to pay in cash and even they tried to take away another $100. They charged me for using an automatic transmission $ 5 cuc per day. All sonatas are automatic.
Never ever rent a car from them again.
April 16 2010
Name: trevor Lloyd
Rex car hire
I rented a car for 7 days when we toured Cuba, and having read some of the reviews I approached the task with some trepidation, however I was able to book the car online with Cuba- Junky, and decided to go with Rex car hire. I arranged to collect the car from near the Malecon in Vedado as I thought it would be a better location to start driving from.
Needless to say the experience was entirely painless, the car was ready, the staff were very polite and efficient, the car was fine, full of fuel, very clean and tidy, the whole process took less than 20 minutes and when I returned the car everyone was equally efficient, from the guy who checked it out through the security guard who kindly carried my wife's bags to the woman who signed me off. I would have no hesitation in using them again and recommending them to anyone else.
Hiring a car is definitely a great way to see Cuba, but beware there are precious few road signs especially in Havana, you need good maps and a great sense of direction.
January 19 2010
Name: Shane Leahy
Cuba is very safe for driving
We waited until we got to Cuba before renting the car. We secured a car through Cubacar in Vinales. The car was tiny and dirty and we were charged 75 Cucs per day including insurance.
I would recommend using Rex as they seemed to have the best cars and less roguish service. We thought the guy that rented our car to us was on a bit of a scam so be aware if renting in Vinales through Cubacar. Most importantly see the car before you sign the papers as we would not have signed the dotted line and handed over our cash for such a dirty car. Cuba is very safe for driving and the roads are virtually empty of traffic .. beware of no signs in Havana .. overall its quite an adventure and one I would certainly recommend.
September 20 2009
Name: Jenny & Christian
Definitely the best way to explore this wonderful country.
As this was our first trip to Cuba, we did not book a car in advance, but waited until we got there.
If the prices quoted on this website are true, you can save some money by booking in advance.
The prices we got were 65-70 pesos per day for the cheapest category (Hyundai Atos etc), including 15 pesos of insurance. This was mid September, i.e. outside the peak season.
Apart from the prices, getting a car was very smooth. We booked with Via (Transgaviota), next to the bookshop near Hotel Cuatro Palmas in Varadero. The agent was friendly and it took less than 30 minutes to fill in the papers and get the car.
The car was in good condition apart from a faulty speedometer.
The roads in Cuba are not as bad as some might say - only the road between Manicaragua and Trinidad (through the mountains) is full of big potholes. There is almost no traffic - just beware of horse carts and tractors - and getting the right fuel ("gasolina especial") was not a problem.
We recommend anyone to hire a car in Cuba - it is definitely the best way to explore this wonderful country.
August 12 2009
We had to stand in line for THREE HOURS to get the car
Hired a car two months in advance trough our travel agency, the rentalcompany was Rex. we had to pick up the car at the marinewarf? in Havana,we where there at the right time, 10h in the morning, there where 6 persons allready waiting,we had to stand in line for THREE HOURS to get the car, on (friendly) guy who had to do all the paperwork on his own,(and that is huge in Cuba)not even your name is on the form, all handwork. booking in advance has little weight in Cuba, 2 persons had the paperwork done but then they had to wait an other our before the car arrived, in all other country's (USA-Indonesea-Italy_Spain-Ireland) within 10 minutes you are on the raod, not with Rex.(the T-Rex was much faster)
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