Trinidad & Tobago photo

Trinidad and Tobago Driving Guide

Trinidad & Tobago is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit

2021-08-02 · 9 min.

Trinidad and Tobago will surely give you every hint of the Caribbean vibe: dazzling blue waters from the Atlantic Ocean, rainforests full of thriving wildlife animals, and hospitable locals from every inch of the islands. The region has so much to offer for tourists and travelers as it continues to improve to be one of the best travel destinations of the West Indies.

How Will This Guide Help You?

Keep this guide as you roam around the districts and unfamiliar streets of Trinidad and Tobago. It includes the country’s necessary information, driving rules, etiquettes, and conditions that you will find useful should you give this place a go. And if you’re driving in Trinidad and Tobago now, let this guide be your reminder of the things that you should and shouldn’t do once you get behind the wheels and start moving.

General Information

Trinidad and Tobago are located in the southernmost part of the Caribbean Sea. The country comprises two main islands - Trinidad and Tobago, divided by the Columbus channel from Venezuela along with several smaller islands. As it occupies near the South American continent, Trinidad and Tobago boast its natural white sand beaches lined with immense palm trees and forests that housed the oldest rainforest reserve in the Western Hemisphere.

Geographic Location

Trinidad and Tobago don’t have bordering countries, but Guyana can be found in the northwest, Venezuela in the northeast, and south of Grenada. If you’re using a map, the region’s coordinates between 10° 2' and 11° 12' N latitude and 60° 30' and 61° 56' W longitude. Out of the two islands, Trinidad is more prominent and holds more population than Tobago.

The landforms of the country are similar to that of the other parts of the continents. Trinidad’s northern range is where you will find the highest peak, El Cerro del Aripo, at 940 m. A couple of majestic waterfalls running down the north range give tourists and travelers various places and destinations. The southern content is a 500-meter descend from the north’s plains, while the middle range is composed of low hills and ridges.

Languages Spoken

English is the official language in Trinidad and Tobago. It is used in schools, hospitals, government, and business transactions. If you’re a native English speaker, going to Trinidad and Tobago won’t be a problem at all. But the unique thing about the two islands is that although they use English as the standard language, both have their English types known as the Trinidadian and Tobagonian Creole.

Trinidadian Creole is widely spoken in Trinidad and Tobagonian Creole in Tobago. They are commonly used in informal settings such as family gatherings and conversations between their relatives and friends. It might seem confusing, but these languages differ in diction, grammar and have distinct articulation. Overall, this influences two diverse ethnic groups that inhabit the islands before merging into one country.

Land Area

Trinidad and Tobago have a total land area of 5,131 km² where Trinidad is 4,768 km², and Tobago is 300 km². It is a blend of mountain ridges and plains that give elevation and descend of different land formations. The majority of the region’s soil types are clays and white sands as they are surrounded by the Caribbean and the North Atlantic Ocean.

The country has over 1.3 million inhabitants, and 300,000 live in the capital, Port of Spain. Trinidad and Tobago have disparate tourist spots from clear, cerulean beaches, fresh waterfalls down to the bountiful forests for hiking enthusiasts. If you plan on driving in Trinidad & Tobago, then put on those sneakers and apply some sunscreen lotion because you’re on to a Caribbean journey in the south.

History

Christopher Columbus discovered Trinidad in 1498 that was inhabited first by the Arawakan-speaking tribe and a fewer number of Cariban speakers. In the 16th century, many of these Trinidadian Indians were turned into slaves by the Spanish colonizers. But it wasn’t until 1592 that the Spanish established their presence in the area.

Trinidad was named after the Holy Trinity, while the second island was formerly called Bella Forma, which later on changed to Tobago. Both islands were merged in 1889 and gained independence in 1962. After 14 years, the country became a republic state, presently addressed as the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Government

Trinidad and Tobago is a parliamentary democratic country. This type of government system consists of the President, Senate, and the House of Representatives. It is modeled from the United Kingdom. The Parliament is responsible for constituting laws that foster peace, equality, and good governance, passed through Bills from the House of Representative and Senate. From there, the acting President will decide if the Bill will be approved into a new law.

Tourism

The country is considered the wealthiest in the Caribbean region. Trinidad and Tobago rank third place after the United States and Canada in terms of the highest per capita Gross Domestic Product or GDP. The oil and mineral reserves become the republic’s advantage, but the government’s objective is to diversify the economy by 2030.

Though Trinidad and Tobago’s economic growth is not that competitive than other countries, they strive to achieve an upward projection while developing the tourism sector. It contributed 7.6% to the region’s total GDP in 2018 as it proved to be a useful tool to pull potential travelers across the globe. Their 2020 plans include improving and building infrastructures that will boost the tourism sector and highlight the government’s professional opportunities.

International Driver’s Permit FAQs

Foreign travelers go to Trinidad and Tobago because of the excellent weather and the attractions you enjoy along the way. While some of you want to experience commuting in major cities and popular places, some tourists would love to hire a private vehicle to make their journey much more comfortable and safer.

And if you’re planning to do so, there are requirements to acquire and bring for local car companies to let you rent one. One of these documents is an International Driver’s Permit or IDP. Driving without a permit in Trinidad and Tobago is a severe offense that might lead to possible suspension of your right to drive and cases related to it. Here are a few things to know about getting an International Driver’s Permit.

Is A Local Driver’s License Valid in Trinidad and Tobago?

Your native driver’s license is an essential document before the government would let you hire a car once you’re inside the region. It only becomes valid if an International Driver’s Permit accompanies your license. But you don’t need to process a Trinidad and Tobago driving license to drive around. An IDP will be your ticket to get to where you want to be and the destinations you wish to go inside the comfort of a vehicle.

Does an International Driver’s Permit Replace a Native Driver’s License?

Obtaining an International Driver’s Permit doesn’t mean it has to replace your native driver’s license. Though there are instances where travelers ask if an International Driver’s Permit is the same as the International Driver’s License, it is only a permit that is required by the authorities that you should secure.

If you end up driving in Trinidad & Tobago, the zip code of the city or the country of your origin should be accurate. It will be a piece of vital information by the time your International Driver’s Permit will be shipped to your doorstep as the International Driver’s Association offers worldwide shipping. So you can check the pricing page to help you get started.

Who Can Apply for an International Driver’s Permit?

Foreign tourists and travelers can apply for an International Driver’s Permit if they hire a private car. You just need to be a driver’s license holder or have the capacity to get behind the wheels abroad. Remember that you don’t need Trinidad and Tobago driving regulations test to procure an International Driver’s Permit. Once you decide to get one, you can fill out the form provided on the website as the first step of your IDP application.

Who Needs an International Driver’s Permit?

You will need an International Driver’s Permit to drive on the Trinidadian and Tobagonian roads. If you’re caught that you don’t have an IDP, you might get arrested, pay a fine, and possibly confiscation of your local driver’s license. Worse, if you’re driving with an expired license in Trinidad and Tobago, you will be charged with more violations, and you don’t want to be deported or jailed because of reckless behavior.

The authorities are permitting foreign drivers to drive in the country for three months. They have taken action against those drivers who are on the road without their licenses. Fewer foreign drivers are driving without IDPs since it has been an essential document for car rental companies. Should you be unfamiliar with the roads while driving in Trinidad and Tobago, videos and other educational materials can be utilized online to keep you in the loop.

How Long is an International Driver’s Permit Valid?

An International Driver’s Permit has a one to a three-year validity period. But since you can drive in the region for three months, a one-year IDP is more than enough so you can take the time to check out new destinations and spots to delve into. Driving in Trinidad & Tobago, office processes won’t be necessary as you can apply at the International Driver’s Association’s website. If you’re interested, browse our pricing page if you can secure one as early as now.

Renting a Car in Trinidad and Tobago

Roaming around the twin-island for tourists and travelers is undemanding, even for first-time goers. Backpack visitors tend to be more excited about commuting and riding public transport that these major cities offer. And alongside it, you happen to know many things about the country’s habits and way of life.

But if you’re on to something fast and convenient, then you can simply hire or rent a car as driving in Trinidad & Tobago is painless and pretty much laid back. To help you decide, here’s what you need to know about renting cars on the islands.

Car Rental Companies

There are several trusted car rental companies scattered in Trinidad and Tobago. Companies like Kalloos, Economy, and worldwide brands such as Europcar, Alamo, and Sixt are just some options you can choose from as you plan to get affordable car rentals. Below are the companies and where you can find them in the region:

  • Kalloos locations
    Piarco Airport, Piarco, TP
    Piarco Airport, Port of Spain, PO
    Tobago Airport (TAB), Crown Point, ET
    Alamo locations
    Lady Young Road, MorvantLocation Piarco International Airport, Port of Spain, PO
    Serviced By National, Port of Spain
  • Europcar locations
    Hilton Trinidad & Conference CentreLady Young Road, Port of Spain, PO
    Main Road CaananBon Accord, Crown Point, ET
    Economy locations
    Piarco International Airport, Piarco, TP
    Corner Arnos Vale Rd and Shelbourne Street, Plymouth
  • Sixt locations
    Airport Connector Road, Crown Point, ET
    Piarco International, Port of Spain, PO
    MEXRENTACAR locations
    ANR Robinson Tobago International Airport, Scarborough, ET
    Piarco Trinidad International Airport, Port of Spain, PO
  • Alamo locations
    Lady Young Road, MorvantLocation Piarco International Airport, Port of Spain, PO
    Serviced By National, Port of Spain
  • Economy locations
    Piarco International Airport, Piarco, TP
    Corner Arnos Vale Rd and Shelbourne Street, Plymouth
  • MEXRENTACAR locations
    ANR Robinson Tobago International Airport, Scarborough, ET
    Piarco Trinidad International Airport, Port of Spain, PO

On average, you can rent a vehicle for $54 per day. Hiring cars give you the freedom to go to where you want to be at your own pace, without the hassle of waiting for public transport to arrive. You can book your preferred car type online using their website so that you can make the most out of your time before your travel date.

Documents Required

As one of the developed countries in South America, Trinidad and Tobago have regulations concerning foreign drivers using the road. You have to be a holder of a local driver’s license, an International Driver’s Permit, passport, and a working credit card. The company handles car insurance papers. Before they issue them, you need to present these documents for legality and transparency purposes when you pick up your vehicle from them.

Vehicle Types

With various vehicle types to rent from, getting around the primary and secondary roads can delight you in so many ways. Upon your arrival at the airport, you can easily spot a local car rental company and not be a problem in that case. From Economy, SUV, to Luxury cars, it won’t disappoint your preference. Furthermore, you can book a car in Port of Spain if you did not get one online or at the airport.

Foreign drivers are advised to keep their local driver’s licenses with them as car rental companies will need them to prove their identification. Driving without a permit in Trinidad and Tobago is not permitted by the government and the rental companies, so be sure to secure it to avert any delays or change of plans.

Car Rental Cost

The car rental cost depends on what type of vehicle you have in mind. Economy cars are less expensive if you compare them to pickup trucks or SUVs. In Trinidad and Tobago, driving a manual car and getting an automatic one has no difference at all but manual transmission cars are more prominent to use. It boils down to what’s more comfortable for you may it be the usability or fit. Here are some of the car rental types that you can check out.

  • Economy - $33/day
  • Luxury - $58/day
  • Intermediate - $43/day
  • Pickup truck - $70/day
  • Standard - $56/day
  • Compact SUV - $68/day
  • Full-size SUV - $70/day
  • Intermediate SUV - $69/day
  • Mini - $32/day
  • Standard SUV - $70/day

Economy cars are the most-booked rental car in the region. It’s easier to use and doesn’t take too much gasoline, especially for long-distance drives. Prices differ from one rental company to another, so you can do your research and weigh your options before driving in Trinidad and Tobago. Now that you’re aware of the average prices, you can contact the company and start making arrangements, so you don’t have to worry about it on your travel date.

Age Requirements

The legal driving age in Trinidad and Tobago is 17 years old, but car rental companies permit drivers to hire a car at 25 years old. You should be a holder of a driving licence in Trinidad and Tobago for locals for at least two years, and the same rule goes to foreign drivers. Some companies allow 21-year-olds to rent a car with an additional daily fee of TTD 76 ($11.25). You can raise this concern before you book a vehicle if they grant cases like this on the agreement.

Car Insurance Cost

Car insurance is an essential document once you decide to drive abroad. Your chosen car rental company will be the one who processes it, but you have options to select and remove certain coverages that you think you don’t need for your travel.

There are three types of car insurance in Trinidad and Tobago. A driving regulations practice test won’t be needed if you have your local driver’s license and IDP. A third-party-only starts at $825, while if you add fire and theft coverage, it would cost you $1,750. Comprehensive insurance is around $3,970 that covers everything, including repairs, vandalism, accidental damage, and gadget loss inside the vehicle.

Car Insurance Policy

It is essential to know the agreement for the car insurance first before making a final decision. At some point, you will notice that the insurance coverage is cheaper than other companies. The reason for that is the inclusion of that particular package doesn’t have the same inclusion from what you’re currently browsing.

Companies offer Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) with added theft and car breakdown coverage. It’s up to you to add something to the package or go with the company’s options for you. Also, just ensure a copy of your International Driver’s Permit when driving in Trinidad and Tobago. The zip code should be filled out correctly so it would be shipped to your doorstep without delay.

Road Rules in Trinidad and Tobago

Road rules and regulations are implemented to promote order and public safety. As a developed country, Trinidad and Tobago improved their road constructions, laws enforcing responsible driving, and drivers’ rights on the road. The government believes that if people would be attentive in driving and crossing the streets, they can help mitigate possible collisions and accidents.

In addition, foreign drivers should be aware of the traffic signages and how locals drive in the area, especially the hand signals. For driving tests in Trinidad and Tobago, they’re only applicable for first-time drivers or exchanging from foreign into Trinidadian driving licenses. Laid out below are the things you should know about the road laws of the region.

Important Regulations

Trinidad and Tobago’s government has road rules similar to what you’re following to your country of residence. Some of them are standard regulations, and there are those specific regulations that you should adhere to while using the road. Getting familiar with the country’s laws will warrant you an excellent driving experience fitting the Caribbean vibes.

Drunk-driving

Drunk-driving is not tolerated by any means. The effects of drinking and driving in Trinidad and Tobago have affected local drivers and pedestrians alike. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08% or 80 mg per 100mL of blood. It equates to 35 mg per liter of breath, similar to what the United Kingdom is observing in their region.

The police, for that matter, can run tests should you display erratic driving on the road. This type of scenario usually happens in summer, during the carnival, or at Christmas. Drunk driving statistics in Trinidad and Tobago recorded a 26% increase in road fatalities in 2019. With the authorities’ continued efforts, they managed to lower the trend by educating the proper and responsible way of driving. The violation degrees are:

  • First offense: $1,768.62 fine or three years imprisonment
  • Second offense: $3,316.16 fine or five years imprisonment and three years of driving suspension
  • Third offense: revocation and permanent loss of your license

The use of mobile phones

Drivers can use their phone when navigating the primary and secondary roads as long as you utilize the hands-free mode. Local drivers tend to stop abruptly on the road, so you should pay close attention when it happens.

Hand signals

In Trinidad and Tobago, hand signals while driving are a common practice. Local drivers have grown adept at using these gestures aside from turning on their indicator lights. It is still essential to use your indicator lights if you’re unfamiliar with how these hand signals work. To help you out, these are the most common hand signals:

  • If you’re making a right turn: Extend the right hand at shoulder level with your palm facing forward.
  • If you plan to stop your vehicle: Extend the right hand at shoulder level, with your palm facing downward, wave it downwards and upwards, keeping it below the shoulder level.
  • If you’re making a left turn: Extend the right hand at shoulder level, palm facing forward, and rotate it in an anti-clockwise direction.
  • If you want to slow down: Extend the right hand at shoulder level with palm facing downward, and wave it downwards and upwards, keeping it below the shoulder level.

Documents needed

Before you hit the road, you should prepare your local driver’s license, International Driver’s Permit, passport if the police will check it, and your car insurance papers. You will come across checkpoints and random inspections, so it is advisable to arrange these documents as soon as possible and keep them inside your vehicle.

Parking

Parking in Trinidad and Tobago is free in most areas. Most hotel accommodations offer free parking for tourists and travelers so that it won’t be a problem. There are paid parking spots in major cities such as Port of Spain and San Fernando. Park your cars in well-lit and high-crowded places during day time and as much as possible, avoid leaving valuable things inside.

General Standards of Driving

Knowing the general standards of driving in Trinidad & Tobago saves you from the hassle of getting into some misunderstanding between you and local drivers. There would be fewer rules to familiarize if you’re already a seasoned driver, and it’s normal to feel anxious if it’s your first time driving abroad. The imperative thing to remember here is to adhere to these regulations to keep your eye on the road at all times.

Speed Limits

Local drivers have a habit of stopping on the road without notice. And if you exceed the mandated speed limit in a particular road type, chances are you won’t have time to hit the brake, which will lead to a possible collision. And you don’t want that to happen.

The speed limit for urban roads is 55 km/h, while rural streets are 80 km/h. Highways are at 110 km/h, and overtaking is allowed but with caution. If you’re driving in Trinidad and Tobago now, you should be familiar with these speed limits as speed cameras are installed on some city roads to mitigate car accidents. If you’re caught overspeeding, the authorities will issue you a ticket for a fine which you can pay at a local bank or a police station.

Seatbelt Laws

In Trinidad and Tobago, the driving side, speed limits, and seatbelt laws are expected to be followed while keeping harmony and order on the road. Seatbelts are installed to protect the driver and the passengers inside while the vehicle is moving. Having it said, the government has imposed a National Restraint Law for children five years old and below riding in front of a car.

Drivers and passengers should always wear seatbelts. Children under 12 years old are not allowed to sit in front if there is no legal guardian with him/them. Though passengers in the rear seat are not compulsory to wear seatbelts, if there are installed seatbelts in place, you can wear them even if you’re an adult passenger.

Driving Directions

Trinidad and Tobago’s primary and secondary roads are easy to drive to as they’re in good condition and improved by the government. You can watch for intersection roads and give way to vehicles on the right if you spot them approaching. If you’re driving without a permit in Trinidad and Tobago is frowned upon, as you should have obtained it if you need to drive abroad.

Traffic Road Signs

Traffic signages help you identify the road you’re using. Common road signs will give you a warning, prohibit, inform, and give you directions as to how to navigate the left and right turns of the major cities and other rural places. In Trinidad and Tobago, a driving regulations test will be conducted to get their Trinidad and Tobago driving license. Here are some of the road signages found on the streets of the region.

Warning signs are:

  • Animals crossing
  • Children crossing
  • Loose gravel
  • Two-way traffic
  • Carriageway narrows (both sides)
  • Merging traffic
  • Dangerous double bend
  • Shar diversion to the left

Regulatory signs are:

  • Stop - school children crossing
  • Direction to be followed
  • No left turn
  • Pass either side
  • No right turn
  • No parking
  • Give way
  • Maximum speed limit in km/h

Informative signs are:

  • This way to the hospital
  • No through road to vehicular traffic
  • Parking permitted
  • Keep left except when overtaking
  • Dual carriageway ahead
  • No through traffic in direction indicated

Prohibitory signs are:

  • Cyclists prohibited
  • Turning around prohibited (U-turn)
  • Begin of a speed limit
  • Parking and stopping prohibited
  • Overtaking prohibited
  • Pedestrians prohibited

Right of Way

Drivers should give way to the traffic approaching from the right at all times. When reaching a roundabout, slow down and use your indicator lights to inform the drivers behind you. Make sure to keep on the inner or right lane and proceed driving towards your destination. Do not attempt to overtake in roundabouts as you can cause traffic and road delays to your fellow drivers.

For tourists and travelers in Trinidad and Tobago, driving manual transmission cars are common and preferred more than automatic vehicles. In some instances, some people accidentally misplace or lose their International Driver’s Permit when driving in Trinidad & Tobago. The zip code you typed in the form will be used to ship you a free replacement of your IDP.

The legal driving age in Trinidad and Tobago is 17 years old, and that applies to all Trinidadian and Tobagonian citizens. If you rent a car, you should be at least 25 years old and a holder of a local driver’s license for two years. Different companies have different requirements for foreign drivers, so you have to be keen on the details before you book a vehicle.

If you’re under 25 years old, some companies will allow you to rent, given that you will be paying an underage fee. To confirm the cost, you can ask for additional information from the company upon requesting a quote before you book online.

Laws on Overtaking

There are no strict laws implemented concerning overtaking vehicles in front of you. But you should take extra precautions while doing it as it may cause unwanted road congestions if executed poorly. Hand signals for a driving test in Trinidad and Tobago are not allowed by your driving instructor, so you should stick with using indicator lights and other legal methods when driving on major streets and highways.

You’re already using the left lane, and as mandated by the law, you can utilize the right only if you’re overtaking a vehicle where oncoming vehicles are rare and where rivers behind you know that you will overtake. When approaching huge intersections, you should stay in your lane and wait for the traffic lights to display the signal for you to start moving again.

Driving Side

Drivers should always use the left lane when driving in Trinidad and Tobago. Now, you must follow the driver regardless of the driver’s pace and speed in front of you. As stated in the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Regulations of the country, all vehicle types should be on the left of the road unless under emergency circumstances (ambulance, fire trucks, etc.).

Your International Driver’s Permit and local driver’s license should be with you when driving in Trinidad & Tobago. The zip code on the form must be accurate to be shipped to you without delay. You can check the International Driver’s Association’s pricing page to help you determine what type of validity you should get.

Driving Etiquette in Trinidad and Tobago

Familiarizing yourself with the driving etiquettes of the region would save you from conceivable stress and hassle. Trinidad and Tobago have fewer etiquettes to consider since locals living there are empathetic and hospitable to visitors. Here are scenarios that may occur as you get behind the wheels in the twin-island.

Car Breakdown

Car troubles can happen any time of the day and without notice. Even if the car rental company already inspected and examined the vehicle, car breakdowns rarely arise, and you should not panic if it happens to you. A car typically breaks down because of mechanical failures, and there are steps to consider keeping you safe and sound during the unlikely situation.

In Trinidad and Tobago, the driving side regulation can be bent if an emergency develops along the way, such as car breakdowns. If your vehicle starts to sound like it’s about to break down, you can try to pull onto the shoulder lane with the remaining momentum you have. Turn on your hazard lights to inform other drivers of your situation or directly call your car rental company to understand the problem better.

Police Stops

The police force in the region is equipped with the essential things they need to execute their work. They are seen in major cities and destinations to keep public safety in place and look after wandering travelers, for that matter.

Should they request you to stop the vehicle, politely comply with them and slow down your speed. In this instance, they will just ask for your documents and the reason for your travel. Remember that driving with an expired license in Trinidad and Tobago is a serious offense of the law and would get you in trouble if you’re caught. There are several options to go to the attractions you want to be in, so avoid unauthorized driving as much as possible.

Asking Directions

Trinidad and Tobago use English as their official language, so you don’t need to resolve any communication barrier and roam the cities and municipalities effortlessly. The locals are friendly enough to point in the right direction if your Google Maps isn’t working well with the internet connection.

Before you ask a Trinidadian a directions, it won’t cost you anything to say “Good morning” or “Good day” first with a smile on your face. They will happily show you the way if you just ask nicely and adequately. When walking down the streets, you can nod your head to the locals to acknowledge their presence, especially outside the cities. If you’re looking for truck driving jobs in Trinidad and Tobago, they can give you information on where to go and apply in that case.

Checkpoints

Checkpoints are installed in major cities and some rural districts of the region. The government put them in places where car collisions and accidents are frequent to be lessened and averted. On some occasions, they are there to catch recurring traffic offenders, especially those overspeeding due to the effects of drinking and driving in Trinidad and Tobago.

If you spot a checkpoint, slow down your speed and slightly roll down your window to have a decent interaction with the police. They will just need to check your papers, your local driver’s license, International Driver’s Permit, and car insurance documents. You might get a few questions regarding your travel, but once you’re cleared, you’re good to go to drive ahead.

Other Tips

These driving etiquettes will guide you to be a good driver abroad. If you’re well aware of these scenarios, then you can drive with caution and care as you head to your next planned destination. Now, here’s what you need to know about gas stations and price ranges in Trinidad and Tobago.

Gas Stations in Trinidad and Tobago

Gas stations in the region are open from 8 AM to 8 PM. Since Trinidad and Tobago is an oil and mineral supplier, gasoline is cheaper than other South American countries. You can find stations in almost all cities, scattered from one block to another. It ranges from $0.34 to $0.36 per liter while petrol is $.70 per liter.

Driving Conditions in Trinidad and Tobago

The country may not be the most developed nation on the continent, but its beauty makes it stand out from the rest. As a foreign driver, you have to know the road situations and conditions to plan where and where not to go. Driving in Trinidad and Tobago, videos online and other valuable information can be watched if you have ample time to do so. At this point, here’s what you need to keep tabs on about the driving conditions of the locality.

Accident Statistics

Car accidents are deemed to be one of the significant fatalities in Trinidad and Tobago. In 2018, there are a recorded 118 deaths which increased to 121 in 2019. Drunk driving statistics in Trinidad and Tobago have been up and down, but with the government’s continued efforts, it decreased to 77 deaths in 2020.

It is uncommon for the police to do random checks, but it can happen any time. The driving schools’ primary role is to educate the young drivers on how to be responsible when driving around primary and secondary routes. Hopefully, the region will produce more competent drivers in the long run and have more knowledge of the driving rules and regulations to protect oneself and other drivers’ welfare.

Common Vehicles

The car market continues to evolve and provide quality machines that are used worldwide. Driving in Trinidad and Tobago now, you will notice various car brands dominating the industry with efficient performance and sleek designs.

Toyota still outmaneuvers other brands with 18.4% of total shares, followed by Nissan with 17.7% and Hyundai on the third spot with 17.3% shares. Even though the car market had a downward projection last year, it impacted but overall. Still, these card brands endured and thrived from the experience that catapulted them to their respective positions now.

Toll Roads

There are no toll roads in Trinidad and Tobago. And while other countries use them to regain the cost of their road constructions, the region hasn’t stated any plans of building any toll roads for both islands. Furthermore, the government has been eyeing more development on their tourism infrastructures and enhancing their highways and other potential routes.

Road Situations

The road situation of the region is pretty much developed, especially the highways in major cities. But foreign drivers are advised to always pay attention to the road due to surprise potholes and bumps that they might experience on some primary and secondary streets. You should be careful during rainy seasons as these roads tend to get slippery and dangerous to use.

Driving in Trinidad and Tobago, office applications can be avoided if you obtain your International Driver’s Permit online. It’s so much easier and faster this way, and the International Driver’s Association offers worldwide shipping for drivers on every part and corner of the continent. Apply for as fast as 20 minutes and start filling out the form now!

Driving Culture

Trinidadian and Tobagonian drivers are laid-back users who don’t want to engage in shallow fights. You can easily spot a local driver if s/he uses hand signals when turning left or right. It might confuse you if it’s your first time seeing those gestures, so if you’re unsure, you can always put a safe distance between your vehicle and the driver in front of you should the driver stop without notice.

Other Tips

Knowing these driving situations and conditions would allow you to be more sensitive to the things around you. Given that you’re driving abroad adhering to what the government imposes should be your concern to gain a good relationship between you and the country you’re visiting. If you’re wondering about your safety when driving at night, then here’s a piece of information on that scenario.

Is it Safe to Drive at Night?

It is not advisable to drive at night, primarily if you’re alone. Some of the secondary roads are not adequately lit, so it will be harder for you to see the road for potholes and other hazards on the road. Avoid going out at night unless it’s urgent or if the outside is still teeming with people.

Do not entertain hitch hikers passing the road no matter what. It may be rude and disrespectful, but you have to be cautious during nighttime. And while on the road, should you notice that your International Driver’s Permit is nowhere to be found, you can contact the International Driver’s Association if you still want to continue driving in Trinidad & Tobago. The zip code is essential information to get it shipped to you in a short period.

Things to do in Trinidad and Tobago

You get a unique experience for every country you visit. Some places will give you that homey vibe, luxury living, and destinations where you don’t want to leave. Well, Trinidad and Tobago is a mix of everything. You get to explore lush forests with exotic mammals living in the area or dive into its sky-blue beaches, stretching where the sun meets the sea. There are so many fun things to do in the region - you just need to find what suits your taste.

Drive as a Tourist

Driving as a tourist means one thing: uncomplicated. If you meet the standard requirements of Trinidad and Tobago, a driving regulations test won’t be necessary at all. To attain that uncomplicated driving experience, you should have a local driver’s license, an International Driving Permit, a credit card for your transactions, and of course, your car insurance documents. Once you have the first three prerequisites, then the others would follow painlessly.

Work as a Driver

Suppose you’re looking for truck driving jobs in Trinidad and Tobago. In that case, the first thing you have to do is browse their websites and see what companies are hiring at the moment—working as a driver means processing an official driving license in Trinidad and Tobago. And here’s how you can get a Trinidadian driver’s license in the region.

You should purchase a Regulation Study Guide and Highway Code at all Transport Division offices for TTD 15 or $2.21. This material will help you pass the regulations examination, so you have to study and familiarize the questions there. In Trinidad and Tobago, a driving regulations practice test can be done online to assess what you’ve learned from the study guide. The requirements that you need to submit are:

  • A completed Application Form No.4
  • Four passport size photographs (green background)
  • Two valid IDs
  • Proof of address

Foreign drivers can visit the Ministry of Works and Transport website to complete requirements and guidelines for more information.

Work as a Travel Guide

If you wish to work as a travel guide, you should first apply for a working permit. The permit is granted to a foreign national interested in landing a job in Trinidad and Tobago. The Ministry of National Security will be the acting office that will issue working permits for a specific period attached to a particular institution. You can start by inquiring about the permit then follow the application process as you’re instructed to do.

Apply for Residency

You can apply for residency in the region, which depends on your specific scenario. ToFor it to be possible, one should have a spouse who is a resident of Trinidad and Tobago. A foreign national can also apply if s/he is working in the country for five years or more with a valid working permit. The full requirement for the residency application can be found on their official website so that you can check it out for yourself.

Other Things to do

May it be for leisure or career formation, you can delve into many possibilities in Trinidad and Tobago. Listed above are just some of the things that you can do while you roam around the vicinity. Feel free to add them for as many as you like to maximize your time and energy fully - maybe you can try their authentic delicacies, which you might like.

Top Destinations in Trinidad and Tobago

Did you prepare your band sunglasses to beat the heat? Well, you’re on to a Caribbean tour from the glistening oceans to the secluded parts of the country’s jungles and wild woods. As a foreign driver, remember that driving without a permit in Trinidad and Tobago is a traffic offense, so you should secure an IDP for your short and long travels. Now, compiled below are some of the most famous destinations and attractions only found in the region.

Maracas Bay, Trinidad

Maracas Bay in Trinidad is a dream haven for active souls out there. It provides a breathtaking view of the vast cerulean ocean and is tagged as one of the island’s most beautiful beaches on the island. The area is filled with coconut palm trees that level with the sea’s perfect ambiance and the white sands beneath those clear waters. There are food trucks and vendors selling finger food and light snacks along the beach.

Driving Directions

  1. Take Piarco International to BWIA Blvd.
  2. Turn right onto Piarco International.
  3. Take Churchill Roosevelt Hwy, Uriah Butler Hwy, Saddle Rd, North Coast Road, and Nth Coast Rd to North Coast Road in Maracas Bay Village.
  4. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto BWIA Blvd.
  5. Continue on the ramp and merge onto Uriah Butler Hwy.
  6. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Uriah Butler Hwy.
  7. Santa Cruz Old Rd turns right and becomes Saddle Rd.
  8. North Coast Road turns slightly left and becomes Nth Coast Rd.

Things to Do

  1. Lay on the beach - or sand
    You can’t leave Maracas Bay without swimming or admiring how beautiful the beach is. Tourists and travelers love to sunbathe in the area to bring your towel and simply lie on the sand. Nothing’s more relaxing than enjoying the state you are in now.
  2. Try the fish sandwich
    Richard’s is a famous hut that sells the most delicious fried fish sandwich that you should try for yourself. You can top it with tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce and add your preferred sauce such as pepper, garlic, or tamarind sauce. Also, there are other vendors in the area that will not disappoint your taste buds.
  3. Enjoy the whooping waves
    Maracas Bay has some great waves that you can enjoy under the sun. It’s suitable for both children and adults, but you have to supervise those little ones not to wander

Asa Wright Nature Centre & Lodge, Trinidad

The Asa Wright Nature Centre is home to diverse species of birds such as wood creepers, trogons, pygmy owls, and hummingbirds. The space stretches about 1,500 acres of compact forests in the Arima and Aripo Valleys. You can enjoy a birding tour or rest inside one of the cottages there.

Driving Directions:

  1. Take Piarco International to BWIA Blvd.
  2. Head east on Piarco International.
  3. Take Churchill Roosevelt Hwy and Eastern Main Road to King St in Arima.
  4. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto BWIA Blvd.
  5. Turn right onto Churchill Roosevelt Hwy.
  6. Turn right onto Eastern Main Road.
  7. Turn left onto King St.
  8. Follow Blanchisseuse Rd to Asa Wright Nature Center in Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation.
  9. Continue onto Blanchisseuse Rd.
  10. Slight left onto Asa Wright Nature Center.

Things to Do

  1. Birdwatching
    If you’re a bird enthusiast, then you will surely enjoy Asa Wright Nature Centre. You can visit the Yerette hummingbird sanctuary and take a tour of the place where these birds are fed, and you can take pictures for a souvenir, which is included in your entrance fee.
  2. Enjoy the ambiance
    Since you are in a nature center, you can take this time to unwind a bit while admiring the greenery view. Also, the center can give educational talks about the birds they’re presently observing.
  3. They serve tea and lunch
    You can visit Asa Wright Nature Centre and take your lunch there while enjoying the birds flying and resting in big trees. The staff serves teas for tourists and visitors who would love to drink them on the verandah or inside the cottages.

Port of Spain, Trinidad

Port of Spain is the capital of Trinidad and Tobago. This part is the island’s busiest city, with over 300,000 residents living and working every day. There are many things to do in Port of Spain that boast its colonial-style architecture and high-rise buildings in every corner. You will find several botanical gardens and museums that display the art and culture of the twin-island. The capital is also where the Carnival - the best festival celebration in the Caribbean.

Driving Directions:

  1. Take BWIA Blvd to Churchill Roosevelt Hwy.
  2. Slight right toward Piarco International.
  3. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto BWIA Blvd.
  4. Continue on Churchill Roosevelt Hwy to Port of Spain.
  5. Turn left onto Churchill Roosevelt Hwy.
  6. Continue onto Beetham Hwy.
  7. Take Abercromby St, Park Street, and Charlotte St to Belmont Circular Rd.
  8. Take the exit on the right toward Broadway.
  9. Turn right onto Abercromby St.
  10. Turn right onto Belmont Circular Rd.

Things to Do

  1. Carnival
    Carnival is one of the biggest celebrations in Trinidad and Tobago. It is where colorful costumes, vibrant make-ups, and festive dance moves are paraded through the streets, with all the people cheering and feeling the beat of roaring drums.
  2. Visit the botanical gardens
    Port of Spain has a few botanical gardens here and there that you can visit and explore. The Royal Botanic Center, for instance, is the oldest botanical garden in the world and has 700 trees that are indigenous and be found only on the island.
  3. Museums and art galleries
    Your visit to Port of Spain will not be complete if you haven’t seen the art galleries and museums. The art gallery is a collection of local paintings of well-known local artists. It has perfectly displayed the culture and way of life of the Trinidadians and Tobagonians.

Mount St. Benedict Monastery, Trinidad

The Benedict Monastery is one of the best places to visit in Trinidad. It is the oldest and largest monastery ever made in the Caribbean that was first established in 1912. The land area comprises a farm, a religious building, a guesthouse, and a rehabilitation center. Today, the monastery became one of the appealing landmarks known in the east Port of Spain.

Driving Directions:

  1. Take Piarco International to BWIA Blvd.
  2. Turn right onto Piarco International.
  3. Take Churchill Roosevelt Hwy to Pasea Rd.
  4. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto BWIA Blvd.
  5. Turn left onto Churchill Roosevelt Hwy.
  6. Go left onto Eastern Main Rd/Eastern Main Road. Continue to follow Eastern Main Road.
  7. Follow St John Rd to Mt. St Benedict Rd.
  8. Turn right onto St John Rd.
  9. Make a left onto Mt. St Benedict Rd.
  10. Turn right to stay on Mt. St Benedict Rd. Destination will be on the left.

Things to Do

  1. Tour the area
    As one of the famous landmarks in the area, you can tour around the monastery site. The Benedictine monks utilize the different buildings while you keep your voice in modulation.
  2. Hiking and birdwatching
    Tourists and travelers can hike since there is a surrounding forest where you can start your walking trail. It will also be an opportunity for you to check on diverse bird species that thrive in that same forest.
  3. Try their yogurt
    The Benedict monastery is famous for its locally made yogurt. You can try eating it there or purchase one at the supermarkets as they sell these yogurts all over the country.

Main Ridge Forest Reserve, Tobago

The Main Ridge Forest Reserve is perfect for outdoor activities and travelers who are more inclined to nature and hiking. It is the oldest protected reserve known in the western hemisphere. It is home to different bird species, similar to the conservatory and rehabilitation centers in Trinidad. To get a more scenic view of the forest, you can hike the reserve from north to south, where you can see the eastern end of Tobago.

Driving Directions:

  1. Take Piarco International to BWIA Blvd.
  2. Follow Churchill Roosevelt Hwy and Beetham Hwy to Port of Spain Terminal - Tobago Terminal/Tobago Terminal - Port of Spain Terminal in Port of Spain.
  3. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto BWIA Blvd.
  4. Continue onto Beetham Hwy.
  5. Continue onto Wrightson Rd.
  6. Take the Port of Spain Terminal - Tobago Terminal/Tobago Terminal - Port of Spain Terminal ferry to Scarborough.
  7. Take Dock Rd to Carrington St in Scarborough.
  8. Slight left toward Dock Rd.
  9. Continue onto Dock Rd.
  10. Follow Northside Rd to Roxborough - Parlatuvier Rd in Eastern Tobago.

Things to Do

  1. Guided tours and hiking
    Once you arrive at the top of the ridge, you will see hiking trails that you can walk on your own or take advantage of the freelance guides waiting there. Birdwatching is also doable in the area as you can spot collared trogon, blue-backed manakin, and the rare white-tailed brewing hummingbird that also resides in the thick forest.
  2. Take pictures of the scenic view
    You can bring your smartphone or DSLR to capture candid moments in the reserve, such as birds resting in the branches, the view at the top of the ridge, and a portrait of yourself to prove that you visited the Main Ridge Forest Reserve.
  3. A peak at the wildlife
    The Main Ridge Forest Resort houses most of the wildlife animals also found in Trinidad. You can check out 16 Caribbean mammals, 24 non-poisonous snakes, and 200 bird species. Remember that when driving in Trinidad and Tobago, secure an IDP with you. If you lost it while driving in Trinidad and Tobago, the zip code you provided will be the information needed should you request a replacement to be shipped to you.

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