Should You Rent a Car in Tonga?
If any of the below reasons to rent a car in Tonga speak to you, then the answer is yes! Car hire in Tonga is available on the islands of Tongatapu and Vava’u, which both have a large road network to make your way around the islands to discover their every nook and cranny. But is car rental in Tonga right for you? Find out the reasons to rent a car in Tonga in the list below!
For more rental car discussions, see Things to Know About Car Rental in Tonga.
1. Experience the Freedom to Go Where You Want When You Want
Like anywhere in the world, car hire allows you to travel Tonga with the ultimate freedom. You’re not confined to the bus routes and schedules. You’re not stuck to the schedule and sights determined by tour companies. Enjoy experiencing Tonga at your own pace!
2. Stay Out of Town
Many travellers stay in the main towns, simply because they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else otherwise. However, with your own car, you can take advantage of some of the stunning villas, apartments and resorts outside of the main towns. This often means staying in more idyllic surroundings that are much quieter than the bustling towns. That’s what a South Pacific holiday is about, after all!
3. You Can Do Something on a Sunday
Tonga shuts down on a Sunday, including all of the public transport. Having your own car rental means you won’t get stuck on a Sunday, giving you things to do such as sightseeing! However, don’t go swimming on public beaches which is prohibited on a Sunday. You can swim at resort beaches though. See more things to do on a Sunday here.
4. It’s Affordable
You don’t have to empty your wallet to hire a car in Tonga. Most car rental day rates start at TOP$50, or from TOP$70 on Vava’u, but it’s even possible to find as cheap at TOP$35 a day! Some car rental companies also offer weekly deals, making long-term rental better value. Find out more at How to Save Money on Car Rental in Tonga.
5. Get a Visitor’s Driving Licence as a Souvenir
Yes, in order for some visitors to legally drive in Tonga (those that have to apply manually for a visitor visa), they need to obtain a Visitor’s Driving Licence. Sure, some might think this is a bit of a nuisance, but at least you get a souvenir at the end of your trip. Admittedly, the Visitor’s Driving Licence is just a piece of printed cardboard, but… Anyway, learn more about the Visitor’s Driving Licence here!
6. They Offer Drop-Off Services
Most car rental companies in Tonga offer vehicle drop-off services, which is ultra-convenient if you can’t make your way to their depots. Most will offer a drop-off service at the airport, while others will drop off your chosen car right at your accommodation! Too easy!
7. Driving in Tonga is Relaxing
Forget inner-city traffic chaos. Tonga is a whole new level of relaxing when it comes to driving. The speed limits are around 50km/h (30mph) in towns and only up to 70km/h (40mph) outside of towns, so it gives you a great excuse to take it easy and embrace Tonga time! Hell, Tonga doesn’t even have any traffic lights! Still, the roads are well-maintained providing a smooth ride around the islands.
8. You Won’t Spend Hours Stuck in the Car
Even on Tonga’s two largest islands, they are still pretty small at less than 265km2 (100 sq mi). It takes about one hour to drive from the westernmost tip of Tongatapu to the easternmost tip, but even then, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be in the car for that long. There’s so much to see and stop for on any road trip in Tonga. Check out our Road Trip Itinerary for Tongatapu TI069 and Road Trip Itinerary for Vava’u TI070 for ideas.
9. Get Off the Beaten Track
Tonga is pretty much off the tourist trail already, but you can explore further with your own rental car! Drive to beaches you would never get to visit on a tour, pass through remote villages, and discover things well off the beaten track!
10. You Can Even Hire a Driver
Don’t fancy driving yourself? Well, there is at least one rental car company that also offers drivers for hire in Tongatapu! Tell your driver where you want to go, where you’ll still get to explore the island at your own pace. Alternatively, treat it more like a tour where your driver will be your guide around the island. See Hiring a Driver in Tonga for more information.
More Reasons to Rent a Car in Tonga
- The Driving Times in Tonga You Need to Know
- Is it Easy to Drive in Tonga?
- 10 Safety Tips for Driving in Tonga
That’s it for the reasons to rent a car in Tonga. For itineraries to inspire you on where to go in Tonga, take a look at the following compilations: The Best Tonga Itineraries for 2 Weeks, The Best Tonga Itineraries for 1 Week, The Best Tonga Itineraries for 5 Days and The Best Tonga Itineraries for a Weekend.