In short, the answer is a resounding yes. Anyone with a valid driver’s license in their home country can rent a car in Belize, and the rules of the road are almost identical to those in the United States. In fact, Belize and the United States are the last two countries on the planet where distances are still measured in miles.
Driving in Belize is fairly straightforward. Drivers drive on the right-hand side of the road, and all road signs are in English. Except for gasoline being a bit more expensive (around $5/gallon), the only major difference about driving in Belize is that, traditionally, drivers use a right-hand turn signal when they want to turn left. The practice is to pull over to the right to wait for oncoming traffic to clear before making a left-hand turn.
The country has four national highways, and these Belize highways are two-land roadways that are completely paved and upgraded to modern standards. Other than that, most Belize roads are either dirt or gravel and may require rugged, four-wheel drive vehicles to traverse, especially following periods of rain. The four national highways connect all the major urban areas together, including the Mexican border south to Belize City, Belize City to Belmopan, San Ignacio, and the border with Guatemala, and Belmopan to Dangriga and south to Punta Gorda.
There are no traffic lights in Belize, even in the biggest cities. Instead, all residential areas rely on speed bumps, affectionally known as sleeping policemen. As some speed bumps are poorly marked and can be quite large, drivers are warned to slow down when entering built-up areas. Highway speeds are 55 miles per hour maximum and up to 40 miles per hour in urban areas.
Drivers in Belize can expect police road checks, but unlike in other neighboring countries, visitors will not be pressured to pay off phony offenses. As long as your driver’s license and registration papers are in order, you’ll be good to go. Be aware that hitchhiking in Belize is illegal and that every person in the car will be arrested if narcotics or other illegal contraband is found.
If you’re ready to explore the highways and byways of Belize for yourself, be sure to rent your vehicle from Tour Belize Auto Rental, a locally-owned company with two convenient locations in downtown Belize City and at the international terminal of the Philip Goldson Airport.