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Back to Basic

Xp Bonaire IslandLife Feature Story

Back in September, the Island Government announced a onetime compensation for car rentals, stating that compared to other companies in the tourism sector, taxi drivers, tour companies and car rental companies have experienced a significant drop in revenue during the Covid19 crisis. Nonetheless, the car rental business is growing and rental cars are in high demand before and after the Covid 19 crisis. After opening our borders and welcoming airline passengers back from Europe and the USA, most car rentals are fully booked and receive requests far into 2022. Some car rentals didn’t sit still in the quiet period of Covid. Instead, they prepared for the future.

On October 1st, Back to Basic, a well-known car rental company, will transfer from the previous owners to The Fairmiles Group owned by Rene Knip. The Fairmiles Group consist of Fairmiles, PB Car Rental and new in the group - Back to Basic. With a carpark of around 200 cars, Fairmiles Group is one of the bigger car rentals on the island.

Back to Basic was a very successful company, well known for its personal and great service with many repeat customers. The new managing team for Back to Basic, Kitty Ladiges and Herman Spel, have been working on a smooth transition to make Back to Basic part of their company without compromising the great service Back to Basic was known for.

The Managing Team


9 years ago, Herman came to Bonaire with his previous partner to start a new life away from the cold, stress and physical ailments of Europe. Herman, who started working at age 13, was always passionate and driven about anything he took on, starting out as a dishwasher and ending up as a chef running a kitchen and serving wines as the sommelier of the house. From construction to captain and dive guide in his first few years on Bonaire, Herman’s relationship didn’t work out, but he decided to stay on Bonaire where he felt at home and had made good friends.

5 years ago his friend, Rene, approached him and asked him to help him out for a period of 1 month so that he could finally go on a vacation together with his wife.

What started out as helping out for a month became a full-time job and grew over the years to being a right hand man and in the future, co-ownership. Even though Herman is not a certified mechanic, he is very handy and has broadened his knowledge over the years. He is mostly in charge of the car rental garage operations, the team and with Rene , he welcomes the new visitors on the island and assists them in case of car trouble.


Kitty, who is the administrative genius of the team, will make sure that the bookings are correct and that any behind the scenes procedures run smoothly while also giving a warm welcome to the new guests when they arrive.

Kitty came to the island 7 years ago. She planned to take a time out, visiting with her brother and her father who lived on Bonaire, but in the end, she never left. It was also on Bonaire that she met her future husband, Herman, and Rene.

A hard worker, Kitty started cleaning houses half days and worked half days at a restaurant. After a while, the hours became exhausting and were no longer suitable to her private life. With much joy she was then part of setting up new businesses, like Statiegeld B.V. and the Bob Bus, even though both didn’t end the way all had hoped for.

When it became clear that Back to Basic would become part of the Fairmiles Group, Rene asked Kitty to join the team. The opportunity was great and with her life partner they could now work on their own future together and have a business partner they both knew and appreciated.

During all of September, Kitty prepared for the transition by making the company her own, getting to know all the ins and outs of the business and working in every part of it, from booking, welcoming guests to washing the cars.

Herman and Kitty are both very excited about the future of the growing company and their own future. Fairmiles Group is expanding their car repair warehouses and adding extra team members to keep their service standards high and their good name intact.

Back to Basic Services

Back to Basic is a car rental company with a carpark of 35 cars.

They are well-known for their great service and that will remain a priority.

You can rent a car without deposit.

Any car will have a full inspection before being rented.

A flat tire will be exchanged without any extra charge by the road service.

In case of car trouble, a new car will be brought to you.

Prices range between $45 – 57.50

You will be welcomed with your rental car at the airport.

Cars can be left at the airport at departure, no damage check needed.

Plenty of service to ensure a relaxed vacation and the Fairmiles slogan will also apply to Back to Basic: “Your no-nonsense car rental”.

If you are interested in renting a car, please always send an email to prevent booking errors.


Back to Basic

Phone: +599 780 6228


Facebook: Back to Basic Bonaire

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