Renting a car is the best way to see the whole island at your own pace. St. Thomas has several different rental agencies to choose from. Rental agencies are conveniently located at the airport, in Charlotte Amalie, at large hotels and in walking distance from the main cruise ship dock in Havensight.
Car rental prices are affected by size and type of vehicle, duration of rental and time of year (season vs. off season). A two-door car might run around $54/day or $187/week. A mid-size four door around $50-60/day or $200-300/week. A jeep will cost you roughly $65/day or $350/week. For families or groups you can rent a minivan or SUV at $75-120/day or $450-750/week. Trucks are also available for rent and they run $75-85/day or $450-500/week. Special packages and discounts are usually available, so it is possible to get lower prices.
Budget Rent a Car has the largest selection of cars, jeeps, mini-vans, SUV's and trucks at the most competitive rates. Four locations island wide to serve you; Airport, Downtown, Havensight Cruise-ship Dock and Sapphire Beach Resort & Marina. Whether it's shopping, beach hopping or sightseeing that is in your plans, let Budget show you how. Receive over $1,500 in free attraction coupons, good for trips, gifts and meals! Free pick-up and drop-off.
L & L Jeep Rental welcomes you to St. Thomas. We hope you have a pleasant stay here on our beautiful island. For your convenience, we recommend renting a vehicle during your visit. Our fleet includes automatic, four wheel drive Jeep Wranglers (accommodates 1-4 passengers) and Jeep Liberties (accommodates 1-5 passengers), perfect for navigating our mountainous little island. Express check in and check out, an after hours emergency line and relationships with many villa companies and resorts are just some of the reasons L & L Jeep Rental is the right choice! Contact us to Book a Jeep!
Discount Car Rental is "Your Transportation in Paradise". We offer clean, new cars, jeeps and SUVS. Our free pick up and drop off service will ensure excellent customer service you deserve! We are conveniently located right at the entrance road to the Airport. If your destination is St. John you can pick up your 4WD vehicle when you arrive on St. Thomas and take it by barge to St. John. Contact Discount Car Rental for all your transportation needs!
A: Current gas prices (September 2012) on St. Thomas are $4.65-$5.06 a gallon.
A: Driving in the Virgin Islands is on the left side of the road. Vehicles are typical American cars with left side steering.
A: U.S. driver's licenses are valid for up to 90 days. Driver’s holding international licenses must purchase a temporary foreign driver’s permit. These can be purchased from the Virgin Islands Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Since doing this can be difficult for visitor’s they are available from car rental agencies who are allowed to pre-purchase them and have on hand to sell to visitor’s renting vehicles. They are usually $25
The question of whether to rely on taxis or rent a car is a frequently asked one. Below are a few of the answers given by visitors on our Virgin Islands Travel Forum.
"Rent the car. You will want to get around and taxi fares will eat you up, not to mention the inconvenience of finding one if you are not at the popular locations."
"A rental car is convenient and you'll see much much more of the island. If you're a AAA member ask for their special rate. It was well worth the freedom."
"We used taxis for most of our transportation. It can be costly, but if you plan your outings properly and hit all attractions within the same area at one time, it’s easy to minimize the damage to the wallet. With just the two of us, the week’s costs were somewhat comparable to renting a car at book rates. If traveling as a family or group of more than two people, a car rental would likely be the more economical choice. Taxis are everywhere, so there is never any waiting or inconvenience in finding a ride. I would advise knowing the published fare prior to boarding. Most drivers were honest and helpful, but we did have two try to request a fare in excess of the published rate, including our first ride from the airport to the resort."
"Other than driving on the left side of the road, you should have no problem driving on St. Thomas. I survived driving five years in the 2nd worst congestion in America, Washington DC. I can tell you driving in St. Thomas is a cakewalk compared to that. How much trouble can you get in when the speed limit is 35mph. The potholes, taxi drivers and occasional hill may challenge you. The good news it is hard to get lost on a small island. I personally like the freedom of driving myself and not having to deal with a taxi driver. One thing to consider is motion sickness. My wife lasted one day of being slung around in the backseat of a hot taxi with a driver who had no concept on how to brake and we were off to the car rental place. Had a jeep for the rest of the week and we loved it, Good Luck and have a great vacation."
"On a recent vacation to the beautiful St. Thomas, I found the islanders that we came in contact with very friendly. However, their driving habits make me wonder. Most speed limits range from 10 mph to 35 mph. But many drivers tailgate and speed excessively. Given the nature of the steep and winding roads, I think it becomes a dangerous condition. Many visitors are not use to driving on the left, the condition of the roads and the driving habits of the local people. On the other hand taking cabs can be very costly."
"My advice would be: rent a car. Drive cautiously and defensively. Don't let anyone intimidate you. Stay far to the left and always approach corners as though there might possible be someone stopped in the street around the bend."
"Driving on the left takes a lot of concentration, especially in the more congested areas. The roads aren't well marked. The island is mountainous, so there are a lot of switchbacks and steep inclines. We rented a car so that we could eat dinner out at different restaurants and such. It became real clear real quick that we couldn't go out and have a leisurely dinner with some drinks, wine, etc., and then try to drive back in the dark. We ended up having big breakfasts in (we rented a condo so we had a kitchen) and late lunches out, so that we were back before dark and could enjoy cocktails without stressing out. Next time, (and we will return) even though it is probably more expensive, I'm letting the taxis do the driving."
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