Most traveling experts will recommend that tourists traveling in groups rent a vehicle to avoid the high cost of taxis in Charlotte Amalie. While taxis are a fine option if you're staying for a short period of time, the charges will add up quickly the more you use them and the longer you need them. With a rental car, you pay one set fee plus the cost of gas and you're covered for the entirety of your stay.
Travelers who fly into thewill typically rent their vehicle at an agency located at the airport so that they can drive directly to their hotel. Others may want avoid the “Airport Tax” that is added on to the bill at these establishments, will instead wait until they have left airport property.
It makes sense for tourists staying in Charlotte Amalie to take a cab into the town for about $6 to $7(USD) a person and rent a vehicle from one of the local rental agencies like the highly recommended Amalie Car Rental. Several international rental agencies exist in Charlotte Amalie as well, including . Some of these agencies are also known for offering airline pick up, a perk that will save you cab fare.
Check this table if you want more information.
|Amalie Car Rental||(340) 774-0688||46 Crown Bay - The vicinity of Charlotte Amalie|
|Avis Havensight||(340) 777-8888||Havensight Mall - Charlotte Amalie|
|BIZ Rentals||(340) 774-5840||Charlotte Amalie|
|(340) 775-7376||Sub Base - The vicinity of Charlotte Amalie|
|(340) 775-6255||Anchorage Condos - St. Thomas|
In order to rent a vehicle in Charlotte Amalie, you must be 25-years-old, though this number is not set in stone. If you are under 25, and want to rent a car, call around. On occasion, local agencies are willing to rent to a younger customer – but be warned; you will likely be charged more and be made to purchase their optional insurance. Regardless of your age, you will be required to leave a credit card number to cover potential damages, and show a valid driver's license from your home country. If you'll be staying in the U.S. Virgin Islands for more than 90 days, you will need an International Driver's License.
The cost to rent a vehicle in Charlotte Amalie varies by season, with prices slightly higher during the winter months which also coincide with the high season of tourism. In the winter you can expect to spend $80 to $150(USD) a day depending on the type of vehicle you rent. The prices drop by about $10 to $20(USD) in the summer, and regardless of season, you'll typically receive a 15 percent discount on the total cost if you rent a car for a week or more.
In Charlotte Amalie, you have the option of renting two door and four door jeeps, and five to six passenger Sports Utility Vehicles. The occasional rental agency will offer four passenger cars, but these are rare due to the many unpaved roads on St. Thomas.
The first thing tourists will notice when they arrive in Charlotte Amalie is that driving is done on the left side of the road in the European fashion. This will take some getting used to for American drivers, while European drivers will have to get used to the fact that the steering wheel is on the left side of the vehicle rather than the right side like in the United States because most vehicles in Charlotte Amalie are imported from the U.S. Fortunately, local drivers are used to tourists filling the streets and remain mostly patient and courteous to other drivers to the point of stopping in the middle of the road to offer directions when the driver looks lost and confused.
Waterfront Drive (also known as Veteran's Drive), Main Street (also known as Dronningen's Gade and Norre Gade), and Black Street (also known as Wimmelskafts Gade) are the three main roads that run through Charlotte Amalie. Waterfront Drive takes you from the Havensight Mall to Frenchtown along the waterfront, Main Street runs parallel to Waterfront Drive, but is further inland, and Back Street does as well, at an additional one block inland.
The roads in town are generally very good, though they can be narrow at times, and the abundance of one way streets can be confusing. In response to complaints that road signs on St. Thomas as far too few, colored road signs called “Tommy the Starfish Signs” have been placed about the island by the St. Thomas Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association to guide tourists to popular attractions. If you plan to take your rental out exploring, check the chart below to see which colors correspond to the various attractions.
|Orange||Airport through Downtown Charlotte Amalie and Havensight Cruise Port to Red Hook|
|Red||Four Corner's to Drake's Seat|
|Green||Downtown Charlotte Amalie to Magens Bay|
Since you may come across difficulties finding places to refuel, see the table just below for a picture of where some of them are located.
|2.4 mi. (3.8 km) West of Red Hook|
The recommended method of transport for couples and groups hoping to get in a bit of sightseeing during their time in Charlotte Amalie is to rent a car. Though the price may seem steep, in the end you'll find that this will end up saving you money compared to taking local taxis everywhere. Make sure to reserve your vehicle before you travel to Charlotte Amalie, especially in the height of tourist season, and you should have no trouble getting behind the wheel and getting around.
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