It is often recommended that tourists rent a car when they visit Christiansted in order to make the most of their trip without the highest price tag. If you're traveling in a mid to large sized group and plan to do a lot of exploring, this is certainly the way to go, but even solo travelers and couples may prefer the ease and accessibility of being in charge of having a vehicle at your disposal at all times.
Thanks to St. Croix's airport being located within 13 miles, plus the fact that this town is a major center for tourism on the island, the majority of the car rental agencies can be found in Christiansted. Tourists will have several decisions to make regarding how they will go about renting a vehicle here.
The first is in regards to which agency to rent with. There are numerous international chains that you'll likely be familiar with located at the airport and around town, but there are also a few local car rental agencies that come highly recommended by frequent visitors. Local agencies tend to be more flexible and offer more personalized service because their business really depends upon your referral, while chains offer a familiar name that you may feel as though you can trust in a place that is foreign to you. Price wise, both are comparable. If you're booking a package deal that includes your flight, hotel, and rental car, you'll be working with an international chain because they tend to work in conjunction with travel sites that offer them. Local chains might offer discounts based on the time of year, and they may be more open to negotiation.
Your next decision will be to decide whether or not you want to drive your vehicle from the airport or take a taxi to your hotel and have your vehicle delivered to you there. If the agency you are renting from has a location at the airport and you are arriving early or in the middle of the day, picking up from the airport and driving to your hotel is preferable. However, if you arrive late in the day and dusk is drawing near, you may want to consider having the car delivered to your hotel in order to avoid getting lost on the streets of St. Croix after dark. Most rental agencies offer free drop off and pick up, as well as free car delivery services to the airport or your hotel, so the choice is really up to you.
View the following chart for several of the vehicle rental agencies in this area.
|Avis Christiansted||(340) 713-1347||1210 Watergut - Downtown Christiansted|
|Budget Rentals Christiansted||(888) 264-8894||Henry E Rohlsen Airport - Christiansted|
|Centerline Cars Christiansted||(340) 713-0550||Watergut Street - Downtown Christiansted|
|(340) 773-0299||1104 Strand Street - Downtown Christiansted|
|Olympic Rent-A-Car||(340) 718-3000||1103 Richmond - Christiansted|
|(340) 773-1516||16 Richmond - Christiansted|
For insurance reasons, most car rental agencies will not rent a vehicle to someone who is under the age of 25. If you are under 25, you'll have to appeal to each individual agency until you find one that is willing to work with you. It is rare, but some places will allow someone between the ages of 21 and 24 to rent a vehicle for an extra fee and a higher amount of insurance. In addition to the age, other requirements for renting a vehicle in Christiansted are a valid driver's license from your country of origin or an International Driver's License if you are staying in the country for more than three months. You will also be required to provide a credit card with a certain balance available. This amount differs by agency, but it is there to protect them should you damage the car or return it late.
To rent a vehicle in Christiansted, you can expect to pay somewhere between $30 and $120(USD) per day depending upon the make of the vehicle you want to rent and the extra amenities. It is cheaper to rent a vehicle during the summer because it is the off season and vehicles are less in demand. The longer you have the vehicle, the more you'll save per day.
Unlike some of the other islands in the U.S. Virgin Islands chain, it is easy to rent any type of vehicle you like. While a jeep or sports utility vehicle with good suspension and four wheel drive is recommended for those unpaved roads that explorers often happen upon, rental agencies on the island have everything from four door sedans to 12-passenger vans. Just remember that the large the vehicle, the more it will cost, and the most luxury features the vehicle has, the more it will cost as well.
The first thing to know about driving in Christiansted is that it is done on the left side of the road like in most of Europe. However, things are slightly complicated. Since most vehicles are imported from the United States, the driving wheel is also on the left. The saying to remember how to drive on the island is “Keep your left shoulder to the left side of the road.” Most drivers get used to the change fairly quickly, and local drivers are pretty understanding when they see a tourist driving on the wrong side of the road. If they honk to remind you to get on the right side of the road, they likely aren't doing it rudely, but just as a friendly reminder. Also keep in mind that you should look left for the stop sign, not right.
Roads on the island vary greatly. In larger cities like Christiansted you'll find them to be mostly paved, well-lit, and with road signs. However, when you begin to venture outside of town limits you'll begin to discover unmarked roads with pot holes, or comprised only of sand and gravel, and no nighttime lighting. Just drive slowly and be on the lookout for pedestrians and live stock to prevent any accidents.
Since you could potentially come across issues coming across gas stations, view the table just below for an orientation of where some can be found.
|--||2.5 mi. (4.1 km) South West of Christiansted|
|--||4.8 mi. (7.8 km) West of Christiansted|
|(340) 7736-8382||Ziggy's Island Market - 4.6 mi. (7.4 km) East of Christiansted|
Independent travelers who like to take charge and be in control of their trip always lean towards renting a vehicle no matter where they go. With so many options available, Christiansted makes it easy to find the rate and the vehicle for you to make yours during your stay on St. Croix.
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