Perhaps because it is the port of entry for the U.S. Virgin Island of St. John, or maybe because it is the center of tourism on the island, Cruz Bay also seems to be the center of all car rental options as well. While you won't need a rental car if you're staying in Cruz Bay, if you want to thoroughly explore the rest of the island, you should plan on renting for at least a day or two.
All of the car rental agencies in Cruz Bay are locally owned, family businesses that come well-recommended. Because their business relies on your referrals, you'll find the service is top notch and personalized. Most offer perks like free pick up and drop off as well as vehicle delivery.
If you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing, you should rent a jeep or sports utility vehicle. Not all of the island's roads are paved, and the steep gradients on even the paved roads make a vehicle with four wheel drive and good suspension nearly a necessity. If you plan on only driving in and around Cruz Bay, however, a less expensive vehicle without four wheel drive might be sufficient.
Check out the following table for a list of rental companies.
|Best Rent A Car of St. John||(340) 693-8177||300 Contant and Enighed - Cruz Bay|
|C&C Car Rental||(340) 693-8164||300 Enighed - Cruz Bay|
|Conrad Sutton Car Rental||(340) 776-6479||Cruz Bay|
|Cool Breeze Jeep and Car Rental||(340) 776-6588||North Shore Road - Downtown Cruz Bay|
|Courtesy Car Rental||(340) 776-6650||300 Enighed - Cruz Bay|
|Delbert Hill Jeep Rental||(340) 776-6637||King Street - Cruz Bay|
|Hospitality Rent A Car||(340) 693-9160||King Street - Cruz Bay|
|L&L Jeep Rental||(340) 776-1120||13BE Enighed - Cruz Bay|
|Lionel Jeep Rental||(340) 693-8764||280 Estate Enighed - Cruz Bay|
|O'Connor Cars Westin||(340) 776-6343||The Westin St. John Resort - Cruz Bay|
|O'Connor Cruz Bay||(340) 776-6343||Cruz Bay|
|Spencer's Jeep Rentals||(340) 693-8784||Bay Street - Cruz Bay|
|St. John Car Rental||(340) 776-6103||Bay Street - Cruz Bay|
|Varlack Auto Rental||(340) 776-6412||King Street - Cruz Bay|
Not everyone can rent a vehicle in Cruz Bay. Renters must be at least 25-years old and be in possession of a valid driver's license from their home country as well as a credit card with a descent available balance.
Car rentals here cost between $70 and $150(USD) a day, with the prices varying from place to place, plus by the make and model of the vehicle you request, any additional luxury amenities, and the cost of insurance. If you're renting for a week or more, you'll see the daily rates discounted. On average, it costs between $400 and $700(USD) for a weekly rental in Cruz Bay. Your rental should be booked as early as possible to ensure that you'll have a ride when you arrive.
...no street lights anywhere on the island...
Driving in Cruz Bay is a breeze compared to some of the other areas on the island. Most drivers have to adjust to the local road conditions, as well as the fact that driving is done on the left side of the road, but (unlike in Britain), the steering wheel is also on the left side of the car. Fortunately, most people catch on after a few miles of driving. Locals are quite used to slow-driving tourists who are unsure of what they are doing, and are very pleasant about it, going so far as to give a short honk from their own vehicle as an offer of encouragement.
Cruz Bay has well-constructed, paved roads with road signs, although there are no street lights anywhere on the island. When you're driving around the rest of St. John the roads may seem a bit narrow and winding, thanks to the hilly island's topography. Portions of the island remain unpaved, with roads of gravel, sand, and dirt.
For most visitors, however, the more pressing problem is that even the best-paved roads will suddenly shoot sharply up or down hill. Especially on a rainy day, the steep gradients can pose a challenge for the inexperienced driver.
One other thing to keep in mind -- outside of the larger towns, road signs are scarce, none of the printed maps are completely accurate or detailed, and the locals tend to give directions using obscure local landmarks, rather than street names. Fortunately, on such a small island, it's hard to stay lost for long.
When you need to fill up, it's best to discover your tank is getting low when you're on the Western end of the island, since the only gas stations currently in operation are in Cruz Bay. You'll find them both in the same general area. Drive past the Starfish Market heading towards the The Westin St. John Resort, but be aware they can be crowded at times. The station at Coral Bay was closed the last time we checked -- but plans have been announced for a new station at the same location, so we've decided to be optimistic.
Check out the chart that follows to see a few refueling locations in this general area.
|Route 107 - Coral Bay|
|South Shore Road - Cruz Bay|
Be on the lookout for livestock and pedestrians. Sidewalks are rare, hitch-hiking is common, and animals are free to roam as they please.
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