While it is certainly possible to use taxis as your main source of transportation on the island of St. John, fares add up rather quickly. For that reason, if you are planning to get out and explore all of the beautiful nature and interesting landmarks that St. John has to offer, a rental car is the most affordable and convenient option available for getting around.
Almost all of St. John's rental car agencies are centered around the town of Cruz Bay, which is the gateway to the island, thanks to it being the location of the ferry dock. Tourists can step off the ferry and walk to the nearest car rental agency, take a taxi, or if you've reserved your rental in advance, be picked up by the rental agency as part of their free pick up and drop off service. If you are staying outside of Cruz Bay and want to go straight to your hotel, you can do so and have the rental agency drop your vehicle off at your hotel, another free service most agencies offer.
All of the rental car businesses on the island are locally owned and reputable, offering friendly, personalized service and reasonable prices.
The chart below shows the rental agencies located in this general area.
|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|
It is recommended that you book your car rental before you arrive on the island to ensure that there will be a vehicle available to you – especially during the high season of tourism, which begins late in the fall and goes through to the beginning of spring. In order to rent a vehicle, you will have to provide a credit card number, and when you arrive you will have to present a valid driver's license from your country of origin or an International Driver's License. You must be 25-years-old to rent a vehicle here for insurance purposes. Some agencies may be willing to work with you on the age requirement – for an additional fee plus the requirement that you purchase extra insurance.
The cost of renting a car on St. John is comparable to elsewhere in the U.S. Virgin Islands, with rates ranging from $70 to $150(USD) a day or $400 to $700(USD) a week. The range in prices is broad to cover various vehicle makes and models, luxury amenity add-ons, and the cost of insurance.
A wide range of vehicles are available to rent on St. John, but tourists in the know always choose a jeep or sports utility vehicle because the road conditions on the island are not the best, and in some places the roads are not even paved.
The roads on St. John vary. In the most populated areas on the island like Cruz Bayy you'll find the roads to be paved, relatively well-maintained and with road signs. In less populated areas, however, the roads are often comprised of gravel, sand, and dirt. Because of the hilly topography and small amount of space the island has to offer, the roads are typically narrow, steep, and winding. Driving slow is key on roads like this, especially at night because there are no street lamps or stop lights on the island.
Be sure to pay attention to your gas tank too, as there are not many stations on St. John. The only stations open at the moment are both located along the South Shore road, between "downtown" area and the The Westin St. John Resort. From time to time there's been a gas station serving the western end of the island, but the last time we checked it wasn't open. Nevertheless, since it might reopen by the time you visit, we are still listing it.
As there happens to be only a few gas stations around St. John, you will want to check the table that follows for some of their locations.
|Route 107 - Coral Bay|
|South Shore Road - Cruz Bay|
Driving on St. John is done on the left side of the road, which will be a departure from what tourists from the United States are used to; while the car's steering wheel is located on the left side of the vehicle, something that tourists from most of Europe will be unfamiliar with. Locals are used to tourists driving slowly as they relearn how to drive under new conditions, and are not only amiable about it, but encouraging. If a local toots his car horn at you, know he or she is being friendly and wishing you luck, rather than submitting to any kind of road rage.
As you're driving around the island, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for people and animals in the road. Hitch-hiking is common here, but since sidewalks are few and far between people walk right in the road. Animals are also allowed to roam free, and if they stop in the middle of the road, you may just have to stop and wait until they move along.
Although St. John is the smallest of the main islands in the U.S. Virgin Islands chain, renting a car is still the most recommended form of transportation.
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