St. Johns is not only the capital city of Antigua and Barbuda, but it is also the largest city on the island. If there is one town on the island where renting a car would be suggested, it would be here. With many beaches, restaurants, and attractions to visit, you'll for sure find many ways to put the vehicle to good use.
Because V.C. Bird International Airport is located in St. Johns, you'll likely find it best to rent your car directly at the airport and drive to your accommodations from there. Many hotels offer airport shuttles, and there are other rental agencies about town, so you may choose to pick up your vehicle later as well.
When you arrive to pick up your rental, you'll likely be handed the keys to a light colored Toyota Tercel. These are the go-to rentals on St. John and unless you specify you'd like to drive something else, the chances you'll end up with this small gas-saver is high. These cars are great if you plan to stick to the city's roads, but if you'll want to explore other, less populated parts of Antigua, you may want to ask to be upgraded to a Jeep. These vehicles have much better suspension and four wheel drive, so you'll have an easier time on the dirt roads. Whichever type of vehicle you rent, make sure to take a careful look at all of its functions before you drive off the lot, so you don't end up with a car that has bad tires or no left turn signal.
The table below lists the rental agencies located in this general area.
|Avis Antigua||(268) 462-2840||Powell's Estate - Redcliffe Quay|
|(268) 461-6826||Redcliffe Quay|
|(268) 462-0863||St. George Street - Redcliffe Quay|
|Hertz Heritage Quay||(268) 481-4400||Heritage Quay Terminal - St. John's|
|Hertz Main Office||(268) 481-4440||Sir George Walter Highway - Redcliffe Quay|
|(268) 462-1575||Alfred Peters Street - St. John's|
|(268) 562-2708||Airport Road - Redcliffe Quay|
|(268) 462-0766||Fort Road - St. John's|
|(268) 729-0140||Fitzroy Road - Redcliffe Quay|
|(268) 462-8789||Lower Newgate Street - Redcliffe Quay|
|(268) 462-0594||Branch Avenue - Redcliffe Quay|
|(268) 562-5966||Airport Road - Redcliffe Quay|
|Tropical Rentals||(268) 562-5180||Valley Road - Redcliffe Quay|
|(268) 461-3746||1309 Anchorage Rd - St. John's|
...drive at your pace...
As one of the most populous cities on Antigua, St. John also boasts the most paved roads. This doesn't mean the roads in this town are any better than roads elsewhere, unfortunately. This island's roads are known for being riddled with pot holes, cracks, and dips, and many shoulders swoop down quickly into ditches. Roads can be narrow, and rarely have lights, traffic signals, or street signs. In fact, if you do see a sign, it was probably placed there by a local establishment wanting to draw people in for business.
When you're driving in town, speed limits will be around 20 miles per hour, but while you're out driving between towns it could go up to 40 miles per hour. The speed limits are rarely enforced, and most locals choose to ignore them. Always in a hurry, and eager to pass by anyone who gets in their way, locals are known for tailgating and making risky moves on narrow roads. Keep your road rage in check. They aren't doing it to be unfriendly; this is just the way of life here. Instead, drive at your pace, and remain calm. Also note that traffic moves on the left side of the road, so you may need to take some time and practice if you are not used to this. Another thing you'll have to get used to is the free-roaming livestock. If you catch some animals crossing the road, you will simply have to wait them out.
In such a busy town like St. Johns, parking can be hard to come by. A multilevel car park is in the works, but until it is complete, you may have to do some driving around before you're able to park.
You can expect to pay somewhere between $30 and $50(USD) for a rental car on St. John, depending upon the size of the vehicle, and you may even be able to get a discount. Additionally, you will need to pick up a temporary Antiguan driver's license for about $20(USD). You can do so at the rental car agency when you pick up your car, and some will even throw in the cost of the license as a part of your rental. Once it is in your hands, the license is valid for 90 days, and can be renewed three times.
It should be of no surprise that the price of renting a car fluctuates with the season. Even so, feel free to take a look at the table below to get an idea of what to expect.
Various agencies will sometimes charge very different rates so it may be worth the effort to shop around. The lowest rates only apply to the least costly local firms when demand is low. The high end of the range is what you should anticipate at one of the busier agencies during the high season.
|Rental Type||Low Rate||High Rate|
|Compact Car||$ 35.00||$ 42.00|
|Economy Car||$ 38.00||$ 45.00|
|Mid Size Car||$ 38.00||$ 60.00|
|Light SUV||$ 40.00||$ 92.00|
|Standard SUV||$ 45.00||$ 85.00|
|Heavy SUV||$ 55.00||$ 88.00|
|Full Size Car||$ 56.00||$ 70.00|
|Rental Type||Low Rate||High Rate|
|Compact Car||$ 245.00||$ 294.00|
|Economy Car||$ 266.00||$ 319.00|
|Mid Size Car||$ 266.00||$ 420.00|
|Light SUV||$ 280.00||$ 632.00|
|Standard SUV||$ 315.00||$ 520.00|
|Full Size Car||$ 330.00||$ 440.00|
|Heavy SUV||$ 385.00||$ 609.00|
The good thing about St. Johns is that there are plenty of gas stations. The gas stations here are what is known as full-service. This means that the attendant will come out and pump your gas for you, often times also wiping your windshield and checking your tires to see if they need air.
Since you might come across problems spotting places to refuel, see the chart that follows for an idea where some are located.
|--||Downtown St. John's|
|(268) 462-1464||Fort Road - St. John's|
Just moments after you arrive in St. Johns, you can pick up your rental car and be on your way. There are plenty of options to choose from allowing you to personalize your experience, and make every moment spent behind the wheel a great one.
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