Travelers seeking the freedom to explore St. Kitts and Nevis at their own pace will seek to rent cars during their vacation. Cars can be a great way of touring the islands to ensure that you don't miss out on any of the areas of interest. Drivers will quickly realize, however, that the rules of the road are probably different than what they are used to.
Due to high demand, drivers will often rent cars prior to arriving on St. Kitts and Nevis. Once arriving, drivers will need to secure a temporary drivers license from the island on which they will be driving. Rental companies will often drive renters to locations at which licenses are received on St. Kitts and Nevis. Drivers on St. Kitts can purchase a one year license for $25(USD) from the Traffic Department on Cayon Street in Basseterre. Drivers on Nevis can go to the police departments at Charlestown, Newcastle, Cotton Ground, or Gingerland to purchase a three month license for $24(USD).
Driving on the formerly British owned St. Kitts and Nevis is on the left. Major roads on the islands are actually in fairly good condition and reasonably maintained. As with many of the Caribbean islands, roads can be dark during the night and often lack guide and marking signs. Beware of speed bumps, potholes, and animals while driving, as well as cars that have stopped in the middle or on the side of the road. Also be careful of venturing off of main roads in the cities to avoid getting lost. Drivers should also note that car horns are used as a form of greeting rather than a voice of displeasure in much of the Caribbean. For more advice on driving while on vacation, consult Bureau of Consular Affairs general road safety guidelines for those who are traveling abroad.
Of course, there are several other options for getting around the island, outside of driving yourself. If you're staying in and around the capital, using the public bus system is a possibility. They are more dependable here during the morning and afternoon than anywhere else on the island, but are inexpensive and can get you from place to place. Taxis are a possibility as well, and as long as you aren't using them too much you will find them to be an affordable option. Another fun option, if you're planning on visiting both St. Kitts and Nevis, is to hop aboard a ferry and sail the seas -- even if it is only for 45 minutes.
Drivers who prepare themselves for different driving conditions than what they are used to find that a car is a great way of touring the natural beauty of St. Kitts and Nevis.
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