Car Rentals on St. Thomas

Renting a car is a money saver for tourists who will be doing a lot of exploring

Photo credit: © Harry the bodysnatcher

There are plenty of options available to tourists who need transportation around St. Thomas, and the method you choose will depend entirely upon your itinerary. For most people, the best option is going to be to rent a car because of the flexibility to come and go as you please, the peace of mind that you have a vehicle available to you at all times, and the amount of money you'll save if you'll be driving around a lot.

Renting a Car

On St. Thomas you'll find a wide selection of both big name rental car agencies such as Avis and Budget Rent A Car as well as a few local establishments like Amalie Car Rental. They exist mainly in and around the Cyril E King Airport, near the ferry terminals in Charlotte Amalie and Red Hook, and at the Havensight Cruise Port. You'll also find that some large resorts have rental agencies on site, and there are a few scattered throughout the island, mainly near large tourist attractions.

When selecting which agency you'll rent from, keep a few things in mind: location, recommendations, and cost. The rental car agency nearest where you are entering the island or your hotel will be your best choices. If there are numerous options available to you because you are staying somewhere like Charlotte Amalie, recommendations will be helpful to you. Whether you know someone who has used a company's services before, or you've read reviews on-line, this will give you an idea of the kind of customer service you'll experience, and that knowledge can go a long way. If you still need help narrowing down your options, go ahead and compare prices – but also take into consideration the cost of getting to the location of the agency. For example, if you fly into the Cyril E King Airport and plan to rent your vehicle from the Budget Rent A Car in Red Hook, you would potentially have to take a 30 minute cab ride to Red Hook for around $11(USD) per person. Budget Rent A Car, and many other agencies, however, offers free transport to and from the airport, the ferry terminals, and the cruise dock, which will save you the cost of cab fare.

View the table below that shows the various area vehicle rental agencies.

Vehicle Rental Companies
Name Phone Location
Amalie Car Rental (340) 774-0688 46 Crown Bay - The vicinity of Charlotte Amalie
Auto Depot (340) 776-3800 Tutu Park Mall - Anna's Retreat
Avis Rent A Car- Cyril E King Airport (340) 774-1468 Cyril E King Airport - 2.9 mi. (4.7 km) West of Charlotte Amalie
BIZ Rentals (340) 774-5840 Charlotte Amalie
Bowsky Auto Sales and Car Rentals (340) 779-2600 56 Smith Bay - East End
Budget Rentals Airport (340) 776-5774 Cyril E King Airport - 2.9 mi. (4.7 km) West of Charlotte Amalie
Budget Rentals Havensight (800) 626-4516 CruiseShip Dock - Havensight
Budget Rentals Sapphire (340) 779-2211 East End
Dependable Car Rental STT (340) 774-2253 Cyril E King Airport - 2.9 mi. (4.7 km) West of Charlotte Amalie
Dollar Rent-A-Car (340) 774-0111 Airport Road at Lindbergh Bay - 2.3 mi. (3.7 km) West of Charlotte Amalie
E-Z Car Rental (340) 775-6255 Anchorage Condos - St. Thomas
First Rent-A-Car and Truck Rental (340) 776-3730 Cyril E King Airport - 2.9 mi. (4.7 km) West of Charlotte Amalie
Hertz Cyril E King (340) 774-1879 Cyril E King Airport - 2.9 mi. (4.7 km) West of Charlotte Amalie
Thrifty Cyril E King (340) 776-1500 Cyril E King Airport - Charlotte Amalie

As is common with most locations around the world, the minimum age someone is allowed to rent a vehicle on St. Thomas is 25-years-old. This is not a law, but a company policy, so there are times when those between the ages of 21 and 24 are able to talk their way into being allowed to rent a car, but these instances are rare and younger drivers will end up paying more. Assuming you are old enough to rent a car, you will then be required to provide proof that you can legally drive with a valid license from your country of origin, as well as a credit card with a balance of $200(USD) or more available so that the rental car agency is covered in the event you damage the car. The agency will run your card and hold that amount, then once you return the car safely they will remove the charge.

The Cost of Renting a Car

The cost of renting a vehicle on St. Thomas ranges from around $70 to $150(USD) a day. During the height of tourist season you'll see the prices spike, and of course you'll pay more for bigger vehicles and added amenities. Customers who rent their vehicle for a week or more will see a 15 percent discount on their bill, and those who rent a vehicle in the summer will typically save about $10(USD) a day.

Very rarely do rental car agencies offer small cars for rent. Jeeps, trucks, and sports utility vehicles are the norm here because of the road conditions. However, there are a few spots that have four passenger cars, such as the locally owned Discount Car Rental which has numerous locations throughout the island.

Gas Stations

Road conditions on St. Thomas vary greatly depending on where you are. In large tourist centers like Charlotte Amalie the roads are in relatively good condition, though they can be steep, slick, and narrow at times. More remote corners of St. Thomas are known for not having paved roads at all. Instead, you'll encounter dirt, mud, sand, and gravel paths leading you to a private beach, or an out-of-the-way inn. This is why so many rental car agencies only offer vehicles with four wheel drive and good suspension.

Aside from adjusting to road conditions, you'll also have to adapt the way you drive in general. Diving is done on the left side of the road, just like in Europe, but the steering wheel is located on the left side of the car, just like in the United States. This can be confusing for people coming from all around the world, but luckily, locals are used to slow and unsure drivers. Just take your time getting from place to place and ask for help when you need it. Always wear your seat belt when the vehicle is in motion, be on the lookout for pedestrians, and follow posted speed limits.

Since you could have problems finding gas stations, view the chart that follows for an idea where some can be found.

Gas Stations
Name Location
Giant Gas Charlotte Amalie
Puma Gas Bovoni 2.4 mi. (3.8 km) West of Red Hook
Puma Gas Tillett Anna's Retreat
Texaco Gas Station Anna's Retreat

The St. Thomas Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association has implemented a sign system known as “Tommy the Starfish Signs,” which uses color coded signs along roads to guide tourists to popular attractions. This chart lets you know which colors are tied to which destinations.

Tommy the Starfish Signs Route Color Guide
Orange Airport through Downtown Charlotte Amalie and Havensight Cruise Port to Red Hook
Red Four Corner's to Drake's Seat
Yellow Crown Bay Cruise Dock to Mafolie Hotel
Green Downtown Charlotte Amalie to Magens Bay
Blue Red Hook Ferry Terminal through Charlotte Amalie and Major Shopping Malls to North Shore

Coming in with a total area of 31.4 square miles, there are plenty of place to explore on the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Thomas. With the help of your trusted rental vehicle, you'll be able to get from place to place on your own schedule at all times, and visit as many sites as possible without overspending. Just keep local laws and road conditions in mind as you drive around, and your rental car experience on St. Thomas should be a good one.


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