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.
On St. Thomas you'll find a wide selection of both big name rental car agencies such as Amalie Car Rental. They exist mainly in and around the , 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.and as well as a few local establishments like
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.
Check out the following table for many of the rental agencies serving St. Thomas.
|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 Havensight||(340) 777-8888||Havensight Mall - Charlotte Amalie|
|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|
|Avis Rent A Car- Frenchman's Reef||(340) 776-8500||Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort - The vicinity 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|
|(340) 779-2211||East End|
|(340) 775-7376||Sub Base - The vicinity of Charlotte Amalie|
|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|
|(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|
|(340) 777-9177||8102 Lindbergh Bay - 2.4 mi. (3.9 km) West of Charlotte Amalie|
|Thrifty Cyril E King||(340) 776-1500||Cyril E King Airport - 2.9 mi. (4.7 km) West of 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 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.
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 potentially encounter issues locating places to refuel, view the chart just below to get an idea where some can be found.
|2.4 mi. (3.8 km) West of Red Hook|
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.
|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|
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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