We encourage you to rent your car soon so that you have your choice of vehicles. While 4-wheel drive is not necessary to reach any of our homes or to go to most of the beaches, it is the most popular.
You can rent a car on either St. Thomas or St. John. If you rent on St Thomas you pick up your car at the airport or nearby, load your luggage, drive about 30 minutes to Red Hook, take the 30 minute car barge ride to St John and drive directly to your villa, where we will meet you.
To rent on St John, you taxi from the airport to Red Hook, take the 20 minute ferry to St John, collect your luggage and rent your car there.
Renting on St Thomas offers the ease of handling luggage just once and less exposure to other people in a taxi or ferry. We now have three barge companies so there is a boat almost every half hour. However, if one or more of the car barges is out of service, which does happen, you may have a longer wait for the next barge.
St. John Car Rentals in Cruz Bay
The car companies on St. John are small and independently owned with a limited number of vehicles, each business with different hours and policies. Choose a company that is a short walk from the ferry dock or one that will meet you at the dock and drive you to their office. If you are walking, you may wish to leave one person with the luggage at the dock, while another person checks out the vehicle, and then circles back to pick up the person and luggage. Here is a list of a few of the rental companies that have worked well for our guests.
Will you meet me at the dock, or are you a short walk from the ferry?
What arrangements can we make if my flight is delayed or I arrive late?
Do you offer free in-town parking to your customers?
Here are the schedules for ferries to St John and a good overview map. john/
Renting a Vehicle on St. Thomas
The last barge from St Thomas to St John runs at 7 pm. Allow 2 hours to get your luggage, pick up your car and drive to Red Hook and wait in line. Ideally you will catch a much earlier barge.
On your departure day, allow for at least 2 hours for the barge trip, drive to the airport and dropping off your car. The first barge is at 7:30 (or 6am and 6:15am on weekdays). However, choosing an afternoon flight will make for a more relaxing departure. Be sure to check out this schedule in making your plans:
St Thomas Based Agencies:
Budget (340) 776-5774
Avis (340) 774-1468
Amalie Car Rental (340) 774-0688
Questions to ask before you reserve (especially if you choose another agency):
Is the vehicle allowed to go to St. John?
Will there be insurance coverage on St. John and the barge?
If I have car troubles on St. John, will you provide service to the vehicle there? Will there be an additional service charge? What are the costs if I do not accept your coverage?
Will you meet us at the airport?
What arrangements can we make if my flight is delayed?
Once you have arrived at the Red Hook dock, the car barges are located to the left of the dock parking lot. As you pull into the parking lot, there is a booth that requires a $3.00-$4.00 port fee. Barges generally leave on the hour and the half-hour up through 7:00pm. You can either purchase a roundtrip ticket for $50.00 per vehicle or a one-way ticket for $30.00- $35.00. There are now three different barge companies, each with a different schedule. A one way ticket will give you the flexibility of taking the barge on your return leg that best suits your time schedule for airport departure. Or, for your return trip you may be able to make a reservation (if it's done 3 days in advance and paid by credit card). For more information and the ferry schedule, please visit this page:
Before you rent a vehicle, you may want to find out the coverage provided by your home auto insurance policy and your credit card if used to rent a vehicle in the Virgin Islands. Some rental companies require you to have a copy of your credit card coverage if you choose not to purchase their insurance.
Note: This information is a general guide only. We do not guarantee its accuracy as things change all the time. We welcome your feedback as additions or corrections.