Best Car Rental in St. John: Our Experience with Amalie Car Rental
Unless you are just staying in Cruz Bay and taking the occasional taxi to one of the North Shore Beaches, you are going to need a car! St. John is gorgeous and all of its nooks and crannies are begging to be explored. It’s the ultimate DIY island! The best car rental in St. John is Amalie Car Rental. Here was our experience, so you can decide if you agree.
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Two Options for Car Rental in St. John
Car ferry from St. Thomas to St. John USVI
OPTION #1: PICK UP CAR IN ST. JOHN
Option #1: Take the passenger ferry from St. Thomas to St. John and pick up a car rental once in St John.
If you were not aware this is how you get to St. John, do not miss my article below which details the 4 means of transportation to St. John.
OPTION #2: PICK UP CAR IN ST. THOMAS + CAR FERRY
Option #2: Rent a car in St. Thomas and take the car ferry to St John. I believe all car rental companies except Hertz will allow you to take their vehicle to St. John. Always confirm first.
We chose this option and booked a Jeep through Amy (the owner) at Amalie Car Rental in St. Thomas.
We absolutely loved this company!
They are locally owned and have been around since 1999, so they are obviously doing something right.
Our Jeep was brand new and in excellent condition. We reserved a 2-door Jeep but were upgraded to a 4-door.
In hindsight though, I would have preferred to stick to a 2-door only because it’s smaller and easier to navigate. We did have more room though!
The cost was $785/week + tax for a 2-door 4×4 automatic (with AC!) Jeep Wrangler.
No hidden fees. No extra charge for an additional driver.
Talk about white-glove service! Amalie Car Rental truly spoiled us. As soon as we picked up our luggage at baggage claim, they were waiting for us curbside with a greeter sign.
They drove us a few minutes down the road to our Jeep. We were pulling away in minutes.
It was a 30-minute drive to the car ferry in Red Hook, St. Thomas. As soon as we get off the ferry at St. John, we were ready to go and explore.
The return process was just as easy.
On the day we returned the vehicle, we received a text asking us what time to meet at the airport. As soon as we pulled up the vehicle to the ticketing counter, a friendly representative was waiting for us.
Absolutely seamless service!
Car vs. SUV: Does It Matter?
Yes, it does. Two points to consider.
#1- LOTS OF HILLS
Driving a Jeep on the steep hills in Coral Bay, St. John
St. John has A LOT of hills to navigate. If you choose to stay in Coral Bay (like we did), you may have to drive up multiple steep turns to get to your villa rental high up in the hills.
I highly advise renting a Jeep.
Our St. John villa in Coral Bay, St John. Lots of steep hills to navigate. Rent a Jeep!
By the way, if you are still trying to figure out the best places to stay in St. John, do not miss my curated list of all the best neighborhoods and vacation rentals below.
#2- OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Driving in a Jeep to Little Lameshur Bay in St. John USVI
Also, if you have an adventurous spirit and like to explore places off-the-beaten-path (such as the amazing snorkeling at Little Lameshur or Grootpan), you will need a vehicle with high clearance to navigate the bumpy, pot-holed roads.
However, if you are staying in Cruz Bay and mainly sticking to North Shore beaches, a car would suffice.
Remember, drive on the left! The car rental will even have a big sticker that states “Keep Left” as a reminder.
St. John Car Rental Tips
Our Jeep at the Haulover Bay North parking in St. John
I would highly suggest getting a car rental with a backup camera.
It is super helpful when you are trying to reverse your car onto the car ferry or backing up on a steep hill from your vacation rental.
Download an offline map of St. John USVI before you arrive.
Cell service can be spotty depending on where you are on the island.
We loved having a Jeep to navigate the hilly terrain of the beautiful island of St. John. Without hesitation, I wholeheartedly recommend Amalie Car Rental. They really treat you like VIPs and make the whole car rental process seamless! Book them. You won’t be disappointed.
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Questions about our car rental experience?
Let me know in the comments below!