When it comes to escaping the stresses of life, a location as idyllic and relaxing as the windswept island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands is an obvious choice for many. Those travelling here by plane will arrive at Cyril E. King airport, located on the west side of the island, two miles away from central Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas’s largest city and a major cruise ship port.
ST Thomas Airport (Photo: Dave Herholz via Flickr)
Dotted all around the airport you’ll find several number car rental agencies. These aren’t as abundant as at, say, JFK International airport, but for island cruising, these options get the job done. We’ve analysed the best according to a number of factors, including pricing and range of vehicles, to come up with our top three.
That’s right, two separate companies – Thrifty and Dollar – have merged into one enterprise on the island of St. Thomas. This is good news for customers, who now have even more options for budget rentals. Those who select Thrifty/Dollar can choose from a number of vehicles, with everything from compact sedans to intermediate SUVs on offer. A compact vehicle, for example, can be had for just €40 per day, before taxes and fees. And on St. Thomas, the extra fees are significantly less than on the mainland of America. For example, while you can be looking at paying close to $20 in taxes stateside, on the island you’re looking at just $7.50 in recovery fees and taxes. So you can cruise around the island, happy in the knowledge that you won’t break the bank.
It’s slim pickings in St. Thomas when it comes to luxury vehicles. Most of the rental agencies here offer functional vehicles geared towards larger groups. That’s basically what you’ll find with Budget, but they do offer a few more options for classy, full-size SUVs. These include such options as Dodge Durangos, Toyota Highlanders and Ford Explorers, each equipped with four-wheel-drive to help you navigate the island terrain. And these vehicles won’t hurt your pocket too badly, either. Customers can pick up one of these SUVs starting at just $119.99 per day, before taxes and fees. And we’ve already covered how inexpensive St. Thomas’ taxes and fees are compared with those on the mainland.
Many car rental agencies on the island offer family friendly vehicles, but not many of them have extensive options. First Rent a Car probably has the biggest selection of vehicles ideal for families. These include full-size sedans big enough for five, intermediate SUVs, four-door Jeep Wranglers, and even Dodge Caravan minivans that can fit a brood as large as seven. The minivans and some Jeeps even come with safety rear door locks and air bags. Customers can also choose from a number of add-ons such as car seats. Those who want to drop off their vehicle quickly and easily can do so at the car rental office, which also offers a complimentary pick-up/drop-off service to customers. All of these bonuses are further enhanced by the company’s glowing customer reviews. They have a lot of repeat renters, many of whom rave about the friendly customer service that they experienced.