St Thomas vs. St John car rental

Mar 18th, 2006, 04:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 87
St Thomas vs. St John car rental

My group, who will be travelling to St John in May, consists of 4 adults and 4 small children. We're trying to decide whether to rent a car on St Thomas and take the car ferry to St John or take the foot ferry and rent on St John. I thought it would be more convenient to rent on St Thomas so that we could just load up at the airport. However, the villa managing company seems to feel this would be a problem because there are 1 or 2 car ferries out of commission. Renting on St John seems much more expensive. Also, does anyone know if there's a vehicle that could accommodate all of us or will we require two cars? Thanks.
plumtree is offline  
Mar 19th, 2006, 04:27 AM
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This is a good question and comes up with some regularity on various St. John forums. I've read posts from people who have rented on St. Thomas and had no problems with the car ferry. Others feel that it's not worth the savings. Your villa company's advise adds another factor. I personally would only rent on St. John. We had a problem with a Jeep Liberty and had to turn it in to the rental company. Had we rented on St. Thomas, this would have been a major problem not to mention the lost beach time.

A Mitsubishi Montero will come close to accommodating everyone. Keep in mind that while on St. John everyone needs to agree on the activities. Also remember to allow room for luggage.
RobertoB is offline  
Mar 19th, 2006, 07:37 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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We went to St John last June.Our family of 6 rented a car on St John.It can be a little aggravating dragging the luggage around.

I would rent a car at the airport in St Thomas..IF you can get a rental that is in good condition.It would make your trip go smoother.

But then you might have a problem finding somewhere to park in Cruz Bay.(if you rent from someone on St john in Cruz can use there lot to park while in town.)

I think that a Montero would fit everyone but you probably would not have room for the luggage.

Your best bet is to rent 2 small cars which would be cheaper.

Just research a little more before you make your decision.

christiegr is offline  
Mar 19th, 2006, 05:54 PM
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We've always rented on STT and taken the car ferry==never a problem.
ezron is offline  
Mar 20th, 2006, 04:38 AM
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This is definitely an oft visited question and I would give RobertoB's thoughts serious consideration. If you have 4 small children in tow, depending upon how manageable they are, it may be fine to load everything onto a taxi to go to the ferry. With all of you and luggage, you'll pay more in taxi and passenger ferry fees than renting a car at the airport. But this may still be a better option considering managing all of those people and luggage and trying to find your way across the island by yourself for the first time may be a bit harrowing. With that many people, if you rent one car, it has to be a van or a large capacity SUV. If you want to rent in St. Thomas, I can report that I rented a Dodge Durango (3 rows of seats) from Budget and was entirely pleased. I've not rented a large vehicle in St. John before.
Tuxedocat is offline  
Mar 20th, 2006, 05:08 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 38
I have always rented on STJ and woulnd't want the concern of something happening to the vehicle if it were from STT. In response to your other issue of the ferry, I would look into reserving a private taxi and driver ahead of time on STT and also a private water taxi to STJ. I haven't done it, but I think it would work out well in your situation. I have heard many good things about Dohm's water taxi.
gofishtlp is offline  
Mar 20th, 2006, 05:50 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 49
Something you may want to keep in mind. If you rent the car on St. John, I do not think that you can ferry the car to St. Thomas. If you rent on st. Thomas you can ferry it back and forth if you wanted to. Just something to check before you go, depending on your itinerary of course. We rented on St. Thomas a few years back and had no problems.
bythecee521 is offline  
Mar 20th, 2006, 04:31 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 87
Thank you all for the very helpful, albeit somewhat conflictual information. Will have to research some more...
plumtree is offline  
Mar 30th, 2006, 07:58 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 6
Hi Plumtree
I live on St John and here is the run down. No you can't take a car from St John to St Thomas, presently you can take a car from st thomas to st john but the car companies are trying to fight this so depending on when you are coming this might change. Also driving on St thomas is a nightmare, we here on St John call it St Trauma just for this reason. Your rental company is right about some of them could be down which happens alot.Also The barges are often full and you could wait for ever to be able to get on one, it also gets ugly cause there is not much order to getting on these and the locals ( I know trust me) get mean cause we are trying to get back and forth for work and business and will fight with the tourists to hold our place on the boat. In my opinion there is no reason to be in St Thomas if you are on vacation other then shopping, and there is a boat from st john that goes straight there. Bottom line Absolutely Rent on St John.
Hope that helps
St John island Girl
stjislandgirl is offline  
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