To rent or not rent a car?

Old Jan 17th, 2006, 01:35 PM
  #1  
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To rent or not rent a car?

Hello,

I am attempting to plan ahead for a Feb. 2007 trip to St. Lucia for my husband and myself. On our trips, we typically rent a car and drive everywhere ourselves, but we are not sure if it would be best to arrange for transportation because we have read varying accounts about the roads. Here is our tentative itinerary:

4 nights at Ti Kaye Resort
3 nights at Stonefield Estate Resort

We have no preference for which resort we stay at first (we have not made hotel reservations yet) and we would like to try and save some $$ by driving ourselves to the resorts (instead of paying for transfers from the airport and from one resort to another) and by taking our own trips instead of organized resort tours.

Thank you all for your help!!

Melissa
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Old Jan 24th, 2006, 04:27 AM
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Still hoping to get a response...
danandmelissa is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2006, 05:21 AM
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We have rented cars twice in St. Lucia and loved it. Lots of windy roads and potholes, but the freedom of going when and where you want trumps the road conditions for us. Besides, my husband loves driving those crazy island roads. Do not pick up hitchhikers in St. Lucia - we did, as we usually do in the Caribbean (how can one resist helping somebody carrying a load uphill?). The man demanded money from us for his "tour" - it was never dangerous, just annoying.
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Old Jan 24th, 2006, 05:29 AM
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Hi Joan,

Thanks for the response!! How are the prices for car rentals--are there any rental agencies you would recommend?

If we go to Ti Kaye first, we are thinking about getting a transfer to the resort then arranging for a rental car to be brought to the resort and driving to Stonefield. It seems like we will be doing more sightseeing in the area of the Pitons, so having the car for the second half of the trip might be better?

Thanks for your help!!

Melissa
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Old Jan 24th, 2006, 10:58 AM
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Melissa, we rented a villa (it was also a few years ago) and the mgmt agency booked the car. I would expect it to cost about $50 per day, though. Renting a car in the Caribbean is very expensive, but if you consider what it must be like to get car parts, etc - probably $50 is reasonable! I also think you're right - you'll appreciate a car more with Stonefield. Just to get to a beach from there will probably require a vehicle (I think I heard there's a rugged path - after once tho I'd drive!)
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Old Jan 24th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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Melissa,

We stayed at the Pitons and took a guided tour instead of renting a car. The roads were very bad and the area was not as nice as we have found on other islands where we have rented. At the end of the day, I was glad we had opted for the guide. Good luck.
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Old Jan 25th, 2006, 04:02 AM
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Thanks again for the replies!!

Does anyone know if there is a high demand for rental cars in St. Lucia? We are thinking that maybe we can get a transfer to Ti Kaye and then decide either if we want to rent a car and drive to Stonefield or if we want to arrange another transfer then rent a car for a day or two while we are at Stonefield. Obviously this would be a problem if there are not too many cars for rent because then we need to decide ahead of time.

We have done some "adventurous" driving in Costa Rica and do like the freedom of having a car, but maybe just a rental for a day or two is a better option? Thanks again for your help.

Melissa
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Old Jan 26th, 2006, 04:16 PM
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MY HUSBAND AND I RENTED A CAR. WE DID NOT HAVE ANY PROBLEMS. IT DOES REQUIRE MORE TIME WHEN DRIVING ON THE ISLAND DUE TO ROADS BEING WINDY AND CLIMBING MOUNTAINS. BETTER THAN CATHCING THEIR "BUS SYSTEM."
IF YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN THERE BEFORE I WOULD NOT ADVISE DRIVING AT NIGHT.
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Old Feb 4th, 2006, 03:40 PM
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If you'd like, you can get an all-inclusive guided tour to climb Gros Piton. They'll bring you to the trailhead by boat from Ti Kaye, will guide you up the mountain and serve lunch thereafter. The hike is strenuous, so you must be experienced hikers. I believe the whole package is around $95 per person.
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Old Feb 25th, 2006, 03:19 PM
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We just returned from St Lucia and had no problems with driving around the island. We were there for 5 days and drove everywhere, as we stayed on the eastern side of the island. I just had to get used to driving on the left of the road and the way they drive (they will pass anyone on a whim, regardless of conditions!).

Stay away from Cool Breeze if you can help it. The brakes went out on the vehicle I had while driving the island. They gave me another vehicle, but I had to get the jeep back on my own accord. I did get a new one at a reduced rate, but a brakeless vehicle is not something I would recommend on the island!
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Old Feb 26th, 2006, 05:06 AM
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My husband is a car fanatic but he found the driving on St. Lucia exhausting. You have to be careful driving through Soufriere because you will be harassed for money, and because the streets are narrow and jog, you can't just barrel through. We rented from Cool Breezes and found them to be great. We drove from the Hilton to Pigeon Island and we are glad we did but it was an adventure and we ended up turning the car in early.
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