St. Lucia Car Rental? Should we?

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#1
136 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
We will be in St Lucia on RC next month. None of the excursions look that appealing, and from what I've read, not much scenery around the port. Is this an island to explore by rental car? We've rented on other islands, all with great success. Are there rentals near the port? Thanks!
#2
Canada
18,889 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by davela2
Is this an island to explore by rental car? We've rented on other islands, all with great success. Are there rentals near the port? Thanks!
If you rent from Drive-A-Matic St. Lucia, they will bring the car to the pier for you. We just did this about 7 weeks ago. Having said that, my husband knows how to drive there since he was raised there and learned to drive there. They drive on the opposite side of the road to North America, and it can be very harrowing, to be honest. I trust him completely but even he was a bit nervous this time.

Oh - he just called from the other room - "I wouldn't recommend anyone rent a car in St. Lucia!" (I had asked the name of the firm we used). To be honest - I agree. (with apologies to the few locals who post here - it's just a bit harrowing when you are not used to driving in St. Lucia)

Cabs and private tours are plentiful. I would take a tour to the beach or one of the island sights. The downtown area is not conducive to shopping, per sé. There is good shopping at the pier. Excellent and inexpensive rum at The Rum Shoppe at Port Seraphine.
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#3
St. Lucia, West Indies
3,440 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
There are numerous threads here regarding renting a vehicle for the day. In general, not recommended. The roads are narrow, winding and not well marked - it's simply not conducive to a relaxing day seeing the sights..given the long distances involved also, it makes for a more stressful day overall.
Better, really, to either hire a private driver to customize your sightseeing Sony can sit back and relax and take it in while making optimal time (and perhaps enjoying a beverage) or join a tour group.
If renting a car is non-negotiable, Drive-A-matic, Hertz, Cool Breeze, and so on will all bring a car to the port and meet.you. In practice, you'll need a temporary St Lucia driving license which they can provide ($25us or so), plus rental cost. Sometimes the rental companies don't enforce this requirement, but it is the law here...
Good luck and enjoy your visit.
#4
Canada
18,889 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
^ Agreed with reedprincess. In retrospect, our 6 hour car rental cost us almost $200 USD with the temporary permit, gas charges, etc. Like I said, DH is from St. Lucia and knew where he was going; we visited family and had lunch with them, paid our respects in the cemetary where his parents rest, saw all his old haunts - Ferrands Dairy where he used to work, schools, The Morne, beaches, etc., and swam for a while at Vigie Beach (much less crowded that Reduit Beach but not quite as pretty). We had a great day! But yeah... renting a car can be frantic and nerve-wracking.
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~Karen (and sometimes Perry)

*I have fallen ill, so sadly, no more cruises.*

Already Cruised - listed not to brag, but so you can ask me a question if you'd like:
*RCI - B2B Arctic Circle/Baltic, May 2017 - nope - cancelled AGAIN. Cancer sucks.
*RCI - Serenade Jan 2016 S. Caribbean - nope - cancelled AGAIN.
RCI - Serenade Nov 2015 S. Caribbean
Celebrity - Solstice May 2015 Alaska
RCI - Explorer Nov 2014 Repo/S. Caribbean - 40 ft. rogue wave, lifeboat damage

Princess - Grand Princess May 2014 Pacific Coastal
RCI - Serenade March 2014 - B2B W. Caribbean
RCI - Serenade Feb 2014 - Bahamas - yes, a celebration cruise indeed!
*RCI Scandinavia 2013 - nope - cancelled due to my illness. ~ Maybe next year, God willing.
RCI - Jewel Nov 2012 - B2B Mexico
RCI - Jewel Repo Oct/Nov 2012 Boston to Tampa - Hurricane Sandy
RCI - Brilliance June/July 2011 Mediterranean
RCI - Mariner Oct/Nov 2010 Mexico
RCI - Oasis May 2010 E. Caribbean - 4 adults in one cabin; we did it!
Princess - Emerald Princess April 2009 E. Caribbean
RCI - Explorer Sept/Oct 2008 - 25th anniversary! Canada - Hurricane Kyle
RCI - Liberty August 2007 E.Caribbean - Hurricane Dean - 4 adults in one cabin; we did it!
RCI - Explorer April 2006 E.Caribbean
RCI - Vision Aug 2003 Alaska
HAL - Rotterdam - last leg of her final world cruise ever April 1995 Pacific Northwest
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#5
136 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
We did end up renting a car. It took a little getting used to, not so much the driving on the left, but more so with the steering wheel on the right. But it was great to get out and explore the island on our own. The roads are in ok condition. Actually better than in Michigan, albeit a bit narrow around some of the curvy mountain roads. We didn't spend any time in Castries, so traffic really wasn't an issue. Don't bother with Sixt rental car. I had a reservation with them, and even called them the morning of the day we were in port, to make sure they would meet us at the port. They never showed up. We ended up renting with national, which was right at the port. The car was very old, but it was a four-wheel-drive for $80, plus the $22 international driver license fee. Spent another $15 or so in gas. All in all a really good deal for about six hours of use.
#6
Leesburg, Florida
3,531 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Looking for car rental from the pier ourselves. We stayed OI (on island) a few years ago.
I would have to disagree. If you're a good driver St Lucia is no problem. Yes do your research about the roads. Yes some were challenging such as maneuvering through Soufriere and the long one way through Anse La Raye. But overall it's fun.
GET OUT THERE!!
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#7
Malvern, Pa
60 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
In January, we rented from Guy's Car Rental at the cruise terminal. Our cost was $180 total including gas. It would have been less but all they had left was a pickup. I thought the roads in St. Lucia were fairly good. They were better than what we had when we lived in Scranton, PA. Some were winding and when you got into the smaller towns the roads were very narrow. They were also poorly labeled, but it was easy enough to navigate. I enjoyed driving on the island so I'm surprised that some posters would recommend against it. We visited the Sulpher Springs (drive through volcano), a water fall, and a hot spring near Soufriere.
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#8
Cumming, Georgia & Fort Lauderdale, Florida
330 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
We rent a car every time & go to Soufriere & Jalousie Beach. a beautiful drive. An easier drive than driving in Atlanta traffic and drivers are more polite!
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