It seems that all Cruz Bay places rent are 4X4's. Is this true?
As far as I know, that is correct. When you get there you will know why.
I do not know of any STJ agencies that rent cars. Locals get around in them just fine but the agencies probably don't want the headache of replacing all the bits and pieces that the tourists would knock off!
We're meeting up with family, and they are renting a car in St. Thomas, as they have done in the past. For us, this will be our first time driving on St. John, so I'm considering a 4X4, even though it's almost twice the price. Is it worth it?
I am the type that likes to avoid potential hassles so yes, I say it is worth it. A couple of things to consider -
Where are you staying? Some villas have more challenging access than others. Runted and/or steep dirt driveways might be a problem in a car.
What is your comfort level with "different" driving? If at all concerned, don't rent a car, get an SUV. It isn't so much the 4WD, it is the clearance. Unpaved parking lots and driveways tend to have deep holes and gulleys, you will bottom out in a car.
Car vs. SUV aside, this thread outlines some potential STT rental hassles -
Keep in mind, if something happens on STJ (flat tire, breakdown, lost keys) you are own your own and will need to make arrangements (at your cost) to correct or get the car back to STT.
My husband is comfortable driving, so that's not an issue. The villa owner says it is accessible by car; it's about 1 mi from the Cruz Bay ferry. Since we have 3 long flights to get to St. Thomas and arrive at 11 p.m. (and back home), we are spending the first and last nights in St. Thomas (Galleon Bay hotel). If we rent in St. John, I wonder how much cab fare will cost for us getting from the airport to hotel, hotel to ferry, and the other way around. We'll have a fair bit of luggage as well.
If you have never driven on STJ I suggest that you get a 4wd. The roads to some beaches are dirt and if there have been heavy rains, you may have issues with a car.
Check with whatever rental car company you are considering on STT, some only allow 4WD vehicles to go over to STJ.
What a PP said is correct, if you get a flat or have car trouble, you are on your own if you rent on STT and depending on what time of year it is, having a Cruz Bay Rental Car company with parking will save you time (and money) trying to find a place to park.
I recommend that the driver go to www.on-stjohn.com Do a search on Jeep Cam and watch all of the North Shore videos. Then let the driver decide their comfort level. This is the best one to start with
I would check with the STT car rental company to see if they will allow the car to go to STJ first. The company we rent from on STT specified to us we must have 4WD.
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