Car Rental in St Barts – Insiders’ Tips
There are several rental car companies on the island and you can either pick up your vehicle at the airport, seaport or have it delivered right to your villa.
To best explore and experience all that St. Barts has to offer, you will want to rent a car. There is no public transportation on the island, no Uber or Lyft drivers, and very few taxis.
With one call or email to WIMCO’s concierge department, you can access availability for all local rental car agencies, so there is no need for you to shop around. We offer the best price guarantee on car rental rates in St Barts.
Your WIMCO representative can help you choose a vehicle, reserve it and arrange a pickup or delivery time.
Available Cars to Rent in St Barts
The inventory of cars on St Barts is constantly changing. We recommend making arrangements for your car as soon as you reserve your villa.
Our friendly staff at WIMCO can handle this for you. Just tell us what type of vehicle you'd prefer and whether you want to pick it up at the airport, ferry dock, or have it delivered to your villa.
The Most Popular Cars to Rent in St Barts
There are many fun and practical cars to choose from on St Barts. Most rental cars are small, though, better for navigating the narrow roads, and for finding parking. The average SUV looks very out of place on St Barths.
Available vehicles range from Jeep Wranglers to the trendy Mini Cooper to the sleek BMW Series 2 Convertible to the iconic Mini Moke. Mini Coopers are also widely available.
Because St Barts is so mountainous, with many steep roads, all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicles, such as the Jeep Wrangler, Mini Moke or Suzuki Jimny are good choices. They are small, sturdy, and have the ground clearance necessary to not get in trouble on the island's steep roads.
Here we listed some of the best cars in St Barts based on your preference:
Best for Couples
JEEP WRANGLER 3 doors, 4X4
BMW SERIES 2 Convertible
Best for Small Families
SUZUKI VITARA 4X4
MINI COOPER COUNTRYMAN
LAND ROVER DISCOVERY
HONDA XN-V Electric
Best for Big Families or Large Groups
Best for Adventurers
JEEP WRANGLER 5 doors, 4X4
JEEP WRANGLER 3 doors, 4X4
SUZUKI VITARA 4X4
MINI COOPER COUNTRYMAN
BMW SERIES 2
Important Things to Know Before Renting a Car in St Barts
To ensure that your car rental experience goes smoothly while you are on St Barts, we've put together a few tips.
Your driver's license is all you need to drive legally on St Barts.
Renting a vehicle from a local company (rather than a franchise of a national company) will help you ensure that the type of vehicle you want will be available when you arrive on St Barts.
We advise against using travel product aggregators like Kayak or Expedia, since they generally do not have contracts with local companies, so you may not get the car you “reserve.”
We can’t stress enough that it is crucial to reserve your car rental well before your arrival. This is especially true for the holiday season.
Unlike many other parts of the world, a seven-day rental is required on St Barts to qualify for a weekly rate.
During the holiday season, from December 15 through January 7, there is a 10-day minimum rental period for car rentals.
Also, during this holiday period, car rental companies may charge a penalty for late cancellations. This is usually defined as a 30% penalty for cancellation between 15 and 30 days prior to arrival and 100% penalty for cancellation within 15 days of arrival.
Wearing seatbelts is required on St Barts.
The speed limit on island roads is 50 kph (about 30 mph).
Vehicles travel on the right side of the road on St Barts (just like in the US, Canada or France).
It's important to watch your fuel gauge while you're on St Barts. There are only two gas stations on the island--one in L'Orient and one at the airport. Neither is open on Sunday.
Gas pumps on St Barts do not accept US or Canadian (non-EEC) credit cards. You'll have to go inside and pay for your fuel with cash.
What Kind of Cars Can You Rent on St Barts?
Cars are different on St Barts from what you'll find in most other parts of North America. They are smaller, which is ideal for navigating the narrower, winding mountain roads.
Cars that are commonly available to rent on St Barts include...
A few of the rental car companies on St Barts keep a handful of "special" (luxury) cars in their inventory. These are often not listed and must be requested well in advance. These special cars are rarely available during peak season.
About the Mini Moke and St Barts
One vehicle closely associated with the island of St Barts is the Mini Moke. Designed in the early 1960s by Sir Alec Issigonis, the father of the Austin Mini.
The Mini Moke quickly gained cult status in St Barts and the French Riviera. James Bond and Brigitte Bardot were both early converts, and David Letterman helped spread its popularity on St Barts.
The Moke brand was popular in St Barts in the ‘80s and ‘90s then faded away. In 2018 Moke International relaunched the Moke brand with a redesign and re-engineering led by British designer Michael Young. The new 21st century Moke remains faithful to its origins and classic look, while offering features that today’s drivers will appreciate.
The Moke is an open-sided mini Jeep-like vehicle. Its small size and generous ground clearance are ideal for navigating the narrow streets of Gustavia, and the steep mountain roads of St Barts.
St Barts Rental Companies — The Inside Scoop
There are several car rental agencies on St Barts. These include...
Local Car rental companies
International Car Rental Franchises
Several of these St Barts car rental companies have a desk at the airport. Others have an office nearby and will meet you at the airport. WIMCO has good working relationships with all local rental car companies and offers a best price match guarantee , so with one call you can access the inventory of all rental car companies on St Barts .
Rental Car, Taxi and Car Service: Which is Best on St Barts?
Can I rent an automatic car on St Barts?
Yes, most vehicles for rent on St Barts have automatic transmissions. For those of you who prefer stick shifts, you can request one. Make sure to note your preference for an automatic or manual transmission when you make your rental car reservation. Or, let your WIMCO concierge know your preference when you make your villa reservation, and they will take care of it.
Can the rental car be delivered to my villa on arrival day?
Yes, all the rental car companies on St Barts are happy to deliver your vehicle to your villa on the day you arrive. That said, we recommend that you get in your rental car and follow your WIMCO concierge up to the villa on your arrival day. WIMCO’s concierge will escort you up to the villa, so that you don’t have to memorize the route on your own.
Connectivity can be tricky in some part of St Barts, so using GPS address to get up to your villa may not work. Even more interesting, most roads in St Barts do not have street signs or house numbers, so having someone guide you up to your villa the first time is a big help!
Can my rental car be waiting for me at the dock if I come in by ferry, boat, or yacht?
Yes, if you choose to arrive on St Barts via ferry, arrangements can be made to have your rental car waiting for you at the dock in Gustavia when you arrive on the island.
The WIMCO Villas Advantage
WIMCO has nearly 40 years of experience in setting up all aspects of a memorable St Barts vacation. We can help you with much more than just reserving a car for you and matching you up with the perfect villa.
When you reach out to WIMCO you will get access to all local rental cars in St Barts so you can save time and money because we will find the right car for you, and we offer a best price guarantee on car rental rates.
When you arrive in St Barts, a member of our concierge team will meet you at the airport and walk you over to the car rental desk, assist with the rental paperwork, then load your luggage into the rental car. We can also arrange delivery of your vehicle to the ferry dock or your villa or hotel.
Want to book your car and villa or hotel in St Barts through a trusted local expert?
WIMCO has a villa rental and concierge services office located directly across the St Barts airport arrivals gate - ideally positioned to serve you.
Feel free to contact us at your convenience to inquire about rental cars and luxury villa or five star hotel accommodations.