Should You Rent A Car In St Lucia?

We were able to make our own schedule, visit any and every place we could find, and saved a bunch of cash in comparison to other methods.

The beautiful island of St Lucia is known as a honeymoon destination, perfect for relaxing and unwinding on the beach, in the pool or by the bar. However, the unbelievably lush mountainous landscapes make it ideal for adventurers too.

For those of you looking to get out and explore St Lucia waterfalls, beaches, fishing villages, hikes, and more, you’re probably wondering how to get around. There’s the option of taxi tours and boat trips, but we opted for the freedom of renting a car. We were able to make our own schedule, visit any and every place we could find, and saved a bunch of cash in comparison to other methods.

Is it safe to drive in St Lucia?

Driving in St Lucia is perfectly safe. You can expect to find quite a bit of traffic around Rodney Bay and Castries, but it’s nothing too dissimilar to the traffic you’ll find at home. Other than that, we found little difficulty. For some reason, you’ll read other blogs and posts on forums telling you how hard it is, which is quite bemusing because we found the opposite. 

The roads are winding, journeys will take you longer than expected, and there are potholes to navigate. However, we found other drivers are courteous and respectful of other road users and the roads in populated areas are relatively well-maintained.

Is it hard to get around St Lucia?

Saint Lucia is very easy to get around with a car. Roads are easy to navigate, especially with GPS, Google Maps or Apple Maps. Essentially, two main roads take you around the entirety of the island, with lesser roads taking you inland to other towns and villages.

Honestly, we don’t know how we would have managed without a car. We spent a total of 6 weeks in St Lucia, and for the 2 weeks we didn’t have a car we struggled with the lack of public transport, finding it difficult to get anywhere outside of our accommodation. There is no clear bus schedule, nor are there bus stops which makes it difficult to plan anything, and taxis are expensive.

In terms of where things are located around the island, if you’re looking for waterfalls, natural beauty, and outdoor adventure, then you’ll need to head towards Sourfiere on the South West Coast. And, if you’re seeking bars, restaurants and shopping, then Rodney Bay on the North West Coast is the place to go. However, it takes around a 1hr 30min drive between the two, and it’s a similar time from Rodney Bay to the international airport in Vieux Fort. As mentioned, you’ll have little difficulty navigating these routes as they are all on one road.

Do you need 4×4 in St Lucia?

No, you don’t need a 4×4 in St Lucia, but it would be beneficial in some places. We survived without a 4×4 vehicle and didn’t miss any places we wanted to visit! However, there we some roads we had to avoid or places we had to park up and walk the final part of a journey because the roads were impassable with a two-wheel drive. However, this didn’t impede our experience whatsoever and probably saved us a few pennies.

The vast majority of the roads are well-kept. What we believe people worry about is that the roads are windy, which is true, but this just means there is a lot of back and forth, rather than steep or impassable.

View of Petit Piton from a bumpy – but still passable with a two-wheel drive – road to Anse Chastanet Beach

How much does it cost to rent a car in St Lucia?

As with anywhere in the world, prices vary depending on the type of car and the company you rent from. Expect to pay more at the airport and with big named brands such as Sixt or Drive-A-Matic. However, there many locally owned businesses with great rates. We used a company called Reasonable Ride Rentals and paid $150 ECD per day (around £45/$55 USD). They were incredibly responsive, delivered and collected the vehicle free of charge, and we’d highly recommend them.

Do I need a driving permit to drive in St Lucia?

Yes, you do. Any foreigner coming to St Lucia will need to purchase a local driving permit at the cost of $21 US – this is valid for 3 months. However, if you have an international driving permit, you won’t have to pay this.

We’re unfamiliar with the process for other countries, but if you’re from the U.K, head to your local Post Office and ask for a 1949 IDP. This costs just £5.50 and is valid for 12 months. Better yet, if you’re a frequent traveller, it can be used in many countries across the world. This will save you a lot of money on your travels!

Is it worth hiring a car in St Lucia?

Yes, yes, yes! Unless you want to stay in your resort/accommodation for the entirety of your visit, then no matter where you’re staying in St Lucia, you’ll want to get out and explore other parts of the island. Our Saint Lucia adventure wouldn’t have been as magical without a vehicle to discover all corners of the island. We hiked deserted coastlines and explored hidden beaches, less-visited waterfalls, small fishing villages, rum shops, and much more. Hiring a car in St Lucia meant we could tick off multiple things in one day and run on our own schedule.

‘Soufriere Viewpoint’ as seen from the road, Soufriere

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe for exclusive content, an insider scoop on our daily travels and to hear first-hand when a new blog has been posted! If you have any questions or if I can help you in any way, please drop me a message or DM me on Instagram.

@laaurenjade x

2 responses to “Should You Rent A Car In St Lucia?”

  1. Thank you! This post was really helpful! I’m heading to St. Lucia in November! Can’t wait to explore this beautiful and romantic island!

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    • You’re so welcome! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, hope you have a wonderful time! And don’t forget to have a look at my Instagram where you’ll find lots of recommendations, hidden gems and hotspots! Enjoy the beautiful island!

      Like

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