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Top tips for hiring a car in St. Maarten
Although there is a bus service on the island, this is quite slow and irregular, meaning that driving is the best way to explore. To avoid high costs and dependence on taxis, most people are advised to rent a car on Sint Maarten. Popular places best accessed by rental car include Loterie Farm, the foodie destination Grand Case, and the Simpson Bay area.
If you choose to rent a car in Sint Maarten, you may find a compact car best suited for touring the island: roads can be very narrow and parking lots tight, particularly in the small town centers like Philipsburg. However, in the hillier areas of the island, drivers may be faced with very steep inclines; for a trip involving lots of terrain like this, a larger car with a manual transmission may be more suitable.
Children under the age of five must be placed in a suitable restraint system in the back seat of a car when traveling in Sint Maarten. Rental agencies are usually able to provide baby and child seats when booked in advance; for example, Avis charges 15 ANG (8 USD) per day for the service.
Drivers who rent a car in Sint Maarten may travel to the French side of the island, St. Martin, without any problem, but they should be aware that different road rules apply. Speed traps and police checks are far more common on the French side, speed limits are generally higher (up to 90 km/h [55 mph] on highways), and petrol prices are charged in euros. Driving is on the right side on both sides of the island.
FAQs about hiring a car in St. Maarten
On average a car hire in St. Maarten costs $112 per day.
Intermediate (Hyundai Accent or similar) is the most frequently booked car hire type in St. Maarten.
In the past 72 hours, the cheapest car hires were found at Final Rentals ($33/day), MEXRENTACAR ($52/day) and Autounion Car Rental ($68/day).
Based on ratings and reviews from real users on KAYAK, the best car hire company in St. Maarten is Ace (7.1, 100 reviews).
Most drivers accustomed to roads in Europe or North America will not have a problem negotiating Sint Maarten by car. Although roads can be narrow and unsigned, speed bumps are common, traffic is generally not congested, and drivers are courteous. It is important to note that traffic coming from the right has the right of way and that pedestrians always have the right of way when crossing the road, even when a car is exiting a roundabout.
To rent a car in Sint Maarten, drivers should be a minimum of 21 years old and hold a valid domestic driving license from their country of residence. An International Driver’s Permit (IDP) is also mandatory on the island, even though some agencies don’t ask for this. Some rental agencies, such as Alamo, require drivers to be 25 years old, while others, such as Europcar, charge a young driver’s fee of 18.75 ANG (10 USD) per day for drivers age 18 to 23.
Petrol stations are easy to find on Sint Maarten, which is not too large and has plenty of fueling opportunities, some of which are open 24h a day. Many stations have an attendant, and most stations allow payment with a credit card. Expect to pay around 1.9 ANG (1.00 USD) for a liter of petrol and 1.7 ANG (0.9 USD) for a liter of diesel. Per gallon, this is 3.79 USD for regular petrol and 3.40 USD for diesel.
Speed limits are quite simple in Sint Maarten, with a general limit of 40 km/h (24 mph) in urban areas and 60 km/h (37 mph) in rural areas. Highways have a limit of 80 km/h (50 mph), although these are very short stretches of road, so in practice, such speeds are rarely reached.
The rates displayed include all taxes and fees for hire cars for the class listed and were found by KAYAK users in the last 24 hours. Offers are subject to change and may not be available on all car hires listed or dates of travel. Some hire car providers charge additional fees for other services (GPS, infant car seats, etc.). Please check the website of the respective hire car provider.