Can you rent a car in Frederiksted? Should you rent a car for a day while visiting on a cruise? Where are the best places to stop on a one-day St. Croix road trip?
These are the questions my husband and I were asking when we were trying to plan our day in Frederiksted during our recent Virgin Voyages cruise.
Although Budget Car Rental allowed us to reserve a car to be picked up in Frederiksted, we couldn’t find any information online about Budget’s Frederiksted location, and the address sent to us after booking didn’t show up on Google Maps.
Despite our concerns, we followed the brief instructions given to us by Budget and were successfully able to explore the island via car for a day. But there is so much I wish we had known about renting a car and driving in St. Croix before that day.
This is the Frederiksted guide that I wish I had before my first time renting and driving a car in St. Croix. Keep reading to learn what I wish I knew, plus step-by-step instructions for reserving and picking up your rental in downtown Frederiksted, USVI.
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How to Reserve & Pickup a Car Rental: Frederiksted, St. Croix
Before we dive into the full guide, I’ll answer some common questions. If you’re just here to figure out how to rent a car in Frederiksted, keep scrolling to that part of the article below.
Can you rent a car in Frederiksted, Saint Croix?
Yes, but only if you make a reservation ahead of time. The only rental car company that services Frederiksted is Budget Car Rental. However, Budget does not have a brick and mortar location in Frederiksted.
Instead, when you reserve a car online for pickup in Frederiksted, Budget employees will drive the car from their office and lot in Christainsted to Frederiksted to meet you. Then, they’ll pick up the car from you in Frederiksted when your rental period is over.
Should you rent a car while visiting St. Croix on a cruise?
If you’re itching to explore the island, I would say yes! My husband and I had no regrets with renting a car on St. Croix during our short port day.
While you can see more of the island with tour guides and excursions, renting a car gives you ultimate freedom to explore every part of the island you want to see—on your own schedule.
Plus, the cost of renting a car for the day ($70 USD) was less than it would cost for just one person to go on a tour with our cruise line. Because of that, it was completely worth it for me and my husband to rent a car, and I think it would be worth if for you too!
Which side of the street do you drive on in the U.S. Virgin Islands?
You drive on the left side of the road in the U.S. Virgin Islands (including St. Croix).
Funny story: my husband and I had no idea until we were barreling towards a truck on the right side of the road in Frederiksted.
The Budget ladies we rented the car from were incredibly friendly and helpful, but they didn’t mention which side of the road we’d need to drive on. I don’t blame them, we should have known! But despite all of our research on the best places to visit in St. Croix, we somehow missed that key fact.
Is it safe to drive in St. Croix?
Generally, yes. The roads are in good condition and other drivers are safe. However, it can be a little nerve wracking to drive on the left side of the road if you’re used to driving on the right (like us).
In addition, the Budget car rental ladies warned us not to leave any valuables in the car while parked in remote areas. We’d follow the same precautions when exploring remote areas anywhere else in the U.S., so we listened to their advice, and you should too.
Do you need a Jeep or 4WD to explore St. Croix?
Yes and no. There a few destinations on St. Croix where having a Jeep would be nice, such as the Annaly Tide Pools. However, I was able to explore many incredible places on St. Croix with no issues in a little Toyota Corolla.
Views from the Frederiksted Cruise Pier
Full Guide to Frederiksted Car Rentals
Making a Reservation with Budget Car Rentals
In my experience, the easiest way to rent a car in Frederiksted (especially with limited time) is through Budget Car Rentals. Budget is the only company that will deliver your car rental directly to downtown Frederiksted, within walking distance of the cruise port. Since I only had a day to see St. Croix, I didn’t want to waste any time shuttling to the airport or other towns to pick up my car rental.
To rent a car from Frederiksted with Budget Car Rentals, you’ll need to reserve the vehicle online in advance. You can do so directly through Budget’s website. Make sure you that select the Ann Abramson Cruise Ship Pier, which is the Frederiksted Pier where cruises port in St. Croix.
Choose the reservation pickup and drop off times carefully, keeping in mind that a Budget Car Rentals employee will meet you for the pickup and drop off.
Picking Up a Rental Car in Frederiksted with Budget Car Rentals
After making your reservation with Budget, you will receive information via email about where to meet the Budget representative in Frederiksted.
When I recently rented a car with Budget in Frederiksted, we only had to walk through the main square outside the cruise ship pier to a corner where two friendly ladies were sitting holding up a “Budget” sign.
They greeted us warmly and had us fill out a few forms before showing us to our car, which was parked a few blocks away. They gave us plenty of advice on the best places to visit on the island, and encouraged us to come back to St. Croix in the future during Christmastime.
It was honestly one of my best experiences with hospitality staff, and it certainly wasn’t what I was expecting.
After exploring the island for the day, we returned the car to the same lot a few blocks from the cruise port and the sweet Budget ladies took the keys from us. It was easy, efficient, and overall a positive experience.
Alternative Car Rental Options
Another option for folks hoping to rent a car in Frederiksted is Centerline Car Rental. This locally-owned company does not have a location in Frederiksted, but they have a regular shuttle from downtown Frederiksted to their office.
Centerline is highly rated, the only problem is that you have to rely on a shuttle system to get to your car. If you are staying in Frederiksted for several days, this might not be an issue. But if you only have a short day (like me), I recommend trying to rent with Budget.
One Day Itinerary for Exploring St. Croix via Car
Point Udall, Isaacs Bay, Christiansted, Salt River, Cane Bay, and Frederiksted
After extensive research, this is the route I chose when I recently explore St. Croix! It seems like a lot of places to visit, but we ended up having plenty of time to spare at the end of the day in Frederiksted.
Stop 1: Point Udall
You start by driving from Frederiksted to Point Udall, which is the eastern most point of the US. It’s also an incredibly beautiful viewpoint. Right next to Point Udall, you’ll find Jack and Isaacs Bay. You can hike to these beautiful beaches in 20 minutes or so, if you wish. You can also take a short walk to nearby Whale Point, which is north Jack and Isaac Bay.
Views from Point Udall
Stop 2: Christiansted
Next, head to colorful Christiansted, St. Croix’s largest town, for lunch and more adventures. I recommend strolling along the charming Christiansted boardwalk, learning about the island’s history at Fort Christiansvaern, and trying to local Ital food before continuing your St. Croix road trip. If you have more time, you can also skip the next few stops and instead take the two-minute ferry to Protestant Caye, which is a small island visible from Christiansted Boardwalk that’s known for its excellent snorkeling.
Stop 3: Salt River Bay & the Columbus Landing Site
A short drive from Christiansted, you’ll arrive at Salt River Bay National Historical Park and the nearby Columbus Landing Site. While the Columbus Landing Site is underwhelming in my opinion, Salt River Bay is gorgeous. Stop for a photo, or spend more time and kayak in the bay. Bonus tip: Salt River Bay is a great place to see bioluminescence if you’re staying overnight.
Stormy Cane Bay Beach
Stop 4: Cane Bay Beach
Cane Bay Beach is one of the most popular beaches on St. Croix. When I visited, it was a bit stormy and the waves were powerful—so different from the calm blue waters of Christiansted, Frederiksted, and the beaches near Point Udall. We just spent a few minutes walking besides the crashing waves, but on a calmer day, I’m sure we could have spent a lot more time here. I’ve heard that the Cane Bay Wall off of Cane Bay Beach is one of the best places on the island for scuba diving, so its certainly a place I’d like to go back to.
Stop 5: Downtown Frederiksted & Nearby Beaches
Lastly, head back to Frederiksted for the last few hours of the day. If you’re in St. Croix on a cruise port day, spending your last few hours in Frederiksted makes sense, so you can make sure nothing can prevent you from getting back on board. You can wander the streets of colonial Frederiksted, visit Fort Frederik, go snorkeling near the pier, or relax at a nearby beach like Rainbow Beach or Dorsch Beach.
Looking for more places to visit on St. Croix? Check my Ultimate Guide to St. Croix for dozens of amazing things to do on St. Croix.
Final Thoughts: Renting a Car in Frederiksted St Croix
Although it may appear confusing at first, renting a car in Frederiksted is fairly simple as long as you reserve ahead of time. I found the car rental experience pleasant, and thoroughly exploring the island on wheels during my short cruise port day.
If you’re trying to decide whether or not to rent a car or take a tour on St. Croix, read my full guide to the island to help make up your mind about which experience matter to you most.
Essential Travel Resources
Have a trip coming up soon? There are a lot of travel companies out there, but some are better than others. After traveling to dozens of countries and living abroad on several continents, here are some of my favorite websites and resources for planning unforgettable trips.