How Do You Get Around Saint Martin (Should I Rent a Car)?

Saint Martin is a fairly small island with a curious nature - it has two sides controlled by two different cultures. Thankfully, traffic and road rules aren’t too complicated for Americans, and Europeans to travel around.
How Do You Get Around Saint Martin
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With a small land area to cover, driving around Saint Martin and Sint Maarten is fairly easy and is undoubtedly fast. You can get from either side in no time. Plenty of transport options are available for the commute-savvy, and even for those who prefer to drive themselves around at their own pace, and on their own route.

Can You Drive Around Saint Martin?

The best way to get around Saint Martin and see as much as one tourist can on this majestic and gifted island are by driving. Car rentals are by far, one of the most economical ways to explore a certain tourist area or destination like the island of Saint Martin. However, driving rules may be different here than where you’re from, so it is best to be well-informed before grabbing the wheel.

Saint Martin, the French side of the island, corresponds to French road/traffic regulations, driving on the right side of the road, as the Dutch to the Netherlands. The most important thing you have to wrap your head around while driving in Saint Martin is the lay of the land itself. Roads are in good quality and are well-kept, however, you might be confused with signs, or rather a lack thereof.

Addresses in Saint Martin can be very literal, like “right after the tree near the mailbox on the left,” or “on the right side, after the palm tree”, which can be a bit difficult for some. You can always ask for directions, which means, brush up on your French. You can also get free road maps from the tourist office, or from various shops around the island.

To drive around on either or both sides of the island you will, of course, need to have a driver’s license, however, the validity of the license depends on the language used. If you’re from the US, a state-issued driver’s license is valid as it is already in English. Other, driver’s licenses are accepted given that they have English translations.

Which Side of the Road Do You Drive on in Saint Martin?

Both Saint Martin and Sint Maarten follow continental Europe when it comes to traffic/road laws and signs. You drive on the right side of the road when driving in both Sint Maarten and Saint Martin. If you’re from the US, Canada, and Latin American countries, driving in Saint Martin may not be as complicated.

Do You Need a Rental Car in Saint Martin?

Renting a car is the best way to see Saint Martin or any other island paradise for that matter. Exploring an island, or even a region in a big tourist-heavy country allows you to see and explore much of the area at your own pace, and in your own route. Whereas public transportation can either be too fast, or takes too long, and often too crowded, not to mention, it isn’t usually the most economic option.

Driving with a rental car has a lot of advantages, the only downside of it is that you need to have a wider budget. You don’t only have to pay for the car for all the days you’re using them, but you also have to pay for gas. It is important to consider renting a car during your budgeting.

How Much Is It to Rent a Car in Saint Martin?

Car rentals may seem expensive at first but they’re actually cheap, and probably the smartest way to get from one point to another. You can rent from several rental companies like Hertz, Europcar, and Ace Rent A Car, with daily rental prices that average to 35 to 61 USD, depending on seating capacity, size, and unit/model.

Are There Taxis in Saint Martin?

Taxis can be great if you’re running in a short time, however, they’re not really recommended as your go-to transport option, buses, or minivans are much cheaper. Taxis in Saint Martine are unmetered so you have to agree on a fare with the driver before entering a cab, you can use the haggling skills that you picked from Mexico here, except, you speak French, not Spanish.

However, there were reports that Saint Martin does have government-regulated taxis, you can expect fixed prices that bit costly. Sint Maarten and Saint Martin both accept US dollars, but it is better to have Euros handy.

Does Saint Martin Have Uber?

Uber and other ridesharing services aren’t available in Saint Martin and Sint Maarten. However, there are various other options available on the island, apart from taxis, and rental cars. You can take a minivan, often called a “bus”, which is the cheapest option, however, they tend to run out quickly at night. You can also rent a scooter and explore the island, it is cheaper than a rental car, but it can only fit two people, which is ideal for couples.