Renting Cars During the High Season

St. Martin Nature Reserve

What? $98 for a car? For one day?!?

We walked to the next stall.

Normally, we rent from the Windham Sapphire, just up the road from school, about a five-minute walk. But because they were out of the Daihatsus, which we always get for its affordability (around $20 per day without tax), we decided to hit up a bus and head to the airport. When we arrived, little did we realize the trouble of renting cars during the busy tourist season…

Oh St. Maarten…

Not only did most of the booths not have the little Daihatsus we so cherished, most of the booths were also not willing to rent for anything less than two days.

“You should have stuck to the $40 deal for a Hyundai sedan back at the Windham!,” the guy at the booth laughed.
“We didn’t know!,” the three of us retorted in unison.

After asking around and getting rejections after rejections for our proposal to rent for one day, we finally found a deal for $50 dollars sans tax from the same company that runs the rental at the Windham. Little did we know that we were getting a bargain back at the Windham, and probably a bargain now, considering other booths were willing to rent for less than a day only at a hefty co$t.

The three of us ended up spending $1 each for a bus to get to the airport, then $22 each for the car, including all the taxes and fees, and excluding insurance. The total of $66 to rent a car for one day is the most we’ve ever had to pay.

“When will the tourist season end and the prices drop back to what we’re used to?,” we asked.
“That’ll be the end of March, early April.”

My St. Maarten travel tips for the next 2.5 months:

  1. Rent from somewhere outside the airport, like at the Windham or Empress, because chances are, you’ll be competing with tourists at the airport and the booths will not rent anything less than 2 days during the busy season.
  2. Call several days beforehand to make a reservation. That way you’ll be more guaranteed to get what you want!

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