Locally owned and operated, St. John Car Rental is the island’s first and oldest vehicle rental company. Frequently recognized as the “Best Car Rental on St. John” by The Virgin Islands Daily News, our team strives to keep the tradition and great reputation of the island’s number one source for rentals going for generations to come. Some of our customers have been coming back to St. John Car Rental for their rental needs since 1974.
The St. John Car Rental Story
In 1974, Forrest Fisher, a local realtor, offered a 14-vehicle car rental agency to a couple looking for a business to buy in St. John. At the time, the only two businesses for sale were the car rental and travel agencies. According to the story, Forrest actually pulled an ad he had been writing from his pocket which said something along the lines of, “Live In Paradise. Sleep In A Hammock. The Cars Rent Themselves!”
Months later, the couple decided to take him up on the offer and moved to St. John with their children and pets to take ownership of St. John Car Rental. Forrest was kind enough to pass along an extensive period of training as the new owners became acclimated to the business, which proved to be invaluable.
Located at that time at the foot of the Cruz Bay dock, St. John Car Rental originally offered mostly Volkswagen “Things” and Mini-mokes. The office was the old water barrel from Trunk Bay with an opening on the side and coconut thatch on top. There was a telephone, but no credit card machines, fax machines (they hadn’t been invented yet), or copy machines. All paperwork was done by hand. In addition, all customers had to buy a Virgin Islands temporary driver’s license and leave a cash deposit. Hours of operation in those days were flexible. In true island fashion, if someone needed help in the community, everyone would close his or her business and go to the person’s rescue.
Unfortunately, after running the business for just 3 years, the couple discovered that the owner of the property where the business was located refused to renew the lease, and St. John Car Rental was forced to relocate. After being briefly moved around by Port Authority, the business found its next home across from the post office, where it remained for nearly 24 years. During that time, the original hut burned down, and a larger building was built at that location. Eventually, they bought the property across from the Catholic Church, and that is where St. John Car Rental is located today.
The Legacy Lives On
In 2001, the current owners, Chris and Shawna Dudek, first visited St. John and decided they would like to get married there in 2003 after falling in love (with each other and) with the picturesque island’s charm and natural beauty. They visited many times after that, but every time they returned home they simply wished they were back on St. John. The Dudeks made a decision to stop visiting until they could figure out a way to actually become a part of St. John and its community because leaving was just too hard. They decided to take over ownership of St. John Car Rental and made the beautiful island their home.
A Rental Experience Like No Other
The unique beauty of St. John makes it stand apart from the other U.S. Virgin Islands, just as the refreshing approach of St. John Car Rentals makes it stand apart from the competition. From our fair rates and specials on Jeep and SUV rentals to helping our customers learn about the island, we truly aim to provide the best vacation experience ever. To learn more, check out our FAQs. Call us at (340) 474-9557 to reserve a vehicle for your time in St. John, or make a reservation online now.