By | 16th January 2018

Do you need a car in Nevis?

Do you need a car in Nevis > Should you rent a car in Nevis St Kitts & Nevis > Nevis ( NEV ) Do you need a car in Nevis? Is it worth hiring a car in Nevis? Should you rent a car in Nevis?

Nevis Car hire summary

Overall drive rating

Based on a weighted score across all cost and quality factors. [Full notes - drive rating]


  • Price alone isn't the only factor in determining whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Nevis but clearly it's an important one. See our "why" section for more figures.
  • Cost factors include - price of car hire (peak and off peak season), car hire extras, fuel, tolls and parking costs.
  • Quality factors include - scenic drives, road quality and upkeep, general safety and congestion levels.
  • A complete index of all 10 factors will be uploaded shortly.

Cheapest rate for one week

Based on cheapest economy car hire deal with no added extras. [full notes - basic costs]



  • This is the very lowest price we could find for a one week car rental period in Nevis during the quiet season.
  • You will almost always end up paying more than this figure, but any extra costs or supplementary charges are usually determined by the renter, so we cannot easily compare like with like.
  • In many cases, rental companies will offer a cheap rental and then expect you to take out expensive insurance waivers. There are always ways to avoid this!

How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?

Based on cheapest deal during the summer holiday season. (Unless otherwise noted) [full notes - seasonal variations]



  • During the peak holiday season, public transport is often better value, as many train and bus fares are fixed throughout the year. See our "why not" section for more suggestions.
  • For most featured destinations, the peak season will be during the summer, typically July and August for northern hemisphere destinations. However, peak demand might occur at different times, for example in some ski resorts or winter sun destinations etc.

Free parking score

Based on the number of hotels which offer free parking. Total 33 - of which 25 have free parking. [full notes - parking]



  • Free hotel parking is very useful to have when you are hiring a car, and it's always worth checking ahead beforehand.
  • If free hotel parking is not available, you might want to consider renting a car for a single day, rather than for your whole trip.
  • The availability (or lack of) free hotel parking can be a really important factor in determining whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Nevis, as it can be a significant extra daily cost which you won't usually be paying at home!
  • Parking costs play a very major part in our consideration of whether or not it's worth hiring a car in each destination.
  • By using public transport, walking or hiring a bicycle, you can avoid having to worry about parking charges altogether! See our "why not" section for more suggestions.

Nevis public transport quick facts

Train score

Higher scores go to the systems which don't just take you to the most amazing places, but also to the ones which are easy to use, fast, reliable and frequent. A good train system on its own is usually enough to determine that you don't need to hire a car in many destinations.


  • [full notes trains]
  • Trains include all kinds of urban rail system from trams up to metro and suburban networks.
  • Trains also include mountain railways and cable cars.
  • Generally, places with a good rail network will automatically mean that you don't "need" to hire a car, but you can still might find that on balance you are better off by having one.

Water travel score

This is a general rating for all types of water travel, including scheduled ferries, sea / rivers cruises and excursions in Nevis


  • [full notes - water score]
  • The water score looks at means of transport on water - it does not consider water based activities like surfing or kayaking.

Overall public transport score

This is a more practical rating based on bus and rail travel, and also including ferries and other boat services, where they are part of the public transport network.


  • [full notes - overall transit] buses | trams | metro | local & regional rail | national rail
  • Is public transport in Nevis good value, or is it worth hiring a car just because it is cheaper overall?
  • Even if public transport is cheap and reliable, you might still feel that you should hire a car in Nevis because it will still give you more flexibility to reach out-of-the-way places, especially in rural areas.

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

This overall rating considers walking and cycling in and around Nevis. It includes factors such as the quality of the street environment, and whether you are likely to feel safe walking or cycling, together with the availability of bicycle hire and the ease of linking walking or cycling routes with public transport.


  • [full notes - active score] walking (city) | hiking | cycling (city /  country).
  • A high active travel score means that you might not need a car in Nevis, because you can see everything you need to see using a combination of your own two feet and the public transport system.

Car rental in - Nevis Need v worth & should!

Whether you have come here asking "do I need a car in Nevis", "is it worth hiring a car in Nevis", or whether or not you "should" hire a car here, these are all slight variations on a similar theme. Here we break each one down according to the criteria we use for each question. This is a weighted score based on the values above. These are explained further in the text which follows - [#why] [#whynot]. Do you need a car in Nevis?

Do you need a car in Nevis?

This is essentially based on whether or not public transport and other "non car" options are good enough to get around and beyond the city. For the lowest "need" score, the destination should have a combination of excellent all-round public transport, great opportunities for walking and cycling, together with poor value car hire or generally poor quality roads. 
  • In destinations where both public transport and car hire options are excellent, the verdict for "do I need a car in  Nevis " will swing towards a strong no, because you can do absolutely fine without one).
Is it worth hiring a car in Nevis?

Is it worth hiring a car in Nevis?

Is car hire good value, especially during the peak season? How does this compare with transit fares? This question mainly looks at issues of cost and practicality.
  • In destinations where both public transport and car hire options are excellent, the verdict for "is it worth hiring a car in  Nevis" will swing towards whichever option offers the lowest overall cost for a group of 2-4 people travelling together.
Should you rent a car in Nevis?

Should you rent a car in Nevis?

Weighing up the above questions, if you are here for the first time AND asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?
  • The final "carometer" swing is much more opinion based, and it takes into account which options will give you the truly best travel experience (n our humble opinion of course). Where a destination offers an excellent score with or without a car, the swing will go towards whichever option we feel gives the most truly unforgettable experience.
  • Ultimately, it's your choice whether or not you rent a car here. We're trying to give you something that's sufficiently far enough away from a "maybe" to help you make that choice. Ultimately, people only come to us because they are uncertain, but we don't really know what each person's preferences are. Whether we say you should or you shouldn't rent a car in  Nevis, you might also want to look up some of our other cities to see how  Nevis compares with other destinations in  St Kitts & Nevis or  North America.
  • By using public transport, walking or hiring a bicycle, you can avoid having to worry about parking charges altogether! See our "why not" section for more suggestions.

What does everyone else do?

Do most people hire a car in Nevis?

This is based on our observations of (a) car rental facilities and (b) what we think most people will do here. It's not an exact figure, just an estimate of how likely people are to get hold of a rental car here.
  • his is based on the percentage of people "in the market" who we think are likely to hire a car. This includes anyone arriving on holiday here who would usually hire a car on their travels, so it doesn't include people who don't usually drive (or don't drive), people staying with friends etc.


Visitors per year (million)

  • Cities with more visitors are more likely to have more complex airport car rental arrangements, and generally they will also have better public transport, but this is not always the case, especially in North America.


  • [full notes - do as everyone else does?]
  • You may wish to go with the flow, or you might prefer to avoid doing the most popular or obvious option. This will vary according to the range of choice available. This tends to be much higher in destinations which are closer to the middle of the car or no car scale.

Who is travelling?

Your group size and travel budget has a major impact on whether or not getting a rental car is good value compared to using public transport as your main means of getting around. Ultimately, these are all "worth" questions:

Is it worth renting a car in Nevis if I am a solo / budget traveller?

Generally, hiring a car is not good value for solo travellers for multiple reasons, especially as most of the costs of renting apply to the car, not the occupants. With public transport, the reverse is usually true! However, there are always some places where you will need a car, simply because they are almost impossible to reach using public transport.

Is it worth renting a car in Nevis for 2 people travelling together?

A rental car can be good value for couples or for friends travelling together, but since most cars come with at least four seats, it's often still better value to use public transport. However, if you prefer to keep yourselves to yourselves, then you might still want to rent.

Is it worth renting a car in Nevis for families?

Families of groups of 3-4 people travelling together will always get the best value from a rental car. However, you may also be burdened with extra costs for car seat hire, and you well also prefer to use local trains and buses, if they are quicker than getting stuck in heavy traffic.

Where are you staying?

The place you are staying, together with the sort of places you want to see, will have a large impact on whether or not you "need" to rent a car:

Do you need a car in Nevis if we are staying in the city centre / main resort area?

Most large towns or purpose built holiday resorts will have some kind of public transport, whereas parking provision will vary greatly from one place to the next. 

Do you need a car in Nevis if we are staying on the edge of the urban area?

Typically you may be staying in an apartment or hmall house on the edge of a resort or urban area. These places usually have some level of public transport, but not as much as city / resort centres.

Do you need a car in Nevis if we are staying in a rural area?

Rural proprties might include larger villas or apartments, but they can still be within a short walk of a bus stop or local railway station, and the opportunities for hiking and cycling might also be substantial, depending on the destination.

What is your attitude towards driving?

We can give you suggestions based on whatever we consider to be a "typical" visitor to Nevis, but ultimately your decision is also going to be influenced by whether or not you ususally prefer to hire a car in the first place.

Should I hire a car in Nevis if I prefer not to drive?

This is especially the case when there is only one main driver in the group, and it's based on the attitude of the driver rather than their passengers! The main driver may also simply prefer to use public transport, or they may prefer to take scenic train journeys where available.

Should we rent a car in Nevis if we are easy either way?

This is more aimed at the typical visitor who isn't that bothered about how they get around, as long as it is the most convenient / best value option.

Should I rent a car in Nevis if I prefer to drive?

For people who usually prefer the freedom and flexibility of having a hire car. Is it still best to rent a car in Nevis, or are there good reasons not to?

The tiny Caribbean island of Nevis only has just the one road running around it in a full circle. I’ve completed this ring on a bicycle in around 90 minutes, whereas it takes less than an hour to drive it.

Do you need a car in Nevis? Introduction

When someone asks "Do you need a car in Nevis?", this often breaks down to two key questions:
  1. Can you actually get around using public transport, or is a car all but essential?
  2. Is it worth hiring a car in Nevis? Is it good value for money, compared with non-car options?
Over the next few sections, we wil look at the pros and cons of driving in Nevis as a tourist, and ultimately weigh these up, so we can answer the key question of Should you rent a car in Nevis?
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

James says - a few trip notes:

Yet if Nevis was a small Balearic island, you might still be tempted to get a hire car just to enjoy the beauty of it at your own pace. The reality is that you can rent a car in many places in Spain for a month for what it’s going to  cost you just to hire a car for one day in Nevis.

There are no car rental desks at the airport in Nevis, which is the other side of the island from the capital Charlestown. Here there are at least car hire services who can also offer a meet and greet service, not just at the airport, but also at the inter-island foot ferry terminal, which is right in the centre of Charlestown.

Why should you rent a car in Nevis?

What are the main reasons for hiring a car here? Do you just want to drive locally? Do you want to go further afield, or should you even look at taking a road trip? In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Nevis?

Why do you need to rent a car on Nevis?

  • Generally, a hire car really isn’t recommended on Nevis. It’s not really worth the hassle, especially when there are plenty of taxis and tour guide services.

Why not? Visiting Nevis without a car

What is public transport like in Nevis? What about local conditions for walking or cycling? Can you rely on public transport and maybe a few taxis for most or all of your trip? Are there some times of year when it's easier to get by without a car than others? When should you rent a car in 1?

Reasons why you don’t really need to rent a car on Nevis

  • Local licence – before you can actually drive on Nevis, you will need to apply through your rental agent for a temporary three-month local licence. That is going to set you back around East Caribbean $50 or US $24. That’s not really a big deal if you’re planning to stay here for a while, but it’s just another cost in a location where there are none of the major international car hire brands, and local hire is already very expensive.
  • There are no car rental desks at the airport in Nevis.
  • You will need to arrange car hire with a local provider, who can then arrange airport pick up.
  • None of the major international franchises have operations in Nevis.
  • Online quotes are not available, but expect to pay in excess of (US) $350 to rent a car here for one week.
  • Moreover, there really is no need to hire a car on Nevis, where there’s never a shortage of taxis to greet every arriving flight or boat. If you are arriving here by passenger ferry from Basseterre in St Kitts, then you will find that the port is right in the centre of Charlestown, and this is where buses leave for the various different parts of the island, and again, taxis are widely available

Nevis buses

The best way to get around Nevis is to do as the locals do, and take advantage of the friendly local buses. There might not be any published bus timetables, but as all the villages on the island tend to have only one or two side roads running through them which then lead onto the main island road. It’s easy enough to ask around and find out when the next bus might be likely. Buses operate on a pay-the-driver on exit basis, and you will rarely pay more than about US $1-$2 to go anywhere on the island (but carry local coins or small value notes for this).

Nevis taxis

Most local taxi drivers will also be happy to show you anywhere on the island, including a full day tour if you want.

Just make sure you confirm at the start whether you are being quoted in East Caribbean or US dollars, because there is a substantial difference between the two, even though both currencies are widely accepted (work on a basis of 3:1 when using US dollars, although the official rate is actually 2.7:1).

However, no commentary on transport Nevis would be complete if it only compared different options for getting around by motorised minibus or taxi (when actually most taxis are also minibuses as well).

Hiking on Nevis

The real beauty of Nevis can be found deep inside the island by taking a hike up towards Nevis Peak. This is best done with a local guide, who should also provide transport to the trailhead.

Even if you just want to walk around the island’s superb coastline, there’s plenty to see, and it’s easy enough to meander at your own pace, and then to return using local buses or taxis, or hitching if you prefer – as a tourist, you will find that small island Nevis is generally safe, although driving standards sometimes leave a lot to be desired.

Paradise Cycling on Nevis

To go one step better, head down to Ouallie beach. As if there aren’t enough options there for various different watersports, you can also hire a road or a mountain bicycle here and do a loop around the island or explore locally.

Do I need to rent a car on Nevis – for extended distance trips / travel off the island?

In a word, no!

If you are here for a very long period of time, then you will no doubt negotiate a car lease agreement locally. We’re mainly offering car rental advice for people spending more typical holiday / vacation periods of 3 – 14 nights. If you are visiting here from Europe, Nevis is nothing like other islands you might be used to visiting, such as the Canary Islands, where regular ferry services are available. You could easily do a “road trip” in the Canaries and visit the five main islands, driving in between the ferry ports, and continuing in a loop. The only other island you can visit from Nevis with a car is St Kitts. You can also very easily take a foot ferry to St Kitts, and then either continue from Basseterre using minibus services, or possibly rent a car there for the day.


Do you need a car in Nevis? This Nevis car hire advice primarily focused on the island of Nevis itself, although some visitors to the island just come as a day trip from the much larger St Kitts.

If you have already picked up a rental car in St Kitts, then you can also use the Sea Bridge service to travel between the islands – this is a vehicle service which doesn’t have any connecting buses, although it’s easy enough to continue onwards on the Nevis side without a vehicle.

When looking at car rental on Nevis alone, for us the advice would be a big resounding “no”.


Our slider ratings range from 0 (it isn't even possible to hire a car, e.g. Hong Kong) through to 10 (you really must rent a car here, e.g. Phoenix, Tampa). However, most places are somewhere inbetween these extremes, and this is where it gets more interesting! Further ratings breakdowns, including a much more detailed public transport rating, are currently being added. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.


What is our final score for Nevis on the Carornocar scale?

Remember, this isn't so much a rating of the road network, or a score for what we think of the buses or trains, but it's simply a scale showing the swing between whether or not we think a rental car is a good idea here.


Would you hire a car in Nevis?

Have you driven in Nevis? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Nevis}? Do you need a car in Nevis? For some or all of the time? Tell us what you think using the comments section below:

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