In Saint-Martin, the best means to move around is the car.
There is virtually no public transportation, save for a few buses making a trip around the island but the network is very limited, and buses stop by at long intervals. Moreover, it is recommended that you should avoid walking or biking around given the situation of roads and that there are no pedestrian streets nor bike lanes between towns.
The best solution for you to move around Saint-Martin is to rent a car during your stay.
After landing at the Grand Case Espérance airport, the simplest thing is to pick up your rental car at the Airport:
Your car is at your disposal as soon as you come off the plane.
• No wait to pick up the vehicle.
• Our agency is open 24/7 if you have informed us with your flight number beforehand (ideal if your flight is late).
• You pick up the vehicle at the airport and return it at the same place with no added cost (very practical for your return flight).
• No need to pay a taxi to go to your accommodation place.
• Picking up your car in town is long and difficult due to the lack of public transportation. Besides, in Saint-Martin (also known in Dutch as Sint Marteen), gasoline and diesel cost 1 euro per liter (¼ US gallon), which makes car a very affordable means of transportation.
A car is the only means to move around the island but it is also a solution that offers many advantages:
• You are free to go everywhere you want (beaches, hikes, restaurants…) on one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean.
• You can travel at your pace (ideal when you are on a trip with children).
• You can be certain you will make an unforgettable road trip with your partner, family or friends!
• You save money.
Renting a car is the only solution to move around, but it is also the cheapest. Indeed, most recreational activities to enjoy in Saint-Martin are free: beaches, hikes, coral reefs, seaside strolls, walks across markets, historical sites… Without a car, you will be limited to the surroundings of your accommodation and you will have to resort to tour operators and taxis. Your expenses will quickly stack up and will cost you your freedom during your holiday.
Besides, Saint-Martin benefits a specific exemption status that applies no taxes to fuel. As a result, gasoline and diesel only cost 1 € per liter, which is about half the price in metropolitan France. Driving around is very affordable, especially if you drive with other people in the car and can share the cost.
Our rental agency EUROPCAR SXM is located at the Grand Case Espérance airport, together with the other car rental outlets.
A EUROPCAR employee will be awaiting you at the exit of the terminal with a large sign and will take you aboard the shuttle to carry you to our parking area a few yards farther. The drive is shorter than a minute and a shuttle stops by every 5 to 10 minutes.
The agency is open Mondays through Sundays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If your plane arrives after 9 p.m., we will still be open on the condition you have informed us beforehand with your flight number. This extra service is charged 35 euros.
To find the best prices when renting a car, there are 2 solutions:
• Renting your car on the agency’s website:
Prices are generally more attractive on the websites of Saint-Martin’s car rental agencies because the reservation is automated, which saves time for the company.
• Renting your vehicle as far in advance as possible:
The earlier you make your reservation, the more time the rental outlet will have to prepare your arrival, and the more it will be able to optimize costs with regard to its other customers, in order to provide you with an attractive price. E.g.: making sure a previous customer drops the car you want at the agency of your choice rather than having to send an employee to fetch it.
As you understand, to find the best prices, it is necessary to make your reservation online as early as possible.
On either French or Dutch side of the island, roads are rather poorly maintained, and chuckholes are often found both on main and lesser roads.
For this reason, we advise you to prefer lifted vehicles for better driving comfort. SUVs for instance will very well do the trick by mixing lifted height, sturdiness and a good quality / price ratio.
Otherwise, urban cars are sufficient but will offer reduced comfort on the road.
As previously explained, roads are not particularly well maintained on either side of the island. Chuckholes are frequently found but not to a dramatic extent. Likewise, roads are often narrow, with a single lane per side.
On the highway that runs around the island, the maximum allowed speed is 70 km (43 miles) per hour. In town, the maximum speed varies between 30 and 50 km (18 and 31 miles) per hour depending on areas.
Roads are generally narrow so it is difficult to drive faster.
On the French side, the applicable highway code is the same as in metropolitan France and other French territories. No change then. On the Dutch side, it is very similar to France’s and there are not really differences. The only noticeable difference is that yielding to the right does not apply on the island’s Dutch portion.
You can thus drive on both sides with a French license.
There is no border so to speak between the French and Dutch sides, neither are there any customs control and material obstacles. It is exactly as within the Schengen area. However, the legislation differs depending on what side of the island you are.
For any question, feel free to call us at +590 (0)590 77 67 67 or to ask us on social networks.
All the EUROPCAR Saint-Martin team hopes you will rank among its customers very soon and in the meantime wishes you an excellent stay on our island!