Are there any special requirements for driving or hiring a car in St Lucia?
Generally driving on St Lucia is quite simple. In the capital Castries you'll find traffic can be chaotic but outside of the urban area, the main difficulty is twisting roads and poor road maintenance. Crime can be an issue so be wary when driving at night and you should also be aware that people and animals use the roads in the absence of pavements.
Seat Belt Laws
Everyone in the front seats of a moving vehicle in St Lucia must wear a seat belt by law. Rear seat passengers don’t need to wear a seat belt.
Drinking and Driving
The drink drive alcohol limit for St Lucia is 80 mg per 100ml of blood the same as in the UK. We would recommend that you restrict the amount of alcohol you drink if you are unfamiliar with the roads or intending to drive at night.
Must Have Documents
You will need to have your driving licence and a local driving permit which entitles you to drive for a maximum period of three months. The permit can be. The permits are available from local police stations.
The speed limits for St Lucia are as follows:
Open roads: 80 km/h
Urban roads: 50 km/h
Minimum Driving Age
You have to be at least 18 to be able to drive in St Lucia. If you're renting a car the minimum age is 25 and there’s a maximum age for renting a car of 60. With the minimum age in force, it is unlikely you’ll incur a young driver’s premium.
Safety Camera Warning Devices
It’s not illegal to use safety camera warning devices but the roads aren’t conducive to speeding and for your safety and that of other road users we recommend you stick to the recommended limits.
On the Spot Fines
If you are stopped by the police for a motoring offence you’ll be given a ticket which must be paid in full within 30 days or extra charges will apply. You can request a trial within 14 days of receipt of the ticket. If you don’t pay the fine after 30 days from the end of your trial you will be disqualified from driving.
Child Safety Rules
In St Lucia, there are no specific laws for child safety restraints in vehicles. It’s up to the adults in the car to ensure that children are safely taken care of. Rent a car from us and we’ll ensure that appropriate seating is fitted for your family if you let us know your requirements when you book.
You must have a minimum of third part insurance when driving in St Lucia and be able to prove it if asked.
Rules of the Road
Standard international driving laws apply with one or two exceptions.
• Dropping litter from a car is illegal but it’s the driver or owner that are liable for any penalties
• Traffic drives on the left in St Lucia
• Avoid driving at night as the roads are tricky outside of the towns
Towing is not governed by any restrictions in St Lucia – just make sure both vehicles are securely attached and that your visibility isn’t obscured.
Fixed speed cameras are not found on St Lucia but sometimes the police use mobile speed cameras in speed checks. If you are caught exceeding the speed limit, you’ll receive a penalty notice as detailed above.
Using Mobile Phones when driving
It’s illegal to use a mobile phone in St Lucia if you don’t have a hands free kit.
Parking is laxly controlled on St Lucia and unless you cause an obstruction or leave your car somewhere for more than a day, you are unlikely to encounter any problems.
It’s really only in the capital, Castries, where you might find you’ll have to pay parking charges. Elsewhere free parking is readily available.
As we’ve noted, it’s unlikely you’ll encounter enforcement of parking restrictions, mainly because there aren’t really any of note. It’s only if you park inconsiderately that you’ll encounter enforcement.
There are no concessions for disabled drivers, mainly because they haven’t been deemed necessary. If you really can’t find suitable parking, stop and ask a local for advice and help. There’ll usually be some way in which your needs can be accommodated.
Motor Way Signs
There are no motorways on St Lucia and many of the roads are very poor.
The official language of St Lucia is English so most visitors should have no trouble at all in communicating.
There are only a few sets of traffic lights on St Lucia and they all follow the international sequencing standard laid down by the Vienna Convention and, as such, should cause no difficulties.
There are no toll roads on St Lucia.
The emergency number on St Lucia is 911 for all emergency services.
What to do in an emergency
Hire cars are well maintained on St Lucia but if you encounter a problem you will find an emergency number to contact either on your car hire documentation or inside the windscreen. If you’re using a private car, you’ll need to rely on a local mechanic who won’t mind attending your situation. Carry the number of one with you just in case.
If you are involved in a car accident you must stop and exchange the following details:
• Name and address
• The owner’s name and address, if different
• The registration number
• Insurance details
• The names and addresses of all the car’s occupants
You must then report the accident to a police station within 24 hours
As of December 2014, the average price of 95 octane unleaded petrol on St Lucia is 82p whilst diesel is 69p. Prices can vary between the cities, towns and the smaller villages.