Best vehicle for STX?
This is my first post after spending the last 2 weeks glazing over things and let me say your information is really helpful. My job is relocating me to STX in April and the are paying to have my car shipped. As it stands, my car's VIN begins with "2" and was built in Canada and is subject to the Custom's 6% duty (minimum $1500). So I am now looking to trade in my car for one built in the US. I was looking at the 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe AWD, 2012 Kia Sorrento AWD, & 2011 Subaru Outback. What vehicle would be most suitable to life on STX? What other vehicles would you recommend? Thanks.
Those all sound like great cars. Make sure they are really US built. There are not as many hilly slippery roads as STT or Stjohn, so AWD is not as important. It is nice to have though. You should have read that new cars take a real beating in the islands. They age very quickly.
If you are spending extra money to get a newer car,do the math and compare the car you already own. It is hard for me to imagine that the extra "customs cost" would be more than the cost and depreciation of a new car.
Just remember one major thing. SMALLER IS BETTER ON THE ISLANDS. If you are wanting an SUV, look for something small like a Honda CRV. 4 cylinder vehicles get around great on the islands and when it comes to parking especially in town and other places, you will appreciate a smaller vehicle. Also, check the island to make sure that the type of vehicle that you have or will get is serviceable on the islands, if not, you may have to wait for parts if you have a break down.
Depending on your budget, you could probably find a great car on the islands for around $10,000.00. You will also have to take into account if your car isn't paid off, you will be required to get approval from your lien holder to allow you to take your car out of the Continental US or Mainland. Also, I know to ship my vehicle from Florida to St. Thomas was going to be around $2500.00 when all said and done with all the fee's and such. So make sure that the $1500.00 shipping price you posted is the bottom line with everything factored in.
Thanks for all the info. My current car is a 2011 and is financed through my local credit union. They have already given me permission to ship the car. Since I still owe at least 5 more years of payments, I figured I would down size to a smaller AWD SUV. I will check out the Toyota and Honda to see if they are American built. BTW, my employer is shipping the car for me.
I'll cast my vote for Jeeps. They're beasts and really handle the extreme weather (and crappy roads) here well. We bought one used five years ago from a rental car company and it's still going great guns. The only downside is that they're gas hogs (if you have a six).
Of my 5 years in STX, I never felt the need for AWD. The mostly stop & go traffic and slow rural roads driving puts a toll on gas mileage and AWD typically uses a bit more fuel. The biggest expense with my cars there was gasoline, tires, and brakes. Every bit helps and a FWD only vehicle should suffice.
A FWD CR-V, RAV 4, Sportage, Tucson, or a new Escape are very good options. Parts & service can be an issue, and said vehicles are great options. The Subaru is an awesome super reliable wagon if you still want AWD but, parts & service wil be limited.
Want to get fancy and also get intelligent AWD? The new Buick Encore is a nice compact SUV...
IMHO a 4x4 (not to be confused with AWD) truck or Jeep, unless you feel the need to go off-roading, is a waste of money...
We shipped our Honda CRV down and had to pay 3% duty on it because the VIN number started with a letter. I think it was an extra $800 for that. We are super glad we shipped that car and it has been great on the roads of St Thomas.
If your employer is shipping it and I'm assuming paying the cost to ship it, why does it matter if they pay the extra duty? Just wondering...
Nobody mentioned Sherman Tanks. Not too good on economy but will definitely win on the roads here...
I have a tank.
Not Sherman but an Excursion, diesel.
Been great so far.
Good to hear large vehicles do well, I'm shipping my truck (ford F150)today from Jacksonville FL; hopefully all goes well at sea star!
Get an ugly one too, because eventually, it will be anyway.
Hey, quit dissing my ride. The rust and primer give it some character! Seriously though, the explorers are pretty good. Often the front ends need work but the auto-AWD/4WD system on the old ones is nice to have. My beast will be running for years to come.
The Suzi's are great too. Much better on gas than a bigger suv or jeep.
But the best of the lot is the newer (05+) Nissan Frontier 4x4. Tough as nails with a great ride. A truck is nice to have - especially when you have to haul your own trash around. 😎