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Car necessity?

 
Dodger482
(@Dodger482)
Active Member

Hello all,
My wife and I are thinking of taking the plunge. We don't want to go in blind, so we've been researching the potential downsides. One question I have is: is it possible to live on the island (STT) without a car? I have one, but I'd prefer to get rid of it if possible. The island doesn't seem that large and we're both healthy people, is it walkable at all? What about by bicycle? Is having a car strictly necessary?

Thanks!

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Topic starter Posted : November 10, 2016 2:22 am
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member

You will need a car. Biking is not safe on windy hilly roads with no shoulders. Not much bus service. Not walkable of long distances. You can walks around CA and Red Hook but that won't get you to all the necessities and you likely will not be living in town.

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Posted : November 10, 2016 3:11 am
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

You will be extremely limited without a car - no matter where you choose to live and work - have you been here and seen the topography?

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Posted : November 10, 2016 3:31 am
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member

Even on flatter STX it's the same story.

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Posted : November 10, 2016 3:33 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

You'll need a car.

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Posted : November 10, 2016 2:40 pm
Dodger482
(@Dodger482)
Active Member

Good answers. Looks like I'm shipping it.

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Topic starter Posted : November 10, 2016 2:58 pm
stxisbest
(@stxisbest)
Advanced Member

Good answers. Looks like I'm shipping it.

What kind of car? Only ask because if you have less than a foot of clearance you should bring many front end parts with you.

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Posted : November 10, 2016 10:47 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Foreign made cars have to pay customs duty.
Low to ground cars get bottomed out on our pot hole strewn roads.

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Posted : November 11, 2016 2:17 am
Dodger482
(@Dodger482)
Active Member

Hyundai Accent. Will that be a big problem? How much is the duty?

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Topic starter Posted : November 11, 2016 5:18 am
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

https://www.vimovingcenter.com/car/

There is quite a bit of information available at the top of the forum page in the drop down menus.
the above answers your last question thoroughly as an example.

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Posted : November 11, 2016 2:06 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

We lived on St. Thomas for a number of years without a car. It all depends on where you live, where you work, what you like/need to do. Safari rides are abundant and cheap. They won't get you everywhere, but they will get you from one end of the island to the other, including Kmart and grocery shopping, etc. You would need to live and work near the regular route.

Shipping you car will be expensive, plus if you have a car loan, your bank probably won't let you ship it. Plus, and this is a big one....a LOT of people ship a car then decide 6 months later they don't really want to live on island, and they move back, usually selling the car on island. That's not necessarily a bad thing because cars are usually a bit more expensive on island, but it probably won't make up the shipping cost.

I couldn't tell by your post, but have you been to St. Thomas? You might want to do a pre-move visit to get a feel for things yourself before making the plunge. At the very least, don't get rid of everything you own, back home, not for a while, anyway.

Best of luck to you!

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Posted : November 11, 2016 3:30 pm
Dodger482
(@Dodger482)
Active Member

I have been. That's one of the reasons I want to go so badly.

I'm wondering now if it might be better to sell the car I currently have and buy one on the island? I've read that cars are more expensive there, but I've also been checking out for-sale ads and it looks like some are being let go very cheaply... of course, there's a good chance some of these are lemons.

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Topic starter Posted : November 11, 2016 3:40 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

Keep in mind that a lot of Craigslist ads are scams.

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Posted : November 11, 2016 5:11 pm
Afriend
(@afriend)
Trusted Member

I have been. That's one of the reasons I want to go so badly.

I'm wondering now if it might be better to sell the car I currently have and buy one on the island? I've read that cars are more expensive there, but I've also been checking out for-sale ads and it looks like some are being let go very cheaply... of course, there's a good chance some of these are lemons.

Don't be fooled by those "cheap" prices. Regardless of your price range you pay more for a car on STT than you would if you could purchase that same car on the US mainland.

NEVER EVER buy a used "island" car without having it inspected by a reputable auto mechanic that you trust.

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Posted : November 11, 2016 7:17 pm
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