Car - rent or buy for 6-12 month visit?  

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ceruleansea
(@ceruleansea)
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February 24, 2016 5:39 pm  

Hello - my hubby and I are considering a move to St. Croix in a couple of years. We want to rent for 6 months to a year to make sure we love it enough to buy a home.

We have reviewed pretty carefully all the costs of living on St. Croix. However, there is one thing we have not been able to find much information on.

How do visitors that are staying longer than a typical vacation, but shorter than a year - deal with getting a car?

Rent from car rental company?

Buy something on island and sell it when you leave?

Comments and ideas appreciated!


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OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
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February 24, 2016 6:32 pm  

I know people who've done both - but the problem with buying is that if you can't sell it before you leave you're a bit stuck unless you find someone to sell it on your behalf. Seems less hassle to rent for a few months. It may seem considerably more expensive but if something goes wrong it's the rental agency's problem.


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Alana33
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February 24, 2016 7:12 pm  

Many car rental agencies also lease cars.
Check it out. It may be a bit more but they usually are responsible for any mechanical issue.

My nephew and his wife just moved to Antigua from FL and they did this until summer and they can reassess their needs. They didn't want to ship their cars if they weren't sure how long they'd stay. They're there for wife's dental school program. It's working well for them.


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Afriend
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February 25, 2016 1:32 am  

We have quite a few friends who spend about 6 months out of the year on our island - they work out long term rentals with several different car rental companies. They've been doing it for years instead of buying.


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mtdoramike
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February 26, 2016 1:57 pm  

I assume if you buy a car, you will have to register it in your name and once you do this, you will have to apply for a VI drivers license. But I'm not sure about this, but it may be something to consider as well. If this is the case, and your not sure about your situation then renting might be your only alternative.

Then again, most places require you to obtain their drivers license once you show residency status, which can be employment, renting a home and paying the utilities in your name, enrolling children in school, filing for homestead exemption and so on. Also if I remember correctly if your visit is longer than 30 days on the Island.

mike


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OldTart
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February 26, 2016 3:54 pm  

"I assume if you buy a car, you will have to register it in your name and once you do this, you will have to apply for a VI drivers license."

Not so. I have a friend who takes care of a property for an off-island owner. The owner maintains two cars on the island even though he only visits for less than a month twice a year. The cars are registered in his name and renewed annually (by my friend) but there's no mandate for the owner to have a VI driver's license.


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TN_Travelers
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February 26, 2016 3:56 pm  

Great info. Thanks


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watruw8ing4
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February 26, 2016 6:35 pm  

"I assume if you buy a car, you will have to register it in your name and once you do this, you will have to apply for a VI drivers license."

Not so. I have a friend who takes care of a property for an off-island owner. The owner maintains two cars on the island even though he only visits for less than a month twice a year. The cars are registered in his name and renewed annually (by my friend) but there's no mandate for the owner to have a VI driver's license.

This is true. We had a car registered here for years before we moved. VI license was not required.


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elroddanielle
(@elroddanielle)
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February 26, 2016 6:49 pm  

Any suggestions on the names of the rental companies on the island that lease cars. I'd like to look into it.


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speee1dy
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February 26, 2016 7:04 pm  

i had a car registered in my name and did not get a vi drivers license for years. you have a short amount of time in order to get you dl though


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mtdoramike
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February 26, 2016 11:36 pm  

Thanks for the clarification, I wasn't sure of this. I know in the states they strictly enforce this residency issue.

mike


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Alana33
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February 26, 2016 11:40 pm  

You can try Budget, Avis, Dependable Car ( DC -STT only)
Not sure what other agencies on STX.


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Scubadoo
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February 27, 2016 4:30 am  

Thanks for the clarification, I wasn't sure of this. I know in the states they strictly enforce this residency issue.

mike

In the (49) states at least you have the possibility to drive to another state that you may have only partial residency in. Not practical to ship a car back and forth to the VI for partial residents of which there are many in the VI. So there would be a lot of push-back on a residency requirement for auto registration. Even if partial residents can't vote, there'd likely be an exodus of partial residents if they did that. Driver's license only required for full time residents, 6mo or longer per year I think it is.


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