Car - would you buy or rent  

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daveb722
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January 4, 2017 2:27 pm  

Hello everyone,
I have a place on STX and my wife and I come down 3-4 x's a year. So I have been renting a vehicle each time I come down. In your opinion, would it be better to just buy one and leave it there as each rental is about 5-600 each time we come down.
My concerns are just leaving it for 3-4 months and not starting it.
What will the salt air do to it while it sits at the house?
Potholes... don't worry as much when it's not my car. 🙂

I grew up repairing cars, oil changes, brakes, etc, so I have no issue with the mechanical piece. I just figured I have a 2006 Nissan pathfinder sitting in my driveway for the daughter during the summer, otherwise it might make sense to ship it down.

Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks,


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vicanuck
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January 4, 2017 4:40 pm  

I have a few vehicles that I don't use often. I either disconnect the battery or put the solar charger on or both. Either way, I haven't noticed the vehicles degrading in any way except may the paint fading.


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Alana33
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January 4, 2017 6:11 pm  

That's good to know about disconnecting the battery as plan on leaving my truck while I'm away.

Anything else?

Leave it with a full tank of gas?
It'll probably be 6-8 moths before I have to come back to take care of business.
Maybe sooner but maybe not.


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lescooper
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January 4, 2017 6:23 pm  

I have a condo on St Croix that we vacation there 4-6 times a year. I bought a used Toyota to leave there.
Condos have security and I have a locking gas cap. I just leave it and no issues with battery being dead so far.
Haven't noticed any issues from salt air but it has rained a lot.
Insurance is required and local quotes I got were very high. If you are a veteran, USAA has really good rates.
I think it is worth it not having to hassle with a rental every trip.


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Afriend
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January 4, 2017 7:52 pm  

When we first built our Caribbean home (and came down 3 to 4 times a year) we rented a car but mid-way into our 2nd year we decided to purchase a car. Mainly because we could never be assured of the the quality of the rental car we would get on any given trip. We opted to purchase a new vehicle since we had an enclosed garage where the car was kept when we were off island. We'd put the battery on a trickle charger whenever we weren't in residence. A few years later when we retired and moved to the island "full time" we had a very reliable low mileage car which is still serving us well 10 years later.


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daveb722
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January 4, 2017 7:56 pm  

Thanks,
I just gotta check my vin # now and see if it was made in America. I guess it would be a break even proposition after the first year due to shipping costs.


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singlefin
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January 5, 2017 1:19 am  

We did the same thing for two years (rentals from Centerline). They always supplied us with a good vehicle, but as we began spending more time on-island, the costs were getting greater. We had a small garage under our home to store a vehicle in, so decided to buy a new Ford from Metro Motors about a year before our final move down.
We insured with Marshal & Sterling with a part-time, full coverage plan (limit of 4000 miles per year) with a cost that was quite reasonable.
We had our property manager start it up every three weeks when we weren't on-island and he let it run for at least 20 minutes to keep it charged. All went well, started every time, and Metro was even able to get Ford to cover oil changes about every six months when we were on-island.
The rental was less to worry about, but we're glad we got our new vehicle when we did, it made the last one-way trip down easier, already having a vehicle all set to go.
The only other added expense we didnt figure on, was we needed a taxi from the airport to our place 🙂


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Scubadoo
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January 5, 2017 3:01 am  

$5-600 3-4 x's a year doesn't sound all that bad. Do the math. Insurance, annual registration, annual inspection, maintenance, repairs, it all adds up. Not to mention time spent on some of those. Plus your taxi rides. There's going to be a break-even point where it's less economical to rent, you just need to get the numbers to figure out what it is.


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daveb722
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January 5, 2017 2:34 pm  

Oh I agree, can you let me know what reg, inspection approx. costs. How much is insurance with just basic liability?

$5-600 3-4 x's a year doesn't sound all that bad. Do the math. Insurance, annual registration, annual inspection, maintenance, repairs, it all adds up. Not to mention time spent on some of those. Plus your taxi rides. There's going to be a break-even point where it's less economical to rent, you just need to get the numbers to figure out what it is.


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Scubadoo
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January 6, 2017 2:44 am  

I think inspection is like $10 and registration is something like $34 to $91 depending on vehicle weight. Insurance of course will vary be vehicle. If you have a specific vehicle in mind (or better yet a VIN) you may be able to get and estimated quote from Marshal Sterling or another agent.


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vicanuck
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January 6, 2017 11:35 am  

Oh I agree, can you let me know what reg, inspection approx. costs. How much is insurance with just basic liability?

Basic liability insurance is very inexpensive. I pay about $500 a year for each of my vehicles.


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STXBob
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January 6, 2017 12:33 pm  

Some tips for long-term car storage: https://www.edmunds.com/car-care/how-to-prep-your-car-for-long-term-storage.html

Steps are:

Keep It Covered
Clean It Up
Change the Oil
Top Off the Tank (gas)
Keep It Charged (battery)
Don't Use the Parking Brake
Prevent Flat Spots (tires)
Keep Critters Out
Maintain Insurance
Get Back in Action (what to check when coming out of storage)


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Alana33
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January 6, 2017 2:08 pm  

I was debating covering it due to the heat, humidity and rain= mildew.
Thanks for the link.


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mtdoramike
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January 6, 2017 2:15 pm  

If you intend on making trips back and forth 3-4 times a year for the for see able future, I would opt to buy a vehicle up in the states and drive it to the nearest port and have it shipped down. It will cost you about $1500.00 or so to ship it though.

mike


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terry
(@terry)
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January 6, 2017 2:16 pm  

We bought down a car after the third time down. We have two now as my wife likes her own car. A LOT DEPENDS ON WHERE YOU KEEP IT!!!!
We have a condo at STC condos and there and Judith's Fancy is the worst place on island for rust..My first car rusted so bad that the brake lines rusted through, the rotors had to be replaced and the the body starter getting holes in it. I tried covering it but would go through a new cover every year due to winds. First two were cheap ones and the third one was a good high dollar one.
I now keep my truck at a friends' house mid-island where the salt is not as bad. My car I keep in a friends shop.
As far as Taxi's, I haven't had to use a taxi in the last 9 years. Friends are always more then willing to take you and pick you up from the airport. I think this is because they all need rides when they leave island.
My friend with my truck uses it at least once a week and he meets me at the airport and then I take him back to his house. He is the one that we give our left over food to at the end of a trip. Tip: rum won't go bad so you don't need to give it away no matter what they tell you . LOL


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Afriend
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January 6, 2017 2:39 pm  

We bought down a car after the third time down. We have two now as my wife likes her own car. A LOT DEPENDS ON WHERE YOU KEEP IT!!!!
We have a condo at STC condos and there and Judith's Fancy is the worst place on island for rust..My first car rusted so bad that the brake lines rusted through, the rotors had to be replaced and the the body starter getting holes in it. I tried covering it but would go through a new cover every year due to winds. First two were cheap ones and the third one was a good high dollar one.
I now keep my truck at a friends' house mid-island where the salt is not as bad. My car I keep in a friends shop.

I live "on the beach" and have never had any issues with rust on my car. The trick is to wash the car often and thoroughly, wax it several times a year and, if at all possible, to keep it garaged when not in use. Mine's 10 years old and has been washed at least 2x's a week - it still looks brand new.

Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance is the key to longevity in the islands.


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watruw8ing4
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January 6, 2017 6:16 pm  

I was debating covering it due to the heat, humidity and rain= mildew.
Thanks for the link.

Alana. If you use a portable cover, make sure you investigate closely which ones can handle the weather here. Our neighbors have only been gone for 4 months, and theirs is in shredded tatters. I know they thought they were buying a good one, and spent decent money on it. It was no match for the sun, salt and wind.


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Alana33
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January 6, 2017 6:19 pm  

I might just leave it uncovered and have my handyman wash it once a month.


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singlefin
(@singlefin)
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January 6, 2017 6:22 pm  

Buying at a dealership in the states and shipping down might save some money, but when I purchased new from Metro, they took care of all the hassels of shipping, registration and plates, customs fees, and inspection.
Two days after it arrived on-island, it was ready to drive off the lot.


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rmb2830
(@rmb2830)
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January 6, 2017 7:19 pm  

has usually been a couple thousand on a new car, even after the shipping etc.


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daveb722
(@daveb722)
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January 6, 2017 10:56 pm  

With the 2 feet of snow yesterday, maybe I'll keep the Pathfinder here. Lol


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Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
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January 7, 2017 2:07 am  

My first car rusted so bad that the brake lines rusted through, the rotors had to be replaced and the the body starter getting holes in it.

Tip: rum won't go bad so you don't need to give it away no matter what they tell you . LOL

Keep in mind that auto manufacturers have been making significant improvements in rust prevention over the past 30 years so today's cars are much more resistant than they used to be. (All the plastic panels don't hurt the effort either.) And with that some cars are probably still better than others. Gone are the early days where a car in the North East was a rust bucket after 12 months.

Who says rum goes bad???:D Somebody who wants leftover rum?


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