Did you bring your car?
I'm playing with my anal-retentive pre-move list....that so didn't come out right...and I was wondering how many people actually bring their cars before they move? I've been reviewing blogs and forums and I can't find a consistent trend. Given that most people don't do updates after they move, it's hard to figure out if they regretted selling their car or wish they hadn't brought it.
I assume there are used car dealers and if so, do they have websites? I'd like to price various options.
Where USVI is apart of the states, how hard is it to get financing for a new/used vehicle? Are the financial systems identical in terms of securing loans or is it apples and oranges?
We are part-timers so we shipped a truck after we knew we would stay long enough to save money shipping vs renting a truck on the island. We luckily found a cheap used truck in Maryland owned by a couple we trusted, spent some money with a mechanic at home to get it in the best possible condition and then shipped it. Total cost about $5,000 which basically equalled about 6-8 weeks of renting which for us meant less than a year payback. If you ship a vehicle you already own it will cost about $2,000 to ship.
We probably could have purchased a used truck on the island for $5,000 from a dealer or ad but would not know it's history. Now that we know some folks we would be able to buy a used vehicle privately but I think you need some networking time to make that happen.
makes sense. i own a mazda p/u rwd. low miles but i just read on jay's blog that "toyota's make good island cars." which i assume means that if and when it needs fixin, you don't have to wait forever for parts? i also worried that i would need a 4x4/awd but read somewhere that you only need those on STJ...hope that's true.
i had actually planned on selling my truck in a couple of months as i'll be moving back home to save on expenses and can use my fam's extra. but now that i'm learning that i need a vehicle, i'm wondering if it's a good thing to sell. on one hand, i own it so all i need to pay is the shipping and other fees. on the other, i could sell it and add the proceeds to my slush fund. even if i purchase used on the island, i still come out with extra cash. BUT, i know my truck. i know its history. love these catch-22's.
i commend all of you who have successfully made the transition because every time i think of something new, i feel a bit overwhelmed. i see why some people just sell everything and start over completely. less can be more and less can suck too...there's another catch 😛
You have the right vehicle so I think you should ship it. Things just cost more on the island so it might upset you paying mopre for a worse vehicle once you are on the island.
As far as 4wd goes, I need it on STX because my hous eis in the rain forest. You may not.
Other than a truck, bring your favorite pillows.
The humidity here is hell on pillows, and they are expensive. We trade ours out every 3 months or so. And once a week we put them out on the gallery to bake in the sun, an hour or 2 on each side.
Cheap cars (up to about $5K)on island are a real crap shoot unless you know the people you are buying from. I brought mine down and was happy. I will be buying a second this trip down from a neighbor who is leaving island, but I know the history.
I have friends that bought a Jeep from a dealer for $5K and got screwed. They spent another couple of thousand dollars and it was still never right. They sold it for $1K as is to a mechanic who last I heard still didn't have it running reliable.
Terry is right. I know someone who has a piece of junk worth maybe $1,500 down here (you probably couldn't sell the thing for $200 in the states) and it is fantastically reliable. I know other people who've paid a lot more and gotten nothing but headaches.
If you've got a good vehicle that's right for the islands, it's probably worthwhile to ship it. My car's clearance was too low and getting parts for it would have been a joke, so I sold it stateside; here I bought a year-old motorcycle whose history I could verify. I've been happy with my choice.
I have a four wheel drive and have yet to need it on STX.
My 2 cents if you have a used Mazda truck in good shape ship it. I have said it before the one mojor thing that I would have done differnty is the whole car thing. Neither of the vehicles that we owned prior to our move were suitable for here, but we should have bought a small svu or truck and shipped prior to moving.
you guys are so amazing. this forum is a like a collection of pod people...everyone is so helpful, supportive and nice. it's almost other worldly.
i'm keeping my baby...or selling it and getting toyota 😉
I left my car behind in the states. I hitched rides for about 4 months and then I got a lead on a car. A guy was leaving island and desperate to sell. I got a beautiful old Volvo for CHEAP and I plan on driving it until it falls apart..which should take a few more years.
My gf bought a new Yaris when she moved here and it is the perfect island car. Great gas mileage, cranking AC, and very compact for parallel parking.
how low is too low as far as ground clearance? I have a saturn station wagon that"s 10yrs. old and since saturn is going the way of rambler I thought I could ship it and drive it till it died,but is it too low for the islands? TIA
You will be fine with your saturn on the paved roads. The Dirt roads and rain forest very difficult with the low profile. Therr is more paved roads you just have to be careful when it rains, some flood.
We just paid (including customs, road tax and tags) $4,439.36 for a 2005 Chevy Avalanche and $2,581.40 for a 2003 Jeep Liberty to have them shipped here from Ohio. It was worth it for us because, as stated above, we know the history of the vehicles, and also because my husband's company paid for the move. We were still upside down on both vehicles, so trying to sell them in Ohio in this economy and then buying something else unknown once we arrived wasn't really an option. Hope this helps, and good luck in your move!
We brought my 8 yr old Saturn and Sold my husband's Mazda Millenia.
the Saturn is fine for running errands and doing whatever needs to get done.
We bought a used Jeep from a guy who plays Ultimate with my husband and it's great for "adventuring" around the island. My husband loves it.
When we rented we had a Chevy Calavier and drove through the rain forest with no problems. I wouldn't take it on any dirt roads.