Jeep vs Car STJ
I have read that it is recommended to have a 4x4 vehicle on STJ. How necessary is this? I have a both a Jeep Wrangler and a chevy cobalt. Moving in June and trying to decide which to ship. Jeep is my first choice, but unlike our car, we have a loan on it, and are wondering if it's worth the trouble of getting permission from the lien holder (they seemed pretty skeptical when we called and inquired, so we're not so sure they'll allow us to ship it). Will having a Jeep make a big difference?
Yes and no.
Some roads are extremely steep and difficult in the rain.
Low to ground vehicles aren't recommended tho I believe STJ has better road conditions than STT in terms of potholes. Depends where you'll be living and the route you travel. Bring both, if you can or buy something on island if you feel the need.
I do recommend 4wd or AWD on St. John. There are a few spots on the mainly traveled roads here that you will have a hard time if the road is wet without it. Our roads aren't in as bad of shape because we just don't have as much traffic. I just got a new to me Subaru Impreza, had a Legacy wagon before that, and even though it was low clearance, I haven't had any trouble (unlike the police SUV's that I hear scrape their front bumpers pretty frequently). I had a Tracker, 2WD before these two, few spots I would not even try if it was wet.
It's possible to get by with a car, but a 4WD vehicle is definitely better. It will increase your options for living situations also.
Is it practical to try and purchase a vehicle once on the island? I assume there wouldn't be a big selection. Just wondering if it's worth all the trouble to ship.. its quite the process!!
You're coming in June, so you might have good luck with buying a vehicle from someone leaving island. If it were me, I would rather go through the hassle of shipping a vehicle whose history is a known quantity. Check with the lienholder first before you even worry about this question, however -- many will not release it.
Once you pick a shipper, IMO it's worth every penny to get an expediter to handle getting your vehicle registered and ready for pickup upon arrival. Search the archives for some recommendations.