Leasing a car in St...
 
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Leasing a car in St. Thomas?

 
xishan89
(@xishan89)
New Member

I will be moving to St. Thomas from Texas in March. I do not have a car in the US but people told me I would most definitely need a car down in the Island to survive. I will be moving to St. Thomas for 1-2 years only. Do you guys know if i will be able to lease a car down there or should i just buy a used car for that short amount of time? (I do not want to spend more than $10k on buying a car if i have to). Are there any reliable car dealerships down in St. Thomas where I'd be able to buy used cars?

Any suggestions/guidance would be much appreciated. Thank you!!

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Topic starter Posted : January 16, 2022 6:17 pm
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member

I would agree that a car is needed on any of the islands as public transportation and taxi services are minimal at best and providers like Uber aren’t available.  Most people will also discourage you from scooters or mopeds and sometimes even motorcycles, because of the road conditions and the abundance of bad drivers.  You drive on the left and all the cars are from the states (configured to drive on the right).  While you will adjust quickly to this oddity the tourists renting cars are for the most part something of a risk.

I would recommend buying a car from the states (Jeep, Toyota or Honda as there are dealerships in the USVI) shipping it here and selling it once your ready to leave.  Chances are you won’t loose any money as a good condition car that’s only been on island for a year or two will be easy to sell and should command a small premium.

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Posted : January 17, 2022 9:26 am
Afriend
(@afriend)
Trusted Member

OP only has a $10,000 budget for a car  which means he/she wouldn’t be able to get a car in really good condition that would “sell for a premium” when he/she leaves the island if you figure about 1/3 of that budget will go toward the cost of shipping it to STT.

OP would be better off using the $10,000 ti purchase a decent used car on STT and reselling it when it comes time to leave.  Even if OP only recoups half the purchase price it will be less expensive than renting or leasing (assuming he/she could get a 2 year lease) a car.  Using that scenario as an example the car would end up costing OP less than $50/week.

 

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Posted : January 17, 2022 3:03 pm
xishan89
(@xishan89)
New Member

Thank you both for sharing your insights. 

@afriend: Do you think I will be able to buy a decent condition car for $10-12k in STT? If so, would you recommend any dealerships or companies selling used cars?

Also, do you guys know if i would be able to get financing on this purchase easily? Given it's only $10k, i might just buy in cash but in a scenario, I decide to buy a more expensive car, would i be able to secure financing through banks down in STT?

Highly doubt I will be able to get an SUV for the above price range so if i end up getting a sedan, would i be okay for 1-2 years while i'm on the island?

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Topic starter Posted : February 5, 2022 7:10 pm
Afriend
(@afriend)
Trusted Member
  • You should be able to find a decent car for $10k to $12k.  It probably will be several years old but should be quite serviceable.  You might find a better deal purchasing the car from private individual rather then from a dealer (say from someone leaving the island like you plan to do in a couple of years).  You’d be wise to check out both sources when you are ready to purchase.  Keep in mind that if you buy from a dealer there may be some type of warranty whereas if you buy from a private party it’s caveat emptor.  Regardless of who you buy from you should definitely have the car checked out by a reputable mechanic before you buy.

Bank financing is available depending on the car and whether or not you can qualify for the loan under the terms that are in effect at the time of your purchase.  Interest rates may be higher than you are used to paying where you now live.

Lastly, unless you plan to do some serious off-roading or you will be living in an area with unpaved dirty roads while you are on island there’s really no need for an SUV.  

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Posted : February 5, 2022 8:58 pm
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