Moving from Chicago to STT. Need car recommendations.
Hi all, just joined. I've already searched the forums on this subject, but most posts are very old.
My wife and I are relocating from the Chicago area to St. Thomas in April 2021. We've done our research and have pretty much lined up everything else, but we still need to think about a car. (We'll be selling ours here since neither will be a good choice for STT.) Any recommendations on the following will be greatly appreciated.
Is it possible to do a long term rental? If so, where's the best place to go?
Buying: Who is the most reputable used car dealer on STT?
Shipping: I read in an old post that it was pretty easy to buy at Carmax in Miami and get it shipped to STT. Is this still an option?
What about license and registration on a car that was purchased in Miami? Is it a grueling process?
Buy stateside and ship to STT. Any vehicle coming to VI will need to be inspected, titled, and registered. Not to big a deal but there are companies that will do all this for you in advance of your arrival for a small fee.
Last I checked Carmax last year they will not sell a vehicle without a new title and registration in your name. They can't title it in the VI so that's extra cost. We just bought a used vehicle in Florida from a dealer and they signed the existing title over to us.
Buy stateside and ship to STT.
I think this is best. If you chose a popular vehicle, like a Jeep Wrangler, you can likely sell it when you leave and not loose much money. Keep in mind that non-American made vehicles are subject to an import duty. My wife and I shipped down two Jeeps (Wrangler and Cherokee) from the Boston area for about $3,500 each, including trucking from Boston to Florida. Third party registration services are also very helpful once the car arrives, we used Ferrol Trucking on STX, Blue Ocean did the shipping.
People are very partial to Jeeps (locals will call any SUV a jeep, BTW) but I had very good luck with new Fords (Escapes, old Ranger, etc.) from Metro Motors on St Thomas. Sales and service were great. I also bought a used Explorer from Budget that was under full warranty and they took care of it, also.
We paid a bit more for a 4 door wrangler (kids) and called our our stateside car insurance and adjusted to make sure it would cover it.
I am glad we did the rental first because we totally changed our minds about what kind of vehicles we wanted over the last 2 months renting.
Thanks again for the replies.
So, $2K is obviously an outrageous monthly payment for a Jeep Wrangler. Does anybody here finance or lease a car on STT? If so, what do you pay per month for car payment and insurance? Right now I'm doing a forecast budget with $700/mo. for the car payment and $150/mo. for insurance. And yes, I'm thinking Jeep or Toyota truck... something with 4WD. Are my numbers reasonable?