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Moving to STX and need car purchase advice

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M&M
 M&M
(@M&M)
Advanced Member

We plan to move in June, 2016 and I would like to purchase a new vehicle in the mainland to ship to STX. My question pertains to car brands. The brands we are considering do not have dealers in STX, so we would have to rely on local mechanics for maintenance. Are there any brands that we should not consider? Also, would a high end brand increase risk of theft or any other risk? Thank you and we are looking forward to sharing your island.

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Topic starter Posted : January 23, 2016 2:54 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Why are you considering brands not sold here? The makes offered here are offered because they do well in our terrain and climate, parts are pretty much readily available and mechanics familiar with them. Your maintenance costs are likely to be considerably higher between parts and labor if you purchase something out of the norm. I'd keep it simple.

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Posted : January 23, 2016 3:18 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Maybe you should tell us what you're looking at bringing?

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Posted : January 23, 2016 3:26 pm
M&M
 M&M
(@M&M)
Advanced Member

Thank you for responding. I want a SUV and I want the gentlest drive I can get. We are relatively young retirees, but we are late 50´s/early 60. I am flexible in terms of brands. I saw there is a Toyota dealership, so thought of a Lexus. Also considering the new Jaguar SUV, an Audi, or Porsche (Maccan). Thank you again.

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Topic starter Posted : January 23, 2016 3:52 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

The Ford Escape is a very comfortable ride. Cars get dinged and damaged here very quickly and few stay pristine once they're off the lot so bear that in mind. Also not a good idea to draw attention to yourself with something comparatively exotic for obvious reasons.

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Posted : January 23, 2016 4:29 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Toyotas are a popular brand here and have excellent resale value but something not flashy or ostentatious would be better for every day use.

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Posted : January 23, 2016 4:56 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

"would a high end brand increase risk of theft or any other risk?"

Yes.

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Posted : January 23, 2016 5:02 pm
butchCondor
(@butchCondor)
Advanced Member

I’m in the same boat, I’m planning to arrive in May, and we’re in the same age bracket. Should I ship my car, buy one there, or buy one in Florida and then ship it? One thing you need to remember that I found out, if you bring a car into USVI that wasn’t assembled in the USA, there is a duty tax that needs to be paid along with the shipping cost. Also, the roads in USVI are pretty rough, so I'm hearing there are a lot of problems with alignments, shocks and suspension systems. From my research, the Consumers Union rates the Honda as being the best car for dealing with potholed roads, above Range Rover. Toyota came in as a close second. Instead of a high end car, I’m considering high end after market suspension system to replace the stock suspensions systems, it’s not visible and I can enjoy a comfortable ride. OldTart was spot on about driving a high end car, you’ll be spitting in the faces of a lot of people. It’s like painting a target on your back. I had a friend in Nicaragua who drove a Mercedes, people would throw rocks at him, and his car.

Good luck and I hope to see ya soon

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Posted : January 23, 2016 9:44 pm
M&M
 M&M
(@M&M)
Advanced Member

Glad to hear from another new retiree transplant to be. Thanks for your thoughts. Not sure how to pm you. Would love to hear your thoughts about so many things. Have searched this great forum up and down and love it. Always worry that I am asking things that have been asked 100 times bc the search option is not always easy to navigate.

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Topic starter Posted : January 23, 2016 10:03 pm
M&M
 M&M
(@M&M)
Advanced Member

Old Tart, I bet you are younger than I am. Have followed your posts on this forum for at least a year and so like them. Thank you. To be a devil´s advocate, let's say I want to go for a high end vehicle, can I find a mechanic or is this simply not an option? Thanks again.

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Topic starter Posted : January 23, 2016 10:08 pm
butchCondor
(@butchCondor)
Advanced Member

M&M, I share your thought about asking questions that have been asked countless times before and those in the know are perhaps a little tired of answering the same questions over and over again. I’m new to forum as well and I don’t know how to reach someone outside of this forum. I did read a warning about giving out your email address on the forum, they say it’s not a wise thing to do. Sadly, there are predators on the internet who make it hard for all of us who have no such intentions.

Like I told you, I’m doing the best I can to find out as much as I can to make the transition to USVI as easy as possible while avoiding costly mistakes. Having lived as an expat from the USA since 1999, I know that a 2 week or more vacation to USVI is not enough time to really get to know that place or any place for that matter. When I lived in Costa Rica, I met a lot of good people, who visited Costa Rica for a couple of weeks every year and thought they knew everything about Costa Rica, only to find out they made an uncorrectable and costly mistake after they moved there. The advice to visit a place for at least 6 months before making a decision, and not making any long term commitments until you know for sure if you fit in and this is the place you want to live is damn good advice.

Anyway, I’ve always believed the more eyes you have on looking at something the better the odds of someone seeing something you might have missed.

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Posted : January 23, 2016 11:30 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Old Tart, I bet you are younger than I am. Have followed your posts on this forum for at least a year and so like them. Thank you. To be a devil´s advocate, let's say I want to go for a high end vehicle, can I find a mechanic or is this simply not an option? Thanks again.

I have several years on you! The chances of your finding a good mechanic for an "exotic" aren't impossible but are slim. For all the reasons already offered, it's simply not a good idea. Have you been here? 😀

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Posted : January 23, 2016 11:39 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

I’m new to forum as well and I don’t know how to reach someone outside of this forum.

Click on the "PM" next to the poster's name and you can send a message via the forum. Notification of the Private Message will be sent automatically to the poster's email address. It's that easy!

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Posted : January 23, 2016 11:43 pm
M&M
 M&M
(@M&M)
Advanced Member

Got it. Thanks. Yes, we have been going to STX since 2003 but for periods of up to 10 days. I am originally from an island also, albeit a much larger one, so the pace of life is somewhat familiar to me. However, much will be new and will take some time to figure out. I read this forum and have read the Relocating to STX book.

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Topic starter Posted : January 24, 2016 8:53 am
Beeski
(@beeski)
Trusted Member

A friend of mine used to have to fly a BMW mechanic to STX from PR multiple times to figure out what was wrong with her X5. As others have stated, bringing down a Porche, Audi, brand not sold / supported on island is begging for trouble.

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Posted : January 24, 2016 9:41 am
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member

When people are asking what to bring down here from mainland there are three things that are important. Mate, car (suv) and a pile of money. Everything else you you can leave behind.

For practical purpose high end euro cars require specialized diagnostic equipment to maintain. Furthermore your warranty is void after you move your car down here. If you have a major problem you will have to send that car to PR or mainland for repairs. If you really want Lexus or Porche it is probably better to buy preowned and out of warranty. I have seen one old Porche and a few Lexus cars on STT. Additional expense is 6% import tax on non domestic brands. Check VIN as some BMW suv are considered built in USA. Better yet buy Cadilac Escalade or high end Jeep to avoid import tax and get local service. Always check VIN..

I shipped my car from JAX on Blue Ocean and it was reasonably priced and car was under the deck hidden from ocean spray. Now that El Faro is gone I am not sure how Blue Ocean functions.

As to the quality of the roads I did not feel much of a difference in comparison to Philadelphia where pot holes were the size of moon craters. We drive here 10-30 mph at best so it is not that noticeable when you hit something. If you moving from the heartland you may feel different about the roads here.

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Posted : January 24, 2016 10:22 am
singlefin
(@singlefin)
Trusted Member

I recently asked a similar question, however mine was based on dealership reputation. I have had several individuals point me towards Metro Motors. They have a very good reputation on island (STX). They're primarily a Ford dealership, but had a brand new, beautiful, high-end Lincoln SUV center stage in their showroom.

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Posted : January 24, 2016 12:00 pm
Ca. Dreamers
(@ca-dreamers)
Advanced Member

We are here on STX nearly 4 years now.

We brought 5 dogs and 3 cats with us from Central California and that required vehicles to transport them across the mainland so we brought what we had.

2003 Ford Excrusion with 190,000 miles that is in pristine shape and a 2004 Ford explorer Sport Trac now with about 100,000 miles that we use for everything including dog beach day, and Kayak day.

Both vehicles have weathered the Island life well as I preform all service and maintenance on both.

You will find that it really doesn't pay to to have a new or expensive vehicle here. I have friends that have brought or bought expensive vehicles and they get the same bumps and bruises and become "Island Cars' just like the rest.

Regarding contacting people on this page privately, this can be done via PM without giving your e-mail address.

There are those that frequent this page with lots of info about island life but very few that still post their experiences about moving here.

Good luck with you endeavors.

CD

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Posted : January 24, 2016 12:29 pm
quirion
(@quirion)
Advanced Member

Gotta love dog beach day!

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Posted : January 24, 2016 12:51 pm
janeinstx
(@janeinstx)
Trusted Member

It was great to meet you and your wife at BINGO the other night!

We are here on STX nearly 4 years now.

We brought 5 dogs and 3 cats with us from Central California and that required vehicles to transport them across the mainland so we brought what we had.

2003 Ford Excrusion with 190,000 miles that is in pristine shape and a 2004 Ford explorer Sport Trac now with about 100,000 miles that we use for everything including dog beach day, and Kayak day.

Both vehicles have weathered the Island life well as I preform all service and maintenance on both.

You will find that it really doesn't pay to to have a new or expensive vehicle here. I have friends that have brought or bought expensive vehicles and they get the same bumps and bruises and become "Island Cars' just like the rest.

Regarding contacting people on this page privately, this can be done via PM without giving your e-mail address.

There are those that frequent this page with lots of info about island life but very few that still post their experiences about moving here.

Good luck with you endeavors.

CD

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Posted : January 24, 2016 2:30 pm
M&M
 M&M
(@M&M)
Advanced Member

Thank you all so much. Your message is consistent and I will listen. Again, thanks!

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Topic starter Posted : January 24, 2016 5:36 pm
SausageInTheCan
(@SausageInTheCan)
Advanced Member

Buy a Ford product. You'll never have to deal with the slime at Caribbean Auto Mart.

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Posted : January 24, 2016 9:10 pm
M&M
 M&M
(@M&M)
Advanced Member

Thanks for responding. It sounds like CAM has a bad reputation, based on posts on this forum, and we will avoid it. From what I have seen, STX Caribbean Auto Group is an acceptable company and they sell Toyotas, Fords and other brands. Any reason why you are specifically recommending a Ford SUV? Do they service all of the brands they sell, or only Fords? Thanks again.

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Topic starter Posted : January 24, 2016 10:18 pm
Ca. Dreamers
(@ca-dreamers)
Advanced Member

It was great to meet you and your wife at BINGO the other night!

Ditto (tu)

CD

We are here on STX nearly 4 years now.

We brought 5 dogs and 3 cats with us from Central California and that required vehicles to transport them across the mainland so we brought what we had.

2003 Ford Excrusion with 190,000 miles that is in pristine shape and a 2004 Ford explorer Sport Trac now with about 100,000 miles that we use for everything including dog beach day, and Kayak day.

Both vehicles have weathered the Island life well as I preform all service and maintenance on both.

You will find that it really doesn't pay to to have a new or expensive vehicle here. I have friends that have brought or bought expensive vehicles and they get the same bumps and bruises and become "Island Cars' just like the rest.

Regarding contacting people on this page privately, this can be done via PM without giving your e-mail address.

There are those that frequent this page with lots of info about island life but very few that still post their experiences about moving here.

Good luck with you endeavors.

CD

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Posted : January 25, 2016 11:02 am
Rowdy802
(@Rowdy802)
Trusted Member

Metro Motor's FB page... (They are the ones who sell Ford/ LMC)

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Posted : January 25, 2016 3:53 pm
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