Send car from US...or not?
If I plan to move to STT, does it make more sense to pack call full and send to St Thomas from Miami? Or buy car in STT?
Most shippers won't allow you to pack anything in the car you ship. Those that do tend to go through Puerto Rico, where belongings have a habit of disappearing.
I've had friends move nice cars down and they regretted it. The terrain is very hilly and your car barely ever gets out of second or third gear. When they moved back there car was never the same again. If you plan to move for a short time just buy a car down here. However, if you have a dependable car you don't care much about, move it down. But, don't plan on packing your car up if you want to see your items again.
Our shipper told us we could pack a certain amount, as long as it did not obstruct a driver's vision so when it was driven out to be inspected by Customs when it arrived and wasn't cram packed - there was enough room for Customs to sort of finger through things......and that we did on the way down and everything was fine.....on the way back, however, the shipper took it upon himself to turn our lawnmower upside down in the back of our Cherokee....we had emptied the tank and let it dry for a couple of weeks prior to this - unfortunately, we did not drain the oil and the back end of my Cherokee smells like Jiffy Lube and forever will. One caveat - our Jeep was inside a container.....It may be different if you ship it separately.
I wish we'd left our car at home......it's a great car, very dependable - but definitely not as good as when we took it to St. Croix, and with infinitely more bumps and bruises....STX isn't as hilly as STT or STJ for the most part....still and all, I think I wish we'd bought a beater...would have been cheaper and we would have fit in much better. That Jeep was my baby before we left - now it's just what I drive....
I shipped a car in Nov of 06. I was told I could not put anything in it. I did have a small old wrench in the map pocket. It got stolen!
This is a question that I have been mulling over for the past 6 months. This is what I decided. If you have a very special place in your heart for your car and cannot live without it, pick your shipper carefully. Last week I talk to a gentleman who had his beefed up jeep shipped down and someone from the shipping company decided it looked like a fun toy to play with. When it was received on island the trans-axle was broke in half.
With the price you pay to ship and some of the headaches you go through I am going to try and find the best deal I can when I get there.
By the way - does anyone have an older CJ7 that they want to sell - LOL
I shipped my car back to the states and I sent a claim in for the damage on my vehicle...they say it's not their fault! I have had a hard time with claims all around...HMMM?
I have shipped two SUVs to STX using Tropical and had no problems or damage.
Of the dozen or so people I know that have shipped cars only one has had problems. His parking brake froze during shipment and there was some mechanical damage when they tried to get the vehicle off the boat.
I think some of this would depend from where you are shipping your car. Some companies rail the car to Miami before putting it on a ship, and I have heard this can be rough on a vehicle. If you don't plan on being here for longer than a year, I would just buy an "island car" when you arrive. If you do plan on staying, and/or bringing your vehicle, don't plan on shipping it back to the States. It does not make any sense to spend thousands of dollars to ship the car both ways and end up with a car in worse condition that it had been before shipped at all. Cars are generally worth more down here, so if you spend the money to ship it down here, you should be able to compenstate for part of that cost when you sell. I shipped my car in 2004 and I think I made the right decision. Had I sold the car in the States, I would have come down with that money and purchased a vehicle for the same price yet far under the quality and condition of my vehicle. I also would not have known much about the history of the car, whereas with my vehicle, I was the second owner and purchased from a dealership and therefore know the history of the car. This island does a number on vehicles between the roads, the hills, the salt...
Does anyone have a Honda Civic down there? How does it do on the hills and with the potholes?
I love my car and it's reliable here but I didn't know how it would do down there.
The only thing I would have done differently in moving down here would have been to ship our car from the states. The roads here are not as bad as so many people make them seem. Yes, there are bad places, and big holes in the rain forest road 🙂 but for going from my place to the grocery store to the laundry mat to work, the road are in decent shape. And we have had nothing but problems with every car we got on island.. now we have no car and no money left to get one because of the money we put into the others. I would definitely have kept my stateside car and not dealt with the horrible selection down here.
We are moving to St.Croix in Sept. I have a Mini Cooper, and am trying to decide to bring or try to sell it. Here's the deal, it's got low mileage and would be great in St.Croix. To try and sell it in the states, might be a nightmare. I bought it a year ago and have a 6 year loan with a warrenty for 3 more years (full). it has low mileage.
I really want to bring it, is it really that must of a hastle to move a car?
It is not a big deal to ship a car here other than delivering your car to the dock and writting a check to cover the shipping and taxes, The small fee that a shipping agent charge you to handle all the paperwork is worth it.
Your biggest obstacle will be getting your stateside lender to allow the car to be moved to the VI. You will need written documentation from them,
I have seen one Nini Cooper on STX.
The taxes will be 3 &1/2 to 6 percent, depending on where it came from. A hefty chunk if its only one year old. Customs will base it on the blue book. Last mini cooper shift in sat in customs for over 6 months because of the emissions. Find out where your car came from if its Canada or Mexico for example you're looking at 6%.
As far as it being a great car on the island heres the problems I see (and let me just say first I'm jealous I love the coopers) its too low to the ground. Even if you don't live on a dirt/gravel road we have potholes everywhere you will be cringing alot as you drive. Coopers are high maintenance. Look at the special tires (they will still stay inflated when empty) a friend replaced them stateside and it cost him $400 for one. The closet mini cooper dealership is Puerto Rico. If you move outside the us I'm pretty sure that is going to null and void your warranty.
The most popular vehicle types on STX are SUVs and full size pick ups. This is in addition to the insane water truck drivers in over weight tankers. Many drivers tend to hug or cross the centerline around curves because they are going twenty over the limit. Double yellow lines in the center of roads are assumed by most local drivers to be for decoration only. There are also many blind corners and intersections on the island.
How much protection does your Mini Cooper provide in case of a head on collision?
PS Did anyone mention that it is legal to drink and drive in the VI? Intoxicated drivers are usually only cited for a DUI if they have had an accident..