Shipping my car to ...
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Shipping my car to St. Thomas.

Posts: 3
New Member
Topic starter

Desperately seeking guidance! I plan to ship my car to St. Thomas --- but I don't have a clue about the process involved. Can someone advise me on the following:

1. Recommend a shipper (based on your experience)
2. What documentation is required
3. Taxes
4. How long does the process take (on average)


Posted : December 13, 2010 5:40 pm
Posts: 2138
Noble Member

I don't have any recent experience on the subject, but try a search of past postings on the forum, like this one for "car shipping":,search=car+shipping,author=,page=1,match_type=ALL,match_dates=365,match_forum=ALL,match_threads=0

Posted : December 13, 2010 6:50 pm
Posts: 3
New Member
Topic starter

Thanks Bob

Posted : December 16, 2010 4:19 pm
Posts: 52
Trusted Member

I've done this, and I can't see any posts regarding shipping a car to STT... I've got STX and Home Depot - Bah Humbug amongst others, but no answers to the questions above...

Posted : December 16, 2010 7:28 pm
Posts: 36
Trusted Member

we just got our car shipped over about 2 weeks ago. We used Tropical shipping.

1. Call Tropical and tell them what date you or someone will be dropping the car off at the facilities. We drove ours to West Palm Beach to save money on having it dry shipped to the port and then flew out from there.
2. You have to pay Tropical in advance. We have a small SUV costs about 1500.00
3. Tropical will give you all the paperwork but basically it is a copy of the title, a letter of authorization, and a quote on how much the car is worth (low ball it, they use this for customs).There is more paperwork required if the car is not owned outright or if it is foreign made, but I'm not sure what it is.
4. Apply for an EIN number, just do this over the phone through the IRS and they will give you the number on the spot, you will have to put this on all your paperwork. The EIN number is not necessary if your car is worth less than 2500.
5. Deliver the car to the port, make sure all your paperwork is turned in and make sure you get confirmation that they got your paperwork before you deliver the car.
6. Get a date from Tropical as to when they think your car will be delivered and call the STT tropical number when it is suppose to get there, they say they will call but I wouldn't count on it.
7. Either do it yourself or hire someone to clear it through customs, inspections, licenses, and excise taxes. I have a toddler, so waiting in all those lines wasn't going to be pretty. I paid someone 250, for do all the work for me...up to you.
8. Finally pay road tax based on how much your vehicle weighs, should be on your title. My small SUV (weighed around 3000) road tax was about 750.00.

So we paid about 2500 to have our car shipped over...good luck and let me know if you have any questions.

Posted : December 21, 2010 6:24 pm
Beachbumlife reacted
Posts: 74
Trusted Member

Remember if you owe anything on your car (lien), you have to get permission from the lien holder. Shipping company will need this. Most lien holders won't allow shipping.

Posted : December 21, 2010 9:12 pm
Posts: 124
Estimable Member

Tropical is the way to go.....reliable and the best .......we have shipped 2 cars through them with excellent service out of their facility in Riviera Beach, FL near W. Palm. They have web site and their service is great.

Posted : December 21, 2010 10:24 pm
Posts: 1085
Noble Member

be very careful in what you ship. Remember the costs involved. You should know what it will cost you and IF you need to get rid of then car what will its value be?

And I second the advice above. Tropical is the way to go if you determine that you are going to do it.


Posted : December 22, 2010 12:36 pm
Posts: 25
Eminent Member

Hello all! I will be moving to STJ on November 1st and am torn as to what to do about a car. I am almost certain I will need one (not to mention I think I would be more comfortable knowing it was there to use at any time) but cannot decide if it would be best to ship a car over or to buy one once on island. I currently drive a 2006 Mazda 6 (obviously not going to cut it in STJ) which I will be putting it up for sale shortly. I want to spend about half the money I get for my Mazda on the car for STJ. I would ideally like to get a Jeep Wrangler but dont know what the car market is like down there. So here are some questions:

Will I almost undoubtedly get a lemon?
How long will it take me to find a decent car?
Will I be able to find something decent for around $6k - $7k?
Is it worth shipping an inexpensive car over in your opinion?

I am well aware of the fact that I will likely lose money on the car either way if I decide to leave after a few months. But I dont plan on that being the case and if so then its just part of the experience I guess.

Any help you can provide would be great!



Posted : July 28, 2011 8:09 pm
Posts: 94
Trusted Member

Tropical wil not insure vehicles that are more than five years old.

Posted : July 29, 2011 1:08 pm
Posts: 171
Estimable Member

The two things I've noticed (although I'm on STX) are: 1) Jeeps REALLY hold their value here and 2) vehicles cost a LOT more here. So... unless you're looking for a very old Wrangler, $6,000 to $7,000 is probably unreasonable. My own 2003 Liberty with over 100K miles on it would sell for at least $9K here. But you're right... a Mazda won't work on these roads.

Good luck!

Posted : July 31, 2011 12:45 am
Posts: 1085
Noble Member

Call Tropical. They have a step by step process. HOWEVER I would look into buying a car here first.


Posted : July 31, 2011 12:27 pm
Posts: 25
Eminent Member

mgpilot, funny thing is that a 2003 Jeep Liberty with about 115k miles on it here in DC costs about $9000 as well. I was looking to get a cheaper car and ship it over. I have the option to buy a 1999 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4.0L 6 cyl for about $5500. My concern is that once I pay to have it shipped (probably around $2000 from what Ive read) I now have 7500 Invested in that car. Whats the likely hood of me getting $7500 for a that car there? Do you have any idea what a late 90's Jeep with 100k+ miles on it goes for? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Posted : July 31, 2011 7:54 pm
Posts: 171
Estimable Member

Here's one on Craig's List for $3,700:
99 Cherokee

and here's one for $5,800:
98 Wrangler

Posted : August 1, 2011 8:42 pm
Posts: 955
Prominent Member

Here is a break down for shipping a vehicle from Jax. Florida to St. Thomas:

Hi Mike! Thanks for the email. Good luck on your upcoming move. below is an ESTIMATE of the cost for moving your Frontier from Jacksonville Fl to St Thomas including the road tax and registration costs. If we do the clearance and registration, we charge $150 which is highlighted below in yellow. This is something you can do, and if you do please just remove that from the estimate.

If your VIN begins with a 1,4 or 5 it was built in the US and there will be no duty accessed. I looked it up in the web and it looks like it was built in new Smyrna, ga, so we should be good there.

If you would like to load the truck up (inside and out) with your personal effects, you can do so for $350 (as long as you are delivering it to the port) If you choose this route, please be aware that you need to use good judgment in what you load as it travels at your own risk, That being said, the ports are very secure now and there is no way a big screen tv could be stolen, however, it would be easy enough to pocket a GPS left on the front seat.
You can build a box on the back of the truck and load that up to (as long as the box does not exceed the dimensions of the cab and truck bed

If you would like us to arrange to have the truck picked up at your location, we would be happy to do that, but you cannot load personal effects in the vehicle if we do.

Let me know if we can help you!

Ocean Freight

AES Filing

Sub Total Shipping

Estimated cost of clearing and registering a :

2009 nissan frontier 4dr truck

Customs Duty (Kelly Blue Book)


Road Tax (4 door)




Service Charge

Sub Total Clearance


Service Charge

Sub Total Registration

Total Clearance and Registration

Grand Total

Meme St John


I hope this helps anyone out who is contimplating shipping a vehicle to St. Thomas. It might just be cheaper in the long run to buy a car on the islands and then sell it when you leave. The only problem I have is that most of the cars that I see advertised have HIGH mileage. My Nissan Frontier only has 15,000 miles on it.

Posted : September 26, 2012 1:51 pm
Posts: 47
Eminent Member

Car rental companies are always selling Jeeps. By law the cars can not be older than 5 years. Milage is usually low on these vehicles. Check with Olympic RAC in St. Croix or other national brand name companies in STT.

Posted : September 27, 2012 4:30 pm
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