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Waht exactly is an island Car and should I get one of those when i get down there or try to get my car and my wifes shipped down there?

 
nimo734
(@nimo734)
Active Member

I am sure getting our cars ona boat will be expensive probably more than what our cars are worth.

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Topic starter Posted : October 26, 2010 12:27 pm
terry
(@terry)
Expert

Island cars are typically lives of junk that some one else has already discarded. Many times they have already given someone a lot of trouble. Many (most )(?) times they are either wrecked and or rusted out.
If you are used to having a nice dependable car, they will not be for you.

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Posted : October 26, 2010 2:32 pm
Afriend
(@afriend)
Trusted Member

Island Car, aka Island beater - a well used car, often with higher mileage and a history of multiple previous owners that runs but may not be in the best shape perhaps having one or more of the following conditions: dents, faded paint, rusted body parts, fluid leaks, worn interior, etc. Often these cars need frequent repairs to keep them on the road.

New cars are very expensive as are late model used cars that are in excellent conditions (which are sometimes rare since most people in the islands keep their cars for longer periods then people on the mainland). Whether or not it will cost more to ship your present cars to the USVI then they are worth obviously depends on what they are worth. Since you didn't give any information about your current cars (year, make model, mileage, etc.) or where you are shipping them from, which island you are shipping them to and how many cars you have it's anyone's guess.

FIRST: Click on "THE MOVE" dropdown menu at the top of this page and select "Shipping Car" - you'll find answers to your basic questions.

SECOND: Shipping cars to the USVI's is a frequent topic on this forum. Use the search feature to bring up past threads on the subject and you'll find lots of information about the range of shipping costs. Also, contact Tropical Shipping and get a quote from them. Compare those numbers to the value of your car and then decide what's right for you. Don't forget if you still owe money on your car you'll have to pay off the balance as most banks/lenders will not allow you to take a car to the USVI's.

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Posted : October 26, 2010 2:33 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

If you buy a cheap island car 4k and under, chances are Very good you will have to 1k to 2k in it after you buy it. If you have cars that are paid off and reliable bring those. In most cases it will cost you around 2k to ship it here, if you ship it from FL. It's usually a wash so I'd rather have a good car then a mystery car.

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Posted : October 26, 2010 2:47 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

ii brought my paid off car to the island from florida, well worth it becaus i could not have bought one for the price of shipping mine. and i knew about mine.

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Posted : October 26, 2010 7:18 pm
jsmith
(@jsmith)
Advanced Member

I'm not quite sure but I think it's a lot more then 2000 to ship your car especially if it was an import. Justin

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Posted : October 26, 2010 8:01 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

Not a matter of import, but where it was made. For example many foreign brands are made stateside. Check your VIN number and google it. Its the first couple of numbers. Its all a matter of where its made and if they already paid customs bringing it in before you shipped it here. The cost of shipping itself is not bad from FL. Shipping something like a mini cooper direct from germany will cost you and arm and a leg in customs fees but most things are not going to be that bad....relatively speaking. As speedy said, generally speaking it's much cheaper to buy stateside then here. That goes for most big ticket items, furniture, large electronics, etc... You can get better quality for less even with shipping generally. I look at like this, do I want to hassle with shipping or buy local, overpay and probably have to replace it much quicker.

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Posted : October 26, 2010 8:23 pm
aeneas
(@aeneas)
Advanced Member

It also depends on your desire or ability to do repairs. I bought a cheap island car, put in a little time and it's fine for now. It is in no way like my car in the states MANY things are quirky but it is legal and it runs.

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Posted : October 26, 2010 10:20 pm
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

When you buy one be sure you get a good vibe and silver is good because the duct tape blends right in. I spend about $600 a year maintaining my 95 escort. It gets like 25 MPG and runs good. No worries about parking in Christiansted. The fastest I drive is an occasional 55 on our "highway". Initial purchase 5 years ago was $2000. I really should begin a succession plan.

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Posted : October 26, 2010 11:56 pm
billd
(@billd)
Trusted Member

It no one else wants the car it is an island car!

Don't ship your car down. Buy it here.

Billd

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Posted : October 27, 2010 11:13 am
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

Often Island Cars are passed from friend to friend - dents and scrapes are mandatory - many times the repair history is in the glove compartment in receipts - no engine or tranny leaks is #1 criteria - then change the oil - all filters - new plugs and wires - new tires - make sure it has a spare and jack and tools - buy a nice seat cover at least for the driver side - check all the belts and buy a spare for each - check all the hoses and over time buy a spare for each - if the CV joints are clicking order new ones online - get spare keys made the 1st day - the second time the battery is dead get the alternator checked and a new battery if needed - make sure all the exterior lights work and if you need new lenses order them online. Do not repaint or change color - do not get the dents fixed - do not lend it to a friend unless they are agreeable to a cash replacement - get the insurance and registration changed immediately after purchase - have a VI license - stay left and Aim at something cheap.

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Posted : October 28, 2010 4:32 am
chefnoah
(@chefnoah)
Trusted Member

I love my island car.
It's sturdy enough to make it to Sandy Point without hitting the "Oil pan rock" and floats at high speeds on South Shore.
Sometimes at night, an unidentified something will scurry across my toes while driving. The radiator leaks, I burn oil, I've had a cracked rim and went through 3 flat tires. But it's paid for and sturdy as hell.

Island cars can be a lot of fun if you have the right attitude.

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Posted : October 28, 2010 1:24 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

Part of the decision about "should" you bring a car here is WHAT kind of car you're talking about.

Some car brands and models are difficult to get repaired here for lack of parts on the island.

The normal broken stuff is easy (brakes, tires, struts, batteries).
But servicing windows, transmissions, a/c units.... that's another story for some car models.

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Posted : October 28, 2010 8:28 pm
JVWILSONPR
(@JVWILSONPR)
New Member

you can buy a good car or pickup in ST Croix from a leasing co. they changes their fleets Try Antilles leasing 340 719 0414 ask for replacement units list.

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Posted : October 28, 2010 10:43 pm
brooksleann
(@brooksleann)
Advanced Member

I've heard of buying from a Rental dealership that is getting new vehicles. Anyone had experience with that?

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Posted : October 29, 2010 6:41 pm
sewbtc
(@sewbtc)
Advanced Member

I shipped my '09 Mustang from South Florida (West Palm area. last year for $3500.00. Of course, when I tried to ship it back, it wound up "missing" in Antigua for a month. There's a Ford dealership there though, so I didn't hesitate. I can't even BEGIN to think about driving an "Island Car" - EVER!! Of course, mind would have likely been stolen or vandalized at some point. Just sayin'....

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Posted : October 31, 2010 11:04 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

I've heard of buying from a Rental dealership that is getting new vehicles. Anyone had experience with that?

I bought a used Jeep from Budget on recommendation of a friend who knows their business and it was easy and reasonable. Some including Budget bring in cars for resale and don't just sell fleet cars.

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Posted : November 1, 2010 12:15 am
IslandPilots
(@IslandPilots)
Advanced Member

Often Island Cars are passed from friend to friend - dents and scrapes are mandatory - many times the repair history is in the glove compartment in receipts - no engine or tranny leaks is #1 criteria - then change the oil - all filters - new plugs and wires - new tires - make sure it has a spare and jack and tools - buy a nice seat cover at least for the driver side - check all the belts and buy a spare for each - check all the hoses and over time buy a spare for each - if the CV joints are clicking order new ones online - get spare keys made the 1st day - the second time the battery is dead get the alternator checked and a new battery if needed - make sure all the exterior lights work and if you need new lenses order them online. Do not repaint or change color - do not get the dents fixed - do not lend it to a friend unless they are agreeable to a cash replacement - get the insurance and registration changed immediately after purchase - have a VI license - stay left and Aim at something cheap.

This is one of the most hilarious posts I have read here in a very long time, only because it is all VERY true.

I know of one island car on Saint John that the guy repainted with chalkboard paint, and he carried large pieces of chalk in a bucket and leaves it by his car when he parks it. I've seen everything from crude jokes, to advertisements on his car in chalk, and then it rains, and the fun starts all over again.

Another note, the mileage of the car says very little about anything in the islands, as one island mile should equal at least 20 American miles.

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Posted : November 1, 2010 1:11 am
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

When people actually enjoy my perspective it seems to make all the other jibes worthwhile.

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Posted : November 1, 2010 3:58 am
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