Want to buy and shi...
 

Want to buy and ship a car to STX shortly before I arrive on island - is this possible?  


jaldeborgh
Posts: 37
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Joined: 11 months ago

My wife and I have purchased a home on STX but will not move down until December.  We would like to buy a car for the island and ship it to STX shortly before we actually arrive ourselves.  That leads me to a few questions that hopefully someone can share their knowledge or experience.

1.  Can you register a car (small SUV), with a clear title, before it arrives on the island?

2.  If yes, above, are there service providers on island who can help get this done before we arrive?

3.  If no, does the actual owner (title holder name) need to do things in person or can we hire someone to handle the logistics?

In MA, where we currently live, we have generally been able to have 3rd parties, from my insurance company or dealership do everything.  Not sure if this is possible on STX.

I am thinking of purchasing a car in Florida from a dealership near a shipping point and then working with the dealer to deliver the car to the shipping company.  Is this a reasonable idea, also looking for suggestions if there is a better approach.

Any thoughts on Toyota RAV4 versus Honda CRV for the island?

The good news is we have time to think, plan and shop before December.

Thanks for any advice.

8 Replies
Afriend
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Yes, you can buy a car on the US mainland and have it shipped to STX (many people use Tropical Shipping) - you mentioned the car would have a clear title - that's good because many US mainland based car lenders will not allow you to ship a car out of the country.  FYI - if the car was not built in the US you'll have to pay a tax on the vehicle's value when it arrives on the island.

You have to register the car after it arrives on the island. 

Yes, there are people on the island you can hire to register the car for you.

Not much difference between a Toyota RAV 4 and a Honda CRV. 

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singlefin
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Ah yes... Timing things.

Your not in Kansas... Massachusetts anymore. It’s always a good idea to plan ahead, but have a very liberal timetable built into it. Rarely do things arrive on time here. Rarely do things associated with the arrival of those things get done on time. 

We ordered a new car from a local dealership. It arrived four weeks later than expected. It left the factory late, and then “missed the boat” out of Miami. The dealership did split our car rental fee with us. We were on island for three weeks before we could pick up our new vehicle.

Car arrived in great shape though, not a scratch. Just leave plenty of leeway on timing of anything happening  here.

Any SUV, with all-wheel drive is a good idea here. You’ll find you’ll be in the dirt more often than you expected.

I used Blue Ocean Transport to bring my pickup down from the port in Fort Lauderdale 1(888)428-2735 They’ll set up arrival and registration/inspection with Ferrol here on STX

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jaldeborgh
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Joined: 11 months ago

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Which local dealership, if you don't mind sharing.  Other than being a month late were you satisfied with the experience.  Do you feel there are meaningful benefits with buying on island versus in the states.  All the costs associated with bringing a car over may not justify the savings.  I'm interested in your perspective.  Thanks.

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singlefin
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I purchased from Metro Motors. At the time they owned only the Ford dealership on STX and STT. I believe after Hess pulled out and the economy slipped here on STX, they bought out Island Toyota, Jeep, and the Chrysler dealerships. The sales team was fine, the service department was ok. To be honest, I never enjoyed dealing with any new car dealership, no matter where they were located. I chose to go new from a dealership here, so I would have a local place to go in case I ever had a warranty issue. I haven’t had any trouble with the EDGE though, I actually love the vehicle (except the ridiculous keyless entry) the ground clearance and AWD is great for driving anywhere on the island. There is no Subaru, GM, VW, or any other high-end German dealerships on island. If your bringing something in, I would advise bringing in a brand that has a dealership here. Odds are you won’t need them, but if something funky happens, at least you have a place that should be able to fix it here. I’ve heard of people flying mechanics in from Puerto Rico for some high-end brands. Crazy.

One thing that threw me, and I was advised by the salesman about it beforehand, was that the Ford I wanted (EDGE) was assembled in Canada and therefore I had to pay an added customs charge of around $2500. The Explorer and Escapes were built in the continental US, so no custom fee applied in those models. Before you buy, whether new or used, check it’s final assembly point. It’s kind of crazy. Some KIA, Toyota, BMW, etc are assembled in the US, and even though their foreign owned companies, are exempt of the added customs fee.

I think buying a new vehicle in the states and shipping it in will save you a few dollars, but purchasing from a dealership here is far less aggravating. The dealership dealt with the shipping company, the customs office, got the inspection and registration taken care of at BMV, and mounted the plates. 

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jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Joined: 11 months ago

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Posts: 37

Thanks for your reply, it’s both informative and gives me food for thought.  I might reconsider and buy on island as this allows me more control of events.

I’m now adding the Jeep Compass to my list of possibilities.  I really like my 2018 Wrangler and recently bought my wife a Grand Cherokee as a 30th anniversary gift, so I’m going through a Jeep phase at the moment.  I think these are all made in the USA.  

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jaldeborgh
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I checked and the Jeep Compass is made in Mexico, bummer. 

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singlefin
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I believe the wranglers are all still built in Ohio. You’ll find a lot of wrangler and old CJ’s cruising around STX. Pickup trucks (various brands but I’d guess Fords & Toyota’s mostly) are probably #1 on island, but I would guess Jeep Wranglers are #2

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jaldeborgh
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Joined: 11 months ago

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Posts: 37

Yes, the Wrangler is built in Ohio.  I’m impressed with the new JL as it much more refined are a vehicle but still very off-road capable.  The only issue is getting in and out for my wife who’s only 5’ tall. 

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