While planning your move to the Virgin Islands there are several logistics that must be worked out. One of those things is figuring out what you are going to do about a car. Although each of the islands are rather small– a car is necessary unless you are able to car pool, or want to rely on the safari bus (our taxi system).
1.) Buying a car on island
2.) Shipping your car
Buying a car on island:
Cost aside, this option is definitely the easiest of the two. However, the downfall to this option is that cars on-island can be a bit more “worn down” if you are buying used. If you are buying new you can expect to pay around 15-20% more than you would for your stateside vehicle. I recommend buying a SUV with plenty of road clearance (smaller cars do not fare well here!) For used cars the best resource is Craigslist or the Island Trader:
Shipping your car:
A little more planning goes into this option and on average it costs around $2,5000 to ship; however, there are many upsides. If you currently have a reliable car it is always helpful to have that car on the island. More reliable=less breakdowns, which seem to occur more often here due to the weather environment as well as the road conditions. Also, shipping a car is not as big of a pain as you would think. The most common company used for shipping vehicles is Tropical Shipping and they are extremely helpful and know how to make the process as smooth as possible. The VI Moving Center is also a great resource for learning about the specifics of shipping a car. Click on the below link to learn more.
It all comes down to personal preference. I know many people who do just fine with one vehicle per household. The hoops we jump through to live in paradise are minuscule in relation to the beauty and joy we gain from being here!
If you have any questions or comments about shipping you car please do not hesitate to post them below. We love to hear from you!
Until next time,