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Thread: How to buy and bring a car from USA

  1. #41
    agd is offline Bonaire Lover Bonaire Talker
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    Back to the topic of bringing a car from the USA...

    I promised to post an update on costs and process once it was all complete.

    Process:

    Deliver the car to Amcar in Miami. Have original and 2 copies of title, proof of value or payment, passport. Leave the car and a set of keys with them. If they get this by Monday, the car will leave on the Friday/Saturday ship. If not, it will be the following week.

    While the ship is in transit, contact Rocar. Once they get the paperwork from Amcar, give them copies of title, purchase receipt etc. and they can start the ball rolling for customs clearance. The ship gets to Curacao by the Wednesday, but to trans-ship it onto Don Andres may take a couple of days. If it shows up in Bonaire on the Friday, you probably still cannot get access to it until Tuesday or Wednesday. They say they will call when things are ready, but my experience is you have to go there and ask. Once you get the final billing, go to your bank to pay and get a receipt, unless you do not mind waiting a few days until an electronic payment clears.

    To register the car, first go to the Belastingdienst and get a CRIB number (although this may not be necessary). It takes a couple of days. Then arrange insurance. We were best served by John Flipse as others have mentioned. He will get a plate number. Now pay road tax. Flamingo Express at the old post office worked well for this. Now off to the licence office to get your plates. As Steve reported, this may take more than one visit. Despite having hours bankers would envy, they seem to show up late. But they make up for it by going home early. and if the 2 hour lunch break is a bit of a rush, that can be stretched, too. And there is no reticence about shooing you away after a wait if it would not be convenient to serve you. But when you do get your plates, you can go back to Rocar and get your car and documents.

    Costs:

    Amcar originally said about $2700. That ended up being $2260 for the shipping and another $510 for processing, loading, outbound clearances etc. totalling $2770. I paid collect and Rocar added $38 in local fees, so $2808 all in.

    Somewhat unexpected was the magnitude of the inbound fees to Rocar and Don Andres. They worked out to be $561. So shipping worked out to be $3369

    Then the import duty of 25% had to be paid on the value of the car plus shipping. Isolating the shipping for the moment, this was charged on the $2260. That is $565. So the shipping in total worked out to $3934 and that number should be close for any model, age or value of small SUV type of car.

    Then you must pay 25% import tax on the value of your vehicle. I paid $15000 Canadian for the car, which customs valued at $11274 USD,or another $2818.

    So all in, my $15000 CAD car, ($11,274 USD) ended up costing me $18000 USD by the time all is said and done.That makes it a pretty expensive 2014 Honda CRV, but it is a clean, rust free, Honda certified dealer car with 65,000 easy miles and tight suspension and steering, etc. I could not find anything locally with comparable features and condition and what was available was equally expensive, so I am not unhappy with the choice.

    Obviously, at those costs, it would not be worth importing a cheap beater that would only last a year or two. The newer and more expensive your car is, the less proportionally the shipping will cost you but on the otherhand the 25% duty then is a killer. And how nice a car do you want to beat up on these roads?

    Cheers

    Andy

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Calgary, AB, Canada
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    Good report, thanks Andy.

    We went the new car route, and purchased on island. With the 25% import duty and the lowey Canuck-Buck it was an expensive Ford Edge we now have. I hear you on the rough roads, so many potholes in a lot of places it is impossible to try and miss them. A wee-bit better on the Scoot some places you can try and twist your way through, but with those little 12” tires, when you do hit a good sized pothole you sure feel it.
    S&E Tanton

  3. #43
    agd is offline Bonaire Lover Bonaire Talker
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    Thanks Steve.

    I think the route you you took is also an excellent one. You get exactly the new car you want, the warranty, service and support locally from Akkermanns. With their volume, the shipping and handling costs added are lower in an absolute sense and proportionally even more so. You get a vehicle that can last a long time but if you decide to move on the resale value here remains high.

    At the the other end of the spectrum, for some, a cheap local car might make the most sense to just get around the short distances at low speeds on the island. That was initially the direction we thought of, but we also wanted something that could go through the Washington Slagbaai park, bang up around Bopec to Nukove and Tailor Made and to go through the sand and coral rubble to unnamed sites in the south without getting stuck. (My wife hates getting out and pushing) But we could not find anything here that fit the bill.

    So so I hope relating my experience will help others in evaluating what makes the most sense for their requirements.

    If if I see a blue Edge I will give a wave from the grey CRV!

    Cheers

    Andy
    Last edited by agd; 02-23-2019 at 10:23 PM.

  4. #44
    Xspecht is offline Bonaire Lover Bonaire Talker
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    Steve, your house is amazing, what a location too! I have read a bunch of your experiences with your move to Bonaire. Are you going to live there exclusively, or go back and forth to Canada? I have never been to Bonaire, but am going there for the first time with my family in March 2020. We are divers so I know we will love it. The island looks like the perfect place to retire someday, although the house you selected is a bit out of my price range! I’d be happy with a house on the hill with a sea view and a pool.

  5. #45
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    Hi Xspecht,

    Currently our plans are to go back and forth to Canada a few times each year. Spending as much of the winter months as we possible can in Bonaire. I see you list your location as Coeur d’Alene. We have a Summer home just over an hours drive north of you on Kootenay Lake. We are sitting on the fence about getting our Bonaire Residency Permits, we need to do more investigations into the Tax issues we might encounter. There always seems to be a good number of houses and apartments for sale in all price ranges. Also bare Lots are an option if you up for a new build. I noticed a new area is opening up for development in the north Sabadeco Terraces area, those Lots would have a very nice sea view. There are also 2 or 3 sea side Lots for sale in Sabadeco Keys, that is right beside our area which is Sabadeco Court.

    Maybe we will see you in 2020.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    S&E Tanton

  6. #46
    Xspecht is offline Bonaire Lover Bonaire Talker
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    Thanks again Steve,

    I am looking very forward to visiting next year. I already bought the book showing all of the dive sites that has maps as well, it will be an awesome resource. I have been reading a lot of the posts about people who have become residents as well as those who are considering it and still have many questions as well. Most are around healthcare and taxation. We have been in Coeur d'Alene for just over 10 years now and really enjoy it here. That said, the winters are definitely no fun, although the summers are usually amazing, but too short! We won't be looking on doing anything for around 8-10 years but are always on the lookout for a better option. We bought a home in Sarasota, Florida a few years ago to use as a winter home later on, but who know what the future will bring? If I could live somewhere where I could dive in warm water all year and not have to worry about getting wrecked by a hurricane every couple of years, that would be awesome for sure. That's why Bonaire seems so interesting to me, that and it isn't a third world country like much of the rest of the Caribbean.

    Enjoy your new home!

    Charlie

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