View Full Version : Is there a "Perfect" car for on-island

01-15-2017, 10:01 AM
I have read that if moving on island, you pay no duty if you ship your car and it's > 1 year old. So that begs a few questions.

1) is it less expensive to buy in the US, own for a year, and then ship to the island
2) as Divers, is there a "best" all around car/truck to have and what options/features would be great to have
3) what makes have the best serviceability on island

I was thinking about the 2017 Jeep Wrangler (four-door) soft/removable top model as a possible option but wanted to open it to discussion and comment.

thanks, B&B

01-19-2017, 01:27 AM
On island--many rental pickups are Toyota Hi Lux, the closest to that sold in the US is the Tacoma compact truck I think.

01-19-2017, 03:36 PM
Hi FlaParrotHead,

As far as I know, you need to have owned it for 1 year before you import it to Bonaire, and you need to import it within 6 months of moving here (might be 3 months).

Cars are generally not well maintained on the island, from my experience. On the second hand market, there is a plethora of brands and models available due to the high amount of second hand imports. Suzuki, Chevrolet, Kia, Toyota. It seems that these are the brands that are most available when it comes to parts and servicing. Jeep does not have any dealers, nor garages on the island. And someone who has a Grand Cherokee told me getting parts for Jeeps is difficult. By all means; everything is available to be shipped from the states, but you may have to wait 2-3 weeks for the parts (as car parts are generally too heavy for air freight, so it has to come by sea). It's annoying if you break a part of your wheel assembly and then your car is out of commission for the good part of a month.

For a diver, a pickup is always preferable, with a durable truck bed liner. You can then easily hose off the salt water from your truck bed, once you are home, and avoid rust build-up.

Regardless of which car you get, it is my opinion that you definitely need something with a solid wheel assembly. This means no low-profile tires, sturdy struts, shocks and springs, as well as steering rack. You find this on SUVs and Pickups. Sedans, estates, coupes, convertibles, and hatchbacks are just not built for this island; and take damage from the poor condition of the roads (bumps, humps, grooves, cracks, and potholes).

If you have the cash, buy a brand new Toyota Hilux once you get here. If you want to save some bucks, try to buy a second hand rental one :)

03-05-2017, 07:40 PM
I recommend rhino-lining your truck bed vs bedliner. Water can get under the bed liner, especially on the tailgate.