how to import a car older than 5 years

Bavaro golfer

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Aug 9, 2012
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I am trying to import (from Miami) my classic car which is more than 5 years old, and is therefore ineligible for import, EXCEPT I saw in a recent DR1.com post on September 30, 2012 a comment that "you are not permitted to import anything older than five years old, unless it is a classic and have a letter from the Dominican classic car club."

Does anyone know how I can contact (by phone or email) anyone at the Dominican Republic Antique and Classic Cars Club (Club de Autos Antiguos y Clasicos de la Republica Dominicana) (CAACRD)? Their website CAACRD.com.do www.CAACRD.com.do is a dead URL link, but several recent newspaper articles about the club's recent events show that the club is active, and that the club president is Jacinto Pichardo ******* (for some unknown reason, the post entry is censoring the 3rd part of the name V-icioso, separated here with a dash to get it past the autobot censor), treasurer Cesar Medrano, and adviser Quirilio Vilorio. One club member is Hector Marrero. But the newspaper articles do not provide any clues to contacting them or the club.

Preferably, a CAACRD club member who speaks English would be very helpful, because I'm new here in DR and my Spanish language lessons are still at the very basic level.

Can any DR1.com readers provide additional tips regarding obtaining "a letter from the Dominican classic car club"?

Before I found the clue about the CAACRD letter, my immigration lawyer wrote a letter in early July 2012 to the Direcci?n General de Aduanas (Directorate General of Customs), requesting a waiver, but we did not receive a reply from them, so that was not an effective method.


Also, some DR1.com posts say "hire an import agent" or "import broker" and I am happy to do that, but I don't know where to start looking for a capable & honest one -- any recommendations?

Many thanks!
 

cobraboy

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Jul 24, 2004
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It's incorrect to say you CANNOT import a car over 5 years.

You CAN, but there are large, substantial penalties that make the end cost just not worth it. Often the fees, taxes, duties and penalties are more than such a vehicle is worth.
 

waytogo

Moderator - North Coast Forum & Covid
Apr 3, 2009
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If an auto IS classified as a classic, how is the value set at customs........
For example, an 8 cyl. 63 Corvette............

B in Santiago
 

Bavaro golfer

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FOLLOW-UP NOTE -- I did contact CAACRD, and they cannot help because (they said) they do not consider a car to be a "classic" until it is OVER 30 YEARS OLD. My car is only 9 years old. I am still looking for a solution to import my car from Miami.
 

bluemoonnyc

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FOLLOW-UP NOTE -- I did contact CAACRD, and they cannot help because (they said) they do not consider a car to be a "classic" until it is OVER 30 YEARS OLD. My car is only 9 years old. I am still looking for a solution to import my car from Miami.
why would you think a 9 year old car is a classic? I have never heard of a vehicle less than 25-30 years old be considered for classic status? I think you may be out of luck on this BG..
 

Bavaro golfer

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of course I don't think a 9-year old car is a classic

why would you think a 9 year old car is a classic? I have never heard of a vehicle less than 25-30 years old be considered for classic status? I think you may be out of luck on this BG..
No, I don't think a 9 year old car is a classic. I was merely researching ways to get a waiver from the "no cars imported over 5 years old" law. There does appear to be some "flexibility" (versus strict enforcement) of certain laws here in DR, especially if some pesos change hands and the right people are "tipped." I was merely investigating a different post on this topic that mentioned that there is a classic car club here (CAACRD) which "has status with the Customs people" for importing cars older than five years old, and they can write a letter which helps get older cars in. That's all. I just followed the lead to see where it went.

My car is a 2003 "Centennial" limited edition for Ford's 100th anniversary -- one of only 4,000 built -- a special limited 100th anniversary edition with special badging and a variety of other features unique to only the Centennial edition. There were more than 300,000 Ford Taurus cars built in 2003, so that makes my Centennial edition a 1-percent'er, and 100th anniversaries are significant milestones, which technically does make it rare, and historically significant, and very collectible (although not a classic). My car was garaged and kept in showroom condition. I considered the possibility that the car club might see its unique historic relevance and be interested in it. That's all. I just took a shot in the dark.

For reasons mentioned, I am still seeking a way around this problem.
 

Chip

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Jul 25, 2007
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As I understand the law was put in place to stop the importation of old cars and thus little by little help modernize the vehicles in use. Therefore, these laws are going to be very strict and punitive monetarily or if they weren't the used car dealers would still be importing old junk.

I have heard of a one time vehicle "exemption" that is supposedly transferable, ie they can be bought and sold(usually given to functionaries of the gov't). However, I would check with a reputable attorney like Guzman before paying any money for such a document. I was offered one for around US4k.
 
Feb 7, 2007
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Your best bet would be to contact an importer who is a member of (this is not the exact name) Used Car Importers Association. Just drive to Higuey and start talking to big dealers, such as Fidelcris, Hilaria, etc. And see if they would be willing to import it under their wings. Next bet would be Santiago/Moca e.g. Espaillat Motors there. A friend's wife imported a Honda Pilot couple of years back under the wings of some family's importer (from San Francisco de M.), and it was cheaper than it would have been importing directly. That is one of the most feasible avenues you could find.
 

Bavaro golfer

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Aug 9, 2012
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Your best bet would be to contact an importer who is a member of (this is not the exact name) Used Car Importers Association. Just drive to Higuey and start talking to big dealers, such as Fidelcris, Hilaria, etc. And see if they would be willing to import it under their wings. Next bet would be Santiago/Moca e.g. Espaillat Motors there. A friend's wife imported a Honda Pilot couple of years back under the wings of some family's importer (from San Francisco de M.), and it was cheaper than it would have been importing directly. That is one of the most feasible avenues you could find.
That's good info. Thank you.
 

william webster

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Jan 16, 2009
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Somebody on here has a relative in the auto importing business.... one of the girls, a regular poster..... I just forget who.

dv8 maybe....
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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i received a PM from the OP and wrote back.

just for everyone to know: indeed my father in law dabs in car import. he is a part owner of the company that imports cars and has a license to do so. miesposo tells me it is possible to import older car but the costs really make it a bad choice. unless the car has a sentimental value to you and you really want to have that one and no other and you have money to spare - this is a BAD idea, ok?
you will really end up paying, quite possibly, a lot more than an actual value of the car in transport, taxes and fees only.
 

william webster

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I hope that wasn't too much trouble for you Deviate.

I thought you had mentioned it once - a while back.

En serio, since your father in law is in the business, could people go to him with a legitimate car (less than 5 yrs) and ask him to import it for a fee?
Or do they only import their own vehicles?

It strikes me there is a business idea here whereby people can buy a car stateside(Or ship one of their own) and have a company handle that importing for them.
Naturally, that importing would be paid for to allow a profit.

What do you think??... new job for you.... sales manager here on DR1 for him!!!

I bet you would get business.
I have a friend right now , my friend Paul, who wants to bring in his classic motorcycle and is lost as to how to do it.
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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no problem for me, i put miesposo on it :) that is i sent OP his phone number and he can take it from there.

to be honest with you i really know nada about those things. i know my father in law has a variety of businesses, from car import to financing (cars, houses, whatever). my mother in law is a lawyer so she understands and does some parts of businesses for gringos (mainly land and property related but also other civil law cases). i never thought to "advertise" them on dr1 because really i do not write here to strike deals and make money :)

to answer your question: i think yes, my suegro could still organize car import. i am not sure he would be cheaper than other companies but hell a lot more honest than most :)

i think that the most knowledgeable person here in terms of motos is cobraboy but i will PM you with miesposo number, you can talk to him and he will reach to his dad for details (my father in law only speaks spanish).
 

william webster

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Jan 16, 2009
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Gracias....

Just search the history here.... many people want to bring in a car and have no clue how to do it.
I did it w/ my residency and got the easy deal.

You hit on the head - what people need / want is an honest importer.

It would be a good service and business opportunity rolled into one.

Cooper (CB) may chip in here on this -
 

Castle

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Sep 1, 2012
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I did something like that once with an SUV. I couldn't find one locally with the options I wanted, so the dealer offered my to buy it for me and bring it into the country. We agreed on a price, paid a deposit, and he brought it in for me. He handled all the import taxes as he does with all his vehicles and I never knew how much he paid for it back in the US. Still have it with me and still loving it.
 

william webster

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Jan 16, 2009
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I did something like that once with an SUV. I couldn't find one locally with the options I wanted, so the dealer offered my to buy it for me and bring it into the country. We agreed on a price, paid a deposit, and he brought it in for me. He handled all the import taxes as he does with all his vehicles and I never knew how much he paid for it back in the US. Still have it with me and still loving it.
Now there is a nugget I have never seen here before.

Most people want the car faster than that....
Best of all worlds, order an 'export' made car .

The fact that the car is already sold, should , theoretically, allow for a better price.

My car was made in 07/07 but never registered here until February of '09.
The dealer had that car on the lot for more than one year... not good business.
 

cobraboy

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Jul 24, 2004
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Gracias....

Just search the history here.... many people want to bring in a car and have no clue how to do it.
I did it w/ my residency and got the easy deal.

You hit on the head - what people need / want is an honest importer.

It would be a good service and business opportunity rolled into one.

Cooper (CB) may chip in here on this -
I compared importing bikes and buying from the Suzuki dealer here.

It actually cost a little less buying from Bonanza in SDQ that it would be for us to import.

AND zero hassle. I can assure you that there is a massive hassle importing a car or motorcycle into the DR. A confusing maze of paper, costs, lines, shrugged shoulders, and hands out that lasts, literally, for days. AND that is with an import agent.

We brought in our van (1 year too old; caused some paperwork & $$$ problems) and a trailer full of 76 large boxes of equipment and supplies. Our problems were created by the stateside export agent screwing up paperwork (really easy to do) and missing a few boxes on the manifest. Massive issues invilved, DCND agents and dogs, and buying numerous unexpected lunches.

My advice based on a really crap situation is this: unless you are coming in under the "1 free 40' container & car (under 5 years old, owned for over 1 year)" new resident rule, or unless you just cannot abide the thought of living without your cherished 1982 Wizzer XP, DON'T BRING IT IN.

Unless is, of course, you happen to *enjoy* slivers of bamboo embedded under your fingernails, or molten lead blown up yer nether regions under high pressure. Then, by all means, enjoy the auto/bike import experience.