owning a car in the DR

lifeisbeautiful

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Sep 7, 2002
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I was wondering how problematic it is to own a car in the DR? Is car insurance required? can u easily find a used car for cheap? are repairs expensive down there compared to the US? Gas prices? sorry bout all the questions, just trying to figre out what to expect! thanks a bunch!
 

Keith R

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Jan 1, 2002
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lifeisbeautiful said:
I was wondering how problematic it is to own a car in the DR? Is car insurance required? can u easily find a used car for cheap? are repairs expensive down there compared to the US? Gas prices? sorry bout all the questions, just trying to figre out what to expect! thanks a bunch!
1. It can get to be quite a headache, more than you'd imagine coming from abroad
2. In practical terms, yes (you'll be soooo glad you had it the first time there's an accident). Can't recall about legal terms (think so)
3. Yes, but not necessarily a good used car. Buyer beware definitely the rule in the DR, as there are no consumer protections worth speaking of.
4. Repairs are not expensive as long as it is a recent year of popular Asian model like Honda or Toyota, but can get so for American and some European models because of part costs
5. Gas prices more expensive than US, always
6. For further details, check the archive search. There have been tons of discussions on these various issues.
regards,
Keith
 

Golo100

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Jan 5, 2002
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Used cars in DR

Dominican used cars have to be among the worst in the world. Dominicans have no car care culture. They just drive and could care less about road conditions. Being that road conditions are mostly dirt road quality, our used cars are just as bad.

Dominicans will fix their cars and hide damage before they sell and could care less what happens to the potential buyer. They assume that if someone sold them this car this bad, they don't care the condition they sell it to the next guy.

There is no collision insurance for old cars. If you have an accident and it is the other guy's fault you may never get paid by their insurance. Chances are they use "Pepin" insurance, which will take years to settle, if at all. Your used car is a dead end investment. Run it till it dies.

We also have the most unreliable mechanics. They are thieves. These guys will probably do some hidden damage so they can have you hostage. Good luck.

TW
 

lhtown

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Jan 8, 2002
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It is generally recommendable to buy a popular model that is less than five years old and take it to the dealer for service. It is expensive, but seems to be less problematic than using Juan on the corner who uses the jack out of your trunk because he doesn't have one.
 

Snuffy

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May 3, 2002
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Does anyone know of any honest foreigners that have an auto repair shop or that can check over a car someone is about to buy?

I suppose they turn back the mileage on used cars here. You have to really give a car here the look over. Take that car out and run it hard and see what happens. Pay attention to how strong the engine pulls from a dead stop. Pay attention to the shifting of the transmission. Look under the car after a good run and look for any leaks and then determine what they are and how bad they are. Look for interior wear and try to determine if it matches up to the mileage. Look at carpet around pedals...match to mileage. Look for rust along door bottom. Look at oil. Look at tires. Buyer Beware.

Any honest mechanics........please list here. Thanks.

A taxi driver here told me that I have to discount the asking price by about 30%...that is what I should pay for it. What do you guys think???
 

Snuffy

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I think this was answered before but it slips my mind...can you buy only liability insurance? If you do hit someone can they sue you for bodily harm same as here in USA?
 

Golo100

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Liability Ins.

Liability insurance is easily available in DR. It does not even required much paper work. It costs around $1000 pesos. Believe it or not, most people use the company everybody loves to hate "Pepin", because in this situation, people who sue you for liability will have to face them. They are hard line people who hardly ever pay. They will delay your litigators to boredom and death.

TW
 

Conchman

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Jul 3, 2002
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If you get in an accident as a foreigner, whether it was your fault or not, you have about a 50-80% chance of ending up in jail. The police like to do this in order to extract bribe money out of you (I guess). I've seen it happen to a friend of mine here on the North Coast and have heard of many others it happened to. I've only lived here 4 months though.
 

Jim Hinsch

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Jan 1, 2002
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I know an Englishman that did some time and was forced to pay for repairs and medical bills after two motoconchos slammed into his Jeepeta.

Here's the kicker. It was parked in front of his house where he always parks, legally, and he was not even in the vehicle or near it at the time of the accident! He nearly left the country over the event after having spent 30 years living in the Dominican republic.

If you buy a vehicle, make sure you have a secure place to park it.
 

Paulino

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Jan 4, 2002
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As for used car prices, perhaps www.cibermercado.com.do is as good a place to start looking as any.

Paulino
 

Hillbilly

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My dentist was slammed by a guy running a red light. The insurance company offered her RD$1500 for the damages suffered: Cost her RD$30,000+ to fix her car which she unloaded!) She is sueing.
One of my students was in a car that was rear ended this past weekend by a 16 year driver(no license, of course). My student told me that their driver had to pay! Totally absurd, but then again, they don't know the laws nor how to fight this crap...

this a verrry surreal country at times..
HB :(
 

Paul Thate

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Jan 11, 2002
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Totally absurd, but then again, they don't know the laws nor how to fight this crap...

this a verrry surreal country at times..
HB

Well Hb this happens all the time to a lot of people
Do you know how to fight this crap

That knoweledge would be very usefull to a lot of us
 

Jim Hinsch

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Jan 1, 2002
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The poor get locked up for days, even years without even a hearing or being charged with a crime. The wealthy rarely see the inside of a cell. When the law only works with a lawyer, those that can't afford one better walk a straight line.
 

Jersey Devil

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Jul 5, 2002
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Auto Aire Churchill

Snuffy said:
Does anyone know of any honest foreigners that have an auto repair shop or that can check over a car someone is about to buy?


Any honest mechanics........please list here. Thanks.

Snuffy,

What part of the country are you in?


Moca
 

Hillbilly

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Jan 1, 2002
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Honest mechanics?? That is an oxymoron!!


If you are near Santiago I could help you with a thing or two.

HB
 

MommC

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Mar 2, 2002
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We have been told that if you are rear-ended

it is considered your fault! (mainly happens when you are stopped to turn left.) Most people when turning left will pull off the right side of the road and wait until there is no traffic before making the left turn.
Didn't make much sense to us but ........makes a lot of sense when you see how Dominicans drive!!
 

Robert

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How can being rear-ended be your fault?

I was rear-ended a few weeks ago and it was clearly the other drivers fault. The cops agreed with me, so did the other driver and also the insurance company. The worst thing about having an accident here is the time spent in the station filling out the police report, 3.5hrs in this case. Even if no one is hurt, make sure you get a police report.