So how do you decide on which car to buy?

The Virginian

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Mar 16, 2007
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You might think this should be in the clown bin, but here is what my wife and I discovered while searching for a used car here in the Dominican Republic.

CAR Odometer Actual
2002 Toyota RAV4 L 79,671 109,132
2002 Toyota Highlander 90,435 147,931
2002 Xterra 74,300 154,139
2003 Honda CRV 53,707 131,347
2003 Toyota RAV4 L 43,576 80,335
2003 Honda CRV EX 57,897 85,113
2003 Honda CRV EX 55,482 149,188

To answer my own question, I guess you need to find a mechanic you know and trust to check out the vehicle from top to bottom.
 

The Virginian

New member
Mar 16, 2007
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Sorry, look like my spacng was removed. The first value is the Odometer reading and the second value is the actual milage as supplied by CARFAX.
 

cobraboy

Pro-Bono Demolition Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2004
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Sorry, look like my spacng was removed. The first value is the Odometer reading and the second value is the actual milage as supplied by CARFAX.
I'm not surprised. I've been told by several Car guys that EVERY car imported has the odo turned back. At least with CarFax you can find out what the actual mileage might be., and if the car is a problem child.

Take it to a GOOD mechanic, one with training (not OJT), pay him 1000 pesos, and get a solid opinion for YOU, not the seller. Nothing at all wrong with a well-maintained car with a few miles on it.

I just went through the buying process, settled on a 2001 4WD X-Terra in fine shape with 130,000 actual on it.
 

leekiv

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Mar 5, 2007
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alrighty

Sorry, look like my spacng was removed. The first value is the Odometer reading and the second value is the actual milage as supplied by CARFAX.
cause I was thinking..........Damn over 90 B in travel!! I would have said "if u believe that then I have got some............. Thanks for clearing that up as V I have respected u and ur posts but if u believed that then ............WoWzer man. Maybe u want some property on the moon that I have rights too. lol:cheeky:

Best of luck to you. From what I have heard if you are in the area talk to Rocky as I have heard has some pretty solid people he deals with.
 

AK74

On Vacation!
Jun 18, 2007
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So smart that you invested $30US in Carfax! Congrats!

AMOF trying to find a used car in DR without rolled back mileage and hidden serious accident/salvage history and not abused by low skilled Dominican mechanics ,bad roads and bad gasoline is practically impossible. Cars like this exist of course in the country but owners will never sell them. Or if sell they are bought by relatives or friends.

If you really want a proven safe vehicle your only viable option is to find a licensed used car dealer/exporter in USA who will agree to buy for you at a dealers-only wholesale auction "Manheim" in North-East Region of USA and ship.

A better, cheaper and safer way to get a good vehicle in DR - does not exist period.

Sorry for disappointment!

You might think this should be in the clown bin, but here is what my wife and I discovered while searching for a used car here in the Dominican Republic.

CAR Odometer Actual
2002 Toyota RAV4 L 79,671 109,132
2002 Toyota Highlander 90,435 147,931
2002 Xterra 74,300 154,139
2003 Honda CRV 53,707 131,347
2003 Toyota RAV4 L 43,576 80,335
2003 Honda CRV EX 57,897 85,113
2003 Honda CRV EX 55,482 149,188

To answer my own question, I guess you need to find a mechanic you know and trust to check out the vehicle from top to bottom.
 

CFA123

Well-known member
May 29, 2004
3,498
381
83
I bought a 2001 Honda CR-V. Odometer, 79k. CarFax, 98k when it was imported 2 years earlier. I found a 20k-40k discrepancy on every vehicle I checked on Carfax. The U.S. accident history & knowing where the car originated was important to me as well. I didn't want cars from the northeast due to harsh winters and rust problems. I'll let the sea salt do the job for me.

6 months into it now with zero problems. It may break down tomorrow, but everything on it works, no rattles, runs great, doesn't burn oil. I'm hoping it lasts for years.
 

leehall

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Oct 24, 2006
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Buying the car is part of the fun... Wait until you have to maintain it and need to distinguish between a 'new part' and a 'new part for your car' :)
 

mountainfrog

On Vacation!
Dec 8, 2003
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www.domrep-info.com
Suspicious Numbers

Almost all used cars imported from the US have had their odometers tampered with and the auction sticker is removed.
The odometer usually reads between 75 and 85,000 miles....

In La Vega I saw ONE dealer only whose cars had still US-customs (?) stickers with a credible mileage on them.

m'frog
 

AK74

On Vacation!
Jun 18, 2007
842
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Almost all used cars imported from the US have had their odometers tampered with and the auction sticker is removed.
The odometer usually reads between 75 and 85,000 miles....

In La Vega I saw ONE dealer only whose cars had still US-customs (?) stickers with a credible mileage on them.

m'frog

When you have a licensed USA dealer who buys for you directly from a DEALERS-ONLY (closed to public) auction , you will receive with the car the US Title and auction papers where true mileage and accident history is stated. In this case you know exactly what you bought.

When you buy from a Dominican used car dealer in Moca he already destroyed all the papers and evidence and you have only his word of honesty.

I would never buy a vehicle in the Dominican second-hand market. Safety and reliability of your car means difference between life and death for yourself, your family, your children. Not the thing to try to save 75 bucks or a trip or two to the port in Santo Domingo.

Too much at stake to afford to be lazy, trustfull and careless.
 

Robert

Stay Frosty!
Jan 2, 1999
20,575
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dr1.com
One of the guys in the DR1 office brought a RAV4 about 18 months ago. He car faxed 64 2003-2005 RAV4's and only 2 had "true" records. He brought one of the good ones and up until now it's been a great vehicle.
 

AK74

On Vacation!
Jun 18, 2007
842
36
0
I bought a 2001 Honda CR-V. Odometer, 79k. CarFax, 98k when it was imported 2 years earlier. I found a 20k-40k discrepancy on every vehicle I checked on Carfax. The U.S. accident history & knowing where the car originated was important to me as well. I didn't want cars from the northeast due to harsh winters and rust problems. I'll let the sea salt do the job for me.

6 months into it now with zero problems. It may break down tomorrow, but everything on it works, no rattles, runs great, doesn't burn oil. I'm hoping it lasts for years.


Rolled-back odometer ("Dominican mileage") is not about - "no rattles, runs great, doesn't burn oil." No. Much more srerious. The problem is , like human body a WHOLE car ages. Only mostly not with years but with miles. All parts of it. 100K miles can be roughly correlated to 100 year old person. Still moves, but anyday is expected to...

Even worse with 150K miles. All major safety components are practically dead.

A person may drive it nice without overloads, but one day he must stop it fast to avoid a head-on collision , and the brakes fail (they are supposed to fail at 150K miles) and all your family, your wife and your children instead of going to a party go to the grave.

Same thing will happen to your abused steering mechanism and to your tranny or engine when you need to accelerate fast to to complete a pass on a highway with two way traffic.

So, rolled back "dominican" miles is not such an innocent thing,amigo.
 

sweetdbt

New member
Sep 17, 2004
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Rolled-back odometer ("Dominican mileage") is not about - "no rattles, runs great, doesn't burn oil." No. Much more srerious. The problem is , like human body a WHOLE car ages. Only mostly not with years but with miles. All parts of it. 100K miles can be roughly correlated to 100 year old person. Still moves, but anyday is expected to...

Even worse with 150K miles. All major safety components are practically dead.

A person may drive it nice without overloads, but one day he must stop it fast to avoid a head-on collision , and the brakes fail (they are supposed to fail at 150K miles) and all your family, your wife and your children instead of going to a party go to the grave.

Same thing will happen to your abused steering mechanism and to your tranny or engine when you need to accelerate fast to to complete a pass on a highway with two way traffic.

So, rolled back "dominican" miles is not such an innocent thing,amigo.
Not exactly a "glass half full" kind of guy are we "amigo"?

Depending on the kind of roads driven on and how faithfully routine maintenance has been done, a Toyota or Honda can be a perfectly useful vehicle for up to 200,000 miles. If it was bought new in the DR, oil not changed regularly and driven on back roads in the campo, it will obviously be less.
 

CFA123

Well-known member
May 29, 2004
3,498
381
83
Agree with much of what you say AK74, but quite happy with my choice for the type of driving I do here & am confident in the vehicle.

Driving the latest & greatest here would be more dangerous to my welfare than the 6 year old CR-V, I think.
 

AK74

On Vacation!
Jun 18, 2007
842
36
0
Not exactly a "glass half full" kind of guy are we "amigo"?

Depending on the kind of roads driven on and how faithfully routine maintenance has been done, a Toyota or Honda can be a perfectly useful vehicle for up to 200,000 miles. If it was bought new in the DR, oil not changed regularly and driven on back roads in the campo, it will obviously be less.

Just being in car-exporting business and dealing with "retail sellers" in different countries including DR for over ten years. Have no more illusions regarding used car dealers left.
If a car is not right from a dealer-only auction with all original papers I will not touch it with a seven-footer...
 

jalencastro

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Dec 15, 2004
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Agreed

Nothing!
New is new. 3/36 warranty, peace of mind!

Best option.
i was about to ask if they offer the same warranties on vehicles similar to here in the states. I agree better off buying NEW!
then again a Honda should last you a pretty long time if maintained well so a used car isnt that bad? are prices outrageous for used cars in DR>? i have never noticed....

HOORAY! my 300th POST! :bunny::bunny::bunny:
 

AK74

On Vacation!
Jun 18, 2007
842
36
0
i was about to ask if they offer the same warranties on vehicles similar to here in the states. I agree better off buying NEW!
then again a Honda should last you a pretty long time if maintained well so a used car isnt that bad? are prices outrageous for used cars in DR>? i have never noticed....

HOORAY! my 300th POST! :bunny::bunny::bunny:

Prices are very high due to import tax that on some models goes up to 65% of the car value!

With this in mind it is especially important to do anything in power to get a good solid safe car when paying this much money.

Hence my old standing and only advice to all buyers of used cars - directly from a DEALERS-ONLY auction in USA with a help of a licensed dealer.

Cost-wise it will be a bit cheaper than buying locally, but you will have to wait three weeks delivery from Port Newark , then to go to Santo Domingo Port several times, do customs paper work, pay several hundred dollars bribes to corrupted customs officials but in the end of the day the result is well worth the effort and time spent you will recoup with time, stress and money saved on repairs ( that in DR is not piece of cake by far!!)
 

cobraboy

Pro-Bono Demolition Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2004
40,966
919
113
Rolled-back odometer ("Dominican mileage") is not about - "no rattles, runs great, doesn't burn oil." No. Much more srerious. The problem is , like human body a WHOLE car ages. Only mostly not with years but with miles. All parts of it. 100K miles can be roughly correlated to 100 year old person. Still moves, but anyday is expected to...

Even worse with 150K miles. All major safety components are practically dead.

A person may drive it nice without overloads, but one day he must stop it fast to avoid a head-on collision , and the brakes fail (they are supposed to fail at 150K miles) and all your family, your wife and your children instead of going to a party go to the grave.

Same thing will happen to your abused steering mechanism and to your tranny or engine when you need to accelerate fast to to complete a pass on a highway with two way traffic.

So, rolled back "dominican" miles is not such an innocent thing,amigo.
I couldn't disagree more about your assessment of mileage. 25 years ago a car was "dead" at 100,000 miles. No longer for MOST models.

I have ALWAYS bought cars new and drove them for at least 200-250,000 miles before moving on. 150,000 miles is nothing on a well maintained vehicle. And YES, you can EASILY dtermine if a car has been well maintained, if you know cars.

I grew up in the US car biz, my dad was a life-long Ford & Chevy dealer.