Vehicle Question

toritobravo

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Jan 30, 2009
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I will be moving to Santo Domingo this summer. I had a previous post asking general questions and I appreciated all of the valuable feedback. I just found out today about the regulation that forbids any vehicle over 5 yrs old from being shipped into the Dominican Republic. It has definitely messed up my plans as the SUV I planned to take over is a 2003 model. My employer will pay to ship my vehicle and I will be in Santo Domingo for 4 years. I now plan on buying an SUV to ship over with the intention of selling it when I leave. My question is as follows:

1. What types of SUV's are popular? I am looking for something that is not too huge but that has capacity for seven when needed (jumpseats in the rear). Something along the lines of a Honda Pilot, Land Rover LR3, Ford Explorer, Chevy Trail Blazer, Toyota LandCruiser, Volvo XC90 etc. Does anyone know what sells? Is there a preference for U.S, Japanese, or European SUV's? Do the U.S., Japanese and European SUV's have the rights specs to operate and later be sold in the Dominican Republic?

2. Is there a market for used SUV's that are in good condition (4-6 yrs old) but have not been too beat up? I realize that the nature of Santo Domingo traffic/parking/driving will beat it up but we plan on doing whatever we can to keep it in good shape.

3. I have been told that I can probably sell whatever I buy in the U.S. at cost after using it for four years in the Dominican Republic. Is this true?

4. What is insurance like? Is it expensive? People I have spoken too say that no one has insurance. It this accurate or just plain wrong? I was not going to worry about full coverage with the 2003, but if I buy a 2006-2008, I want to make sure that I am covered in case of theft, accident, etc.

Thank you in advance for help.


TB
 

dv8

Gold
Sep 27, 2006
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1. What types of SUV's are popular? I am looking for something that is not too huge but that has capacity for seven when needed (jumpseats in the rear). Something along the lines of a Honda Pilot, Land Rover LR3, Ford Explorer, Chevy Trail Blazer, Toyota LandCruiser, Volvo XC90 etc. Does anyone know what sells? Is there a preference for U.S, Japanese, or European SUV's? Do the U.S., Japanese and European SUV's have the rights specs to operate and later be sold in the Dominican Republic?

2. Is there a market for used SUV's that are in good condition (4-6 yrs old) but have not been too beat up? I realize that the nature of Santo Domingo traffic/parking/driving will beat it up but we plan on doing whatever we can to keep it in good shape.

3. I have been told that I can probably sell whatever I buy in the U.S. at cost after using it for four years in the Dominican Republic. Is this true?

4. What is insurance like? Is it expensive? People I have spoken too say that no one has insurance. It this accurate or just plain wrong? I was not going to worry about full coverage with the 2003, but if I buy a 2006-2008, I want to make sure that I am covered in case of theft, accident, etc.

1. japanese or american. toyota rav4 or landcruiser. honda crv. ford explorer. toyota would probably be the best.

2. there is always a market for used jeeps.

3. for car prices in DR look at: super-carros.com - dominicana - carros nuevos vehiculos usados - supercarros
on the left you will find CARROS USADOS (used cars), buzqueda avanzada is advanced search. marca is model.

4. full insurance for a jeep this new will be expensive. depending on a price and model it can go up to 3k dollars a year. basic insurance is cheaper. since you plan to stay here for few years note that insurance will cover only drivers with valid DOMINICAN license. that means you would also have to get residency.
 

TheHun

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May 4, 2008
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"My employer will pay to ship my vehicle and I will be in Santo Domingo for 4 years. I now plan on buying an SUV to ship over with the intention of selling it when I leave. "

Why don't you ask your employee if they would pay for it. If they are the one who send you here they should cover all of your moving expenses. For an SUV that you are talking about there are duty, tax, and other BS fees that you need to pay, and it will be way over US$ 10G !!! Have you considered this? Will you have residency or only work visa??

The Hun
 

J D Sauser

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Nov 20, 2004
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www.hispanosuizainvest.com
I think that after you do a search on this forum about importing vehicles, you will find, that even under the resident exception it is not entirely free (duties) and not sooo easy.
Also, not only can you not import a car that is older than 5 years, but you also can not expect duty exemption under the new resident status for a vehicle you have NOT OWNED for a year or two(?).

Importing a vehicle paying duty can be done, but it is expensive (duties and taxes) and can be complicated.
You may want to consider buying a vehicle locally IF you really need one and after you have gotten used to the local traffic situation.


... J-D.
 

Bob K

Silver
Aug 16, 2004
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You might also check about buying a new vehicle and then shipping it. I believe the law is that the vehicle has to be between two years and five years old and you have to own it for two years before it can be shipped

Bob K
 

toritobravo

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Jan 30, 2009
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Thanks for the input. dv8, that website is very helpful. My employer will be paying for the shipping and all import fees, costs, etc. All I have to do is provide the vehicle. As far as driving, I was in Santo Domingo for 4 months in 2005 and drove on a daily basis. It does not seem to make much sense to purchase a vehicle in Santo Domingo considering how much they are marked up. I will purchase something new or gently used, like an 07 or 08. Any input on what make of vehicle to take over would be helpful. As I said earlier, I would want to be able to sell it when I leave in four years.

Thanks again,
TB
 

CFA123

Silver
May 29, 2004
3,498
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tb
I think you can bring in you 2003, but have to pay the tax that's designated for a 2004. I believe that info is here on dr1. search the forums a little more.
 

CFA123

Silver
May 29, 2004
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tb
I think you can bring in you 2003, but have to pay the tax that's designated for a 2004. I believe that info is here on dr1. search the forums a little more.
To reiterate.... I'm not sure about this. Don't 'take it to the bank' without additional confirmation from sources you trust. I probably shouldn't have posted anything in the first place ;)
 

auraesther

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Mar 21, 2009
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Moving to the DR and reading DR1's posts are making me anxious!

Every time I read the posts here is like everything in DR is bad and getting worse!

I am beginning to feel as if I don't really want to move there. Our employer is sending us there for three years, but I am not jumping up an down of joy anymore. Trust me when I tell you that we moved around plenty of times, but always within the states due to my husband's job, but this is a whole new ball game for us. I am the one reading here and I don't like what I see.

I tell you that it is so frustrating to find information at that Aduanas' website! I went there to find out about taking my current vehicle to DR when we move, in July, and I just about had it! I was trying to do a search for information on my vehicle and the taxes, fees etc that I would have to pay and the search returns no information.

Can someone please tell me, really, is it that bad? I don't want to live my life scared, afraid of what could happen. Thinking all the time, Am I going to get mugged? Do I have to not trust anybody? Come on! Life is full of good and bad everywhere!

We are just "normal", law abiding, good citizens. Our lives in the states is just "normal", but we know that we have to be careful and aware of our surroundings, but never fearful. What kind of life is this going to be if I am not able to even wear my earrings in peace? Is it worth it? Am I risking my teenage daughter's lives for a job? Should I let my husband go by himself and possibly break our family just like that?

Can someone just talk to me with the real truth? Please? Is it really that bad? :paranoid::nervous::speechles:laugh::rambo: ;)
 

anng3

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Jan 12, 2007
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From personal experience on being transferred for the benefit of the company I would suggest that you lean on the company to make all the arrangements to get your car here. Companies usually want the move to go as smooth as possible so the employee is not distracted but often are waiting for you to let them know what you need. Keeping the spouse and family happy is included. It should be financial to your advantage not just in salary but to make you whole in the new country. It's enough you are uprooting to another country. That being said with your concerns maybe it would be better for your husband to try the job first and see if it's for him before you uproot your family. Why don't you have the company fly you and your kids
down so you can make a better decision, look at housing, schools etc.
 

auraesther

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Mar 21, 2009
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Thank you for the reply. However, without going into details, this move is not to start a new job, is the same job my husband has been doing for the same company for years. We've done it many times, first time going to another country though...So, we know this is going to work out wherever he is relocated to.

Our housing situation is taken care of, as well, thank God. The thing that ignites my worry is the personal safety issue. Most posts I've read, seem to point out so much negative situations! It sounds as if we were going to move to Iraq, for goodness sake! :) I come here in hopes of reading what the common, every day person feels and think about Dominican life. Our employer has provided a lot of information as well, but the info I find in DR1 is scary!

I look forward to read more realistic posts or I am going to have to stop reading these ones. Relocating is stressful enough, relocating to another country beyond stressful, relocating to another country with so much bad stuff going on, out of this world!

I still hope that moving to DR cannot be that bad!
 

suarezn

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Feb 3, 2002
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Hmmm...Can I switch jobs with your husband? I would love to get a job with a company that would relocate me to The DR.

Regarding cars probably your best bet right now is to get yourself a used Ford Explorer. They are so cheap right now in The US and they are finally becoming very common in The DR, so getting parts, mechanics, etc is not an issue anymore.

I didn't understand whether your company will just pay shipment charges or will they also pay to get it out of customs (The largest of all expenses). If your company is also paying the custom fees and doesn't have a cap on how much they will pay then it is a smart decision to ship down an expensive SUV (i.e. A Lexus), because you'll then be able to sell it when your contract is over and make most of that money back up.
 

auraesther

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Mar 21, 2009
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The company pays for one vehicle and we pay for any extra ones. Since we need two vehicles, we will have to pay for mine. I do happen to have an Explorer. :)

I may have to sell it and buy me another one because I have also read that we cannot take a vehicle that is older than five years old. That's a bummer! It's a shame! My Explorer is a 2002 and it runs beautifully. Why trade it now? That law makes no sense at all, but that's what I read in many websites. Are there any waivers you know of?
 

mountainannie

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Dec 11, 2003
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elizabetheames.blogspot.com
first time out of the STates?

Thank you for the reply. However, without going into details, this move is not to start a new job, is the same job my husband has been doing for the same company for years. We've done it many times, first time going to another country though...So, we know this is going to work out wherever he is relocated to.

Our housing situation is taken care of, as well, thank God. The thing that ignites my worry is the personal safety issue. Most posts I've read, seem to point out so much negative situations! It sounds as if we were going to move to Iraq, for goodness sake! :) I come here in hopes of reading what the common, every day person feels and think about Dominican life. Our employer has provided a lot of information as well, but the info I find in DR1 is scary!

I look forward to read more realistic posts or I am going to have to stop reading these ones. Relocating is stressful enough, relocating to another country beyond stressful, relocating to another country with so much bad stuff going on, out of this world!

I still hope that moving to DR cannot be that bad!
It all depends on who you hang out with and where and what you do with your time. There are people here from other countries who spend most of their time complaining.

There are others among us who have chosen to live here and think we have stumbled on a great place to live.

There are others who are just relocated here for a few years and live inside the bubble of their own company/embassy contacts - travel out to resorts and stuff for the weekend, and maybe don't even know or learn Spanish. They could be anywhere.

So I guess that I would say -- if reading this forum is making it worse for you - then stop. Since it is true that relocating is stressful.

Concentrate instead on looking at pictures of the beach, counting your blessings that you have evidently a good job, health, etc.

And BTW the DR is considered a "reward" post for US State Department personnel -- where they chose to go AFTER Iraq,'

suave, tranquillo,

relax



There is crime everywhere -probably even where you live!!
 

Lambada

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Mar 4, 2004
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And BTW the DR is considered a "reward" post for US State Department personnel -- where they chose to go AFTER Iraq,'
Is that right? We had a friend here a few years back, at the US Embassy, loved the country and people, didn't like whatever was 'going on' at the Embassy (common sense told me not to enquire too closely :cheeky:) so left after 4 months and.....took a posting in Iraq.

auraesther, can't really answer your question, I'm afraid, because I don't know you. Yes there's all sorts of bad stuff happening, it could even get worse but am I moving out? No way. This has been home for over 16 years now and I have no intention of changing that. I can only suggest you do what we tell everyone to do - come for a trial period first. You could respond that that isn't possible, of course. In which case, apart from your husband moving first, then I would have no other suggestion. What I can't do is reassure you that the DR is right for everyone and the life here is a bed of roses for everyone. Clearly, as you have read, it isn't. There are many of us posting & living here who are truly content with the way we have structured our lives to take care of as many eventualities as possible. But false reassurance I won't offer, because that would be a disservice.
 

suarezn

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Feb 3, 2002
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The company pays for one vehicle and we pay for any extra ones. Since we need two vehicles, we will have to pay for mine. I do happen to have an Explorer. :)

I may have to sell it and buy me another one because I have also read that we cannot take a vehicle that is older than five years old. That's a bummer! It's a shame! My Explorer is a 2002 and it runs beautifully. Why trade it now? That law makes no sense at all, but that's what I read in many websites. Are there any waivers you know of?
Ok, but the question is not whether the company pays, but what do they pay for? ALL charges to import the vehicle or just shipping charges? That is a very important question. You should understand that the taxes paid to import a vehicle normally are as much or even more than the vehicle costs to begin with. For example the custom, taxes an other charges to import and register a 2006 Ford explorer XLT is 365,748.79 or more than 10,000 USD at the current rate.

You can find the cost here Direcci?n General de Aduanas - DGA

So I would suggest you're very clear with your company as to what they pay for.
 

auraesther

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Mar 21, 2009
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Is that right? We had a friend here a few years back, at the US Embassy, loved the country and people, didn't like whatever was 'going on' at the Embassy (common sense told me not to enquire too closely :cheeky:) so left after 4 months and.....took a posting in Iraq.

auraesther, can't really answer your question, I'm afraid, because I don't know you. Yes there's all sorts of bad stuff happening, it could even get worse but am I moving out? No way. This has been home for over 16 years now and I have no intention of changing that. I can only suggest you do what we tell everyone to do - come for a trial period first. You could respond that that isn't possible, of course. In which case, apart from your husband moving first, then I would have no other suggestion. What I can't do is reassure you that the DR is right for everyone and the life here is a bed of roses for everyone. Clearly, as you have read, it isn't. There are many of us posting & living here who are truly content with the way we have structured our lives to take care of as many eventualities as possible. But false reassurance I won't offer, because that would be a disservice.
Thank you for your reply, Lambada! Everything you've said makes sense and it's what we are doing anyway. I am very social, open, respectful and not a whiner. I am a hard working woman, mother and wife who has relocated many times due to the nature of my husband's job, but never overseas, like I explained before.

I know how to deal with whatever life throws a me, but I don't like living afraid and thinking that my freedom is in danger. I live to enjoy life with my children and to help those around me.

Thank you for giving it to me straight. You live there, you must know what you are talking about.
 

auraesther

New member
Mar 21, 2009
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It all depends on who you hang out with and where and what you do with your time. There are people here from other countries who spend most of their time complaining.

There are others among us who have chosen to live here and think we have stumbled on a great place to live.

There are others who are just relocated here for a few years and live inside the bubble of their own company/embassy contacts - travel out to resorts and stuff for the weekend, and maybe don't even know or learn Spanish. They could be anywhere.

So I guess that I would say -- if reading this forum is making it worse for you - then stop. Since it is true that relocating is stressful.

Concentrate instead on looking at pictures of the beach, counting your blessings that you have evidently a good job, health, etc.

And BTW the DR is considered a "reward" post for US State Department personnel -- where they chose to go AFTER Iraq,'

suave, tranquillo,

relax

There is crime everywhere -probably even where you live!!

MountainAnnie, I appreciate your input, but I would suggest you stop telling everyone here who you work for. Remember what you've been told? This is a public forum. I am sorry, but I just thought I would remind you.

Yes, it is a reward for some, for me, besides being a reward, it is another place where we are relocating to and I need to make sure I know what I need to do in order to keep our family safe and make this assignment as smooth as possible.

I am not new at relocating due to my husband's job. This is not my first rodeo. It's my first overseas relocation though... Which also makes me relocate my job as well. That's why I am trying to educate myself by researching as much as I can before I get to my new place.

Yes. There is crime everywhere, unfortunately that is a fact. However, this is my country, I am going to someone else's country! Goodness gracious, the least I can do is get ready so I don't embarrass those who are sending me and that are represented through me and my family and that I show respect to those who I am going to live among.

I am not a whiner, I am a strong, smart woman who want to do what is best for God, my country, employer, my family and for myself. (wow, that's a lot of people to please by the way! :))

Yes. I am grateful to have a job, health, family, etc, but I am not one who sits at home waiting for my hubby to bring the bacon. I am a woman of action. How can I just sit and look at a nice picture of the beach and just let the world go by? I live by the beach right now, but I am still doing my part during this pre-relocation period.

Thanks everyone for all your input! Have a nice Dominican afternoon! Soon, I will be there for el cafecito de la tarde!;)
 

Lambada

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Mar 4, 2004
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I know how to deal with whatever life throws a me, but I don't like living afraid and thinking that my freedom is in danger.
You're welcome, auraesther. You don't have to 'live afraid' in the DR if you choose the right location, take your precautions & are streetsmart. 'Living afraid' is an attitude of mind, what goes on inside the head, I guess there are people who 'live afraid' in Bournemouth, England ;). If by your freedom being in danger, you mean corrupt cops - it's all dealable with, as long as you know what to do. My guess is those of us who live here have more freedom than say those living in the US for the past 8 years, or in my country of origin, the UK.

Btw, you don't really think mountainannie works for an Embassy, do you? That's..........quite amusing :cheeky:; she doesn't. I'll leave her tell you what she does, if she chooses to. And if you by any chance work for an Embassy, then do keep reading here. Many of the Embassy staff are transients, they're only here a few years & then they move on. The accumulated knowledge of people living here long term (& there are many posters who have & do) will probably be more useful to you. Plus the knowledge of the honorary Consuls/Consular agents who themselves tend to be established long term expats.
 

SosuaJoe

New member
Feb 24, 2005
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Thanks for the input. dv8, that website is very helpful. My employer will be paying for the shipping and all import fees, costs, etc. All I have to do is provide the vehicle. As far as driving, I was in Santo Domingo for 4 months in 2005 and drove on a daily basis. It does not seem to make much sense to purchase a vehicle in Santo Domingo considering how much they are marked up. I will purchase something new or gently used, like an 07 or 08. Any input on what make of vehicle to take over would be helpful. As I said earlier, I would want to be able to sell it when I leave in four years.

Thanks again,
TB
Consider speaking with your employer about giving you a credit for the tax/shipping/import etc of your current vehicle and applying that to the purchase of a used vehicle in Sto Dgo.

Importing a vehicle, while not prohibitively difficult, is not easy either. Finding out what the duty on any particular vehicle is is as easy as looking it up of the government's website. Your shipping agent can quote you the freight plus brokerage, which when added to the taxes/licencing/etc will give you the sum your employer would have to pay. If he;s shelling out the money anyways, what does he care which way that money gets you a vehicle?

A vehicle over five years old is officially not allowed, so you would have to buy new and pay full tax on it. Since you would have to buy a 'new' vehicle no matter what, compare prices and effort between home (plus shipping, taxes, etc) and the DR and make your decision accordingly.

Good luck in Sto Dgo!