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do you drive??

 
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The Menace



Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 54
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2003 3:45 am    Post subject: do you drive?? Reply with quote

Hi there!
I would appreciate any comments about driving, owning a car or bringing one down to Mexico. Iím not worried about the driving part since Iíve driven in some crazy places on this planet. Iím more concerned about licensing, insurance, safety and the costs involved on TEFL wages.
Iím hoping to get work in a smaller city and stay in Mexico for a number of years and being a typical North American I like having wheels.
I own a 98 Ford Explorer and a 1982 Suzuki 1100 motorbike and would like to bring at least one of the vehicles down with me.
What do you think??
Let the horror stories beginÖ
Wink

BTW is there another place where TEFL teachers working in Mexico hang out and discuss stuff Question
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Ben Round de Bloc



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1946

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2003 12:30 pm    Post subject: Helpful website Reply with quote

Here's a website you might want to check out regarding driving in Mexico:
http://www.mexconnect.com/mex_/driving.html .

Best wishes!
Smile
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_anethon



Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Posts: 12
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2003 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, well like I said it was pretty unpleasant for me. I had long hair, a goatee, and generally looked pretty scrappy, maybe that had something to do with it.

One time I made the stupid mistake of driving into Mexico City on the one day I wasn't allowed (depending on your licence plate number, there is one day a week you can't drive in DF). So, just watch out for that...

Another issue is parts. We had a Honda, probably the only Honda in Mexico. So when it broke down a mechanic had to rig a solution since he didn't have the part. I don't know how common Ford's are, I don't really remember any. Of course there are lots of VW bugs... and Nissan's are common...

Still another issue was parking. We lived on a tiny street in Cuernavaca, and all the neigbors told us not to leave the car there anyway, it wasn't safe. A friend let us keep it on some property outside of town... so that was a hassle.

As far as legal issues I can't help... but no one even questioned my insurance or anything, not at the border, or when I was stopped in D.F.
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mstack



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2003 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make sure you have Mexican auto insurance!!! This is like your get out of jail free card if there are any accidents or problems. In Mexico, you can be held in custody for several days before you are charged with a crime. Not to scare you, but there have been situations where foreign accident victims with critical injuries have been denied medical care because they didn't have auto insurence. By the time they were released from custody and airlifted to the U.S., it was too late. If you have insurance, on the other hand, you will rarely be taken into custody to begin with. If you're going to skimp, DON'T SKIMP ON INSURANCE!!! For a quote, go to www.sanbornsinsurance.com. For more info on driving (and Mexico in general), you might want to pick up a book called "The People's Guide to Mexico" by Carl Franz. Some sections are a tiny bit outdated, but its a very entertaining read and he provides really good info on driving and camping in Mexico. [/quote]
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Ben Round de Bloc



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1946

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2003 12:51 pm    Post subject: Auto Insurance Reply with quote

Any foreigner who drives in Mexico without auto insurance is nuts. (Just my humble opinion.)

Many Mexican drivers do not carry auto insurance. Many Mexican drivers don't have drivers licenses. Mexican drivers can be divided into two categories: excellent drivers and those who haven't a clue. Both types drive like they're crazy most of the time.

As a foreigner, if you're involved in a major or minor auto accident, everyone (except perhaps you) automatically assumes it was your fault. The other driver, the police who arrive on the scene, the 100 or so observers who materialize out of thin air and crowd around to see what's happening . . . everyone.

If it's a minor accident, meaning no blood shed, the police usually give those involved a chance to work things out $$$-wise, including some $$$ to the police for not writing a ticket. If this $$$ issue can't be done to the satisfaction of those involved, the police must write someone a ticket. Since everyone already knows the accident was the foreigner's fault, guess who gets the ticket. If the car isn't insured and no agreement can be reached between those involved -- $2000 USD for what looks like a dirt smudge on the other guy's rear bumper! -- then an uninsured vehicle is automatically impounded along with the driver receiving a ticket.

That little business card in your wallet with the name and emergency phone number of your auto insurance agent is your trump card. Without it you're at the mercy of the police and the other driver, even if he's just run a red light before careening in front of you forcing you to slam on your brakes, and your front bumper touches his rear bumper in the process.

At least that's how things work in the city where I live.

Best wishes!
Smile
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9403
Location: Mexico City

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2003 2:15 pm    Post subject: Don't bother Reply with quote

Driving in Mexico is bad enough for Mexicans...foreigners all the more. I'm curious about an earlier post from _anethon. Yo were stopped for "hoy no circula"? If you were driving a foreign plated car, or even a car plated from another Mexican state (Morelos?), you aren't part of that system. The system looks at DF plates, and every day Monday through Friday bans driving for 2 digits of a plate, theretically covering everybody.

I think maybe you got nailed, in true DF cop style. Did it cost a lot?
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Ben Round de Bloc



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1946

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2003 3:09 pm    Post subject: Carl Franz Reply with quote

Quote:
For more info on driving (and Mexico in general), you might want to pick up a book called "The People's Guide to Mexico" by Carl Franz. Some sections are a tiny bit outdated, but its a very entertaining read and he provides really good info on driving and camping in Mexico.

- mstack


I agree. It's an excellent read. True about some of it being outdated, at least the edition I have, but the guy does know Mexico and has a wonderfully humorous way of relating his adventures.

If you want to read a good sample of his writing as well as some other people's perspectives regarding Mexico, check out this website:

http://www.peoplesguide.com/1pages/site/tocindex.html .

Best wishes!
Smile
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_anethon



Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Posts: 12
Location: California

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2003 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, I was had Sad cost about $100... I had California licence plates, I didn't know I was exempt. I'm a sucker. That's why I've decided not to drive again
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