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Expat Life

Owning a car in Ecuador: licensing, buying, parking, and much more

By Deke Castleman and David Morrill

Although most expats get by without a car in Cuenca, many own one.

You’ll find prices for new cars to be about 20%-30% higher than in the U.S. For used cars, the markup is can be even higher, since most Ecuadorians can’t afford new cars. Also, we’ve observed that Ecuadorians buy cars, same as they do real estate, for investment purposes; they’d rather own a car than keep money in the bank. (This makes perfect sense, by the way, since cars tend to hold their value in Ecuador and, in some cases, actually appreciate.)

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Medium-sized SUVs are the most popular vehicle with expats. Many have 4-wheel drive.
Medium-sized SUVs are the most popular vehicle for expat buyers. Many of them have 4-wheel drive.

In addition, the govt. is once again tightening quotas on new-car imports, which means prices are headed even higher. The new quotas are a reaction to the drop in oil revenue and an attempt to keep dollars in the country. This will have a trickle-down effect of making used cars more expensive. To read about this in more detail (in Spanish), click here.

Inevitably, this leads to the question: Can I ship my car from home? The answer is yes,  but the expense (as much as 100% of the value of the vehicle) and the paperwork (it can take months to work through) make it practically prohibitive. Cars aren’t considered a “household good,” the designation for personal items that can be shipped duty-free by new residents. We don’t know a single expat who has ever shipped a car. (If you have, let us know!)

THE DRIVER’S LICENSE

To drive in Ecuador, you need to go through a licensing process that requires you, as of early 2015, to take a driving test and a written exam, in Spanish. There are short-cuts to the process, but they require local contacts; most people go through the training at one of several driver schools around town, which help facilitate the licensing process. The process is supposed to be easier now that management has shifted from the traffic police to the municipal government; the city says it’s even considering allowing the written test to be taken in English. But we’re not holding our breath for either.

The process is in for major changes, the details of which are still developing. Ecuador’s National Assembly passed legislation in December 2014 that eliminates the mandatory driving test, a major blow to driving schools, which are privately owned. Although inexperienced drivers will still be required to take driving tests, these may be administered by a government agency. This is good news for most expats, since their experience of driving back home will probably exempt them from driving school.

Expats Larry and Karen Schunk got their licenses a few years ago. Larry says, “Even if it’s no longer required, going to drivers school is a really good idea. For starters, you get to drive someone else’s car for a week in and around Cuenca, which gives you greater confidence behind the wheel. What they teach at drivers school has nothing at all to do with actual driving in Cuenca, and Ecuador in general, but it’s at least fun to know what the actual rules are.

“At the ANETA drivers school where we went, the written test consisted of 20 questions drawn from a bank of 650 questions in the book you get with the course. Of course, all 650 are in Spanish, so studying them is twofold in purpose: You learn the test and a good bit of Spanish (no extra charge).

“Then you take another test at the Agencia Nacional del Tránsito (ANT) when you actually go to get your license. This one is 20 questions selected randomly from a bank of 103. At the entrance to ANT, for $1 you can purchase a copy of the test bank with all correct answers marked. The actual test is given on a computer in a much different format, but the questions are the ones you purchased outside. The lady who escorts you to a terminal to take the test answers the first question correctly as part of the process of showing you how to take the test, so you only have 19 questions to go. I think you can miss 5 or 6 and still pass. Karen and I both aced it!”

License applicants who are over 65 are required to answer several questions to prove mental competency.

BUYING A CAR

Buying a car in Ecuador is fairly straightforward, though the language barrier, lack of a trustworthy mechanic, slightly different purchase procedures, and possibility of getting scammed can be a bit intimidating. If you buy a stolen car, it’s confiscated. If there are outstanding fines on the car, you have to pay them.

Registration (matrícula) on a newer car can easily be in the $300 to $700 range. Larry and Karen Schunk purchased a new 2012 Prius in Cuenca and their 2014-2015 matrícula was about $400.

Note that liability insurance (known as SOAT) is mandatory. It covers medical expenses in case of an accident; anyone injured in a crash is taken to the nearest medical facility and SOAT covers the costs. It’s quite reasonable, averaging around $50 per year. You can also buy collision insurance, but it’s not required.

SOAT on the Schunk’s Prius is $38 per year, while full-coverage insurance is about $1,400 annually.

Larry recommends full coverage. “It’s a very good idea to have full collision insurance. Your cost if you wreck the car is then limited to the deductible. The better body and paint shops, such as the one at the Toyota service center, will collect from the insurance company for you. The Toyota shop is excellent; the mechanics are extremely well-equipped and well-trained to make repairs correctly. When you walk in, you think you’re in a Toyota shop in the U.S.”

Larry adds that if you buy a new car, the dealer does all the paperwork, attending to the initial matrícula, SOAT, etc. Also, with a new car, you know there are no issues with ownership, fines, and the like. And the way cars maintain value makes this a good idea if it’s in your budget.

If it’s not, several bilingual helpers can middle the whole used-car deal for you. They find the best car in your range, help you negotiate the proper price, have contacts among mechanics to check over the vehicle, handle the registration and SOAT paperwork and Cuencaire inspection, and perhaps refer you to a car-insurance broker. One such service provider that comes highly recommended by expats is Cuenca Cars (Cuencacars.com), which consists of Sven, a German automotive engineer; Josué, a seasoned car dealer; and Washington, a crackerjack mechanic.

Ecuador tends to be harder on cars than North America or Europe. For example, due to the poor grade of gasoline, catalytic converters burn out sooner. And because of the rougher roads, shocks and suspension parts wear out faster. Some used-car-owning expats employ two different mechanics, one who specializes in engines, another in suspension. You’ll probably do better with a used car that was owned by a city dweller, rather than a campesino. We’ve also heard that there’s a risk of odometers being altered. Another caution we hear frequently: Be particularly careful if you’re considering buying a car that has been driven extensively in coastal areas, since many aren’t undercoated and are subject to severe rust problems from salt.

PARKING

Another issue anyone thinking about owning a car in Cuenca needs to know about is parking.

In El Centro, if you park almost everywhere on the street, you’ll see signs with a big white E on a blue background. These serve to tell you that you’re in a paid parking zone and must put a parking card on your dashboard properly marked for the period to plan to be there up to the limit of two hours.

An example of the older-style tarjeta; some tiendas might still have them for sale.
An example of the older-style tarjeta;
some tiendas might still have them for sale.
The newer-style tarjeta: same information,  different design and color.
The newer-style tarjeta: same information,
different design and color.

Businesses that sell the cards are identified by a blue-on-white sign with the word “Aqui” as the most prominent feature. Ask for “una tarjeta parquero” or just point at the sign if you’re Spanish-averse.

The tickets cost $1 each and have four 30-minute spaces. So if you’re parking for one hour (mas o menos), you fill out the first 30-minute hora and fecha fields, then put a line through the fields below it to indicate you’re using two 30-minute lines.

Be very careful when filling out the ticket. Use only ink; if you use pencil, it’s invalid. Do not make any corrections, as that also invalidates the ticket. The date is always in day-month-year format. You can cheat a little on the start time, but if you see an EMOV employee nearby checking cars, then be accurate.

Paid parking spaces are identified by dashed white-painted lines. Don’t park outside these lines or where the lines are yellow.

You can also park in parqueaderos (private parking lots) for about the same cost in most. In general, they’re safer than the street, but sometimes a bit difficult to get in to and out of.

If your car gets towed for being illegally parked, you’re in for an experience. First, you have to find out where to go to pay the fine and retrieve your vehicle (police may or may not leave a sticker on the curb providing information). Second, when you arrive at your car, it’s usually sealed with stickers that are incredibly difficult to remove.

If it’s not towed, it may simply be ticketed. Last we heard, the fine was $24, but it has likely gone up lately. The EMOV person will take pictures of any offending vehicle to “prove” you were illegal, so there’s no arguing.

It’s little wonder that many expat car owners in Cuenca, keep their cars garaged except for out-of-town trips.

MISCELLANY

Buying gas at $1.48 a gallon for Extra might seem like a great deal (even with gasoline prices in the U.S. dropping like a rock lately), but most good mechanics and all new-car dealers recommend buying “Super” for $2+. Extra, apparently, isn’t particularly extra, while Super is a bit more super for your car. The price of Extra is $1.48 everywhere, while those for Super vary widely. According to the government, low gas prices will end in late 2016, when subsidies are eliminated and prices will be based on international market rates.

When you buy a car new or used, it likely won’t have the required fire extinguisher, triangle markers, or first-aid kit. In that case, you can hotfoot it over to Coral and buy them before you get the car inspected. You need to have them in the car at all times or risk a fine.

Always have your car registration and drivers license with you when you’re on the road or you’ll be subjected to lots of wasted time and red tape (there’s been a big increase in the number of police checks lately, mostly on the highways, as part of the government’s crime-prevention program). Also, obey speed limits! The new traffic law that went into effect last year mandates a three-day jail sentence for speeders who fall into the “excessive” speed category, usually about 20 kilometers per hour over the limit, though it changes with the situation. There are also “moderate” speeding violations under which points are deducted from your license but you don’t go to jail. So be careful out there; we know of at least two expats who’ve done jail time for speeding.

OWN A CAR IN CUENCA?

If you own a car in Cuenca, please add your comments about the issues covered in this article.

Own a car elsewhere in Ecuador? Let everyone know what’s similar or different about the experience.

And if you like, please give us your reasons for buying a car in Ecuador.

The next installment of this driving-in-Ecuador series will be “Rules of the Road.” For anyone who’s been in Ecuador for any length of time, this one should be as much fun as negotiating a redondel (traffic circle)!

28 thoughts on “Owning a car in Ecuador: licensing, buying, parking, and much more

  1. Thank you for writing this. I just bought a car. Driving around town is not that big a deal. Parking can be, so I’m hoping the new train will offer affordable parking so I can leave my car and go into town. I really feel owning a car is a must for an older person as riding the bus didn’t feel safe and having to tote packages and hail taxis got old. Also, I feel it is much safer for a woman to have her own car, rather than having to get around on foot.

  2. I received a ticket a few months ago for completing the EMOV in pencil, because I couldn’t find a pen in the car-ALWAYS keep one or two pens in the car for this purpose. The fine was and is 10% of the minimum wage, which at that time, was $34.00. Worse yet was the 8 x 11 highly glued sticker they put on the driver’s side window, which took an hour for get off completely. Always keep WD-40 handy for this – I remembered it 3/4 of the way through.

  3. Well done! A fine start to needed information. Deke & David are at their best when they stay away from politics and armchair economics! 😉

    Some comments. We have driven in many places around the world and, saving a very few exceptions, a car is vital to get to know a country, no matter where you live. The lack of one exaggerates the feeling of helplessness and alienation many expats feel.

    The choice of vehicle is important. The Ecuadorians adore SUVs..but there cannot be a more ridiculous pick for a city like Cuenca. The city penalizes linear inches for parking and the country penalizes cubic ones in your engine. If you look around and read the news, it will get much worse.

    We have had a small car since the day we arrived..first rented, then purchased. To avoid the pitfalls and risks in buying second hand, we chose a small car, comfortable for 4, with a stronger version engine to avoid struggling when full or for highway driving. It has a full warranty for 4 years after which we should be able to sell it for what we bought it for $14,000, (by then I will have the contacts to safely by a used car). It navigates the little streets of El Centro perfectly and parks with ease. The dealer arranged all the paper work..and continues to do so each year. The full insurance costs $500 yearly.

    The biggest obstacle to owning an vehicle in Cuenca is the risks of driving. Ecuador is a quickly changing place. There has been insufficient time for a proper vehicular etiquette to develop..and that is noticeable whether you ride a bus or drive a car. The happy basic driving manners and style are non-existant and the police, unaware themselves, will not enforce them. This will contrast quite sharply with the wonderful Cuencan stock personality, which is very friendly and helpful. The evil driving stems from inexperience and the lack of a happy template, not for any other reason.

    Don’t get angry. Your driving instincts will soon adapt to local habits. But many expats react by degrading their own driving style to that of a roller-derby nut. Set an example. It has to start somewhere. Drive as you would wish them to drive.

    I have now put on 16,000 kms, most in and around El Centro, but 5000 of it all around Ecuador. No accidents. (knock on wood).

  4. Excellent article…….
    If buying a used car, you need to be aware if there are adequate spare parts (repuestos) available in country…….
    For a drivers license, I had a copy of my driving abstract (record of license) apostille, translated, etc and only needed to take the written test……before you apply for a license you also need your blood type from the Crux Rojo (Red Cross), about $3 and to take a psychomotor exam which was $10 as I recall.
    As for changing odometers……commonly done, even electronic ones and I am aware of some extended family who had it done to sell a car. So you need to judge well a cars condition before buying.

  5. We just got our licenses (in Giron of course) and were told that being 65 or older now requires a ‘health certificate’ from the local medical clinic. Not difficult but just another step.

    Also we avoided the driving school by providing an apostilled and translated US driving record (available from your State), copies of valid US driver’s license, copies of International license (may or may not be required but easy to obtain) and of course color copies of cedula.

    They were all very nice and easy to work with – a relatively easy process once you have the complete package of paperwork.

  6. I owned a car in Cuenca and it was towed by the police for being improperly parked at the airport. When I got it back, the radio, floor mats and gear knob were missing. Always be very careful about where you park your car. Private lots are the best bet. Police in Ecuador are very easy to bribe. Always keep 2 or 3 twenties in your car or billfold to avoid tickets or jail.

  7. Your article on owning a car in Ecuador is very informative. Based on it I will assume importing my classic 1993 Corvette would be a mistake. Can you give me any details on owning a motor scooter in Ecuador/Cuenca? Thank you Faver

  8. We have lived in Ecuador for 3 years now. We bought a brand new Nissan truck in Jan 2012 about as soon as we landed. We love to explore and having a vehicle is necessary if you are like us. Unfortunately, it was only 2 wheel drive and was a very light truck. As you know there is a LOT of dust/sand on the streets and this vehicle often was not able to go up a big hill. Plus the mountains were a total strain on a little 2 liter engine.

    We then decided to trade for a larger truck with more power AND 4-wheel drive. We test drove most SUVs and decided on the Ford Explorer V-6. This vehicle has the tightest turning radius of any of the SUVs. We can turn as tight or tighter than a taxi. It rides smooth and offers way more protection in the event of a collision. We must admit this boosts our confidence substantially. Not to mention, this vehicle accelerates through the mountains while others are struggling to even move up the hill.

    However – we have found that the 4-wheel drive is not necessary. Just the extra weight of the vehicle allows us to go anywhere we need/want to go. The few times we wanted to use 4-wheel was in the sand near the beach. Unfortunately, 4-wheel is no good in the sand as the Ecuadorians will attest to.

    Parts for vehicles here are absurdly HIGH! I think they must mark them up 300 – 400%. After learning the hard [expensive] way, we now find out what parts we need and buy them on Ebay and have them delivered to us. We also found that the dealerships will rip you off just like in the US so we find a mechanic that can perform the needed service and we are all set to go. This takes longer – but saves us substantial dollars.

    My advise…
    – Drive MANY vehicles BEFORE you purchase as it is a BIG hassle to try to trade or sell/buy
    – Price parts on Ebay to see how easy they are to find [Explorer parts are plentiful]
    – You may want to go to a few big parts stores and see if they offer parts for the vehicle you are thinking about purchasing. You may even want to price a few parts that you know wear out frequently to see if you are OK with these crazy prices and to see if they even have them available for the vehicle you are thinking about purchasing.
    – If you plan on buying insurance you may want to check on the price of this as well [it really varies according to the vehicle]
    – Beware of buying a V-8 unless you have a lot of money for annual taxes. The price will make you say WOW!
    – If buying a used car make sure to inspect the tires, brakes, cylinder compression on each cylinder which is very important, if buying 4-wheel drive make sure to test it several times to see if it engages and disengages properly.
    – In short do your homework. Be aware though that because the parts are so expensive you will need to do a little more leg work to make sure that your new vehicle will not break the bank WHEN it breaks.

  9. One major thing to be concerned about is whether the car being sold to you has been stolen or not. I have known people who bought cars and then later the police took their cars back to their rightful owners. It’s not so difficult to go without an Ecuadorian Driver’s License — if you are stopped by the police, just tell them you live in Ecuador a few months a year and go back and forth to whatever country your license is issued from. Get the cheap insurance, accidents rarely happen in Ecuador regardless of the style of driving. It will take awhile to become accustomed to the typical driving of Ecuadorians, practice and become aware of the fact that the kinds of driving rules you are used to don’t hold in Ecuador.
    Judy Thatch
    9 years and 2 cars in Ecuador

  10. I have 2 licenses obtained 1 1/2 years apart. I got my motorcycle license 2 1/2 tears ago. I was able to just go to the ANT in Cuenca take a vision, and coordination test then a 20 question test on the computer. I bought the questions with answers 3 days before I took the test, There were 103 questions to study. I aced the test. You can only miss 4 not 5 or 6. Last year I bought a new car and went to Paute to get the car drivers license. Here you have to have a separate license for each kind of vehicle. In Paute you could give them a copy of your USA (State) driving record to prove experience and take the test of 20 questions. This time there were 213 question to study. Aced it again. Also had to do the eye and coordination tests.

    I have put over 7000 klms on my Motorcycle with my friends traveling all of the various roads out of Cuenca, Gualeceo and Paute into the mountains to wherever they led us. Some driving around town but with total defensive tactics!!

    We love to travel around Ecuador so we bought the car to be able to go to the amazon, volcano alley and costal cities. The buses at first were tedious and private vans expensive. My insurance is from Chevrolet and cost $800 the first year and now $700. It is full coverage. The SOAT runs $28 a year.

    Another thing to be aware of is that the “matricula (registration) written expiration date has nothing to do with when the new fees are actually due. The ANT goes by the last number on the car or motorcycle license plate. For example, if the last number is a 1 it is due by the end of February. There is a $50 per month late fee if not paid on time. My motorcycle was bought in September so I went the following September to renew. The last number on my license was a 7 so it was due in August. I had to pay a $50 fine. Even though I bought my car in November the last number on the plate is a 5 so I had to renew in June only 8 months after I bought it.

    If you go onto the ANT site to check your drivers license points, don’t be scared when you see 30 points! That is where you start with a new license. It is the deductions from 30 you need to worry about.

    By the way in a recent article there were many posts about the law and pedestrians. In the test questions they specifically state that pedestrians (peatones)have the right away at corners and crosswalks!!

  11. I have a international driver license from Germany. Is it easy to change to a Ecuadorian driver license with out a test?

  12. sam wright: – Beware of buying a V-8 unless you have a lot of money for annual taxes. The price will make you say WOW! how much is the tax for a v8 5liter engine ??

  13. My husband and I just got our license three weeks ago and our experience was very different than the one you described. We brought our driving records from the states apostilled and translated along with copies of our driver licenses and a lot of other paperwork. We turned our paperwork here in Cuenca and waited for Quito to tell us when we could take the written test. We also had to take and eye test and coordination test at a separate government office. After about two weeks we got the OK from Quito and went to Giron to take the test. We needed our Santa Inez blood type cards to be OKed by the local hospital in Giron and told we couldn’t take the test on Friday. We came back on Monday and they sent us to get medical records from the Giron hospital because we are 65. By that time the specialist who gives the eye examine was gone so we came back on Tuesday. After going to a nearby bank to pay the license fee before we even took the computerized test, we finally took the test which was relatively easy compared to all the runaround and paperwork. Good luck future Ecuadorian drivers. Stay patient and be persistent.

  14. We passed our fourth anniversary here the end of December, and a little over a year ago decided to buy a double-cabin pickup. After evaluating the new vs. used options here, I elected to buy a new Mahindra pickup, one of the last of the 2013 year models.

    Before buying, I went to a local driving school (A-Conducir), for much the reasons mentioned in this article. I wanted to learn more Spanish vocabulary relating to cars and driving, and I REALLY wanted some time behind the wheel with an instructor/guide at my side. One issue that was not mentioned in the article, but that affects many expats is that nearly all vehicles here are standard transmission. I have years of experience with a manual transmission, so it wasn’t an issue for me, but it is for many. This includes some Ecuadorians. I talked to one guy who said that he learned to drive in the US, and then came down here and had to learn again, with a clutch.

    This driving experience (part of my class) gave me a lot more confidence about driving here, and I have now been driving here in Ecuador for well over a year with no real problems. I have been stopped several times and had to show my documentation, but never had any problems. At the same time, every time I pull out of my driveway, I have this feeling that today could be the day that something bad could happen, so I try to never let my guard down.

    One observation that I will make is that I don’t think the drivers here are necessarily any worse than in the US, on average. The culture is different, and what is acceptable behavior is quite different, but most drivers are also reasonably courteous and cautious. One aspect that I have come to recognize is that many drivers here are the first in their family to drive, and have only driven for a few years or even months, and this does contribute to a lower level of skill.

    The biggest problem I have noted is that the roads are not designed or sized for the traffic that they now need to carry, and parking is a HUGE problem. Far too many restaurants and stores provide no parking at all, and the on-street parking that is available is overwhelmed by demand, even with the guys who direct traffic and show people where to park. The layout of Cuenca ensures that this problem is only going to get worse.

    In conclusion, I will say that to be successful driving here, you have to adapt to the local customs and conditions, but also apply your experience and judgement that comes with your prior driving experience. Don’t get impatient, drive defensively, and be courteous, and you will probably do fine. I also spent nearly three years observing closely how people drive and relate to each other on the roads, before I finally decided I was ready. The experience has been a positive one, thus far. Ojalá it continues thus.

  15. Great article, guys! I have driven here for 2 years, and I try to use my US attitude for courtesy at all times. I knew one guy who had a road rage problem, and 3 accidents later, he had invested over $7,000.00 in repairs and compensation to others. Bribery is the standard here for speeding tickets. In one instance, I avoided a $130.00 fine for a “contribution” of $10.00. It was based on my statement that I only had $10.00 on me at the time.

  16. Frankly, I’m surprised. Not a single comment on the notion as to whether you should buy a car at all. Although I have owned cars all my life, I don’t own one here in Ecuador and can’t imagine every doing so. Believe me, I can well afford to buy and maintain any car I want, but why would anyone when getting around with taxis is so much easier and waaay less costly? Even when you add in all my taxi expenses and all of my car rental and car/driver rental expenses, it isn’t even 30% of what it would cost me to own a car here and most important, far less hassle.

    If you own a car here and want to go to a restaurant, you’ve got to bother with parking and the worry that someone will vandalize the car or it will get ticketed or towed. When I go to a restaurant (or any other place for that matter) I get dropped off right in front of the place and have no worries whatsoever. All this for $1.50-2.00?

    Nah, not interested in putting another albatross around my neck, thank you.

  17. Ok Charly I understand what you say. I arrive to Cuenca next week and I want to live in that country. My experience is when you live in a country without a car, it can be difficult. I know what I’m talking about because I lived the last 9 years in North Thailand. But I am new in Ecuador. Before I wright comments about Cuenca I have to learn a lot. Anybody know the tax that would have to be paid for a Ford 150 with a 5 liter v8 engine?
    Sorry about my bad English, but I am holding a German passport.

  18. Excellent article, accurate and informative. We have lived here 10 years and have used busses and taxis for all our travel needs. Found it acceptable, and as more vehicles vie for parking and traffic becomes a factor, easier than driving. It is also cheaper, and without the concerns such as theft, breakdown, parking, and accident liability that come with vehicle ownership. We do have a pickup truck, for our trout and chicken business, registered to one of our guys. He drives us to where ever we need to go, maintains pickup, keeps the papers in order, and delivers product. We use him on average, 6 trips per month, while still using busses and taxis for everything else. We bought the 2006 twin cab for $10,000.00 in Quito at the car auction, or feria. As this article states, the value has not decreased over the two years we have owned it. We live in Rio Verde, Banos, Tungurahwa.

  19. I have lived here for four years and have dual citizenship with the USA, as does my wife. Having purchased a car from landlord, who bought it new, I have an extensive experience dealing with both A.N.T. and EMOV. And they are both exemplary examples of stupidity bureaucracy and ineptness. Currently I have been addressing a serial number change on a vehicle, for nine months. An issue that will, eventually, required three minutes to correct has met with bewilderment on the part of the EMOV people, along with lies, insult and anger. Mind you, I treat these people with respect, courtesy, friendliness. I am asking for their help, not trying to tell them how to do their job. It doesn’t matter, they are clueless, ignorant, uneducated and generally worthless. But they are so arrogantly ignorant that the fact they have no idea what they are doing completely escapes them.

      1. On Monday, dealing with EMOV in Cuenca the realization is that the nine months spent in Azogues trying to get the serial number correction is just in vain. We are starting all over, however, they indicate that they can do the whole process very quickly without involving Quito. We’ll see. The young man I’m dealing with in Cuenca, Jonathon, spent seven years in NYC and readily commented that he never had any problems with DMV in NYC, that they treated him with respect and that he understands that in Ecuador it is just not the same, and apologized for what has transpired and the way I was treated. That helps.

    1. True! And it’s also true for those idiots at the DMV in the US. In fact, the DMV in California is notorious for being a collection of the most incompetent idiots you can find in the unemployed pool.

  20. A vehicle is often a practical necessity due to the vast distances in between populated areas. Only in some limited cases, such as in urban areas with good public transport, is going without a vehicle a good idea, and limitations to recreation and personal travel can be significant. Transportation is often the first, and most important, purchase a new resident can make (after accommodation), and will have a major impact on any temporary Aussie’s experience while ‘down under’.

  21. This is an excellent information. Thank you for sharing!

    I wonder what type of vehicle (sedan, pickup, hybrid, etc.) would be best fit for the environment and driving conditions (including weather related conditions) in Cuenca and its surrounding.

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