If you’re looking to buy a car in Haiti and need a beautiful new (looking) SUV, then look no further!!! Above is Jillian’s old co-worker, Dom, and his Mitsubishi Montero, which he was given recently by Jillian’s old organization because it had been damaged in the earthquake. The car looks great, as he’s made some major improvements that make it look nothing like what it looked like before. He’s debating on selling the car to make some money, considering all NGOs in Haiti want to do is buy more and more huge SUVs to stamp their logos on. But, let me tell you, buying a used car in Haiti is shady business.
Jillian and I earnestly attempted to buy a car here for about 2 months before throwing up our hands and surrendering to the motorcycle that we already had. Every car that we test drove either felt like you were constantly driving over dead bodies, or was given terrible terrible reviews by the mechanic we would check them with. “You’re going to need new gaskets…and probably a new radiator,” he explained of one car, “So if you do that and fix the wheel alignment and the brakes this car is perfect!” HUH?! No car is perfect if that much work has to be done on it! After about half a dozen of these we gave up.
But you often wonder where they are getting these cars, and why it appears they decided to sell a car that drives like they’ve been commuting to Miami every day…underwater. We would try to find cars that had come directly off the boat from the States so that we wouldn’t have to deal with cars that had been ruined by driving on the terrible roads in Haiti. And it’s possible, but they’re hard to find. When used car salesmen in the U.S. have a car that they can’t find a buyer for, or that is just illegal to drive because of its poor condition, they ship them off to countries like Haiti where there are no emissions laws and the standards are low.
But sometimes you find a gem like Dom’s car, and you just want to snatch it up right away. The only thing is, it used to look like this…
I took this screen grab from the video I took of the house Jillian and I were living in before the earthquake. That’s right, it’s the same exact car, just fixed up a bit. The keys were in a safe that had shot out of the house when it collapsed, and once the staff got around to breaking off the concrete roof above it, they drove it home. Yes, the car still drove.
So when Dom drove it to our house recently when we had him over for dinner, it was kind of like seeing a ghost. Of all the things that had been lost in that house, this car was probably one of the last things that I expected to be recovered. Yet here it was, in pretty much new condition, the only sign that it had been completely flattened in the earthquake was a scratch on the door handle.
So let this be a lesson to all of you buying used cars…get a Carfax on that junker ASAP. And while I’m pretty sure that the tiny mishap that you see above probably wont show up on a Carfax, I’m hoping that the buyer of this car knows full well what they are getting themselves into. “Has the car ever been in an accident?” you ask? Well, no, it hasn’t. The earthquake was no accident at all, it was just God’s way of testing all those people whose cars were crushed to see if they’ll be honest to the people who want to buy them. Tell the truth and you go to heaven, forget to mention that the car was practically totaled in the quake and you’ll be a used car salesman in “the other place” for the rest of eternity. The decision is yours…