What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Small SUV like a Honda CRV or RAV4 is ideal, but right now we can only drive a 15 miles radius, so I don't think a car is even necessary. You can buy one cheap from an outgoing diplomat. - Aug 2019

Some kind of 4WD is a must. The roads in Port-Au-Prince are some of the worst I have seen, and that includes Afghanistan. And when it rains, there is little drainage control so you will find yourself driving at times through instant rivers. High clearance is therefore highly desirable. - Jun 2019

Bring a AWD or 4WD vehicle with high clearance. - Aug 2018

High clearance is a must. Most people order parts through DPO. Local mechanics will give you part numbers to order and labor for repairs is cheaper than US. - Apr 2017

Bring something with high clearance. The roads have deep ruts and can be flooded during the rainy season. Bring something that can handle the steep mountain climbs. - Dec 2016

High clearance is a necessity!! Your Altima, Camry, or Accord won't do. An Xterra, 4Runner, Jeep, etc is more like it. You will spend more time off-roading than you realize. Flood damage is also a risk during a rainstorm. - Sep 2014

4WD if you know how to use it, or something with a good clearance at a minimum. Roads are the worst I have ever experienced (and I drive off-road rallies for fun and grew up 4WDing in southern California). We have a Jeep Wrangler and love it. If you are not a careful driver, you will get dinged up. Many cars here are covered in dents, bangs and bruises. When cars break down locally, they do not move them, but work on them in-place, even if it is the middle of the road, so all traffic must drive around. Which can be tricky. Road flooding also requires a high-clearance vehicle, as do the dirt/rock "short cuts" you will want to take to get around the heavy traffic on sometimes the only paved road in an area. - Sep 2013

A 4x4 is necessary. High clearance is more important than having a 4x4. (Think: high cement speed bumps, deep pot holes and dry riverbeds -- which function as the roads leading up to and running in front of your house.) You don't want a vehicle with stiff suspension. People who bring their sedans to post are idiots. Toyotas are the most popular brand locally.(Practically everyone drives a Toyota.) If you're a diplomat (particularly an American) the CD on the front of the car will protect you, so don't worry too much that your car might be flashy (there are thousands of Land Cruisers running around town).... That said, DON'T bring your Mercedes or Lexus, you don't see those SUV's that often and they scream money. - Sep 2011

Roads in Port-au-Prince are almost non-existent. The major routes in the city are paved but are riddled with potholes. Anything off the main roads is going to be gravel or dirt and almost impassable in the rainy season. Bring a 4x4 vehicle with a high clearance. In the provinces, roads are nothing more than a good idea and you will need a true off-road SUV with a winch, a snorkel, etc. - Jan 2011

There are vehicles there but everything is over priced in American dollars, so I can see why the people in extreme poverty can not even afford to buy a car or purchase food . The problem that I saw , very often was that Haiti is comparing their prices with Jamaica and Bahamas and their not the same. - Jan 2010

Bring a small SUV that you're prepared to have pretty much banged around for a few years. - May 2009

You don't need four wheel drive but you do need that type of vehicle's clearance and suspension. Buy used or plan on your new one getting scraped up. I doubt if most locals have insurance so if you get hit plan on paying to get it fixed yourself whether it's your fault or not. - Feb 2009

High-clearance 4WD SUV is mandatory. - Dec 2008

Best is a used SUV that you don't mind getting scraped up. - Feb 2008

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