Dhaka - Post Report Question and Answers

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?

Former British colony, so they drive on the "wrong" side of the road. Most people buy a car from a departing diplomat. The newsletter has regular advertisements. - Dec 2021

Something that's a bit higher off the ground to contend with waterlogging. - Sep 2021

I didn't bring one, as there are plenty of used cars available. - Jun 2019

One that can get banged up. Traffic is tough here. - Jul 2018

There is really no need to bring a car to post. Embassy staff are only allowed to drive within a one-mail radius...there really isn't anywhere to go, except to the office, the Club, and back. Many people share cars for this reason. - Apr 2017

Import restrictions allow only cars less than 5 years old. Don't bring a car that you care about, as it will suffer from the Dhaka roads, humidity, and general abuse that the environment here will throw at it. It is best to bring a 20-year old SUV with high road clearance. These are widely available to buy within the diplomatic community. - Jun 2016

You can't import vehicles over 5 years old. Right-hand drive Asian vehicles are best. - May 2016

Bring a 4x4 and expect to beat it up. - Jun 2015

<5 years old (don't ask why). Bring something you don't mind getting hit/scratched. High clearance is better like a jeep. I've had problems with parts because my car is old (bought here). Lot of Asian brand cars around. Reliable car service is expensive. - Sep 2014

A high-clearance vehicle. Nothing nice, as it will get dented. Traffic is atrocious. If I could do it again, I'd take a 1985 Ford Bronco and put pressure treated 2"x12"'s on the front and rear bumpers. - Aug 2014

Left hand drive is preferred but not required; nothing too low (lots of potholes and flooding), nothing too big (narrow streets and crazy traffic), nothing older than 5 years from manufacture can be imported by diplomats; try importing from Japan, as the dip plate market is very small with more buyers than sellers. Only one car per household, lot of restrictions. Your car WILL get banged up, scratched, dinged, hit here, so be ready to accept it. Most people install extra external bumpers. - Jul 2014

It's right-hand drive. I bought a car here, but some people import from Japan. The motor pool can service vehicles and are best with Toyotas (the vast majority of the motor pool fleet). Your car will get beat up in traffic here, so I wouldn't bring or invest in something nice. - Aug 2013

Buy a car here --- it will get beat up in traffic. - Apr 2013

It is left-lane driving, but we have a US car and do fine. Traffic is insane, and it's a free-for-all as far as rules go. Many people have small cars or a small SUV. You will get dinged or in an accident. If you are in love with your car, don't bring it. Roads are of so-so quality. The embassy GSO will do after-hours work reasonably. Parts are here, but they are pricey and hit or miss. Bring what parts you can, like wipers, oil filters, etc. There is no car-jacking that I've ever heard of... traffic doesn't move fast enough to be successful. - Aug 2011

Buy one when you get here. Plenty of diplomatic vehicles are for sale. This is the worst traffic you've ever seen. A nice vehicle won't stay nice very long. I have never been involved in an accident anywhere else in the world. Here, I have been in about half a dozen minor fender benders. - Jun 2011

Most people have station wagons, but doing it again, I'd get a small SUV - the roads here are truly abominable - huge potholes and speedbumps, etc. It's the law of the sea on the road, so people tend to make way more for larger cars. Parts are available for Japanese and Korean cars, but not necessarily for American and European cars. - Feb 2011

Bring an SUV. The right-of-way on roads goes to the bigger automobile. - Jan 2011

You can live easily without an auto and would be doing the country a service if you did not bring one in. - Jan 2011

A small SUV is nice to have, and I highly recommend purchasing one, particularly a Toyota that's used. Dhaka traffic can be intense, so you should assume that your car will get some dents in it during your tour. Spare parts for Japanese cars are readily available. - Oct 2010

Right-handed driving is the norm. However, we brought our American-style car here and have not had any problems. Driving is extremely aggressive here, so your car may get scratched at some point. Traffic is very difficult here. - Apr 2010

Most people buy at post since cars here are right-hand drive. Cars older than a certain limit (six years, I believe?) cannot be imported. Toyotas are very popular. It's good to have something used and not too valuable since it will get beaten up. A small SUV is nice to have, especially when the streets flood, but many people have sedans as well. Note that traffic here is insane and a major impediment to getting out and doing things. It is literally beyond description. - Oct 2009

Right-hand drive vehicle that you don't mind getting beat up. Driving here is crazy. Something smaller with clearance would be best. The RAV4 seems to work well with the small parking areas and monsoons. - Aug 2009

One that you don't mind getting dinged up, because it will. A rickshaw will hit you at least once while you are here. And probably a car too. Most people either buy cars when they get here or order from Japan. - Mar 2009

Traffic is terrible. Better to pay someone else to drive for you. Also, emblems and parts are stolen off your car if you don't put someone in charge of looking out after it. Leave your car at home. - Nov 2008

Roads can be bad so SUVs are a good choice; older vehicles are generally better as there are many accidents. - Mar 2008

Toyotas are the way to go here. I prefer having an SUV because of the potholes and floods. - Feb 2008

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