Santo Domingo - 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?

High of the ground. Nothing new. Get ready to battle if you are planning on driving. - Oct 2021

A high-clearance 4x4 is best. High water is common in the city during heavy rains, and some areas of the island are only accessible via rocky/rough roads. All US and Japanese makes have dealerships and repair facilities in the Dominican Republic. - Jan 2021

I recommend a high clearance vehicle due to the number of potholes and overall poor road conditions. Expect to be in at least one car accident during your tour here. These are the worst driversI have personally witnessed. - Jan 2019

Big SUVs and trucks are nice to have in traffic (because little cars get out of the way). 4WD is only necessary for a few out of the way weekend spots. Your car will get dented and scratched in traffic. - Nov 2016

Most opt for a higher-clearance vehicle. 4-wheel drive is not necessary for 95% of foreigners, but high clearance helps. However, normal sedans are also fine, but if you already own a good sedan I'd probably bring it. If you do buy a car with the hope of later reselling, Toyotas and Hondas are the only ones that retain most of their value. US makes, much less so. - Apr 2016

Most people would recommend a sports utility vehicle. We also had "defensas" - big bumpers - installed on our Honda CRV and it was a great investment. Probably saved us thousands in body and paint work because almost everyone will get into some kind of fender bender or worse. - Jan 2016

SUV - Jan 2016

SUV's. - Aug 2015

No low profile cars. Many potholes and high speed bumps. - Aug 2015

SUV for the high clearance and flooding that occassionaly occur after it rains. You can pretty much find all American made parts as well as Japanese and Europeans but at a much higher cost than the U.S. - Aug 2014

We recommend a car with high clearance and 4-wheel drive to everyone. During the rainy season, if you go to any beaches, you may need the 4-wheel drive. City streets flood during storms, so it's important to have the clearance. - Jul 2013

We have a Subaru Outback and it has been fine. - Apr 2013

SUV. Flooding is common during the rainy season, so you want good ground clearance. - Apr 2013

Nothing too flashy. High clearance is better in the rainy season (streets will flood) or going off road. - Jan 2013

While it is not a necessity, I like a bit more clearance for the potholes and speed bumps. You see a lot of small SUVs in the embassy lot. However, anything works. - Jun 2012

Everyone thinks an SUV is needed here. Americans and locals alike. If you are feeling insecure and want to look rich you should bring one. Otherwise a standard sedan is fine. On Dominican roads, size wins so the bigger your vehicle the more right you have to the road. The government has invested a lot of $ in roads connecting the capital to the major tourist destinations. There are a few places (Villa Pajon) and some beaches where a 4x4 is needed but, invariably someone else will have an SUV to use. In 20 years of driving I was never in an accident until I got the DR. Twice I was hit, but I was not at fault. The second time the woman who hit me literally had no front bumper. And she hit me from the back/side when traffic was going ~2 mph. Needless to see she was not a good driver. That's how most people are. - Jun 2012

The streets are not well-maintained, and sometimes non-existent outside of the city. Even in the city the roads suck. I highly recommend an SUV here, the bigger the better. Roads flood often, and ground clearance can become an issue. Also, the rule of the road is "the biggest car wins".Having a larger SUV will make your life a little easier in traffic and outside of the city. We have a Toyota FJ Cruiser, and it's perfect for this post. - Mar 2012

SUVs are best because of road quality, but you would be fine in a sedan too. Toyotas and Hondas are common here. - Feb 2012

SUV - Feb 2012

SUV - Toyota, Honda, Suzuky - Oct 2011

You need a car here. Most people bring a SUV. The roads are poor, potholes are everywhere. There are some rough roads on the way out of Santo Domingo as well. You can easily sell your car for the purchase price at the end of your tour. Cars sold here are more expensive. The most popular car brands are Toyota, Nissan, and Honda. - Jun 2011

Small SUVs seem best but many Dominicans drive large SUVs and bogard their way through traffic. Anything will do. - May 2011

they say SUV, but a car will suffice - Nov 2010

I suggest bringing a 4x4 SUV.Driving conditions in the D.R. are terrible, and the average driver only respects more metal. I would absolutely NOT recommend a nice car. Either way, you will have a wreck within the first 4 months of driving in the D.R. - Aug 2010

4-wheel drive/SUV This place has lots of pot-holes.....MAJOR pot-holes and MAJOR dips in the roads....(I call them rivers...not dips) and man-hole covers are stolen (so that they can be sold for scrap metal) which can cause major damage to your vehicle if you run into a missing one. We were walking down a sidewalk with our kids once, and it's a good thing we were paying attention, because we could have lost one of our kids very easily down one of those holes. - Jun 2010

Four-wheel drive -- for the mountains and roads, also for the floods in the city. - May 2009

People have every kind of vehicle in the city, but I prefer a jeep-type here because of all the potholes and floods. - Nov 2008

Most cars can be driven here, but certain cars can be hard to find parts for--it just depends if that car is here or not (i.e. a brand may be here and easy to find parts for one model, but not another b/c it is not sold or found here).However, it is surprising what the Dominicans can get to run here. I have never seen cars put together with so many parts and held together with what looks like rust. They are definitely good at recycling car parts and getting things to run!As far as terrain, an SUV is good because of the many, many potholes and where you can take it--say to remote beaches or into the mountains. Local restrictions (they drive about anything here) or carjackings don"t seem to be a major problem that I am aware of. - Oct 2008

An SUV or other car with high clearance is best, given the many pot holes -- especially outside the city. - Aug 2008

Strongly suggest a Toyota SUV for parts and resale. Should take some sort of SUV, as roads are poorly maintained and often flood. - Jun 2008

SUV for your own safety. - Feb 2008

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