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Thread: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

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    Default Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    Hi, I need some advice about an idea.

    My partners and I are planning to import a BCS walking tractor and some mowing equipment to Nicaragua. We have too much to mail and not enough to justify a shipping container. We don't know the best option, but it looks to cost at least $1-2k

    One idea is to buy a hard top pickup truck in California, where 10-15 year old vehicles are under-priced. Then I would drive it 3500 miles to deliver our load in Boaco, Nicaragua. Then I would try to sell the truck by private sale. Possibly I would go stay in a hostel in Grenada and post flyers trying to sell the truck.

    My thinking is that we might make a couple k on the flip, enough to cover our shipping costs. Part of my reasoning is that in Nicaragua the rich buy new vehicles, the pros buy vehicles their cousin rebuilt. And that if we tell buyers exactly what we are doing and why, our used truck will be judged more reliable by Nica standards.

    I don't know much about tariffs, taxes, and registering in Nica. Would this idea work?

  2. #2
    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    My understanding is that you can not bring it in and register it if it is older than 5 years old.

    And do you really want to drive the length of Mexico to make a grand?
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

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    Pinolero De Cepa!! FisherCigarman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    you CAN'T it unless you are a national or a foreigner with residency , you are allowed to enter the country with a car,for up to 90 days, as you can see, said vehicle can't be sold,not even given away,since it's not in country legally and with a registration.

    TOM the 5-10 year rule only apply to Nicaraguans who have previously imported a vehicle, I for example can import a vehicle over 10 years with no issues, since I've never imported a vehicle.
    We are allowed to import a vehicle(regardless of age) every 3 years, as long as we live abroad,and have been living abroad for over 5 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by benharpo View Post
    Hi, I need some advice about an idea.

    My partners and I are planning to import a BCS walking tractor and some mowing equipment to Nicaragua. We have too much to mail and not enough to justify a shipping container. We don't know the best option, but it looks to cost at least $1-2k

    One idea is to buy a hard top pickup truck in California, where 10-15 year old vehicles are under-priced. Then I would drive it 3500 miles to deliver our load in Boaco, Nicaragua. Then I would try to sell the truck by private sale. Possibly I would go stay in a hostel in Grenada and post flyers trying to sell the truck.

    My thinking is that we might make a couple k on the flip, enough to cover our shipping costs. Part of my reasoning is that in Nicaragua the rich buy new vehicles, the pros buy vehicles their cousin rebuilt. And that if we tell buyers exactly what we are doing and why, our used truck will be judged more reliable by Nica standards.

    I don't know much about tariffs, taxes, and registering in Nica. Would this idea work?

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    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    I thought there was an age limit to the cars that you could import.

    You are saying that there is no car age limit?
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

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    Pinolero De Cepa!! FisherCigarman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    There is NO age limit if: You are a Native Nicaraguan that has lived abroad for more than 5 years

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Corn Tom View Post
    I thought there was an age limit to the cars that you could import.

    You are saying that there is no car age limit?

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    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    Quote Originally Posted by FisherCigarman View Post
    There is NO age limit if: You are a Native Nicaraguan that has lived abroad for more than 5 years

    Ok thanks for the info....but does that answer benharpo's question?

    Oops.... yes you did in your first post.

    Now...can I as a pensionado (soon) bring in a car older than 5 years?
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

  7. #7
    Pinolero De Cepa!! FisherCigarman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    I don't think so,only if you are a Nicaraguan,or Governmental agency, such as Police etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Corn Tom View Post
    Ok thanks for the info....but does that answer benharpo's question?

    Oops.... yes you did in your first post.

    Now...can I as a pensionado (soon) bring in a car older than 5 years?

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    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    Look hard at the cost of driving all that way, not just in gasoline, but in wear & tear on the (<5 year old) vehicle that would reduce its value, the stress on you for driving it through Mexico's drug war zones and highwaymen, the time it will take you (time is money), and pretty soon a shipping container starts to look like a brilliant idea.

    Though, some people have driven that way to Nicaragua and said it was no big deal. I personally wouldn't do it unless I can get some of Eric Holder's walked guns for protection.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    Quote Originally Posted by FisherCigarman View Post
    I don't think so,only if you are a Nicaraguan,or Governmental agency, such as Police etc.
    iguana police and harrassment department chief work?

  10. #10
    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    Quote Originally Posted by robertharvey View Post
    iguana police and harrassment department chief work?
    Don't mess with me cowboy....I know where you live and I met your wife!
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

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    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    Look hard at the cost of driving all that way, not just in gasoline, but in wear & tear on the (<5 year old) vehicle that would reduce its value, the stress on you for driving it through Mexico's drug war zones and highwaymen, the time it will take you (time is money), and pretty soon a shipping container starts to look like a brilliant idea.

    Though, some people have driven that way to Nicaragua and said it was no big deal. I personally wouldn't do it unless I can get some of Eric Holder's walked guns for protection.

    Sounds like the way to drive down here is behind someone who has done it before. But a truck that hasn't been nationalized here can't be sold here. And you can't nationalize it here without a cedula. And if it's over 10 years old, no expat could import it.

    Selling the vehicle here would be impossible both because of the age and because the truck would not be nationalized in Nicaragua. A pensionado who brings in a car has to keep it for some number of years, too. Check with Intur on the procedure. We can bring in a car or truck worth up to $20K every five years or so, and can sell it at the end of that time.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    Thanks for the replies. My partner, who ultimately pays for the truck and me to drive it, grew up in Nicaragua and owns land there now. Assuming he is counted as a Nicaraguan citizen and the truck is in his name, would that work?

    Second, is it realistic to flip a car for a good price down there?

  13. #13
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    Quote Originally Posted by benharpo View Post
    Second, is it realistic to flip a car for a good price down there?
    Now this was 2007 --

    My Mazda B2200 pickup (1993) was imported by my BIL's FIL... I sold the truck to my BIL up here for $400 ... He Gave it to his FIL who in turn sent it by container to Nicalandia.. It took $1500 worth of fees and kickbacks to put it on the road..

    6 months in La Tortuga (BIL of my BIL) ran it into a pole and I am told they parted it out for the same amount of all of the fees and shipping.. (About 2.5K) ..

    So I would say probably "yes.."

    You do know that the rules for pickup trucks is laxer as well.. Somehow the 5 (7 or 10 year, whatever rule it is this week) does not apply to pickups apparently..


    PS.. Like most people I am not a lawyer or Import broker.. Nor do I play one on TV..
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  14. #14
    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    Quote Originally Posted by benharpo View Post
    Thanks for the replies. My partner, who ultimately pays for the truck and me to drive it, grew up in Nicaragua and owns land there now. Assuming he is counted as a Nicaraguan citizen and the truck is in his name, would that work?

    Second, is it realistic to flip a car for a good price down there?

    Some questions, if your partner speaks Spanish or if you do, are better asked of the people who will be stamping the paperwork. Intur handles the imports for pensionados. Someone will be able to tell you who handles the paperwork for Nicaraguans with dual passports.

    My next door neighbor, Nicaraguan, apparently bought a truck which had had California plates (he showed them to me), so there's some way. This wasn't a good year for coffee (neighbor has a small farm and a wife in banking and I have two other friends with fincas), so people may not have the money for cash purchases this year compared to last and the year before that (I'm in a rental property that's for sale and one of the local real estate hustlers was sure it would sell when the coffee money came in, but it didn't). Also, many if not most of the people who buy trucks have country land and need four wheel drive. The most common vehicles are Toyotas, with a scattering of things that are made in India. Most people buying a vehicle want to make sure they can get local parts for it. I don't know about the availability of Ford or GM parts in the Granada area -- best to check.

    Aduana (Customs) has to be dealt with. Either you do it legally and it costs you X or you try to find someone to bend the rules for you for a consideration and it costs you mas o menos X.

    Depending on where you are, have you looked into MedranoExpress? They have largish boxes (2 ft by 3 ft by 2-1/2 feet) where the price is by volume, not by weight. Takes a couple of months to get them, but they will deliver to the door. My impression is that they're East Coast only. Customs hammers them if the packing list is not accurate.

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    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    Quote Originally Posted by benharpo View Post
    Hi, I need some advice about an idea.

    My partners and I are planning to import a BCS walking tractor and some mowing equipment to Nicaragua. We have too much to mail and not enough to justify a shipping container. We don't know the best option, but it looks to cost at least $1-2k
    I've seen walking tractors (front traction tillers) for sale in Jinotega, and suspect that you can buy mowing equipment in Nicaragua easier than you can make this "import a truck that's ten years old and sell it" thing work. It's an agricultural country -- they have stuff for sale to help with that.

    One of my friends here had a truck for which local parts weren't available -- and he had to get to Managua to pick up parts at the Customs Warehouse if he could order them from the US.

    I hope at least one of your partners did agriculture for a living somewhere -- back to the landers who are book-farmers only isn't limited to just North Americans. I edited that last sentence to be polite, twice.

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    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    Quote Originally Posted by benharpo View Post
    Hi, I need some advice about an idea.<br>
    <br>
    My partners and I are planning to import a BCS walking tractor and some mowing equipment to Nicaragua. We have too much to mail and not enough to justify a shipping container. We don't know the best option, but it looks to cost at least $1-2k<br>
    I've seen walking tractors (front traction tillers) for sale in Jinotega, and suspect that you can buy mowing equipment in Nicaragua easier than you can make this "import a truck that's ten years old and sell it" thing work.

    It's an agricultural country -- they have stuff for sale to help with that.

    One of my friends here had a truck for which local parts weren't available -- and he had to get to Managua to pick up parts at the Customs Warehouse if he could order them from the US. He also couldn't own the truck as an individual since he didn't have residency -- had to have his company own it.

    I hope at least one of your partners did agriculture for a living somewhere -- back to the landers who are book-farmers only isn't limited to just North Americans. I edited that last sentence to be polite, twice.


    If I could buy the camera gear I want in Nicaragua, I would. Bringing anything in costs a minimum of $60 over the price (if it can be sent by mail). And cameras are duty free.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    It sounds like you have three problems to solve. An extensive drive requiring a lot of fuel (possibly hazardous), importing the equipment, and then selling the vehicle. I would recommend that you find someone in the shipping business to handle this one. You can rent part of a container, doesn't have to be the whole thing. A good shipper can make this a lot less complicated and knows most of the rules, such as how much tax there will be on farm equipment. They also know the people that fill out the forms before the items can be received. I would recommend you have your family ask around to find a reputable shipper for their area and go from 3 problems down to 1. Hope that helps.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    Quote Originally Posted by MizBrown View Post
    I hope at least one of your partners did agriculture for a living somewhere -- back to the landers who are book-farmers only isn't limited to just North Americans. I edited that last sentence to be polite, twice.
    I know what you mean MizBrown. I do agriculture for a living, and I've been at it for several years. I will be paid to design water and fencing on a dairy farm. I have worked previously on a Nicaraguan dairy farm, and it was radically different from the farms I worked on in the states. I know what you mean.

    Thanks for the advice about buying local equipment, or shipping alternatives.

    We need an engine to power a picador (chipper for sugar cane) which feeds the cows during the dry season. Supposedly the typical one cylinder diesel engine costs $2000. For a little over $3000 we could buy a diesel walking tractor which could power anything. Our next priority is mowing. We might need a water pump, and our site has no electricity. We were thinking it would be better to own one diesel walking tractor, than several separate motorized devices.

  19. #19
    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    Quote Originally Posted by benharpo View Post
    I know what you mean MizBrown. I do agriculture for a living, and I've been at it for several years. I will be paid to design water and fencing on a dairy farm. I have worked previously on a Nicaraguan dairy farm, and it was radically different from the farms I worked on in the states. I know what you mean.

    Thanks for the advice about buying local equipment, or shipping alternatives.

    We need an engine to power a picador (chipper for sugar cane) which feeds the cows during the dry season. Supposedly the typical one cylinder diesel engine costs $2000. For a little over $3000 we could buy a diesel walking tractor which could power anything. Our next priority is mowing. We might need a water pump, and our site has no electricity. We were thinking it would be better to own one diesel walking tractor, than several separate motorized devices.
    Sounds like you on the right track there, There are a mulditude of things that can be driven off a PTO.

    I take it the "Walking Tractor" is just plain a rubber tired farm tractor?
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



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    Junkyard Dog randude's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    Look hard at the cost of driving all that way, not just in gasoline, but in wear & tear on the (<5 year old) vehicle that would reduce its value, the stress on you for driving it through Mexico's drug war zones and highwaymen, the time it will take you (time is money), and pretty soon a shipping container starts to look like a brilliant idea.

    Though, some people have driven that way to Nicaragua and said it was no big deal. I personally wouldn't do it unless I can get some of Eric Holder's walked guns for protection.
    If you ever read the Karl Franz book, 'The People's Guide to Mexico' he gives a lot of advice and a lot of a is flavored with tones to relax, it isn't that bad. But one thing he says is to never drive at night. The risk are very high for numerous reasons. So if did try to drive it you can't drive at night and that will sort of double your days on the road. The last reviion I read of the book was before the Colombians started using the land route to smuggle (all of Central America). I am sure his latest book would mention the hasards that have become so apparent there today.

    But what the hell, sounds like a fun road trip.
    Survivor

  21. #21

    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    Quote Originally Posted by randude View Post
    If you ever read the Karl Franz book, 'The People's Guide to Mexico' he gives a lot of advice and a lot of a is flavored with tones to relax, it isn't that bad. But one thing he says is to never drive at night. The risk are very high for numerous reasons. So if did try to drive it you can't drive at night and that will sort of double your days on the road. The last reviion I read of the book was before the Colombians started using the land route to smuggle (all of Central America). I am sure his latest book would mention the hasards that have become so apparent there today.

    But what the hell, sounds like a fun road trip.
    In "days past", I drove the roads of Mexico and made numerous trips to Central America, night and day without problem. Today, I would do it on my own but not with my wife.

    I remember nights of driving in El Salvador, when you are meeting an on coming vehcile, you close your lights and turn the left signal light on for passing and then open again the head lights when past the traffic. Driving at night in Honduras was very dangerous, as they believed that they would burn the light bulbs out, so they didn't use them; besides that, the people would vacate their homes and sleep on the pavement, as the bugs were less active there. Many times I have nearly creamed those lying on the pavement.

    Down South is a whole nuther place, but a hoot when you relive the experiences.

  22. #22
    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain John Wayne View Post
    Sounds like you on the right track there, There are a mulditude of things that can be driven off a PTO.

    I take it the "Walking Tractor" is just plain a rubber tired farm tractor?
    It's this:

    http://www.bcsamerica.com/
    Models here: http://www.bcsamerica.com/tractors.cqs

    It's an Italian company, so getting parts is not going to be easy here unless someone is importing them. I'd looked into them before when I lived in Virginia.

    They're fairly useful on small farms (up to maybe 6 acres), and on steep land they're safer than a regular tractor.

    Having something with parts you can get here is pretty important for either trucks or tractors. The Italian things seem to be sold more in alternative culture communities than farming communities.

    The Italian rototillers can pull all sorts of small mowers, chisel plows, and all that, but what I've read about them, they're really suited to small truck farms near places where people pay serious money for organic vegetables. On a dairy farm, which is going to have more acreage than a truck farm, full size machinery would be more practical, but more expensive.

    Cheapest way to get cane chopped might be to use machete guys.

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    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    This is the most versatile farm implement ever designed, built or sold......EVER!

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1953-Ford-Ju...item3376e51446

    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

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    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Corn Tom View Post
    This is the most versatile farm implement ever designed, built or sold......EVER!

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1953-Ford-Ju...item3376e51446


    Naw.. My vote is for the Massey 35...



    this can take a beating and still run like no other...
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    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driving to Nicaragua, and flipping a car

    The walking tractors are pretty handy, amazing array of attachments. I looked at one a few years back in MGA but they had no attachments for it. The model I looked at was diesel, made in China. From what I have read they are wildly popular in Asia.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
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