What Car is best for Puerto Vallarta?
There are a lot of opinions about what car to buy to get around Puerto Vallarta and from whom to purchase. We’ve done a bit of research on this and remind you this is a blog and not professional advice or promotional services.
We’ve driven many vehicles in Puerto Vallarta, originally a Chrysler Le Baron convertible; not a car we would recommend driving in any country. The Le Baron was pretty to look at, got a lot of attention but it was horrible on gas mileage, had basically no shocks and the suspension was terribly lacking. In spite of its looks, it was a real rattle-trap.
Our combi was probably our best car all around, and what we would recommend for anyone looking for a vehicle to haul everything from groceries to topsoil. A Jeep is good for this, too but we found the combi was much better on gas, among other qualities. What is a combi? We jokingly referred to it as a combination paper weight/boat anchor when we had problems but realistically speaking, it gave us every little trouble. It’s the quintessential VW Van. Once we lost our keys in a river and were able to hotwire it; when the fan belt broke on a long trip, we made a new one from polypropylene cord that got us back home again before it fell apart. With removable seats, we could turn it from a touring auto to a working facility in a matter of minutes. And it was easier to sweep out than a Jeep.
For a regular car, a vehicle we utilized for driving around town, picking up friends at the airport, grocery shopping, etc, our favorite was our Jetta. The abundance of storage room in the trunk is amazing and we could fit an enormous amount of suitcases, along with a bag of lemons, bottle of tequila and a few cold beers. It was fantastic on gas and the maintenance was very low.
Speaking of maintenance, have a good mechanic; always carry his card and store his number in your cell phone. When planning to purchase a vehicle, take him along and pay him for his time. Do some shopping ahead of time, know what you want and let him help you, once you’ve narrowed down your decision to a couple or three choices.
Mano a Mano is a good place to shop for used cars; it’s a small magazine found about town and also available online at manoamano.com. There’s an English section and bi-lingual ads. Used (semi-nuevo) and new car dealers are willing to work with you and, as anywhere, love to wheel and deal. Good luck!
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