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Buying And Selling A Car In Belize

Tips for buying and selling your car in Belize.

Our house sitting job in Belize is nearing the end and we only had one major thing left to do before we could head back home to the US – Sell Our Car.

As part of this assignment the home owners we are house sitting for were very adamant that we purchase our own 4 x 4 vehicle. We did just that on our second day in Belize. You can read about it here -> Buying a car in Belize. We felt very lucky to have found a vehicle in good working condition and within our price range.

Buying a Car in Belize

We bought this SUV 4×4 in Belize

Tips For Buying A Car In Belize

The median price for a decent second hand vehicle in Belize is around US $4,500. This seems very high, but considering the extremely high import taxes, it makes sense that even a ten year old vehicle is still over four grand.

We bought the 2000 KIA Sportage 4×4, now it was just a matter of:

  • Paying for it – we had cash on hand and were able to negotiate the price down a couple hundred dollars.
  • Getting it insured – we had to have the insurance before we were able to register the car. The cost for one year insurance in Belize was $170, we went with the cheapest option.
  • Taking care of the paperwork – we did the title transfer for about a $100 in Belize City, but couldn’t get it inspected or registered since we were going to be ‘living’ in a different district. A week later we had to make a three hour trip to the vehicle registration office in Dangrigia for the inspection and registration.

You can read more about our vehicle buying process in an earlier article: Arriving in Belize City

The vehicle has been pretty decent for us. We had a little scare at the beginning, but it ended up being an easy fix by simply replacing the broken gas line clamp with a new one. Maneuvering down the Monkey River road was a drag and we did use the four wheel drive on numerous occasions.

By the way, we will upload a Monkey River road condition video on our YouTube channel once we get back to the US. Be sure to check it out! Selling the vehicle in Belize brings up a whole other set of issues.

Tips For Selling A Car In Belize

Everyone told us that we shouldn’t have a problem selling our vehicle, but you know how it goes, one is always a little apprehensive, especially when under a time constraint. After several local phone call inquiries and one guy actually taking the car for a test dive, we still didn’t get an offer.

Nick and I were elated when we finally received a serious inquiry via email.

Tips for Selling a Car in Belize

We have sold numerous vehicles over the years in the US, and I know it varies from State to State, but you usually simply agree on a price, sign over the title to the new owner, hand over the key, mail in the little slip on the bottom of the title and go on your merry way.

Here are some of the issues we have run into while selling our car in Belize, and the solutions we have found:

  1. Selling a vehicle to a buyer sight unseen and not being able to test drive it. Solution – Take lots of outside and inside pictures and be absolutely up front about any issues the vehicle might have, ie. rust, dings, cracks in the windows, condition of the tires, etc..
  2. Our buyer lives in the US and has a residence in Belize, he will not be back in the country until several months after we leave. Solution – He has a friend who will meet us in Dangriga (yes, another three hour car ride, one way) and sign and pay for the title transfer. The buyer will take possession of the vehicle when he arrives in the country later in the year. We only advise to do this if you are certain the person is absolutely trustworthy. If in doubt, hire an attorney to do this for you. Both parties need to be present to do the car title transfer at the vehicle registration office.
  3. How do we get paid? Solution – We are using an online money transfer via a bank in the US. The buyer will pay half up front and the other half after the title transfer has been completed and the keys have been handed over.

Not having plates and tags on hand at the vehicle registration office is very common and can put you in a bind. Be sure to keep all of the paperwork that they give you in your glove box so that if you’re stopped at an inspection point you can have valid proof that all fees have been paid.

The best way to advertise your car in Belize:

  • Take a bunch of good inside and outside pictures.
  • Make a flyer and get copies made at a local print shop ($.50/copy).
  • Distribute them around town and hang a couple of the flyers in your vehicle’s windows.
  • Advertise free on Facebook, we used Placencia Classifieds.
  • Join The Belize Forums and create a free account, it takes about a day to get approved.
  • Place an ad in the Amandala, 1/4 page preferably with a photo.

We hope this article on ‘Buying And Selling A Car In Belize’ has been helpful to you. Be sure to share our car buying and selling tips with your expat friends and family.

Let us know in the comment section below if you have any questions or if you have any car buying/selling tips for future readers.

 

21 Responses to Buying And Selling A Car In Belize

  • Update: I’m happy to announce that the car selling part went down without a hitch. We have the money in our bank, the title transfer was done in under 10 minutes and we were able to ride the bus back from Dangrigia to Placencia (only $5 per person).
    After a good lunch and a celebratory beer we got a ride back to Monkey River with one of the tour boats.

  • My husband and I are looking to be in Belize for the next 5 years or so…and so our plan includes a vehicle. Thank all of you for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

  • The tips are really giving the perfect idea about dos and don’ts. I love your information and all the tips.

  • Even though Crystal Auto Rental car sales in Belize does not sell brand new vehicles; unlike some used car sale dealers in Belize, our vehicles are all quality, true low mileage, well maintained and properly serviced vehicles which meet International standards. With our tourism season only lasting for 5 months; Crystal Auto Rental car sales in Belize vehicles sit for 7 months out of the year creating low mileage.

    Buying from Crystal Auto Rental cars sale in Belize is different than buying from any other used car sale dealers in Belize. At Crystal Auto Rental cars sale in Belize; we only mark our lowest rock bottom prices. No Games – That’s the last price. Why bother yourself with used car sales dealers in Belize when Crystal Auto Rental car sales in Belize is the right place for you when looking for car sales in Belize.

  • Hello, i am planning to move to Belize with a friend and possibly buying a resort if all goes well with a court settlement. We were planning on bringing two vehicles with us by cargo plane. I noticed that diesel trucks or suvs are the way to go. My question is, would it be wise to buy a new vehicle in the U.S. if so what kind or should i wait for any reasons to purchase something when i get there. The price range is roughly 50k. Is buying a newer vehicle to bring with a bad idea? What would you do in this situation? There are so many things like servicing availability and parts that i just know nothing about down there.
    Thank you so very much for your help!

    • Hi Tim, Many of the people we met in Belize, that live their long-term, have brought their vehicles with them from the US. So yes, purchasing a newer SUV or truck is a good idea and four wheel drive is a must. Remember that you will have to pay for the customs fees, licensing, taxes etc. on top of the shipping charges.

      In my opinion it all depends on how ‘mechanically inclined’ you are. The mechanics that we had look at our truck could fix the SUV we had because it was pretty straight forward. If we would have brought them an import it may have been a different story. I wouldn’t bring a vehicle that I didn’t know was mechanically sound. You can find basic parts like oil and air filters and such with no problem, depending on where you live of course. You can always order parts in the US and have them shipped, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

      Hope this helps. Good luck and let us know how things turned out for you guys.

      • Thanks for the advice Nick. We are planning to visit Belize in early March to see the country for the first time, look at property for sale, and see first hand what the conditions and local atmosphere are like.
        Again I thank you for your advice and knowledge. Do you live in Belize or is it a vacation destination for you? It sure would be nice to meet someone to show us around and help with questions about moving there to purchase a propert(resort).
        All my best,
        Tim

        • You’re welcome Tim! We lived in Belize for three months, house sitting a property near Monkey Village, Toledo. We’re not there any longer, but we made friends in that short time frame that we are still in contact with. :) Our next door neighbors on the beach were Dennis & Wilma, they live in Belize year round. You can contact them via her blog: http://southenglishtown.blogspot.com. They are both very friendly, wonderful people and are very knowledgeable about the area, people and customs.
          Tell them Nick & Silke say ‘Hello!’ :).

        • they are expensive i live in belize for 6 years now i go back there to live

    • is cheaper to buy it in belize you pay in belize dollar no u s charge you more , you can beat the price down i work there

  • Hi there,
    I’m currently on a worldtrip, so I bought a car in Canada and drove all down to Cancun (Mexico). My plan is to fly from there to Peru, but first I’ve got to get rid of my car… and that’s a big Problem here im Mexico. Therefore I thought about a little detour to Belize to sell/dump the car there.
    So, does anybody know if it’s possible to sell an imported car and leave the country without any problems?
    Many thanks in advance!

  • Nick: When you indicate $4500 is common for a 10 year old vehicle, I assume you are quoting in USD not Belize Dollars. When Crystal auto sales/rental says the tourist season is only 5 months…are they talking about winter months? Dry Season months? Non-hurricane season? Been to Mahalual, Mexico and its peninsula below the Belize border just above AmberGris Caye… but never Belize…..Yet. What is Belize climate off-season? Thanks for the info.

    • Hi Bob, Thank you for visiting. We are indeed quoting USD for the vehicle price (exchange rate is 2:1 Belize to USD). Belize has two seasons – the wet season and the dry season. Dry season runs from November to June and the wet season, hurricane or off-season, runs June through October. We only lived in Belize for a few months, leaving right before the wet season started.

      Our good friend Wilma has lived in Belize for several years now and can answer all of your weather/climate questions. Be sure to visit her blog for awesome photography and more information – http://southenglishtown.blogspot.com/

      Are you planning a trip to Belize in the near future?

  • We have a 1999 town and country in playa del Carmen Canadian plates and would like to sell in Belize. Mileage is 240,000 Km. Some rust but motor runs well. Photos can be sent to interested parties. Email ogroup@telus.net Could drive to free zone. Willing to negotiate price depends on import tax.

    • Hi Ernie, Good luck selling your vehicle. Be sure to print out some flyers to hang in public places and also check out Facebook. There are several good pages/groups to post free classified ads like the ‘Placencia classifieds!’.

  • i live in belize for 6 years now i go back

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