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Mexico Car Buying Nightmares ☠️
Do NOT try this at home, good sers...
I’d never bought a car in me life.
My first car was an old truck my Grandpa gave me when he lost his vision. I was 15 at the time.
I drove that until college before it died on me.
Then my Dad gave me his old car with about 150,000 miles on it at the time.
I drove that during university, took it down to Miami before I left for Panama, and sold it for a whooping $600 USD to some guy who couldn’t walk and chew gum on his best day.
Since then, nearly 10+ years ago, I have not owned a car.
But after reproducing offsprings at such a rapid rate, it was time.
Putting two car seats into an Uber is an absolute nightmare. Then folding the strolling and throwing it in the trunk.
The driver snarling at you because it takes 10 minutes for you to load the fam into the Uber XL.
It was time to get domesticated and shit. It was time to buy a car.
P.S: This is a stim-fueled rant. Albeit, an educational one and all that jazz.
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Car Shopping in Mexico 🇲🇽
Now, with two car seats and my girl and me and a stroller…
Anything with five-seats was already damn near too small.
Throw a guest, like my mother, or a dog in a five-seat SUV and the thing is filled to the brim.
I needed a 6-7 seater SUV.
But not a monstrous one, like a Suburban. Why? Because first, Suburbans are kinda for narcos in Mexico. Ya tu sabes.
Well, narcos and politicians.
Plus, the garage at my apartment is far too small for a Suburban.
I needed a 6-7 seater mid-sized SUV = Very limited options.
There’s less than 10 models on the market that fit this description and don’t look like dogshit.
BMW X5 / X7
Range Rover Sport
So I started searching online and had little luck.
Not only was there little selection, but buying from individuals in Mexico is a pain in the ass.
Gotta make sure the documents are correct.
Gotta have cash or make a bank transfer from a Mexican bank.
Just a high-risk situation, especially as a foreigner.
But after some digging, I found a massive used car lot in the mall near my house.
The place had nearly 1,000 cars on the showroom floor, accepted American credit cards, and offered a 7-day money back guarantee on any car purchased from them.
It was NOT.
The place I found was a massive used car chain company in Mexico called:
No matter what you do, do NOT purchase a car from Kavak in Mexico, good sers.
Let me explain why…
For starters, no one on their sales team is on commission — or so it seemed.
No one follows you around, asking questions, seeing if you need anything, etc.
You show up and check the cars yourself.
The people working here give zero fucks if you buy a car or not. Which might sound pleasant when looking at cars, but when you actually want to make a purchase and get things done — it fucking blows.
It’s like pulling teeth to get the people that work here to do anything, much less with speed.
Next, you cannot take the car on a test drive or take it to a mechanic. The car stays on the lot until you buy it and sign all the paperwork.
They claim this isn’t an issue because you get 7-days to see if you like the car.
A MASSIVE Red flag that I ignored.
So on one Sunday afternoon, I showed up at Kavak with my Dad, who was in town to meet his new grandchild.
He’s been a “car guy” his whole life, so I figured getting his opinion would make the process a whole lot easier.
We walk the whole lot and check out maybe 15-20 models.
We finally see one we both like.
It was an:
2017 Infiniti QX60 Perfection Plus
The SUV had 7-seats and 45K miles on it. The thing seemed in perfect condition. The motor hummed when we turned it on.
The body had minimal scratches and was in great shape. There wasn’t even a scratch or ding on the bottom of the SUV, so it seemingly had not been taken off-road.
After dicking around with the car on the lot for an hour, we were sold.
We reserved the car for a week, which gave me some time to sleep on it.
After one night, both me and my dad woke up and said:
“Think we gotta buy that damn car!”
So we headed back to Kavak, got a few more details, and I put it on my American credit card.
Paid in full.
Now, I’m thinking I’ll swipe this credit card and then sign a contract here right quick.
Then I’ll take the car home ASAP.
After I paid, I was told to go home and wait for a message on WhatsApp about the contract.
I was a bit confused, but I went with it.
3-4 hours later and I get a message with the contract. Process seems to be going well.
The contract has incorrect names, addresses, government numbers, etc.
The whole thing was a complete and utter shitshow of a contract.
I tell the lady working the contract to switch X, Y, and Z.
The minor changes seem to confuse the living hell out of her. It’s like a computer malfunctioning and simply cannot compute what it needs to do.
After going back and forth with her for over an hour to no avail, we decide to head back to the car dealership the next day and try to get it done in person.
So the next morning…
We head back to the dealership, voice our issue, and wait. And wait. And wait some more.
You would think finalizing a contract would get people moving.
No one gave a flying fuck again.
It was like pulling teeth to get anyone to look into the issue.
Finally, a semi-competent individual strolls over and starts explaining some things to us.
Things that we were not made aware of initially.
We iron things out and are told to wait while he goes to remake the contract…again.
After an hour of twiddling our thumbs, the guy strolls over and things start moving. I sign the contract finally.
They give me a time and date to go pick up the car…
At a different location!
The Clusterfuck Continues
So we head to the location where we are told to pick up the car at…
The lady working there goes:
“Ohhhh! No, this is the service center. You want to go to the pick up area — 20 minutes away from here.”
So we get in another Uber and finally find the right place.
I’ll give credit where credit is due:
This is the only part of the process that goes smoothly, mainly because the one girl working here is quite sharp and gets shit done.
We show up, go over some documents with her for 30-minutes, do a full inspection of the car, and finalize things.
Then we get the keys and off we go.
The car is driving smoothly, motor humming perfectly. I’m absolutely thrilled.
My Dad is telling me this is a great car…but to make sure to get it checked by a mechanic first. Just to be safe.
So I book an appointment the following week at the Infiniti dealership.
I take the car over, drop it off, and get a call to come grab it 4-hours later.
I show up, the lady at the front desk rings me up, and I pay — but as I’m paying, I see the mechanic’s notes with 5 different issues scribbled down.
I see the word “transmisión” — and I knew then and there, I was fucked.
The head mechanic comes out and starts talking with me. Going over all the issues and the pricing.
The total cost to fix the piece of shit:
I start grilling him a bit on the issues to see if he was just trying to scam me or not. It didn’t seem so.
Then I explain to him my “7-day money back guarantee” with Kavak and he laughs:
“Return that piece of shit tonight!”
He keeps going, basically saying that the car was going to be a nightmare and that if I can return it, I must.
It Gets Worse
So I go directly back to Kavak.
I bring the car in, go to the people working there, and show them the quote from Infiniti about the $10,000 USD in work that needs to be done.
“Yep, we can return that today!”
This is going better than I thought…
They print out the return contract, I read it, have my girl read it too, and then sign it ASAP.
At this point, I’m thinking life is good.
No harm, no foul.
It’s been a clusterfuck of a car buying nightmare, but they’ll be sending my money back to my credit card ASAP.
Only after signing the contract am I told that they only offer returns to Mexican bank accounts via deposit.
That they will NOT return the money to my American credit card.
Oh, and the fucking WhatsApp short bus ‘tard squad will be contacting me to make the deposit the following day.
I get up and leave. I was so pissed I couldn’t see straight.
It was pointless to spend another second speaking with them.
I get back to my crib and call my credit card company immediately, explain the situation, and send documentation of the purchase, the return, the whole nine, etc.
The credit card company assured me this wouldn’t be an issue — and that if I’d like to have the money returned to the original payment method, that wouldn’t be an issue.
But I’d have to wait 15-days before the money is sent back due to the policy of the company and how they do disputes.
Which is where I still am…
Multiple 5-figures on hold with my credit card company, me twiddling my thumbs waiting for this moronic company to accept the dispute.
Moral of the Story
If you’re going to buy a car in Latin America…
GO TO A FRANCHISED, BRAND SPECIFIC DEALERSHIP AND BUY A NEW OR CERTIFIED USED CAR.
Never go to a used car dealership in Latin America, good sers.
No matter the price, the juice is not worth the squeeze.
Te lo juro.