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Buying a Car and the responsibility of owning & driving one.

Hi everyone,
I travel to Puerto Rico every 6 months now and being without a car was torture.  I was considering buying a car in the states and shipping it but figured out early shipping was way too expensive. 

I bought a used one and I understand I have to bring it in annually for an inspection.   Not sure how often (or where) I need to go to update an inspection or registration for that matter.

How do I go about this?  Do you get something in the mail for inspection and/or registration?
What's the best place to take it for either?
How often do you need to go in to update them?
Tips on Toll booths and Express Lanes purchases.  How does one purchase & keep track of their spending limit?
Turning right at a light and what rule or law does one follow after dark? 
What to do or say when in an accident or stopped by any law officer.

Finally I understand there is something called "Mandatory Insurance" (Seguro Mandatorio); There is about somewhere between 8-12 to choose from.  I was told "Mapre" was best because they offered free towing.  Anyone else know about the insurances offered?  Which is their favorite & why? 
Any difference in price?
Any answers and all responses are appreciated. 
Thanks

I documented the Marbete and insurance process I went through in detail on my blog.

http://www.blackandgoldcoast.com/auto-i … o-brainer/

Let me know if anything is unclear or if you have any other questions.

Regarding toll stickers, you can purchase them in the "R" lane which is usually on the far right.  They cost $20 which includes a starting balance of $10.  You can then register on-line to keep track of and add to your balance.

> Turning right at a light and what rule or law does one follow after dark? 
> What to do or say when in an accident or stopped by any law officer.

Sorry, I don't know the answer to these two questions.  Hopefully, someone who does will chime in!

David

Insurance is mandatory and gets more complicated when you have alien on your car. Just like in the States it often has better rates when you package with your home and umbrella. We found Triple S to do well.

Not sure about the right turn after dark.... is it different?

Accidents in PR are much different. Be sure you have your registration and insurance in the car. If it is a serious accident everyone is likely to have to have a breathalizer regardless of fault. They will ticket you for any problem with your car also regardless of fault. Expect to be detained for hours if the accident if serious.

Hi there,
I have visited and driven there on many occasions.  I noticed many turn right at a red light but with precaution (unless a sign says otherwise).  Just not sure if I will get stopped or not if I see a police officer and I am at a red light looking to turn right. 

Also I have been told after a certain hour one could go through a red light late at night with caution due to a rash of car jackings at stops. 
Is it ok by law or implied? 
Is this the rule everywhere on the island?
After what hour does this take effect?

Please tell me if you heard of this and/or experience on the matter. 
It would clear up concerns I have.  thanks

Hi Sabrina,
I have visited and driven there on many occasions.  I noticed many turn right at a red light but with precaution (unless a sign says otherwise).  Just not sure if I will get stopped or not if I see a police officer and I am at a red light looking to turn right. 

Also, I have been told after a certain hour one could go through a red light late at night with caution due to a rash of car jackings at stops some time ago. 
Is it ok by law or implied? 
Is this the rule everywhere on the island?
After what hour does this take effect?

Please tell me if you heard of this and/or have any experience on the matter. 
It would clear up concerns I have.  thanks.

Yes, right on red is legal. Yes, after a certain time at night, you can treat a red light like a stop sign, all over the island. "Todo conductor que se encuentre entre las doce de la noche (12:00 am)  y las cinco
de la mañana (5:00 am)  ante un semáforo con luz roja, se detendrá y luego podrá continuar la marcha con precaución." That is a quote from the drivers manual which is available at http://welcome.topuertorico.org/pdf/Man … or2009.pdf

Just have your head on a swivel at all times - in the Metro SJ area people go through red lights very frequently.  I've seen people do it with police right behind them with no reactions from the police. 

Also, if you're first in line at a red light, don't be in a rush to go - there may be several cars going though the red light.

Thanks Frogrock, Muchas gracias. 
I am very glad I asked.

Thanks Trekrider will keep in mind.

The things that people do while driving can take the price for stupidity, boldness and strangeness. Like passing 5 or 10 cars waiting at a light by using the opposite direction lane and get to the light then turn right in front of the first car waiting at the light.
Zero patience!
Since there are few cops and the few ones are checking the girls, the concept of breaking driving rules / laws do not enter their mind.

That's true everywhere.  Thanks Rey

As I understand it, right on red is acceptable unless otherwise noted as you say. I have not heard that you can go on red after a certain hour. Interesting concept regarding the car jackings but Im not sure its accurate. I asked a friend who is a native of San Juan and she said everyone does it but she doesn't know if there is actually a law allowing it.

Check what frogrock posted, the way it reads sounds like the driving manual. Basically saind from midnight to 5 am allowed to do a full stop and drive off if safe to do so at the time instead of waiting for red light to change.
Those of you in the island should check the driving booklet.

I was told in an earlier reply that between 12am-5am one must come to a stop before continuing through a red light. 
As proof she (Frogrock) provided a link that states so from the Puerto Rico Driver's Manual.  I haven't seen it but I am pretty sure it's there.

Right turn on red, after a full stop... unless otherwise posted, or if it is a red arrow... that's the law in PR, and all 50 states. Going through a red light, after certain hours is a widely held belief, but if caught excersizing your belief, will cost you $250. All the rules are pretty much the same, with minor differences; how many feet from a fire hydrant, can one park, etc. Here, even parking in the yellowed "do not park" areas, often don't get tickets... unless you are in the metro area (SJ or Ponce, I can attest to, but not sure about other cities).

Thanks mac00677,
It seems unanimous the right turn rule upon all responses.  As far as the running the red light after dark it seems the best rule is simply wait until green, obey the law and exercise caution.   
I will be living in Mayaguez as of December which is considered the third largest city by most.  Parking has never been a problem for me unless a festivity is taking place near the city limits.  Malls are usually my thing.  LOL.
Thanks again.

Thanks ReyP,
I hope the police understand the law themselves during 12am-5am.  Honestly, I'm afraid some might say insinuate it applies to major highways or otherwise.  I've asked officers in the past and "Believe it or Not" they claim NOT to know because either they're not part of highway patrol or they do not work the night shift. 
I can imagine having a driver's manual and getting a ticket or worse yet, getting arrested for inciting an officer and/or Claiming to be "Under the Influence".  It sounds funny but who knows how they may react when avoiding a ticket or appear to know one's rights. 
I guess it can be worse in other parts of the world.   

Thanks again, Frogrock. 
I'm glad to know something is written in the Driver's Manual on the subject matter but unless in a true hurry, I am afraid of officer's claiming: "I did not come to a full stop", did not exercise caution or any other story that can give them reason to make my night a horror.   
I Just wish it was better understood by most rather than having the majority believe it's probably a myth. 
Truthfully, It's my opinion, no one really wants to be in the position of testing the theory; Weather in the right or wrong. 

********************
[opinion based on driving history]

While in Puerto Rico, I've traveled to the east coast from Mayaguez, occasionally during that hour of time. 
I consider myself a very good driver, respecting the laws of the road... 
I've "Sat" patiently besides other vehicles simply waiting for a green light (either before & after midnight); while others come to a full stop before proceeding while others just rush through. 
At times, several vehicles at once. 

Its funny how you have the occasional "honker" behind or in front while others become the consummate "angel behind the wheel" (when a blue light is flashing in the distance). 
Given the abuse of "police history on the road" (I've heard) or the reckless driving of few; I'll continue to "Exercise Caution", based on my level of safety.  'Just an insecurity of mine, I guess. 
Nonetheless, knowing something is actually written in the handbook is certainly a relief.

It is good that you obey the laws, but sometimes breaking them is safer, if you get a major honker, go thru or move to the side and let it pass, he may have issues or may be running from somebody.
Also doing a full stop at a light and going thru may be better than loosing you car to a car jacker, they use your car to commit a crime and sometimes set the car on fire to get rid of evidences. Best avoid and get a rare ticket.

Thanks ReyP

:)

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