Our car-buying experience in the DR...

My wife and I are Canadian, and are in the process of establishing ourselves in the DR. One of our tasks involved buying a used vehicle. "Planner" and other good folks on the forum recommended a gentleman by the name of Mike Cruffman. With their help, I was readily contacted by Mike, and on my way to what was to be the best car-buying experience of my life.
My background is automotive engineering, so I have a rather extensive knowledge of cars. However, during my first phone conversation with him, I quickly realized that Mike is not only very knowledgeable about vehicles - but extremely "street-smart" regarding buying a vehicle IN THE DR. But what impressed me the most, was his honesty, transparency, and overall good character. THIS was the kind of person I wanted to work with!
From that point on, Mike was consistently clear, communicative and just plain delightful to work with. His integrity is beyond reproach - which made him stubbornly uncompromising in his pursuit of the perfect car for us.
Then after about a week of constant attempts and subsequent rejections, he called and said "I think I've found your car." It turned out that after scouring the north, north-west and central areas of the country, he found a vehicle in Santo Domingo. My wife and I then hopped on a bus to meet him. Upon our arrival, he had everything arranged for us, so that we could quickly and efficiently see what he had in store.
To our utter delight, the vehicle was absolutely perfect for us. The owner was a delightful man who had meticulously cared for the car, and offered it at a very reasonable price. We had never experienced buying a car in the DR, so Mike facilitated the entire process - with the utmost in professionalism and competence.
Now, as a write this post, we've driven the car long enough to know that we just love it. And I simply cannot imagine a better car-buying experience - here, or in any other country.
So if you're serious about buying a used (or new) vehicle, do the smart thing: HIRE MIKE AND ENJOY THE RIDE.
P.S. Notwithstanding all of the above, I must say that Mike is simply an all-around lovely human being. Really.

I am happy for you....

Buying a car here can be a spooky situation... crooks abound.
Mike did my buy...and it was seamless

He really cares - and enjoys doing it.

Enjoy the ride

What a great post, thank you!!!

So very good to hear of such the positive experience you had, and I am so pleased Mike is getting the kudos he deserves.

But....I do hope he also shares his affinity for cooking and music with his fellow expats on this forum.

Oh and his rally driving past in a Ford Escort!

i am thrilled, most of all, to know that i got  some lovely people a nice car. yes...i know it sounds like dueling compliments, but the big plus for me in all this is that i have met some friends...it does not get any better...

Great post. Just what I will be needing in the near future. Can some one can send me his contact information

He will see this i.am sure Stan but you can PM cruffman

I also would like his contact information. He sounds like he is the best thing since sliced bread.

He will do as much - or as little - as you want.

In my case... we talked about a specific make/model and both hunted.
I found the car over the Christmas holidays while off island.

Cruffman went .. inspected it and had it held for me.
He did all the $$ negotiations and pre-paperwork

I wired the money... showed up ... signed and drove out
First time touching the car.... that kind of confidence in him.

Sorry to be a promoter....
He'll see your post and contact you....

it's ok, WillieWeb...

promoter is not a bad thing...at least, not for me..


We all have to support good services here!  And hat applies to local and Expat!

My wife and I highly recommend Mike when seeking to purchase a vehicle. We relied on the references on this forum and were not disappointed.   Although we purchased new, Mike found a straightforward Santiago dealer -- a business that is very detail-oriented and meticulous in its record-keeping as evidenced by the paperwork and photographs. Mike not only found the truck we wanted but he also found a newly-constructed small trailer that fit our needs. So, when we collected the truck, we also picked up the trailer.

Mike found the truck before we arrived on the island, reserved it with a deposit, and then, on our arrival, stayed in contact throughout the entire purchasing process, which took a number of days due to wiring the money. Twice, he came in from out of the city to meet at the dealership.  The whole experience was a pleasure.  Mike really listens to your needs, researches, and has the contacts.  He is also wonderful person and an excellent judge of character.

jeez...thanks a heap for that, juan18...

hope you and the family enjoy them in the best of health.

i wish you all the very best

Great feedback!  Thanks for posting!

Have one question - when buying do you go right away to get your plate or as in Canada do you need proof of insurance to get the plate.....and yes, I will using Mike. He's helped just advising on types so when ready, my wife and I know the make and model to be found....

I don't think you need insurance to get the plates honey.

actually, in the DR, unlike countries like Canada and the USA, the plates follow the car. you buy a car from a prior owner, it comes with plates. buy a car from a dealer, he gets you the plates. you do not need insurance to get plates, but insurance is nice..

OKAY - one of those "little" points cleared up....mucho gracias...

glad to be of assistance...

I would also like to add my endorsement for Mike, aka Cruffman. Following the many recommendations from this site I contacted him, gave him what I was looking for, and what my budget was. Within a few days he got back to me and told me he found something better, but with same requirements, than what I was looking for in Santiago. Told me to hop on the bus in Sosua and he would get on same bus in POP. We got to Santiago where we met with his taxi driver friend who took us to the car dealer and had a good look at the vehicle. There were a couple things I wanted to get looked after with the car so we drove it to a shop to get the needed items taken care of. Hopped the bus back to Sosua to wait for funds to get transferred from bank in Canada to Santiago. Got the call from Mike last Wednesday saying funds had been received by dealer so we made the bus trip one more time. Dealer took care of insurance  and I was on the road home in under an hour.
I am very pleased with the help and service Mike provided and am happy with the vehicle I got. Now to do some exploring.

Thanks again, Mike.

Great to hear!!!

as i like to say...

Enjoy it in the best of health. and, thanks for the kind remarks..

I would like to get your number and email.
I am planning to buy a car at the end of next year and would be happy to use your help.
Thanks. George

hello how do i contact mike cuffman

He visits here regularly -- he'll find you

Or send him a message

Busy time of year for him just now

I will make sure he sees this

Two thumbs up for Mike, from our experience.  Great asset, and cool guy.

thanks for the kind words, UncleBuck... i will try to live up to them...

Greetings sir, like everyone else here I have heard of your prowess in attaining vehicles here. I'm currently in santiago and am in need of a suv 2010 to 15. I would love your assistance. Please reach out if you can help. Thanks. Obe

hi there, oba711. thanks for the kind words. please shoot me a pm, and i will give you my contact info so we can arrange for me to get you a vehicle. have a nice evening...


better yet, oba711, if you shoot me a phone number i will call you asap..

I see the prices of automobiles are expensive especially given their depreciation. In Haiti the automobiles are cheaper. Is it possible to buy from there and bring into the DR?

No it's not.  Rules against buying and importing  - strictly controlled.

Cars are a rip off in the DR!!

That may be true, or, there may be actual reasons for the prices.  Regardless, your options are limited!

The importing tax is the culprit

bringing one in w/ your residency is the cheapest way to do it

Yes - I have done it

hi Mike, we communicated a couple of years ago but I have lost our contact/communication... what is the best way to connect again? We have not done much since that time, due to known circumstances, but have survived and rolling again... cant wait to come back to DR from Canada...
@cruffman if you're still monitoring this forum I would like to get in contact as well.
Send him a message here.... he reads here frequently

I informed him - he should visit soon....
I did the same! 1f600.svg

And remember many newer members cannot use the private message function yet.