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Does driving a more expensive car make you a target?


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As the Tapatio visitors and home owners have really returned to this area I see them driving Mercedes, BMWs, Audis, and other high end cars.  I've also noticed a number of the winter visitors drive pretty nice upper dollar iron.

The conventional wisdom I've always heard is that you should stick to the cheaper, plain vanilla cars to avoid standing out and becoming a target for thieves, kidnappers and the like.

What is the opinion and experience of this group?  I am talking Mexican plated here, not U.S. or Canadian plates.

 

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I was told the same thing by local citizens when I asked them about buying a more expensive car. As a result, I have a light gray 2013 Honda CRV with Mexican plates. Works like a dream. I have never had a problem

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As I see it, most of these stolen cars are for the black market used by body shops. The most common and plentiful cars provide a large market for body and other parts. High end European and American cars not so much. Mainly, driving an expensive car presents the driver as a mark for robbery, kidnapping, car jacking and other crimes. It is mystifying to me that some expats can't overcome the need to stand out. I have read that these kind of crimes are more prevalent in Guadalajara.                     

https://www.statista.com/statistics/734679/mexico-most-stolen-vehicle-brands/

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It depends where you drive.. In some places having any kind of cars makes you a target  in larger cities you see lots of expensive cars  including Hummers.. so some Mexicans are not worried.. It does say you have money so it can be a sign to the guys who want to kidnap or rob but if you are in a place wher eyou are not the only one with an expensive car your chances fo down.

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The question is fallacious.    It’s like asking the question:  Three guys walk into a hotel, and they're going to spliThe question: Three guys walk into a hotel, and they're going to split the cost of a room. The room is $30. They each kick in $10 and head up to their room. The manager gets wind of it and tells the clerk the room is only $25. He hands five $1 bills to the bell hop and tells him to go refund the guys' money. On the way up to the room, the bell hop gets to thinking, as bell hops are wont to do, and says to himself, "No way can three guys split $5, I'm going to help out." He stuffs $2 in his pocket, knocks on the door, gives each guy back a buck and heads back downstairs to the desk, glowing in the warmth of a job well done. So now each guy has paid $9. $9 times 3 is $27 plus $2 the bell hop stole--only $29! Where is the other buck?

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Not at all. And, the best bargain is a Lincoln MKX slightly used. Your nearest dealership is GDL and best prices may be found in Mexico City. Check out mercadolibre. One that is 2 years old, like new is about the price of a new Honda CRV and thousands less than same vehicle in Canada and the US..

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I drive the Vette in Guadalajara a lot. Lots of stares and a few taking pics and videos. However I have three homes and keep the vette in a different home than registered. Also being in Guadalajara I stay in a 5 star hotel and have seen a McLaren there about 4 million pesos. I hate the rich!!!! (joke) More like envy.   

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1 hour ago, HoneyBee said:

Unfortunately I own a Nissan Tsuru. The thinking when I bought it was to be able to drive around "low key". Its also the most stolen brand in Mexico. I learned this when I bought insurance coverage for it the first time.  

That's because the Tsuru is the safest car to be in in an accident.  The whole car is a crumple zone.

Apologies to whoever I stole that joke from.

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24 minutes ago, addtocart said:

That's because the Tsuru is the safest car to be in in an accident.

I didn't buy one because they do not have the most basic safety feature, air bags.

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I love my 2001 Ford Explorer Sport. It has 28,800 miles on it. Both were US plated. I bought two of them that year. Drove one to Lake Chapala and had to sell it in 2013 when I went Residente Permanente and could no longer drive a US plated car in Mexico. The one I have up north in Seattle is the one with low mileage.  Great cars.

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Most of the cars stolen/car jacked in Guadalajara are the heavily customized ones - special rims, tires, body panels, high end stereo, effect lights, etc. They have "spotters" about, to tell when and where the target vehicles are out and about. This is usually a younger crowd than we are used to Lakeside. They prefer Puerto Vallarta for a cruise for example, no point in impressing Lakesiders their age.The Tapatios who visit or own properties here are more typically more family orientated, have a house full of friends and relatives over for the weekend. The high end European vehicles are much more difficult to sell or strip. A customized vehicle will be stripped within 48 hours, many of them have Low Jack tracking systems. A well connected friend of mine got them to send out a helicopter when he was car jacked.

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In the States I had a Honda and a BMW.  Whenever I drove the Beemer,  people would treat me as the "rich bitch" by cutting me off in traffic or not letting me take my turn at a 4-way stop.  And other ways of showing their disdain for my being what they thought of as "rich".  I don't know if this happens in Mexico cause I drive a nondescript Honda.  I know if I see a really expensive car, I wonder if the owner is a drug dealer and I literally steer clear.  Cartels like to steal big, flashy, expensive cars but if you are a gingo, you will probably be thrown back because they don't want to deal with the US State Dept.  IMHO

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4 hours ago, TelsZ4 said:

IF your ever lucky enough to get todrive a BMW or an Audi you would know why people prefer to drive them over JJ's (Japanese Junk).

My spouse's former employer provided leased BMW's to some of their staff.  Said staff was responsible for any repairs.  The repairs for the slightest things were expensive, but the repair personnel were oh-so-polite, bordering on a Germanic version of kowtowing.

It was a very comfortable car to ride in,  but when he turned it in at the end of the lease period, we agreed that we'd prefer to have a nice pickup truck, so we bought a Toyota.  It was comfortable, reliable and was anything but Junk.  Now we have a Honda, and it's been an excellent, trouble free 6 years of driving it.  I think the "JJ" label for Japanese cars came about in an era when it was considered "unpatriotic" to buy them instead of an American brand.  However, anyone who bought a Chevy quickly found out what real junk was.  A friend bought a Corvair and was content until it "swapped ends".  But.....whatever makes you happy.  I have a relative who loves Jeeps even though he has nothing but trouble with them.

I suspect that the sight of a Gringo or Gringa driving an expensive car sends the message: "this is where the money is" to any larcenous type who might follow him or her on home with the intent to pay a call later.  

 

 

 

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Yes an expensive car sends a message so you can appear on the radar.. if you live in an area where there are lots of expensive car  you melt in the crowd, if you are the only one who has an expensive car then you will appear on the radar of the guys out to make some money or grab something from you.. It is pretty logical in any country ..No?

Last year I was in an indigenous home when a group of tourists from Mexico City came in.. The women had diamond rings like you would not believe... I told one of the person with me, are they nuts, did you see that jewelry.? They also had a body guard with them. The next day the tour guide called use to let us know they had been robbed on their way to a famous cascade not too far from where we were... surprise surpise, body guard or no body guard  those people were asking for it.

Also having a body guard goes both way, you attract attention is go up on the radar. One day we were checking in a lodge in the jungle.. We were the only customer and here came two guys with two armed guards.. MY first question to the hotel was who are those guys. Coca Cola executives I was told.. .. Here they were in the middle of nowhere announcing they were worth something to a kidnapper.. not too smart when you are trekking around the Guatemala Chiapas border that is infested with coyotes and Maras out to make money.

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1 hour ago, gringal said:

I think the "JJ" label for Japanese cars came about in an era when it was considered "unpatriotic" to buy them instead of an American brand.

My JJ was built in Aguascalientes. It ain't no junk.

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When we drove an older minivan I got pulled over a couple of times but got away with warnings because I didn't do anything wrong, I guess I looked like a gringa in a minivan.

Since then we have driven bigger expensive cars and this past year a brand new one, and no problems at all. I think that the money and intelligence might intimidate them. Do you ever see them pulling over expensive Tapitio vehicles, I don't. It is always the older vehicles owned by MX or gringos driving vehicles.

All these vehicles we have had were MX plated.

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