Choice of car: BMW 328

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#1 Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:24

Choice of car: BMW 328

Hello All,

Just decided to make this happen... Problem is, the only car I have is far away from what others use to drive down. I have a 2013 BMW 328 in Miami and plan on starting the drive in Feb/Mar

Do you all think it is crazy to drive a car like this down to Colombia?

I am Colombian by birth and speak fluent Spanish, have visited every country in Latin America so I am not worried about doing the drive. I know BMW has dealerships all over, but I am worried about breaking down somewhere remote. Obviously with this car, I don't plan on doing any off-road travelling and will pretty much stick to the Panamericana.

I would think that my car might be a target, but it also may be not due to the scarcity of the car and it will be hard to steal due to the ignition system and the alarm. But I am definitely worried about calling the wrong kind of attention... and being followed and such.

Any honest, friendly comments will be helpful!!!

Many thanks,


Tue, 01/07/2014 - 17:25

Not a good idea

To give you some background, my girlfriend and I have been driving through central america in an 1998 Honda Civic since August. We've only made as far as Belize so far. For our exact route checkout:

In my opinion driving a brand new BMW is not a wise choice. First of all, you'll have to deal with topes (speedbumps). You'll find these everywhere in central america. Even on the toll highways. In the Civic, I scrape the bottom of the car about 1 out of ever 10 topes, so on a good day that means I only scrape about 2-3 times a day, on a bad day 10-15 times. So far all the scraping has not punched a hole through the exhaust, but it has dislodged it from its braces and now it rattles any time I go under 2000 rpm. Not a big problem for me, but I doubt you'd be happy if the same thing happened on your brand new BMW. 

Second, no matter how good of a driver you are, you will eventually hit something. So far in our trip, we've gone over 1 big rock that scraped the side of the gas tank and we've hit numerous branches and leaves on the right side of the car (the roads are sometimes too narrow for 2 cars to pass side by side without hitting the plants growing on the side of the roads). The scrape on the gas tank is now full of rust. Thankfully the tank itself is still intact, but at this rate, it will start leaking in a year or two. Again, not a big problem for me, but I assume you want to take this car back home or sell in Colombia. 

Third, a brand new car will attract attention. No matter the brand, a shiny car among rusted trucks and beat up VW Beattles will attract attention. For the most part this will probably not result in anything bad, just people trying to sell you stuff, maybe a few people trying to interest you in their daughters. However unless you very carefully plan out your route and pay very close attention to the news, you will eventually end up in the wrong part of town. So far the worst thing that has happened to us was that people demanded a "donation" so that they would not puncture our tires or hit our car, you can read up more about it here:  With a brand new expensive car you'll probably run into more of these kind of problems.

Fourth, I am a big proponent of security through obscurity. If you don't flash your wealth, thieves won't know it's there and they are far less like to pursue you. They are more likely to pursue a flashy local than what looks like a poor tourist. For more on those thoughts take a look at