ACCORDING to Jacky’s dad, there’s a saying in Mexico which goes ‘if you can drive in Tijuana, you can drive anywhere in the world’.
Seeing first-hand how motorists drive in Tijuana I think the saying should be more like ‘if you can drive in Tijuana, why not actually prove it?’
I actually think more than half the population here got their licences free in a box of cornflakes.
Over the years I’ve been very fortunate to have travelled around the world.
On these trips I’ve seen some pretty scary road manoeuvres (Cairo in Egypt and Bangkok in Thailand immediately spring to mind) – but drivers over here are a different class.
Central reservation? Who needs one... these guys just use each other stay on the right track.
It makes a dodgems ride look like an Institute of Advanced Driving course.
You indicate to pull into a different lane and the driver behind speeds up to close the gap like you’ve just insulted his wife.
I’m sure I saw one bumper sticker which read ‘I brake for no man – only tacos’.
It’s like playing real life Grand Theft Auto.
I haven’t yet driven because I actually have the ‘fear’.
Seriously, it’s scary.
One of the most annoying things I’ve encountered so far is obtaining information on what you actually need to legally drive in Mexico.
Everyone seems to be an expert but no-one can give me a definite answer.
One person I asked actually told me that you don’t need car insurance to drive in Tijuana.
I just can’t believe that.
Besides, every single piece of literature I’ve read states that it’s not uncommon for people to be thrown into a cell while you prove you have the funds to pay for repairs should you have a crash.
I just can’t imagine the trouble you’d be in if you actually killed or seriously injured someone here and you didn’t have some sort of insurance.
Ignorance is bliss when it comes to most things, but I think it’d be mad not to have some sort of cover for driving over here.
The web is also pretty useless as it contradicts itself time and time again.
I called the AA – you know, the AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION – just before I left the UK to ask them about insuring myself or a vehicle over here.
They said they couldn’t help me (?) and instead pointed me to the DVLA.
When I called them they said ‘call the AA’. And so the frustration began.
I have my full licence and an IDP (International Driving Permit) but I want to make sure I have everythig I need.
I know what you’re thinking, call a Mexican insurance company!
We are planning to do this but it’d be good to have some knowledge first on how to go about things.
Especially because there is the obvious language barrier – I don’t want to pay for something I’m not going to use.
And I’m sure deep down Jacky doesn’t know for sure exactly why I have concerns.
Her English is good but trying to explain how things are in the UK is difficult – even we don’t understand the levels of bureaucracy and red tape!
Things are very different here to the set up in the UK. Different country, different rules.
Despite the obvious risks of driving over here, I have to say the prospect is tantalising.
The strength of the pound compared to the peso is awesome, so using what I got for my Alfa Romeo to buy a car over here should be exciting – especially as I’ve seen some pretty amazing-looking Ford Mustangs growling around.
Yeh, I could quite happily be Steve McQueen in ‘Bullitt’ (for the record if you haven’t seen the most incredible car chase in cinematic history check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBLOLi_Ex-Q).
For now though I’m going to be a co-pilot and let someone else take the risk.