Laos - Reports
P.S. No 1 - Contributed February 1998 by : Anon
"Finally, I believe you are dealing with my replacement ('xxxxx') on a vehicle price for LAOS. I do not recommend an automatic trans. It is not something that can be repaired locally and actually lowers the resale value. Diesels are preferable but petrol and unleaded gas are readily available in Vientiane. The roads are very rough here with six months out of the year rainy and very muddy. Four Wheel drive is not a necessity in itself here. However the ground clearance that comes with a four wheel drive is a necessity in order to safely negotiate the many road hazards."
P.S. No 2 - Contributed June 1998 by : Anon
"The roads are poor to terrible depending on the level of government spending and the amount of rain. Driving is something like an arcade game as you must constantly dodge bicycles, motorcycles, pedestrians, water buffalo and whatever else decides go use the street. 4WD type clearance is very desireable but not necessary. Air conditioning is highly desireable if not necessary. Everything in Vientiane is fairly close so gasoline mileage is not a big worry. Presently a liter is around $0.20 per liter, but we are in the midst of a currency crisis so that changes daily. Normally it would run around $0.30 per liter. Diesel is available for around the same price. You must purchase 3rd party insurance at around $100 per year. Most expats spend a lot of time in Thailand so we get 3rd party for that country also. It runs about $50/Year. Vehicle maintenance is very cheap in Laos, but correspondingly poor. Thailand is much better and still very cheap. Parts are expensive in both countries so bring spare parts. We have some new rules of interest to incoming personnel. If you bring in a car more than 3 years old, it cannot be resold upon leaving. You must obtain the permission of the Lao government to sell your car. Duty must be paid if sold to non-duty-free personnel. Duty is presently 80 percent of the selling price. Right hand drive cars can be imported but must be rexported at the end of your tour."
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