As part of a more widespread reform of the Cuban communist system, the automotive market that includes both new and used vehicles has been liberalized (kind of). The state still controls all sales of vehicles, though, regardless of age, and even second hand ones end up costing as much as ten times more than what they are actually worth.
Reuters says the problem are the huge markups added by the state which promises to reinvest some of the money it makes in this way back into the old, decaying public transport system.
Still, there’s no justification for new 2013 Peugeot 206+ (yes, they still make it) to cost the equivalent of almost $80,000 or the 508 sedan to go for $229,000… As previously mentioned, this affects older cars too, and Cubans whose monthly average wage equates to just $20 are asked to part with as much as $36,400 in exchange for a 2011 Kia Rio, or $44,000 for a 2010 VW Jetta. Even the tiny 2003 Peugeot 106 costs the best part of $15,000.
This means that most will stick to their pre-1959 cars and only those who have managed to create a successful business in the island nation or those with well-established relatives abroad will be able to get anywhere near these cars.
Now, scroll down and check out the list of prices we posted below. It’s from CaféFuerte and lists the cars available for sale as well as their price in the local currency; each Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) is worth about 0.87 US dollars, so you can imagine that those numbers don’t really go down that much when you do the math.
By Andrei Nedelea