But there’s a darker reason behind the abundance of classic cars in Cuba and it’s not just that citizens love old cars. It goes back decades—more than five—to the time when we put in place a trade embargo with Cuba.
That’s why you don’t see new cars from the US in Cuba–none are sold to Cubans. The fact is that no new cars from anywhere are traded there because the Cuban government put in place a law that only cars already in Cuba could be for sale without permission from the government. The same cars over and over. Think about it.
The effect of these rules and laws were that Cubans could only drive the cars that were already in the country. Very few Cubans own cars—they can’t afford them. They just don’t make enough money. A car is not a necessity for the average Cuban.
That situation is slowly improving. Now, Cuba allows people to buy and sell cars. But there’s a catch. After all the government fees are added, Cubans can expect to pay up to $250,000 for a normal new car. Since the majority of the population lives at the poverty level, few can afford a new car at normal prices, but at these inflated prices it is an impossibility.
As our relations with Cuba can improve, so could this situation. The U.S. is interested in opening trade with Cuba and if that happens, the embargo could disappear. Cubans might have access to American cars—assuming they can afford one.
But car enthusiasts in America are excited that they may be able to buy some of the vintage cars they’ve seen in Cuba. Some are pretty rare today.
There’s a problem, though: these cars are in poor repair and few have any kind of seat belt. They’re just not safe. While we may think auto insurance rates from insurancequote.deals are high, one can only imagine insurance rates for these unsafe old cars.