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Buy a $29,000 car for a quarter of a million dollars in Cuba

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Old cars cuba (Wikimedia commons)
Old cars cuba (Wikimedia commons)

The maintenance of older cars has been the stuff of legend in Cuba, where a 53-year-old embargo from the US created a cottage industry for keeping old cars up and running long beyond their original designs. Three years ago the country began allowing locals to buy new foreign-made cars, but it required a permit that was very difficult to get. That roadblock is no longer the case, which has led to a new confluence of potential buyers. But people are aghast at the prices of the cars, which can cost nearly 10 times the price elsewhere, The BBC reports. One example: a Peugeot that runs $29,000 in the UK costs $262,000 in Cuba. That's a tough sell when the average local salary is $20 a month, and where used vehicles have been readily available from around $5,000 to $10,000. The markup goes to the government, which says its using the extra funding to bolster a public transit system.