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  1. #1
    Virginie Guest

    Default Buying a car in South America

    Hi!

    We are three Belgians who are leaving to South America in January 2006 for a four month road trip. The idea was to fly into Rio, rent a car there and do a loop through Uruguay,Argentina,Chile,Bolivia,Peru and back to Rio. Unfortunately we only found out yesterday that it will be impossible to cross so many borders with a rental car.

    We are still landing in Rio and are considering buying a car/van there. Does anyone know if this is possible and how much we can expect to pay? More importantly, does anyone know if the cars for sale are reliable?
    If it is less risky to buy them in Uruguay or Argentina, we can always reach those countries by bus.

    Thanks for helping us out here. All advice is welcome!

    Cheers!
    V

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default

    Hi Virginie!

    Unfortunately, I don't have any answer for you since I've never been in South America, but I suggest you read SportscarDriver's post about driving in Brazil. Maybe he can help you out when he gets back on the forum.

    Cheers!

    Geneviève

  3. Default Border problems

    I'm not a seasoned S.A. traveler either, but I have read Road Fever -- a great (and very funny) book about a trans-American road trip from Tierra del Fuego to the Bering Straits.

    In it, the author has a recurrent theme that involves serious problems with border crossings in South and Central America. I suggest you contact the consulates of the countries you plan to enter and find out what will be required, as I think this is a very complicated process (especially since you will be transiting more than one border, which will probably make the officials uneasy). At least this is the sense I got from the above-mentioned book.

    You will also find that you will be subject to the whims of the locals -- you cannot count on the information you get in advance to be the actual requirement at the point and time of the crossing. But the consulates are still the place to start, I think.

    Sounds like a great adventure -- so good luck! Bob

  4. Default Dispatches from the Road!

    Borders are fairly easy in most countries, we have crossed 13 borders thats 2+ offices per side. Road Fever was written a while ago and the coruption environment is not as prevelent. smaller border crossings are always easier than the main Panamericana. the borders are very official. we payed no bribes, often only spending 40min a side. we crossed tierra del fuego yesterday which has the crossing of magellian strait, argentina to chile, then chile back to argentina.the process is pull up to office, get passport stamped. walk to next line with your title in your name, then they give you a temporary "import papers" then you go to customs and they ask you if you have vegtables of fruit, you throw that stuff away. the agent, if he can be bothered peaks his head in the car. and you drive off. Make sure to get your insurance in the big cities, becuase it would be a bumber to have to drive back 100miles. often the border crossing is a little building with nothing else around. and the most important thing is remember to smile. argeninta requires insurance. we payed 30 a month, chile the required basic hospital insurance is 15 a year. and peru its about 35 a year
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-22-2005 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Added a link

  5. Default

    Great information -- thanks for contributing. Knowing what others have encountered in "unknown" situations always helps to lower the stress levels a bit. Bob

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Wow, VWKombi, I would love to hear more about your trip sometimes. I bet you could write a book about your adventures.

  7. Default

    buy the car in argentina. gas here is cheap. Ive just finished driving California to ushuaia, yesterday. we have a thirty year old vw. you can get a car in buenas aires. probably about 10,000 pesos(3,000-4000 dollars for a good enough car, (good shocks if you want to dirtroad it, last week we drove patagonia and there was no services all dirt/rock for 500+kilometers.get one with basic engine,
    we will be there in two weeks if you want to buy ours. but the title switch would probably be to much of a pain. Its imprtant to have the official title in your name. but email me if you have some more specific questions

  8. Default Re: buy the car in argentina

    Quote Originally Posted by 1975vwkombi
    buy the car in argentina. gas here is cheap. Ive just finished driving California to ushuaia, yesterday. we have a thirty year old vw. you can get a car in buenas aires. probably about 10,000 pesos(3,000-4000 dollars for a good enough car, (good shocks if you want to dirtroad it, last week we drove patagonia and there was no services all dirt/rock for 500+kilometers.get one with basic engine,
    we will be there in two weeks if you want to buy ours. but the title switch would probably be to much of a pain. Its imprtant to have the official title in your name. but email me if you have some more specific questions
    I am a U.S. citizen currently residing in Buenos Aires - I have been trying to buy a used car or van, but I have been told that non-residents cannot
    purchace cars in Argentina - the title AND the insurance has to be in the name of an Argentine citizen...would I be better of buying a used car in Chile
    or some other country in S. America... would love to meet you while you are in town!

  9. Default california to usuahia by motorcycle

    Hi cristopher.
    I am from argentina , i think there is no problem for you to buy a vehicle.
    but any ways , i have a good friend in buenos aires that can help you with that(he represent isuzu automobile and parts in argenina)
    just let me know.
    i am contacting people that are doing this cain of adventure.
    will be great if we can shere information.
    ill be in buenos aires about end of december 2006 !!!!!
    thank you and good luck.
    ..............................alejandro

  10. Default Buying a Car in Argentina

    I have been in Buenos Aires, Argentina for more than two months. I wanted to buy a car whereby I could tour some of South America (Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, Brazil, etc.). Here is the rub.

    I found out that if I buy a car in Argentina (new or used) I CANNOT take the car out of Argentina. The law states that unless you are a permanent resident, or citizen, of Argentina, you cannot leave the country with a car registered in Argentina. You can be stopped at the border and sent back. This includes going to Ushuaia, since you must cross into Chile to get there to Tierra de Fuego in Argentina. Catch 22.

    Another problem is payment. To buy a car here you need cash. The dealerships will not accept an international transfer (bank to bank). Since, I wanted a new car (because used car prices are absurd) I needed 13-14,000 dollars, for an economy car (VW Suran). Thus, I needed to have the $$$ transferred. However, to transfer it I needed a bank account here. The banks I talked with would NOT open a bank account for me unless I was a resident or citizen of Argentina. So to get the money transferred here, I considered an "under-the-table" (black market) transfer. But, I was told, I take the risk, as there are no paper trails and I need to transfer my money from my bank in the USA to ‘their’ bank, off-shore. Then, the money would transfer to one or two other banks, in other countries, and eventually, my money would arrives here (God willing) with a 2% handling charge. This gets me the money, but, I still cannot take the car out of the country. Then, I could rent-a-car.

    Here, in Buenos Aires, most car rental companies only allow 200 KM a day and average $350 to $400 a week. I was planning to visit Tierra de Fuego (7000 KM round-trip) and knew that I needed the documents, from the rental agency, for the car to cross into Chile. I found that the rental agencies in Buenos Aires do not have these permits. Thus, it was recommended that I rent the car closer to where I want to enter Chile (El Calafate,etc.). To get there I could take bus.

    There is humor in this. - I started out to buy a car and now I am using bus! God Bless South America.

    The New York Times has an article worth reading. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...52C0A9609C8B63

    And read the Visas, Embassies & Border Crossings section in Lonely Planet
    http://www.lonelyplanet.com/letters/sam/arg_pc.htm
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 01-06-2007 at 11:03 AM. Reason: Duplicate Information

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